Theater Security

Theater Security really annoys me. A couple of days ago I made a reservation for one night in a Hotel. I called the Hotel directly and they asked for my details, the typical: full name, number of nights, etc. I offered to give them my CC number over the phone and they said that they don't allow for that; the correct procedure is to write the numbers down (in handwriting) on a sheet of paper, put my full name on it and fax it to them (note there is no requirement to sign it). So I do that, and call them back to make sure all is in order, and it seemed to be.

Today, I get a call from them, informing me that I did not correctly follow their instructions. It seems I had to also fax them a copy of my card.

"Why?", I asked. "Company policy". "Why?", I asked again. "Sir, it's Company Policy". After going back and forth a couple of times, she tells me that they need to have some "physical" proof of the validity of the card. I told them to just charge me the room now to make sure the number is valid and save me the "trouble" of faxing it to them again, to which she replied "well once you send the copy of the card, please indicate on the piece of paper that you authorize us to charge the room now", at which point I decided to give up and send them the fax.

However, for some odd reason, my fax machine switched to Low quality when the fax was going through. Unsurprisingly when I called them back, they told me that the card had come through completely black; they couldn't see anything on it. I asked her if I needed to now find another fax machine to send it to her in higher quality, to which she replied no. She said that this was normal, that all customers cards pretty much were unreadable once they came through the fax machine, and that was the reason why they ask for the numbers to be written down in handwriting. Since I had already done this, it seemed all was OK and my reservation was now confirmed.

I then asked what was the whole purpose of sending the card if it was illegible, to which she politely replied: "It's Company Policy Sir".

Kind of reminds me of the same type of theatrical security we have to suffer at airports. I once asked asked one of the security guards at Malaga Airport why I had to switch on my laptop for him to see it boot up Windows. I was expecting something in the line of "Sir, it's policy". Instead he told me to ask those that suffered the attacks in New York. No comments!

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