Signing tickets

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PetalumaLoco

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One last question before we take off tomorrow.

Who signs the tickets? The person the ticket is made out to, or the person that bought them? It says on the tickets above the signature line "...agree to accept billing to the credit card identified below."
 

Joel N. Weber II

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Who signs the tickets? The person the ticket is made out to, or the person that bought them? It says on the tickets above the signature line "...agree to accept billing to the credit card identified below."
I would assume this means that they'd like the autograph of the cardholder, to protect Amtrak in the event that someone fraudulently writes to their credit card company claiming to have not ordered or used those tickets.
 

PetalumaLoco

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Who signs the tickets? The person the ticket is made out to, or the person that bought them? It says on the tickets above the signature line "...agree to accept billing to the credit card identified below."
I would assume this means that they'd like the autograph of the cardholder, to protect Amtrak in the event that someone fraudulently writes to their credit card company claiming to have not ordered or used those tickets.
Yeah, that's what I was thinking. But I get easily confused! :blink: My wife can always countersign if required I guess.
 

Hanno

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One last question before we take off tomorrow.
Who signs the tickets? The person the ticket is made out to, or the person that bought them? It says on the tickets above the signature line "...agree to accept billing to the credit card identified below."
On the last LD train trip my wife and I took (Autotrain) she was asked to sign her own ticket even thought both were purchased on my credit card. I don't know if this "policy" or not but is what happened!
 

PetalumaLoco

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One last question before we take off tomorrow.
Who signs the tickets? The person the ticket is made out to, or the person that bought them? It says on the tickets above the signature line "...agree to accept billing to the credit card identified below."
On the last LD train trip my wife and I took (Autotrain) she was asked to sign her own ticket even thought both were purchased on my credit card. I don't know if this "policy" or not but is what happened!
I'll just wait until we're about to board, then we'll each sign our own as you did. After all, we share the same cc account.
 

ThayerATM

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One last question before we take off tomorrow.
Who signs the tickets? The person the ticket is made out to, or the person that bought them? It says on the tickets above the signature line "...agree to accept billing to the credit card identified below."
On the last LD train trip my wife and I took (Autotrain) she was asked to sign her own ticket even thought both were purchased on my credit card. I don't know if this "policy" or not but is what happened!
We picked up our tickets this week. Everything had been charged to my credit card. After all the photo ID check, the agent handed us our tickets and told me to sign mine, and my wife to sign hers. The agent then checked the passports comparing signatures. It would have been pretty difficult for anyone to fradulently pick up our tickets. I like it that way.
 

PRR 60

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I have never figured out the "signing tickets" policy. I once heard that it was to get a lower transaction fee for credit card purchases, but that is not accurate. The only way a signature would matter to a credit card bank is if it were the cardholder's signature at time of purchase. The ticket is signed by the passenger, who may or may not be the cardholder, and it can be signed weeks or months after the purchase. Is it to ensure the ID of the person surrendering the ticket? Doubtful, since 99% of the time the signed ticket is lifted without the conductor even asking for ID. My opinion: this is one of those things Amtrak has always done and they still do it even though there is no reason for it.
 

ALC Rail Writer

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I have never figured out the "signing tickets" policy. I once heard that it was to get a lower transaction fee for credit card purchases, but that is not accurate. The only way a signature would matter to a credit card bank is if it were the cardholder's signature at time of purchase. The ticket is signed by the passenger, who may or may not be the cardholder, and it can be signed weeks or months after the purchase. Is it to ensure the ID of the person surrendering the ticket? Doubtful, since 99% of the time the signed ticket is lifted without the conductor even asking for ID. My opinion: this is one of those things Amtrak has always done and they still do it even though there is no reason for it.
It's all of the above. It 'prevents' ID theft, it may get them lower rates, it makes a contract between the 'cardholder' and such...

I just hate that the line is so small! I wanna make my signature big!!!
 

