Credit Card Receipts and FACTA

Earlier this week, we discussed the 2003 amendment Justice _scaleto the Fair Credit
Reporting Act (“FCRA”)
called FACTA, the Fair and Accurate
Credit Transactions Act.  Last year an issue based on the
statute came before the Northern District of Illinois and the Court
was forced to decide on summary judgment whether distributing a
copy of a merchant’s receipt to a customer with an expiration date
could be considered a violation of the Act. 

In Todd v. Target Corp., the plaintiff filed suit against Target
Retailers for providing receipts that contained her credit card
expiration date in violation of FACTA, § 1681c(g) of the
FCRA
.   2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44362 (N.D. Ill. Mar.
30, 2012).  In this case, Todd shopped at the retailer on two
separate occasions and paid by credit card both times.  On
each instance, Todd did not use the electronic signature pad to
sign her name after paying by credit card and the store clerk
handed Todd two receipts-a customer receipt that reported only the
last few digits of her credit card number and no expiration date in
compliance with FACTA and a store copy for Todd to sign that did in
fact report the expiration date of the card.  Todd argued that
even though the store receipt was not meant for her, its
distribution violated the Act and she was entitled to recovery
under the statute.  Target on the other hand argued that the
merchant copy of the receipt was not in fact a receipt at all and
was only for the store’s records.  Target explained that a
merchant copy of the receipt is only printed when a customer does
not opt to sign using the electronic pad.  This type of
receipt is signed by the customer and retained by the store for its
records.  When Target filed a motion for summary judgment
arguing that the merchant copy was not a receipt as defined by
FACTA and that it did not willfully violate FACTA by providing the
plaintiff with the merchant copy of the receipt, the Court denied
its motion.

Specifically, FACTA states that “no person that accepts credit
cards…shall print …the expiration date upon any receipt provided to
the cardholder at the point of sale….”  15 U.S.C. §
1681c(g).  Target argued that FACTA does not apply to the
store’s copies because they are solely retained for record-keeping
purposes and not distributed to the customers. The Court disagreed
with Target’s opinion and in response, concluded that the merchant
copy of the receipt did fall within the common
definition. 

SmithMarco, P.C. has been protecting
consumer rights since 2005.  If you feel you have been the
victim of a FACTA violation and are interested in a free case review, contact us today.