Arielle (wildemoose) wrote in bad_service,

Before I start, let me just say that I am aware that many stores have a policy of carding anyone who buys alcohol, just to be on the safe side, and I have no problem with this whatsoever. Also, my husband and I were already in a slightly bad mood from something that had happened earlier, so it might have colored our perception of the situation slightly. That said, here's the story.

My husband and I stopped in at the local Food Emporium to pick up some stuff for dinner. As is often the case, my husband picked out a bottle of the Belgian-style Canadian beer which this particular Food Emporium sells and which he is fond of. We shop at this store a lot, and buy beer from them at least once a week, and so we are both well aware that the checkout system they use needs to have a birthday entered into it to sell alcohol. If you look like you might be under 21 (as I do), they'll card you, and if you're quite obviously well over 30 (as my husband is), they'll just ask for your birthday and type it in. As I've said, we've been to this particular store many times before, and that's how they've done it every time.

Tonight, however, as the cashier scanned the beer, instead of just saying "Birthday?" as they usually do, he said "Birthday or ID?" implying that my husband could either state his birthday or show him his ID. To make it easier for the cashier, while verbally stating his birthday, my husband held up his wallet containing his (British) driver's license. The cashier glanced at the license and said, "I'm sorry, you'll have to take it over there," pointing to the customer service desk. My husband said, "I'm not going over there just to buy a bottle of beer, my birthday is February 17, 1961." The cashier said, "I'm sorry, sir, I can't accept that license, it's out of state." (It's quite obviously out of state, being, as I said, British, but it's certainly not fake, not that my husband would have any need for a fake ID, having been, once again, born in 1961, and although I think he looks younger than his age, it is patently obvious that he is over 21). My husband argued with the guy for a few more seconds before I ended things by producing my New York driver's license, showing it to him, and saying, "Look, here's my ID, I'm 22, and he's obviously older than me." At this point the guy stopped arguing and let us purchase our beer.

I am very aware that a store can have whatever policy it wants when it comes to carding for alcohol, and if the rule is that you must produce a state ID, so be it; however, I know that this is NOT this store's policy because, as I said, we've bought a lot of beer there in the past. The whole experience just pissed us off, especially as we'd had a bad experience earlier in the day and just wanted to get our beer and go home.
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