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A charge to a credit card without the cardholder being present at the time of the charge. At the video store I work for this charge occurs when the customer fails to return the property of the store within a reasonable time period. If after 50 days a customer fails to return our product, their account and the item missing show up on a charge-off report. We then are authorized to charge them for the video, game, or DVD they did not return plus the late charges accrued during those 50 days. In the event the item has already gone to collections, there is an additional $25 charge to pull the item from collections.

Steps for a charge-off are as follows:
1.) Determine the amount of late charge
2.) Determine the listed price of the item to be sold to the customer
3.) Add late charge to item and add state tax
4.) Get a voice authorization code for the credit card and use it to approve the amount to be charged to the customer's card.

Such charges range from $20 to over $100, and charges for more than one item may occur at once. As you can imagine, those who have been charged become quite irate.

How to avoid becoming the angry customer is quite easy. Return your rental items on time and to the proper location, and surely the same company. If this is difficult for you, avoid giving your credit card to anyone. Used as a second ID to verify your reliability as a customer, the credit card is held in the computer system. Be wary of a company that will not allow you to open a rental account without a credit card. They have their reasons for requiring one, and are not afraid to illustrate these reasons. If the company does not require a credit card for rental, do not supply one. Give proof of address instead, even if it means a mandatory, albeit temporary, rental limit. Bear with the limit until the security feature disappears with time, after you've proven yourself worthy of trust.

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