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Old 03-02-10, 06:49 PM   #1
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Why do people still write checks?

Been meaning to start this thread for a while, but the nice debate in the bad customer service theater thread, finally brought it to fruition.

I'm not talking about the occasional check for a random bill that you need to mail, I mean I still have to write a check for my hockey league fees and have even asked the manager about setting up a paypal account.

I mean the people that write checks at big chains stores, paying for groceries, etc. I typically see people writing checks at Walmart and Big Lots of the stores I frequent, so that may have something to do with it, but sometimes I honestly want to ask them why they are writing a check, but feel it would be rude.

I tried mildly successfully to hijack this thread:
http://forum.dvdtalk.com/other-talk/...kill-them.html

And got a few ranging answers:
Quote:
Originally Posted by D.Pham00 View Post
my dad still insists on using checks. he doesn't need to float money or anything, just for some reason likes to write checks. i try to tell him otherwise, but nope, he still insists on doing it. btw, what's annoying is you can't get a refund until 15 days later when writing a check. i don't blame them, of course, but this has happened to my dad several times.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdodd View Post
I'll write a check at the grocery store to float the funds for a couple days, the money doesn't come out directly, whatever that means. It takes a couple days for the funds to clear.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meglos View Post
I use my debit card when I'm at the grocery store, but in all other cases (retail stores like Best Buy and Borders) I write a check because I don't have a credit card. Out of consideration for anyone else in line, I'll try to fill in as much info as possible (name, date, what store I'm at) before actually stepping in line.

I remember getting an overexaggerated sigh from someone right behind me once she noticed the checkbook, and I have to say that sort of condescension made me want to bitchslap her...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Numanoid View Post
So why don't you use your debit card there?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meglos View Post
Um...I didn't know I could?
My assumption was people only used them for "floating" money, like writing a check on Wednesday and hoping it doesn't clear until they get paid on Friday or because people wanted an easy way to always use their check register. I've heard the not wanting to borrow money thing as well, but with debit cards coming straight from your account I don't get that one either.

So, I'm honestly curious, why do you or other you know still use checks? Any good stories of people writing checks? Discuss.
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Old 03-02-10, 06:50 PM   #2
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Re: Why do people still write checks?

They're probably older and do it out of habit.
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Old 03-02-10, 06:52 PM   #3
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Re: Why do people still write checks?

I was behind a woman at Sams this weekend who couldn't get her card to work for whatever odd reason, so she rummaged around through her purse and eventually found her checkbook. Not sure what the problem was. Looked like she had enough money to pay her bills, and while she was older, she looked smart enough to operate the credit card machine.

So to answer your question, I don't know
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Old 03-02-10, 06:54 PM   #4
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Re: Why do people still write checks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
They're probably older and do it out of habit.
What he said. Also there are still quite a few places (hello DMV and TX water company) that do not take credit or debit.

I'm still my first checkbook out of 10 that I received from my bank when I opened my account.
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Old 03-02-10, 06:57 PM   #5
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Re: Why do people still write checks?

The majority of checks that I've seen being written are company checks. Employees purchasing things for the company that they don't want to have to expense after using their personal credit cards for.

But I do agree. In my personal life I do not write checks, I just my debit card for 90% of my purchases.
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Old 03-02-10, 06:57 PM   #6
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Re: Why do people still write checks?

To piss you off. It's nice to see that it's working.
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Old 03-02-10, 06:58 PM   #7
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Re: Why do people still write checks?

My first thread here at DVD Talk was about this very subject. You can see that things haven't changed much in ten years.
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Old 03-02-10, 07:01 PM   #8
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Re: Why do people still write checks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thor Simpson View Post
To piss you off. It's nice to see that it's working.
This is actually my honest evaluation. People either do it because they are old luddites, or because they thrive on the negative attention. It's a power trip, performed by people who have little power elsewhere in their lives. And they probably don't even realize (except for Thor) that is the reason they do it.
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Old 03-02-10, 07:05 PM   #9
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Re: Why do people still write checks?

I have family in Prague and their email is sketchy there at best. So sometimes it's better just to send an old fashioned letter.
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Old 03-02-10, 07:14 PM   #10
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Re: Why do people still write checks?

