Hotel Keycards



  • Maybe this is a general discussion topic, but here goes.

    My coworker tells me that I should always keep the keycard when I stay in a hotel because all of my credit card, etc. information is encoded into it.  I'm tempted not to believe him because a) He is the only one who has ever told me this and b) He says he saw it on TV.  The argument, c) That is epic fail, does not hold any water because I've seen the security WTFs on this site.

    Turns out, after a quick google search and a visit to snopes.com confirmed this to be verifiably false, so rather than discussing whether this is true or not, let's just discuss Hotel WTFs and chain emails in general.

    I guess TRWTF is believing anything you read in a chain email. 



  • @belgariontheking said:

     

    I guess TRWTF is believing anything you read in a chain email. 

    Nonsense!  A guy I know said a guy he knows said a guy he knows said they're completely legit.  I'm expecting some money from Microsoft, a free trip to Disney Land, and a pair of Nike sneakers any day now, all for forwarding some emails!



  • Ah, there are many hotel WTFs...

    Mine for today: hotels that have a quick checkout "feature" that requires you to use their TV system to acknowledge that you are checking out, agree with the charges on the printout slipped under your door, etc.  This system takes orders of magnitude longer to go through than what most hotels do for quick checkout: you call the front desk, or just drop off the keys on the way out.

    What a waste of time and money.



  • @belgariontheking said:

    let's just discuss Hotel WTFs
     

    Super 8 in Taos a few years ago I arrived fairly late at night and got a room. Was given two cards (I'm only one person but nice to have a backup I guess) went up tried both of them and neither worked.

    Went down to the desk. Clerk checked them. "They look ok" but gave me two more. Went back up. Still nothing. Except ... it sounds like ... someone is in the room.

    Went back down. Same procedure. "You're really sure that room isn't occupied?" I asked. No, no I was told it's definitely vacant.

    Went back up with my 5th and 6th cards. As I was trying those out someone pounded, very angrily (and I hardly blame them) on the other side of the door.

    Hmmm ... definitely someone is in that room. (BTW if the door is deadbolted on the inside the key cards won't work of course and flash red just like an invalid card) ...

    Went back down and this time another staff member was there too. Turns out with all their computers and logging and automated this and that the guy had made an exception and didn't tell anyone. Without much apology I was given a new room that truly wasn't occupied.

    So about an hour after arriving at the hotel I finally got to enter my room and the poor occupant of the other room was finally able to get some rest.

     



  • @medialint said:

    So about an hour after arriving at the hotel I finally got to enter my room and the poor occupant of the other room was finally able to get some rest.

    If your life were a porno, the room would have been occupied by a pair of lonely, barely legal girls who didn't mind a third person in their one bed.



  • @bstorer said:

    If your life were a porno,
     

    Or a Bukowski novel ... 


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Hilton Grand Vactions Club in Vegas (not the LV Hilton, but more or less in the same place) - made reservations 6 months out online. Checked in, they didn't ask to see the CC I made the reservation with. Checked out, they didn't ask to see the CC I made the reservation with. Nor did they EVER ask for ID - the fact that I gave them the reservation number seemed to be enough. Thus my credit card was on file for 6 fecking months and they didn't even make any attempt whatsoever to make sure I was anywhere near legit.



  • @medialint said:

    @bstorer said:

    If your life were a porno,
     

    Or a Bukowski novel ... 

    "Novel"?  Is that one of them magazines what with the girly pictures?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Oh, another one from the Hilton online reservations system.

    I was reserving a room, and as such sent a link to the room description to the girlfriend for approval (I had to extract the damned URL to it from some lameass Javascript, too. WTF). The description page is only accessible with your session ID (it decides which room to show you based off the session, I suppose... WTF). She helpfully points out to me that if she clicks a few links and goes to the payment page, there's my credit card information, sitting there in plaintext...

    Trying to reproduce it now doesn't work, so they may have fixed that.



  • @bstorer said:

    @medialint said:

    So about an hour after arriving at the hotel I finally got to enter my room and the poor occupant of the other room was finally able to get some rest.

    If your life were a porno, the room would have been occupied by a pair of lonely, barely legal girls who didn't mind a third person in their one bed.

    And if it was a hentai manga, he would have been grabbed by a pair of tentacles with . . . interesting . . . ideas.



  • @Carnildo said:

    And if it was a hentai manga, he would have been grabbed by a pair of tentacles with . . . interesting . . . ideas.

    Hahaha! Maybe that's what I should do when I'm bored: Make up starting scenarios, then determine the outcome based on genre.



  • @bstorer said:

    @medialint said:

    @bstorer said:

    If your life were a porno,
     

    Or a Bukowski novel ... 

    "Novel"?  Is that one of them magazines what with the girly pictures?
     

    [url=http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&tag=mozilla-20&index=blended&link%5Fcode=qs&field-keywords=charles%20bukowski&sourceid=Mozilla-search]pretty much like them magazines without the pictures[/url] but from the descriptions you probably really don't want to see pictures...

     



  • As a general rule, the only thing ever encoded into a magnetic strip on a card is a number.  Any other information is stored in a database somewhere. 



