Ask A Broadsheet Reader


Kevin writes:

My wife was booking some spa treatments in a plush hotel down the country, in an email they asked for her credit card details – I said no way, that’s crazy, anyone could read that email, or forward it.

Then when she telephoned them in reply they asked for her CVN and again I called bullpoo, pretty sure that’s only for online purchases.

It seems common that high end hotels ask for these details without regard to their customers privacy or security.

The last time we stayed in an over prices hotel ( for a wedding of someone who is an oniomaniac) just after booking my credit card was used to run up a huge debt on a poker site, I had been stupid enough to give my CVN at the time.

Is this an Irish thing or a rich people,thing or hotels just don’t give a fupp?


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62 thoughts on “Ask A Broadsheet Reader

  1. Brother Barnabas

    I’d be more concerned about Kevin’s wayward approach to use of commas; suggests an unhinged mind.

    And I’m sure andyourpointiswhatexactly is with me on this.

    1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

      I’m more enraged by spa hotels. I hate people walking around in their dressing gowns. Mens’ NUTS graze off the leather on the seats, for fupp’s sake. I refuse to go to Monart for that reason. Well, nobody’s asked but it’s the principle.

      But yeah, I agree.

      1. Listrade short are these dressing gowns or how long are these scrotums that there is actual sack on couch contact?

        1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

          I kind of imagine men flicking the dressing gowns back like a concert pianist does his tails before he flexes his fingers.

      2. Lord Snowflakee

        I agree with Andy here

        What the actual fupp is going on when people are just rambling around like caged bears in plush hotels?

        1. Spaghetti Hoop

          I was forced to have an Indian head massage on a family spa hotel weekend hoo-haa.
          Not only do I hate being mauled by complete strangers, I didn’t even have an Indian head.

          1. Lord Snowflakee

            I would pay good money to be massaged with an Indian head

            Serves them right for scalping all those times

      3. Frilly Keane

        What kinda spas d’you be at
        AYPIWE girl

        I’ve only ever see the big thick longies

        1. Listrade

          I’m thinking it’s the “spas” the residents of Dorset Street were recently stood outside.

          1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

            I don’t go to spas. I hate people touching me. And because of the imaginary scenarios as detailed above.

          2. Bertie Blenkinsop

            Likewise, I hate people touching me, especially in this new hugging culture.

            You’re leaving after ten years?
            You’re Granny just died?
            You just had a baby?

            Have an encouraging smile cos I’m fecked if I’m hugging you.

        2. Brother Barnabas

          “big thick longies”?

          speaking of which, always thought it odd when a chap’s scrotum hangs lower than his penis. that’s not the way god intended it.

      4. anne

        Monart you say.. Might book in there sometime.. Are the men’s dressing gowns short or something? or was this all in your head.. these details are important.

  2. garthicus

    Seems to be common enough to ask for the CVN over the phone with hotels. I also have had to give it over the phone to pay Panda/Parking and a few other things…

  3. gerry

    The number is used for any transaction where the card is not present so yes it is asked for over the phone.

  4. $hifty

    It’s a weird one alright, and not just with the high-end hotels. I stayed in Dunboyne recently and the hotel wanted a credit card upon check-in. Neither of us have one, so they were essentially refusing to give us the room until a family member gave their card details.

    I even offered to pay for the room up front on my debit card but they refused. Had to be a CC. The receptionist was incredulous that we didn’t have one, while i was bemused that this situation was happening…..

    “Surely this is not the first time this has happened?”
    “Actually, yes, it is”

    What’s the reason behind this? To stop people running up huge room service and mini bar bills?

    1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

      To stop people trashing the gaff. If you pay up front, it’s hard for them to recoup anything.
      I dunno: I guess that must be why.

      1. anne

        so if you don’t have a credit card stay at home is it? what if you offered one of your kidneys as a deposit..would that work? a sworn notarised declaration you will not use the minibar? leave them one of your offsring as security, until you check out. Are we all potential rock stars nowadays or something? are hotel rooms getting trashed that much?

        1. Spaghetti Hoop

          LOL. Fair point. The only service I know that still insists on a credit card for booking is car-hire.

    2. anne

      I dont have a credit card & I’ve had plenty of other people tell me they don’t have one either. Sounds like she was being a bit of a wagon.

  5. gerry

    If you give your card details over the phone someone has to type them in to a computer to make a charge so it is essentially an online transaction.

