Carte Muette?

Does anyone share my annoyance at French bank cards that stop working? And then they have the cheek to charge €12 for a replacement. I might have an answer.

My current CA debit card is eight months old, and started playing up a few weeks ago, not working at supermarket tills, petrol stations, cash machines etc. Not consistent, just consistently annoying. Last week, due to my forgetfulness, my wife found my wallet in my shorts pocket, after they had been through the washing machine. Driving licence, cards, mutuelle, money; all laid out to dry.

Since then, bizarrely, my bank card seems to work again perfectly. Thinking about it, I suspect it may be that static builds up on the cards, much the same as it might on a comb or brush. Run it under the tap...

I had this problem once at the grocery store - so embarassing! Thankfully, the old lady at the cash register knew a useful trick that saved the day. Now get this - all she did was rub the chip with a plastic sac for 10 seconds or so. And voilà, my card worked like new!

this happened to me at the airport the other day - I tried to pay for my parking and it didn't work. Luckily I had an emergency 50 euro or I'd never have got home after a stressful weekend back in the UK :(

when we have trouble reading a carte vitale we always rub it onour cotton white coats and that usually sorts the problem out. And when we had a non recognition problem with the machine last week (which wouldnt even believe there was a card in it) we eventually sorted it out by putting alcohol on the back end of a card and passing it severel times into the slot.

People carry their cards in all sorts of different clean/dusty/staticy environments (not to mention near their phones) that sometimes its more a surprise that they ever do work! And I wouldnt bet that the supermarkets take any time to clean their machines which read thousands of cards a week and risk getting the reading heads gummed up over time!