I think for some people, it helps them to have a written record of what they're spending. With a credit card, it's easy to overdo it, and there's no record unless they can keep the receipts together in one place. A check gives them a handy record of the transaction, with the copy of the check that stays in that book.
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Old 03-02-10, 07:58 PM   #11
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Re: Why do people still write checks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drexl View Post
I think for some people, it helps them to have a written record of what they're spending. With a credit card, it's easy to overdo it, and there's no record unless they can keep the receipts together in one place. A check gives them a handy record of the transaction, with the copy of the check that stays in that book.
Actually, I find that it's pretty easy to keep track of your spending with credit cards, much easier than cash. But then again, I wouldn't expect people who only use checks to be computer-savvy enough to check their accounts online, so point taken.
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Old 03-02-10, 08:00 PM   #12
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Re: Why do people still write checks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drexl View Post
I think for some people, it helps them to have a written record of what they're spending. With a credit card, it's easy to overdo it, and there's no record unless they can keep the receipts together in one place. A check gives them a handy record of the transaction, with the copy of the check that stays in that book.
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Old 03-02-10, 08:19 PM   #13
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Re: Why do people still write checks?

I wish I could have written checks for groceries in college -- with no checking account, credit card, or debit card (they did not exist at the time) I paid in cash and hoped I had enough for payment.

It is nice using a debit or credit card now.
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Old 03-02-10, 08:24 PM   #14
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Re: Why do people still write checks?

I have a checking account, but never use checks.

My parents have a checking account, they finally set up a bunch of auto debits, but I mailed 8 checks for them today...

Some people never change.
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Old 03-02-10, 08:26 PM   #15
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Re: Why do people still write checks?

I thought it was supposed to be dangerous to use a Debit card?
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Old 03-02-10, 08:31 PM   #16
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Re: Why do people still write checks?

Generally, the people I hear still using checks don't feel comfortable with the internet and security. It makes very little sense, but they feel safer using checks.
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Old 03-02-10, 09:08 PM   #17
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Re: Why do people still write checks?

Being that I work at a bank, I would say most check writers are past 40 and just stuck in there old ways.
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Old 03-02-10, 09:09 PM   #18
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Re: Why do people still write checks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thor Simpson View Post
To piss you off. It's nice to see that it's working.
What he said, sometimes I just want to write a check. I'm sorry that you are in such a hurry, stop and smell the ink.
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Old 03-02-10, 09:37 PM   #19
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Re: Why do people still write checks?

We write one check a month now, for rent. Everything else is Bill Pay or debit.
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Old 03-02-10, 09:41 PM   #20
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Re: Why do people still write checks?

I takes me several months to go through a pack of 25 checks nowadays.

I do pay my cable (only because the office is about 1 mile from my house and I hit it on the way to work), garbage and water bill to the city by check. Not much else.
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Old 03-02-10, 09:42 PM   #21
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Re: Why do people still write checks?

I rarely carry cash.

Sometimes to float (although with Check 21, doesn't work so much anymore.)

Sometimes for tracking - my wife has a debit card, I have a Paypal debit card, which earns me 1.5% cashback, but until recently, if I charged 10.00, it would apply that 1.5% to the next time I used it, so it was usually difficult to reconcile. They've changed it now so the cashback is deposited once per month, so that's easier as well.

Some places don't take plastic - I need to recharter my son into his Scout troop, and they don't take plastic.

Some places take plastic, but you're stupid if you use it - I can add money to my son's lunch account online at any time, for the bargain price of 3.00 PER TRANSACTION - or I can send a check in with him for free.

And plastic is too easy sometimes - writing a check takes energy and planning (pen, checkbook) and hopefully can help in making you think about your spending.

Debit cards, which all you cool young kids apparently think is the bee's knees, are about the worst possible way to spend money. All the risks, very few of the benefits. (That said, again, we do have a debit card and my Paypal debit card, but that's because we don't use credit cards anymore.)

Now, however, that I know it pisses people off and helps them to stereotype and wish death upon people, I will be sure to write checks more. Because I can. Don't worry, it won't be too long before Logan's Run type death panels eliminate everyone above "too old" which of course can be changed at any given time.
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Old 03-02-10, 10:47 PM   #22
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Re: Why do people still write checks?

If you need to "float" some money, wouldn't it make more sense to use a credit card? Isn't that supposed to be the point of a credit card?
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Old 03-03-10, 12:18 AM   #23
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Re: Why do people still write checks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ben12 View Post
If you need to "float" some money, wouldn't it make more sense to use a credit card? Isn't that supposed to be the point of a credit card?
What do you mean, "float"? I'm actually supposed to repay?
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Old 03-03-10, 12:51 AM   #24
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Re: Why do people still write checks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ben12 View Post
If you need to "float" some money, wouldn't it make more sense to use a credit card? Isn't that supposed to be the point of a credit card?
It would probably surprise you at how many people have crap credit and can't even get a credit card.
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Old 03-03-10, 12:51 AM   #25
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Re: Why do people still write checks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone View Post
Being that I work at a bank, I would say most check writers are past 40 and just stuck in there old ways.
Don't you get stuck there.
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