GG-1

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And Maybe I pulled your train :lol: :lol: :lol:

Aloha
 

AlanB

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I have never figured out the "signing tickets" policy. I once heard that it was to get a lower transaction fee for credit card purchases, but that is not accurate. The only way a signature would matter to a credit card bank is if it were the cardholder's signature at time of purchase. The ticket is signed by the passenger, who may or may not be the cardholder, and it can be signed weeks or months after the purchase. Is it to ensure the ID of the person surrendering the ticket? Doubtful, since 99% of the time the signed ticket is lifted without the conductor even asking for ID. My opinion: this is one of those things Amtrak has always done and they still do it even though there is no reason for it.
It's all of the above. It 'prevents' ID theft, it may get them lower rates, it makes a contract between the 'cardholder' and such...
The policy is indeed because credit card companies offer a lower fee per transaction where the company processing the charge obtains a signature.

The problem lies in the fact that like many things, Amtrak does a poor job of communicating to their employees why the tickets need to be signed and just who should be signing them. One can't ask for id to confirm that one is indeed the card holder according to credit card company policies. That is illegal in fact I believe, which is why Amtrak doesn't ask for ID when signing a ticket.

On the other hand, Amtrak should indeed be making sure that the card holder is the one signing the ticket. Making someone else sign the ticket in effect could allow the traveler to disput the charge. If I buy the tickets, then I sign the tickets. If my mom brought the tickets, then she signs all the tickets. That is the way it's supposed to be. But again, most Amtrak employees don't understand why people have to sign tickets, much less that it must be the credit card holder.

You do not sign AGR tickets, tickets brought with cash, or with debit cards, or via an Amtrak voucher. I've been asked to sign those tickets, and I refuse everytime. Even had a sleeping car attendant on the Eagle a few years back who wanted me to sign my AGR issued ticket. I tried to politely explain to her why I would not sign the ticket, but she would have none of that. She then went into the dining car and I could see her telling the conductor that I wouldn't sign my ticket.

He came by my room a few minutes later and asked me what the problem was. I told him that I had no problem, just that she wouldn't take my ticket from me because it was unsigned and since it was an AGR ticket it didn't need to be signed. He looked at my ticket for a second, saw the zero dollar amount and lifted my ticket without further comment. I could see her face in the dining car and I could tell that she wasn't happy that he wasn't yelling at me.

I did finally manage to explain to her the following day why I wouldn't sign it and why the conductor agreed with me.

Signing tickets does not prevent ID theft, if I've got a forged ID, then the signature is still mine. Signing a ticket only makes a contract if indeed the person signing the ticket is the card holder or an authorized signature on that account. Otherwise it is just so much wasted ink. If my wife signs my ticket, depending on which card I used, it would be a contract. If my mom signs a ticket that I purchased using one of my credit cards, then Amtrak has nothing. If I were to dispute the charge, I would win and Amtrak would loose.

So all that said, I never sign my tickets until minutes before I board my train and all tickets are signed by the person whose credit card was used to purchase the tickets. And again, I never sign tickets from AGR or tickets that were issued by voucher or paid for with cash.
 

GG-1

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So all that said, I never sign my tickets until minutes before I board my train and all tickets are signed by the person whose credit card was used to purchase the tickets. And again, I never sign tickets from AGR or tickets that were issued by voucher or paid for with cash.
Aloha

Alan that is interesting about signing. The conductor for the San Diego to LA gathering return even insisted that Even (6) sign her ticket. It was funny watching him squirm while she did it. But we all remember his group seat spiel. :lol:
 

Joel N. Weber II

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The policy is indeed because credit card companies offer a lower fee per transaction where the company processing the charge obtains a signature.
The problem lies in the fact that like many things, Amtrak does a poor job of communicating to their employees why the tickets need to be signed and just who should be signing them. One can't ask for id to confirm that one is indeed the card holder according to credit card company policies. That is illegal in fact I believe, which is why Amtrak doesn't ask for ID when signing a ticket.
I don't think I'd ever previously heard a claim that obtaining a signature would directly reduce the processing fees.

Reducing the chargeback rate might well reduce the processing fees (and certainly would improve the amount of money the merchant gets to keep), and obtaining signatures tends to be an effective way to reduce the chargeback rate.

