: Verification Form to be filled out when ordering from OWC?

Feb 22nd, 2006, 02:12 PM

I had a weird experience ordering a memory from OWC the other day, and I thought I might share my experience with you guys.

Since my new iMac Core Duo 20" is on the way, I thought I will order an additional 1G of ram to max out the ram. With a little search, I thought OWC (a.k.a. macsales.com) will be a pretty good choice.

So, I ordered 1G of ram on last Friday (it also stated as "Same Day shipping"). Awesome!

On Monday evening, I checked my order status, and I was surprised to find out that the order was still not processed yet. It stayed at "Verify CC" status. I thought it's strange, so I clicked on "live support" on tuesday night to find out what's going on.

I talked to a representative, and he told me that all international orders will have to go through manual CC verification done by the accounting department there. He said that there is nothing to worry about, and he believed that the order will be processed and shipped on the following day. Fine. One day of delay. It's not going to kill me...

I checked the order status yesterday night (at around 10:00 PM EST), and the order was still in "Verify CC" status!!! I thought I should really talk to them right now, so I clicked on live support.

After a brief discussion with the representative there, he told me that there is a form that needs to be filled out for all international orders. Great. I asked him to send me a copy of the form.

After reviewinng the form, I was stunned by the information that they're asking!!! They're asking for me to make a photocopy of my CC (front and back), photocopy of my passport/driver's license!!!!

I have ordered many things from the States before, but I was never asked to reveal this information to anyone. To make a long story short, I cancelled the order and placed a new order at CanadaRam.

I guess OWC is trying to be careful, but isn't it too extreme that they ask you to provide this much information? I mean, had anyone ordered from OWC and had to present this information to them for the order to be processed?

I am not too sure of providing any private information over e-mail or fax ever since that CIBC incident a while ago had happened. (There was an incident where CIBC was faxing information to the wrong fax number. Remember?)

I think I read some posts here where people were praising OWC's products and their service. It's all sketchy for me right now, and I am now thinking ten times before I make any order through in the States. Maybe I pay a little more in Canada and be done with it instead of providing that much information.

Did you have any good/bad experience when ordering something from the overseas? Let's share some of the stories.

Feb 22nd, 2006, 02:27 PM
Wasn't there other options besides submitting copies of your drivers license/etc?

I went through this with OWC about 4 years ago, but I replied with an eMail indicating that submitting that kind and amount of information was unacceptable to me. If I remember right, I updated some information with my CC provider, which satisfied OWC.

Perhaps it's changed with OWC, but even if it has, you will <i>always</i> have problems with many US vendors if any information on your order is not identical to your CC provider's information; your name must be exactly as it appears on the card, and the order must be sent to the billing address and the phone number they have on file for you.

In my case, I use a PO Box for all mail, but of course that's no good for physical addresses via anything other than USPS, and even then most vendors simply refuse to ship to any PO Box, period.

However, with a lot of people it's just a matter of having moved or used a different phone number when you signed up for the card and not updating that info.

Since OWC considers me OK I have no idea if they have changed their policy, but I would agree you did the right thing in refusing to provide that information.

NEVER provide that kind of information to any vendor; NEVER photocopy your passport or drivers license. Period. NEVER disclose your Social Insurance Number to any vendor. EVER. People who need to give you tax information (employer, etc) can ask for it; retailers cannot.

I refused and I was still able to order from them by insuring my CC provider had up-to-date info, which they always check against what you have on your order, and any discrepancy (even if it's just shipping to a different address) they will flag.

You can give your CC provider any supplemental information you feel is necessary in order to complete an order: ie a second or multiple phone numbers, addresses, etc and it will be fine. All that will happen then is the vendor will give the info you provide on the order, and the CC company will reply with "yes, we can confirm it" or "no, we can't". If you don't do this, sooner or later you will have problems ordering online.

Just one more thing with CC orders: there is a supplementary number on all cards, typically printed on the back where you sign (there will be a printout of the CC number with 3 or 4 extra digits at the end, that don't appear on the embossed part on front of the card where the "regular" number is). This number is kind-of-sort-of secret. It's encoded in the magnetic strip **, and it's printed on the card but not in raised numerals.

That number is for confirming that you have physical access to the card, and is used when verifying the transaction. A vendor is supposed to either have physical access to your card (if it won't swipe, they can use an imprint reader or even a pencil to make a trace; that's equivalent to a swipe) or use that number when authorizing to indicate you have the card in front of you.

It's OK to give that number out on a webform from a company you trust, since it is specifically there to authorize the transaction and the process of authorizing your card is automated and no human ever sees it. Proper authorization works that way, and if a vendor uses that number (eg every time you swipe it's used) then the verification is considered more valid, which <i>might</i> reduce chargebacks to that company or limit their liability for fraud.

If you don't trust the company and it's actually being recorded or retained in a database in any way, you've made a mistake. You are also never to give that 3 or 4 digit number to a human or to allow it to be recorded; it's not meant for that. Don't allow anyone to do that, and phone your CC company immediately and tell them if someone tries to retain it. Without that number, the amount of fraud that can be done to your card is quite limited; with it, it's technically unlimited.

** There is <i>nothing</i> on the magnetic strip that you cannot read directly from the card. The card number, the verification number, your name, and the expiry date is all the personal data on that strip; there is nothing "special" about a swipe that cannot be done without a reader, provided you have the card available for examination.

Feb 22nd, 2006, 02:30 PM
The keep all of that on file to prevent fraud. I have had to provide this maybe five years ago. Since then everything is fine.

Don't worry too much about it.

Feb 22nd, 2006, 02:35 PM
I have found this type of "verification" happening frequently of late. I agree with GG and will not deal with a vendor that requires me to start faxing ID's and more information I'm uncomfortable to disclose.