What Do You Do With Credit Card Receipts?

Protecting a customer's credit card information is critical for every business. When several bags of credit card receipts are found near a self-storage dumpster, it raises some serious issues.

Amy Campbell, Senior Editor

February 15, 2010

2 Min Read
What Do You Do With Credit Card Receipts?

We posted an interesting news item on the ISS website today. A customer at a self-storage facility found several bags of credit card receipts sitting near the facility dumpster. They didn't belong to the storage facility, but to Force Fitness, a health store and gym. The receipts, some nearly four years old, contained full card numbers, expiration dates and signatures. SCARY!

Even more disturbing, the receipts belonged mostly to military personnel. Seems the credit card receipts went missing after Force Fitness moved.

Obviously, this brings up several serious issues. First, many self-storage facilities do not allow tenants to get anywhere near their dumpsters for exactly that reason. Tenants could dump anything—furniture, boxes, personal information, even hazardous waste. Some facilities put the dumpster under lock and key simply to avoid liability or clean up.

For those that do allow tenants to use the facility dumpster, there should be rules about what tenants can and cannot throw in it—and make sure tenants initial next to this part of the lease.

How about adding a security camera to the area? You can keep an eye on what’s going into the dumpster and tenants will be less likely to abuse your policy if they know they’re being watched. For more on how other facility managers handle garbage, check out this Self-Storage Talk thread.

Another important factor to take from this incident is how your managers handle your tenants’ credit card receipts. Does your software print out the entire credit card number and expiration date or only the last four digits? Do you keep these receipts under lock and key or are they available in a desk drawer easily located?

How long do you keep credit card receipts once a tenant vacates the unit? Do you use a shredder once you deem an appropriate amount of time has passed?

If you’re storing vital tenant information in a unit, make sure tenants don’t know which unit holds the information, and that the unit is always locked. The company in this news post will likely have months of damage control ahead of them. This isn’t the kind of PR you want for your facility.

What’s your policy regarding customer credit card receipts? Post a comment below or join the discussion on this Self-Storage Talk thread.

About the Author(s)

Amy Campbell

Senior Editor, Inside Self Storage

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