Would there be anything illegal about the conductor asking to see the credit card the tickets were purchased with to compare the signature?

What procedure is supposed to be used if I wanted to buy a ticket for someone with my credit card, give them the reservation number, and have them pick up the ticket (perhaps from a Quik-Trak machine)? Is this something that Shouldn't Be Done since the ticket can't be properly signed?

You do not sign AGR tickets, tickets brought with cash, or with debit cards, or via an Amtrak voucher.
I'm pretty sure the ticket agent asked me to sign the tickets (for a single one way 449/49 trip) I have that were paid for partially with a voucher and partially with a credit card.
 

ALC Rail Writer

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I have never figured out the "signing tickets" policy. I once heard that it was to get a lower transaction fee for credit card purchases, but that is not accurate. The only way a signature would matter to a credit card bank is if it were the cardholder's signature at time of purchase. The ticket is signed by the passenger, who may or may not be the cardholder, and it can be signed weeks or months after the purchase. Is it to ensure the ID of the person surrendering the ticket? Doubtful, since 99% of the time the signed ticket is lifted without the conductor even asking for ID. My opinion: this is one of those things Amtrak has always done and they still do it even though there is no reason for it.
It's all of the above. It 'prevents' ID theft, it may get them lower rates, it makes a contract between the 'cardholder' and such...
The policy is indeed because credit card companies offer a lower fee per transaction where the company processing the charge obtains a signat- [...] the rest of Alan's speech..
Well I- ALC_Rail_Writer am living proof that Amtrak is confusing, to no end. But we all love it!
 

AlanB

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whos ever name is on the ticket is the person who signs it.
No, whom ever paid for the ticket(s) with a credit card signs the tickets. If I buy two tickets, one for you and one for me with my credit card and you sign your ticket, then there is no contract between me and Amtrak to pay for your ticket. You are not an authorized signature on my credit card account.
 

AlanB

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The policy is indeed because credit card companies offer a lower fee per transaction where the company processing the charge obtains a signature.
The problem lies in the fact that like many things, Amtrak does a poor job of communicating to their employees why the tickets need to be signed and just who should be signing them. One can't ask for id to confirm that one is indeed the card holder according to credit card company policies. That is illegal in fact I believe, which is why Amtrak doesn't ask for ID when signing a ticket.
I don't think I'd ever previously heard a claim that obtaining a signature would directly reduce the processing fees.
It never used to be that way, but in this day and age with internet sales and such where a merchant never sees the credit card, credit card companies have taken to charging more per charge for transactions where the card is not scanned or a signature is not obtained. If either one of those happens, then you pay less per transacation.

Reducing the chargeback rate might well reduce the processing fees (and certainly would improve the amount of money the merchant gets to keep), and obtaining signatures tends to be an effective way to reduce the chargeback rate.
There's probably also some incentive there too. Only problem is as I've mentioned more than once, if I buy a ticket for someone and Amtrak makes them sign the ticket, then a charge back is inevitable if I protest that they don't have my signature.

Would there be anything illegal about the conductor asking to see the credit card the tickets were purchased with to compare the signature?
No, there would be nothing wrong with the conductor asking to see the credit card to compare the signatures. It'll probably never happen, but Amtrak through it's agents (real agents or conductors) would be within its rights to ask to see the card.

What procedure is supposed to be used if I wanted to buy a ticket for someone with my credit card, give them the reservation number, and have them pick up the ticket (perhaps from a Quik-Trak machine)? Is this something that Shouldn't Be Done since the ticket can't be properly signed?
Technically it is something that shouldn't be done. But since Amtrak will ask anyone to sign the ticket, you can get away with it.

