Excessive ML checks on the high street?

When I wish to get away from the heady rush of tax returns and accounts preparation, I like to relax playing games on a hand-held console. Some of these games I like to keep to play again in the future and some I look at trading in instead.

I took 3 such games to a major high street retailer yesterday. Having looked through their shelves I didn't see anything new that caught my fancy, so I asked about trading them in for cash instead of credit against a new purchase. I was told that, in order to do so, I would need to produce two forms of ID, one of which would have to be photo ID. The games I was looking to trade in are not major titles and I would be surprised if I got more than £6 for the lot. When did selling 3 second-hand games for the price of a couple of pints become a major money-laundering consideration?

Comments

Spot on!

Stephen Morris | | Permalink

That shows how ridiculous (and oppressive) the rules are.

davidwinch's picture

The rules?

davidwinch | | Permalink

I may be wrong but I don't think this has anything to do with the Money Laundering Regulations 2007.  It may be simply an attempt by the retailer to limit the risk of being defrauded by his own employees taking cash out of the till in respect of 'trade-ins' by non-existent 'customers'.

David

cymraeg_draig's picture

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cymraeg_draig | | Permalink

Probably they are worried about the possibility of buying stolen goods.

I could understand it if you were selling them a Ferrarri or something, but it does seem a bit OTT for £6.  Sounds like another case of "rules is rules". 

I get the impression that some people have latched onto MLR in the same way that others latched onto "elf & safety" and took that to ridiculous lengths. 

I have still not got over our local council telling a client who hires out rowing boats on a park lake that he had to have signs all round the lake stating "Danger of Drowning" ????  It's a lake, do the council think people dont realise you can drown in a lake?  And it's been there for 100 years without signs, so why does putting boats on it suddenly make it dangerous? 

Seriously, these people shouldnt be let out without a muzzle. 

 

Cashing in on MLR

garrycarter | | Permalink

 £6 does sound a bit silly but I think this could well be following the MLR to the letter.  If this is MLR driven, although I can see that the idea of curtailing staff fiddles is perfectly possible, it is because people who steal credit cards make quick purchases and then try to get cash back.  On a bigger scale, this used to happen a lot in casinos, where people went in and bought chips on a credit card, didn't lose it all, and then got the rest back in cash: Laundered money.  This happened a lot with all types of purchase. 

davidwinch's picture

Retailers v Casinos

davidwinch | | Permalink

With regard to the MLR we should bear in mind that casinos are in the 'regulated sector' (and therefore are obliged to comply with the MLR) whereas retailers (apart from those selling GOODS for CASH in excess of 15,000 euros - typically used car dealers, etc) are not in the 'regulated sector' and so are not obliged to comply with the MLR.

David

cymraeg_draig's picture

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cymraeg_draig | | Permalink

I suspect its just some overofficious jobsworth. 

Mind you, if the OP came into my shop that beard would make me suspicious too :)

£6 is a lot of money to most game players, e.g. children

ringi | | Permalink

Therefore it is reasonable that a shop will do whatever it can to stop someone selling it stolen goods, otherwise the stop could be done for handling stolen goods.

This is the pain we get for not having an effective national ID system!
 

cymraeg_draig's picture

ID ?

cymraeg_draig | | Permalink

This is the pain we get for not having an effective national ID system!

 

Posted by ringi on Fri, 25/03/2011 - 15:39

 

Why not just tattoo numbers on everyone (oh, that was tried once wasnt it).  

Thank God that pseudo-communist idea has been kicked into touch, where it belongs along with those who backed it.

 

always been the case

Tosie | | Permalink

Well before anybody thought of mlr, second hand dealers  were obliged to check id and addresses to ensure that they met the strict conditions for holding a licence to deal in second hand goods.

They had to keep detailed records of all the parties to the transaction.The local constable used to call in and check the records  at regular intervals.

carnmores's picture

surely we all saw this nonsense coming

carnmores | | Permalink

its all down to the gilting civil servants - we look forward to a de minimis that so many other countries operate-but the dear old british just seem to lie down.

 

a copule of years a go in a london bank

 

good mornimng mr jones how are you today

fine thanks Sherre

do you want your usual 1000£ fore the staff wages

no i need 2000£ as we have some temps in

oh sorry i cant give you that wiithout identification mr jones

...............................................

 

captain mainwaring is alive and well

 

 

stepurhan's picture

Beards, children and tellers

stepurhan | | Permalink

That post title sounded a lot less suspect in my head.

Mind you, if the OP came into my shop that beard would make me suspicious too :)

 

Posted by cymraeg_draig on Fri, 25/03/2011 - 15:11

But I've got that trustworthy smile to go with it. Surely that makes me a person that retailers everywhere should be happy to deal with. :-)

I'm not convinced, with pocket money inflation, that £6 is such a huge amount to children these days. Bear in mind that is £6 total for 3 games, so £2 a time if I wasn't trading in multiple titles. This arrangement makes it extremely likely that children will not be able to trade in for cash at all. (not many having driving licences, though passports are still a possibility) Looking at the reverse situation, new games retail about £30 apiece so, if £6 is a lot to them, it's unlikely to be enough of a discount to allow them to take advantage of trade-in for credit on a new purchase.

I take David's point about wanting to avoid staff fiddles, but I'm not entirely sure how this avoids that unless they copy my passport (and that sure as heck isn't going to happen for a £6 trade-in). Surely if that was the reason, an unscrupulous teller merely needs to invent customer details to take money out of the till. Much more effective in deterring employee theft is the simple, and non-ID requiring, physical existence of the games that have been traded in. Having traded in for credit against a new purchase (which, despite saving me cash, doesn't require ID) in the past I know that named games are recorded on the system for trade-ins so matching cash payouts to traded-in games should be a snap. Checking number of physical copies of those games against stock should do the trick.

This will depress C-D even more

paulwakefield1 | | Permalink

"I have still not got over our local council telling a client who hires out rowing boats on a park lake that he had to have signs all round the lake stating "Danger of Drowning" ????  It's a lake, do the council think people dont realise you can drown in a lake?  And it's been there for 100 years without signs, so why does putting boats on it suddenly make it dangerous? "

Read and despair: Tomlinson v Congleton Borough Council and another [2002] EWCA Civ 309

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