  6. Frilly Keane

    Is this a thing

    Hotel spas in Ireland always ask for card details when booking a treatment
    The reason is that they’re run by private operators and the old way of charging to the room isn’t available

    Another thing
    I can’t remember the last time a hotel didn’t ask for a Credit Card on Check In

    It’s actually handy
    It’s saves you bringing cash out and about
    Especially if it’s a Spa Golf resort hotel
    And or its a work conference Weekender thing

  7. BingGongGone

    Thinly veiled – “look at me, I’m staying in a plush hotel down the country (again)” post.

  8. Matt

    It’s very common. One client actually asked us to develop software that would take card details in a seemingly secure SSL page, and then send them on by email for entry into a terminal. When we refused, saying it was a very stupid thing to do, we were called uncooperative, and a competitor obliged instead.

  9. Bobby

    You can preauthorise a credit card for the amount to cover your stay, you can’t with a debit card, for all the hotel knows you might only have €5 in your bank account.

  10. Bruncvik

    I wouldn’t give my card details over e-mail, but I have given full card details over the phone numerous times, and so far no issues. However, I also request a new card once per year or so, or when returning from countries with highly unsafe card technology (US, for example).

    I’ve come across something new recently, though. I’ve had visitors from the continent, and apparently, it’s becoming a thing to get a card without a printed name. I didn’t research whether it’s for security reasons or something else, but it’s the latest thing you can request from some banks, and people do so. Many shops here wouldn’t allow my guests use the card, though; they had to go to an ATM, withdraw cash and pay that way.

  11. Tucker Done

    If dodgy purchases appear on your credit card they will either be picked up by the cc company and you will be refunded, or you will see the dodgy transactions on your card and you will be refunded. Kevin is bleating on as if he had to pay for the “huge” debt on the poker site. Botty millinery of the highest order

    1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

      I was all, like, what now? Bum hat-making? Bottom fascinators? Then it hit me. I like it.

      1. DooHickie

        Sorry, maybe I’m too old, but I don’t get the “Botty millinery” expression. Could someone translate for me, please?

  12. postmanpat

    Two x-mas’ ago, my wife and I stayed in a swanky hotel in Dublin for a couple of nights paid by my parents (last xmas gift from a terminally ill parent ) who also paid for my two sisters, my brother and their respective spouses/girlfriends/kids. The reception asked for a card swipe upon check in to cover any charges made to my room. After x-mas I noticed a €50 charge on my card and when I rang up they said it was a minus 50 deposit that was taken off the card upon check in and that it should have been credited back to my card right after check out but because of xmas/banks/backlog ? it wasn’t done yet but give it a week (?) er.. okay so I wait another month then remember to check again. Money still not refunded. Ring again and tell them what they told me and the guy on the phone doesn’t know what I’m talking about. Checks further and sees that it was a children’s meal charged to my room. (I don’t have kids, but my sister does) I explain that to them and ask them to refund my card and charge my sister or brother in law who ordered the meal instead. They ask me if I can just get the money off my sister myself because we were part of the same group. I tell them its their mistake and I’m not asking my sister for 50 quid 2 months after x-mas. I don’t get on with my sister and I cant stand her kids, ( neither could the other guests in the Royal Marine that Christmas! BTW apologies for anyones head that was wrecked by my horrible nephews in x-mas 2015, I had to go , I didn’t want too, I hate stuffy Irish hotels) I tell them to ring whoever they have to ring and charge/refund the appropriate cards. It was their mistake at the end of the day. A pain to fix but I got the money back a few days after that. The point is, if you are booked into a group booking and you aren’t the person settling the bill. don’t give a credit card on check in. And NEVER leave a debit card number with anyone. At least if your Credit Card details get robbed Its the CC companies money and they have to eat the loss.

      1. postmanpat

        Damn it! I should have given them a couple of brownies come to think of it now or crushed up a few of my sisters valium pills into their fizzy drinks. They where so badly behaved in the hotel lounge area on Christmas eve that an old lady complained to a manager saying that in “all the years she was coming to the hotel on Christmas she had never seen such behavior”. One of them even pulled the chemotherapy wig of my mothers head. It was a fiasco. Little brats. I don’t condone hitting kids but I would have made an exception of that one old lady clattered the two of them with her zimmerframe. I was embarrassed to be sitting with them. in fact, at one point me and the wife (who couldn’t drink because she was pregnant at the time and her head was melted) sneaked to a different area of the bar for a while but the little bastards followed us. We were the talk of the hotel. It was a long couple of days. It cost my folks a fortune. It was not worth it.

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