Thursday, November 08, 2007

Card Sharks

There's a sign on the wall of a bread shop near us (why is it always the bread stores we have problems with?) The minimum credit card payment is 5,000 won (about £2.64). So the woman behind the counter - obviously the owner - is really chatty and pleasant. My wife buys 7,500 won's worth of various items, gets to the counter, draws out her credit card, and the owner's face just changes immediately. She stares at the card coldly and takes it slowly - there is no more pleasant conversation.

On the way out the customer normally says '수고하세요', which is basically 'keep up the good work'. The store owner really has to reply, because it would be rude not to. There's nobody else in this small bread shop and the owner very obviously doesn't reply. It's not the first time this type of thing has happened, though this was the most noticeable because the change from chirpy to ice-cold the moment the card was produced was remarkable. I suppose the moral of the story is that whatever minimums card payments they advertise, some Korean store owners just prefer cash, and may not be happy about receiving anything else.

Korean tags: 가게, 사다,

6 comments:

S.L. said...

The bread store lady probably doesn't report the cash. Next time you go into the store, just before you pull out the credit card, tell the lady she looks nice (hair is pretty/pretty blouse/etc). I have found that saying something nice to someone you don't especially like gets them off guard.

Lee said...

'수고하세요' - is this pronounced "So-goo-ha-say-yo"? what does it mean?

Mike said...

Lee - it's basically, 'keep up the good work'.

daeguowl said...

Any private expense you put on your credit card qualifies as a tax deduction come April....just the government's way of giving something back for increasing their tax revenue.....I think you can get a KRW5m deduction for spending 40million

Mike said...

Sadly, I don't think there's any danger of me hitting that limit in the near future!

daeguowl said...

I found out today that you can also get it for cash payments if you request the korean equivalent of a VAT receipt. Oh and you don't need to spend the full 40million, it's capped at that level so you'll just get less of a deduction come April if you spend less.

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