You do not sign AGR tickets, tickets brought with cash, or with debit cards, or via an Amtrak voucher.
I'm pretty sure the ticket agent asked me to sign the tickets (for a single one way 449/49 trip) I have that were paid for partially with a voucher and partially with a credit card.
And that would make sense, since you did use a credit card for at least part of the purchase. If the voucher had paid for the entire ticket, then you would not have been required to sign.
 

amtrakwolverine

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whos ever name is on the ticket is the person who signs it.
No, whom ever paid for the ticket(s) with a credit card signs the tickets. If I buy two tickets, one for you and one for me with my credit card and you sign your ticket, then there is no contract between me and Amtrak to pay for your ticket. You are not an authorized signature on my credit card account.
does this apply to debt cards when the money is taken out of the bank account right away(REAL TIME CREDIT CARD)
 
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AlanB

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whos ever name is on the ticket is the person who signs it.
No, whom ever paid for the ticket(s) with a credit card signs the tickets. If I buy two tickets, one for you and one for me with my credit card and you sign your ticket, then there is no contract between me and Amtrak to pay for your ticket. You are not an authorized signature on my credit card account.
does this apply to debt cards when the money is taken out of the bank account right away(REAL TIME CREDIT CARD) I have tou use my moms debit card for amtrak tickets as i don't have a card yet. im on her account.
That depends on how you use the debit card. If you use the debit card as a credit card, then yes, technically she should be signing the ticket unless you are an authorized signer on her account. If you use it as a debit card where you enter the pin number, then no signature is required.

But again, since Amtrak hasn't properly trained its personel in the why's and wherefores of signing tickets, you'll probably never have a problem if you are using her debit card as a credit card.
 

amtrakwolverine

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i use her card and amtrak deducts the money from the account within a few days. theres never a bill in the mail. so by the time i get my tickets amtrak as already gotten there money. i enter the card info and amtrak takes the money right from the checking account. OK so lets say i go to a amtrak station and pay cash do i sign my ticket or leave it blank(the conductor will want me to sign it) Also how does via rail handle this
 
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sky12065

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whos ever name is on the ticket is the person who signs it.
No, whom ever paid for the ticket(s) with a credit card signs the tickets. If I buy two tickets, one for you and one for me with my credit card and you sign your ticket, then there is no contract between me and Amtrak to pay for your ticket. You are not an authorized signature on my credit card account.
Now it's my turn to add to what you've said. ;)

I find what you said aligns to what happened when my wife and I went into the Rensselaer Station 11 days ago and purchased our tickets for next year. Here's what occured:

We presented our reservation number and we both took out our drivers licenses for ID. I also presented the agent with my two vouchers and my wife her Visa debit card.

The agent then processed the information and printed the tickets. He then handed them all to my wife to sign and I asked, "ain't I supposed to sign the tickets that have my name on them?" Before the agent could answer my wife said to me "no, I'm supposed to sign them all because it was my debit card that was used." So she finished signing them all, the agent stapled them together and we left.

So what you've indicated is accurate in my opinion except for in our case I was authorized to sign when using her card. My own card is for the same account, but the bank gives separate card numbers for whatever reason; probably to put in stops for stolen cards instead of having to cancel entire accounts?

This process was provided just to share our proceedural experience and not to make any opinion as to what Amtrak policy is or is not!

Now just for a little more information since I have my tickets in front of me. Right above the signature line it reads:

"I acknowledge receipt of ticket(s) and agree to accept billing to the credit card identified below."

And at the "below", a line that has preprinted "Form of Payment" follows with the printed information about the form of payment used. It looks something like this... VIxxxx.xx xxxx indicating it was a Visa card and whatever the numbers (x's) meant!
 
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amtrakwolverine

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so any one had trouble with tickets that have your name on them but someone's elses signature.
 
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ralfp

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I think I'll try to have Mrs. ralfp use one of her CCs to buy a ticket for me and, if the conductor demands my signature, I'll have Mrs. ralfp request a copy of the receipt and initiate a chargeback when her signature is not hers.

It may be silly, but claiming that the passenger's John Hancock is the CC holder's for purposes of obtaining a lower processing fee is fraud.

You do not sign AGR tickets,
Tell that to the QuikTrak machines, which print AGR tickets insisting on signatures. Please tell Amtrak conductors too, as they seem to require signatures for AGR tickets.
 
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