  • @medialint said:

    pretty much like them magazines without the pictures but from the descriptions you probably really don't want to see pictures...
     

    I can't tell wich one of this titles scares me the most:

    "Ham on rye" or "Love is a Dog From Hell" 


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @shadowman said:

    As a general rule, the only thing ever encoded into a magnetic strip on a card is a number.  Any other information is stored in a database somewhere. 
    Never seen an ID card with magstrip, have you? (or you haven't noticed because nobody fucking buys the readers because it's easier to have whoever would operate the reader LOOK AT THE F'ING CARD)

    At least it's better than ID cards with 2D barcodes.



  • @Weng said:

    Never seen an ID card with magstrip, have you?
    I have, once, in a Speedway when I was buying beer.  The guy had to swipe my driver's liscense through the credit card slot.  I always figured it was just another layer of security ala fake IDs wouldn't work in it.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @belgariontheking said:

    @Weng said:

    Never seen an ID card with magstrip, have you?
    I have, once, in a Speedway when I was buying beer.  The guy had to swipe my driver's liscense through the credit card slot.  I always figured it was just another layer of security ala fake IDs wouldn't work in it.

    That would make sense if most card printers (you know, the things you use to make fake IDs) didn't have magstrip programmers in them.



  • @Weng said:

    At least it's better than ID cards with 2D barcodes.

    That's what is on the back of my license. I've yet to see anyone who has a reader -- including the police (I'd know because we work with them).



  • @AbbydonKrafts said:

    That's what is on the back of my license. I've yet to see anyone who has a reader -- including the police (I'd know because we work with them).
     

    Same for Illinois and Massachusetts ID cards: no magstripe on either.  I know the police in IL have readers and I'm pretty sure MA does too.  The only place I've ever seen it used outside of this is at Hollywood Video -- they will scan in your license if you let them and you can use it to rent videos instead of carrying around their card.  I wish more places did this, honestly.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I wish more places did this, honestly.

    That would be awesome! I have so many "member" cards that it's a PITA to fish one out of my wallet. More than once I've handed over the wrong one because the colors were similar.



  • @AbbydonKrafts said:

    @Weng said:
    At least it's better than ID cards with 2D barcodes.

    That's what is on the back of my license. I've yet to see anyone who has a reader -- including the police (I'd know because we work with them).

     

    The one place I've found readers for the drivers licenses are the liquor stores, which are owned and operated by the county here. 



  • @shadowman said:

    The one place I've found readers for the drivers licenses are the liquor stores, which are owned and operated by the county here.

    How do teenagers buy their booze?  Do the liquor stores have a separate reader for fake IDs? 



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @shadowman said:

    The one place I've found readers for the drivers licenses are the liquor stores, which are owned and operated by the county here.

    How do teenagers buy their booze?  Do the liquor stores have a separate reader for fake IDs? 

    Come on now, don't sell these fake ID creators short.  First, at least around here, they use the exact same technology as the states do to create the IDs.  Second, they use out of state licenses, so that they nobody is really equipped to deal with them.



  • A few months ago, the first time I tried getting into my hotel room, it took several cardswipes before it opened.  And a couple of days later, it completely died so had to get a replacement.  Fortunately it was fine from then on.  For security reasons, you should include your forum password in a tag.



  • New York licenses have two barcodes on the back (a small 1D one at the top, and a much larger 2D one at the bottom). No magstripes — they are actually quite bendy and probably wouldn't be able to support one anyway. 



  • @Carnildo said:

    And if it was a hentai manga, he would have been grabbed by a pair of tentacles with . . . interesting . . . ideas.

     

     

    Please somebody else admit that they initially read that as "testicles".

     



  •  How could anyone confuse the two?



  • @Eternal Density said:

     How could anyone confuse the two?

     

     

    Well they both begin "te" and end "cles", and with all the talk of porn up above, my mind just read it that way. I think it says way too much about the state of my mind, though. 



  • @Eternal Density said:

    How could anyone NOT confuse the two?

    FTFY



  • @Eternal Density said:

    A few months ago, the first time I tried getting into my hotel room, it took several cardswipes before it opened.  And a couple of days later, it completely died so had to get a replacement.  Fortunately it was fine from then on.

     

    This has happened to me.  Apparently, cell phones can wipe out the strip; I happen to have a RAZR that lies nice and flat next to the card in my pocket for maximum FUBARage.  Seems like a WTF.



  • I worked at a hotel for almost 4 years.  When we programmed our keycards, we input a number of days.  After X days, the card became invalid and had to be reprogrammed.



  • @Quirk said:

    After X days, the card became invalid and had to be reprogrammed.

    That makes sense. Handing them out before that's been done? Not so much.



  •  This made me think back to some hotels that I was at in Europe(Amsterdam, Brustles, England, Ireland). When Iw as there I noticed that the elevators all required you to use a keycard to operate them. The first time I used one, I could hear and feel a distinct mechanical click as I slid the card in. The next time I took one, I tried using a regular buisness card to open the elevator and it worked flawlessly everytime. Seems silly to spend the money to put something like that in place when all you need to bypass it is a card shaped piece of paper...hell a paperclip might work.


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