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Re: Checks at Troll

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  • Lew Wolkoff
    I m gratified that so many people liked my idea of keeping a record of the people who continue to write bad checks at events. I won t call them Gentles, for
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 16, 1999
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      I'm gratified that so many people liked my idea of keeping a record of the
      people who continue to write bad checks at events. I won't call them
      Gentles, for persons who continuously write bad checks don't deserve the
      name.

      I'd like to add a couple additional thoughts.

      1 - Any List should be kept at Regional or Kingdom Troll, rather than
      locally, so other groups will be warned.

      2 - The List should include people who write bad checks before the
      event as well.

      3 - There should be a grace period to allow the writer of a bad check
      to make it good. I will admit to having written a couple in my
      years in the Society; a large check or unexpected expense having
      emptied my account before the event check was cashed. In both
      cases, the group received either cash or a postal money order as
      soon as I was notified.

      People who fail to make good on a bad check are the ones who need
      to be on the List.

      4 - Verifying the address and asking for the driver's license number
      for a check given at Troll should be standard operating procedure
      at any Troll. I've worked Troll at events and Registration at SF
      cons. I've also worked in my Dad's store. It's a reasonable
      thing and not that time consuming. We might also want to ask for
      a phone number. Many businesses do. This would help the person
      who accidentally writes a bad check, since he or she can be
      contacted more easily.

      5 - Before Lists are made public, we need to check with lawyers to
      make certain of what liability, if any is involved. A person
      bold enough to habitually write bad checks may also be bold
      enough to sue somebody who makes that fact known. Keeping a
      private list that is available on a need to know basis is a
      different matter, but liability might want to be considered here,
      as well. If there's little or no risk, than a list in Pikestaff
      or the regional newsletter, updated each month, might be useful.

      6 - Check confirming services are expense. So is signing up with a
      service, so a Troll can take credit cards. Few events can budget
      the $100+ cost. Both also involve that the Troll have a working
      phone at their table/booth. This is not logistically possible at
      a lot of events. There are no phones anywhere near where the
      Troll is set up.

      I hope this has helped clarify things.

      Eleazar
    • Bob & Nancy Upson
      ... It is equally important that this list is scrupulously maintained and *current.* If such a list is created (and it needs to be more than just a list of
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 16, 1999
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        > 1 - Any List should be kept at Regional or Kingdom Troll, rather than
        > locally, so other groups will be warned.

        It is equally important that this list is scrupulously maintained and
        *current.* If such a list is created (and it needs to be more than
        just a list of names), due vigilance must be maintained to *remove*
        names in the event of errors or checks made good.

        > 3 - There should be a grace period to allow the writer of a bad check
        > to make it good. I will admit to having written a couple in my

        IMHO, time alone isn't sufficient to post a person/account to a "bad
        check" list. Names should only be added to such a list *after* a
        good faith effort at collection has been made. It would be wrong to
        add someone to a bad check list over an error or simple
        misunderstanding.

        > 4 - Verifying the address and asking for the driver's license number
        > for a check given at Troll should be standard operating procedure
        > at any Troll. I've worked Troll at events and Registration at SF

        FWIW, asking for driver's license numbers may or may not be of
        any use depending on mundane local laws. An ID check of some
        kind is a good idea if you are worried about bad checks, but the
        form of ID acceptable may need to have some local variance.

        > cons. I've also worked in my Dad's store. It's a reasonable
        > thing and not that time consuming. We might also want to ask for
        > a phone number. Many businesses do. This would help the person
        > who accidentally writes a bad check, since he or she can be
        > contacted more easily.

        Agreed. A preprinted address matching a personal ID and a phone
        number are prudent in any case.

        > 5 - Before Lists are made public, we need to check with lawyers to
        > make certain of what liability, if any is involved. A person

        As long as the list is internal and sticks to strict facts, there is no
        slander/libel issue. Remember that "strict facts" means listing
        that "an uncollectable check was submitted under the name of
        John Doe, 1st Bank of Fubar, account number 12-34-56789" -- NOT
        listing that "John Doe wrote a bad check" *unless* you have
        already established that John Doe, in fact *did* write the check and
        has not made any reasonable effort to make good on it.

        > 6 - Check confirming services are expense. So is signing up with a
        > service, so a Troll can take credit cards. Few events can budget

        Actually, credit cards can be handled fairly cheaply through cc
        acceptance services. The hassle is that it's typically easier to
        maintain them year round but local groups wouldn't generally need
        tham all that often. There might be some merit in a large barony-
        sized group or larger accepting cc's and allowing its subgroups
        access to it as well. (Personally, I'd rather stick with cash and
        checks.)

        > the $100+ cost. Both also involve that the Troll have a working
        > phone at their table/booth. This is not logistically possible at
        > a lot of events. There are no phones anywhere near where the
        > Troll is set up.

        Many acceptance services also supply cellular/PCS compatible
        swipe terminals at reasonable lease rates. Again, I personally
        wouldn't want to bother with cc's.

        Macsen
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