If I sign with my finger, is that legal?

Reply

  #1  
Old 12-14-14, 09:35 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 9,801
If I sign with my finger, is that legal?

I always thought our signature was just a step below our fingerprint, but in today's world where we sign with the tip of our finger with nothing to lean on and sometimes no impression to see what our results are, how would that ever be considered legal?

Then it got worse. Two different offices, affiliated with the same medical organization, one for MRI and the other for the specialists and x-rays, I was asked to sign an electronic pad (twice at each office) based upon the receptionists explaining what I was signing, verbally. No screen to read and nothing in print to read or take with me to later know what I signed. Now, if that's not bad enough, I had clearly informed both offices that I was legally deaf and although I limp along with my hearing aide they cannot trust any of my responses as I can frequently answer based upon what I think I heard and not what was actually said.

I let the first office pass without speaking up, but the second time I had to say something. When I told her that those signatures could not be considered legal because she presented the information verbally to a deaf person she was stunned and did not know what to do. I eased the tension by saying, you're not going to take my wife and kids are you, and we both laughed.

But the serious side is, these casual fingertip signatures are probably not binding and certainly the verbal reading of why I'm signing, even to a hearing person, cannot possible hold up in court.

Any test cases out there as to how they are getting away with this?

Bud
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 12-14-14, 11:07 AM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 20,789
No paperwork given in addition to the verbal?

I have to do the same thing at pharmacies and such, but there's always paperwork. What shows on the screen (which never works right) isn't even close to my actual sig....but I think it's considered valid legally.

Try searching "electronic signature", though I know thats more for electronic correspondence.
 
  #3  
Old 12-14-14, 11:43 AM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 5,544
Have you ever heard the term legal suit?

You're right of course. Those electronic sigs (especially with a sight or audio handicap) would have no meaning in a court of law.

Even without a handicap, in times of stress such as a loved one needing special services be it medical or otherwise, I would think can be easily contested in a court.

However, that being said, what alternative is available?

In our store we have a particular customer that will not use a pen to sign his credit card slip, but instead uses his finger since the paper is heat/pressure sensitive. It will fade very quickly. Is it legal? IDK. But then again sometimes I forget to ask customer to sign. I'll just scribble something on the slip to satisfy the front office.
 
  #4  
Old 12-14-14, 11:46 AM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 4,940
You can have them print you copies. If they refuse, don't sign and make a huge deal out of it.

There is no legal definition as what constitutes a signature. You can print, sign, or mark an X. Doesn't matter as long as you are the one that made it. We are deep into the digital age. Digital signatures are legal.
 
  #5  
Old 12-14-14, 11:51 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
I use a Square to accept credit card payments for our rental cabin. The renters just sign my phone face. I do send them a paid copy via email, but all they can see is my company name, amount and their signature. When at hospitals, etc. I do ask for copies of what I signed, however.
 
  #6  
Old 12-14-14, 11:51 AM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 4,940
  #7  
Old 12-14-14, 12:03 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
Don't forget, you electronically sign your tax forms if you use TurboTax or other tax software.
 
  #8  
Old 12-14-14, 12:13 PM
Handyone's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: U.S.
Posts: 5,451
This is interesting. I like the link drooplug posted. Reminds me of sign with an X in old westerns.
Where's Prince when you need him?
 
  #9  
Old 12-14-14, 01:55 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 9,801
I did have to provide a thumb print when cashing a large check with a bank I did not have an account. I was getting in return a bank check to maintain the paper trail, but they still needed the thumb print. Since I know all banks have video as well and I provided an ID I thought that was over kill.

Fortunately the two verbal "sign here" requests didn't bother me. It is more the issue that we seem to be on a slippery slope, so what is next. Hopefully it will something better, more secure, and easier. I recently had a small chain store hold my credit card until he could compare it to my signature. I told him he was the first merchant that did anything more than glance at the sig on my card and MOST never look or never see my card. He said he got burned once and now he checks.

Given all of the fraud and identity theft, which we all pay for, if signatures are going to be required, they should be something more credible than the scribble generated by my aging pointy finger. IMO

Good link Droo.
Bud
 
  #10  
Old 12-14-14, 01:59 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 4,940
The stores are on the hook for any fraudulent charges. The credit card companies have little motivation to make things more secure. It seems we are quite behind the times when it comes to secure payments.

