Pok Pok NY Bans Prepaid Debit Cards; Companies Say Restaurants Have Nothing to Worry About

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"We'd like to split the check 31 ways, please."

Yesterday, a post at Bucks took to decoding some fine print at the bottom of the Pok Pok Ny menu that's less to do with fermented sausages and allergens and more to do with accepted forms of payment. It turns out Pok Pok will not take AmEx or prepaid debit cards; chef and proprietor Andy Ricker e-mailed Bucks to explain that the policy amounts to "just protecting our service staff," as tips are put through after the paying customer signs the check; sometimes the added debit for tip exceeds a card's balance, and by then customers may have left and the server is duly stiffed. But in an update, a Visa spokesperson tells Bucks that through the magic of merchant services, all successful prepaid debit authorizations automatically allow for up to a 20 percent tip. That's just great: The real issue from here on out is that all the stingy bastards will have a perfectly acceptable technical explanation for never leaving a cent more than 20 percent on exceptional service, so long as they're packing prepaid. [Bucks/NYT]