When we were in Ireland, whenever we paid in a restaurant with a credit card, the never left the table with it. They brought the card machine and swiped it in front of you.
 
  #11  
Old 12-14-14, 02:38 PM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 20,789
Get this...in just the little info I got about my possible new job...they take a thumbprint from customers. Along with a copy of a valid ID (prefer 2), about 10 pages of fine print and 5 signatures.

FOR A STORAGE UNIT!!!?
 
  #12  
Old 12-14-14, 06:13 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
Since I know all banks have video
We have satellites that can take a clear picture of a nickel on a manhole cover in downtown Manhattan from space, but we can't get a clear picture of a robber in a bank that a mother would recognize at 30 feet. I go in to make deposits sometimes, wearing my company logo shirt, with my name emblazoned on it in 3" letters and they have a sign for me to take off my hat. What for? The image will be blurred, anyway
 
  #13  
Old 12-14-14, 10:36 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 2,446
I know when I went to the farmers market that ran from April to October in my city I was able to make purchases with my credit card. Not from every merchant but most merchants had an app for their smart phones and an attachment for the top. First time too that I used my finger to write my signature which never seems to turn out well even inside a store with their credit card machines. Somehow those things always make it look like you are drunk. I am a tea drinker though

I remember once I went to the post office and I hadn't signed the back of my credit card and the clerk made me sign it right there and even asked for my id which I gave her to confirm things and she knew me well. She said though that they told her I had to have my card signed and an id. All of that can be a bit annoying but perfectly legal as on any credit card it says not valid unless signed.

Most people though at businesses I go to never even look at my credit card and could care less. A guy at a Radioshack said I shouldn't sign my card to make a merchant ask for id. So I haven't for years thinking it would protect me from fraudulent purchases. I have never had any fraudulent purchases on my card but that isn't because of the lack of signature.
 
  #14  
Old 12-15-14, 03:06 AM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 5,544
Hedge, along the same line, I use to write " see ID" on my card. Many people present their cards like that to me at the store. Recently as I was having my card renewed, I mentioned to the card issuer about the practice. She told me that technically it means nothing and in fact one is not agreeing to the contract by not signing it.
 
  #15  
Old 12-15-14, 03:15 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
Signing the back of credit/debit cards, as I was told, allows the merchant to verify the signature placed on the receipt to the one on the card. All handwriting experts, you know. I do the same as Norm, and put Require ID on mine. Anyone can forge a signature, but no one can duplicate my face on the driver's license.....thankfully It gives an additional layer of security knowing it is the person who owns the card using it, IMO.
 
  #16  
Old 12-15-14, 03:51 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 43,017
I recently had a small chain store hold my credit card until he could compare it to my signature.
30 or so yrs ago I needed a new 100' 12 gauge extension cord. When I told my boss he said he didn't have time but gave me his credit card and told me to get one and sign his name. I tried to somewhat duplicate his signature but I have no forging credentials The store clerk carefully examined my signature along with one on the back of the card [I expected him to call the law ] and then he gave the card back to me with the remark that my signature was getting better

I'm a little surprised at all the merchants that no longer require a signature when you use a credit card. Seems like one store said no signature was required for purchases less than $50 [?] I can't remember the last time I was asked for ID when using a credit card.
 
  #17  
Old 12-15-14, 04:30 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
As long as we are telling stories. Back last century I worked a case for the Atlanta PD undercover to test a liquor store's security, which they thought was inadequate at best. I was given a check book and identification of someone who was 40 lbs lighter and with dark hair to make false purchases. I knew I would be caught. I made my way back eluding the cameras, picked up two bottles of Dom Perignon, stuffed them in my Pcoat, picked up a case of beer and went to pay for the beer. Clerk took check, looked at picture ID and handed it back, thanking me in that person's name. What security??
 
  #18  
Old 12-15-14, 01:43 PM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 5,544
In January we're getting a new POS sytem. It includes the machines that the customer scans his or her own card. The cashier never has a reason to look at it. We are told its a more secure system and alleviates the store and cashier from any liability or accusation of theft. I believe merchants are only liable for bad credit cards depending on the level of use they decide to have with the credit card or bank.
 
Reply


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:41 AM.