Start A Petition
Nosey Stores August 02, 2005 8:46 PM

Once a retailer starts asking me for personal information beyond my zip code, I respond by canceling my order.. A few weeks ago, at the checkout line of a local chain of grocery store, I was asked my for my phone number, I refused to give it.  Then I was asked if I had their discount card so I could get THIS WEEK’S SPECIALS.  The order had been all rung up and bagged.  I told her to cancel the order if I could not get the best price without their prying into to my personal buying patterns.  I then left the store without a purchase.  A business supply store also tries that and I did the same.  About two months later, the store was advertising hassle free shopping.  Now, will the grocery store chain get the word?

 [ send green star]
How do you handle Nosey Stores? August 02, 2005 8:50 PM

When do you feel your privacy is being violated?  Do you think that you must answer their questions?  Can you just say NO, when they ask you for a phone number or a zip code?

 [ send green star]
 August 02, 2005 9:05 PM

There was an op-ed piece in the Australian about this. The journalist tried to give them false information (just made it up) so they would hurry up and process her purchase. This just slowed everything down when they tried to sort it out and the people behind her started getting annoyed and it became obvious she was lying.

I think I have given out more info than my postcode before when purchasing expensive equipment, but for regular shopping I would just refuse.

 [ send green star]
A few people getting annoyed.... August 02, 2005 9:16 PM

I think when a few customers get annoyed.  A good store manager needs to respond.  The solution is to stop that annoying practice.  I think that it is a boycott when you refuse to complete a purchase. 

 [ send green star]
Scb... August 02, 2005 9:37 PM

I think you did what you needed to do.

They probably just use and also sell off your phone # and/or email addy to telemarketers and spammers...

Or- if we want to get more conspiracy theory-esque about it, perhaps it's all a part of the plan to track where we shop, what we buy, why- how- and when...
 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 August 02, 2005 9:48 PM

I don't give my phone and/or zip code to anyone I don't wish to have it, especially stores.  Don't 'bite the lure' that I can purchase special products at reduced prices if I will.  If they want/need my personal history to accept my money then I will gladly shop elsewhere.  Fell for the 'idea' once a long, long time ago and when told "you saved 'X' amount" my response was "yes, but look at how much I had to spend in order to save that miniscule amount".  For what ever reason they want/need this information - they don't pay me enough to receive it.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 August 03, 2005 6:21 AM

Well I can tell you that where I work (retail) we ask for zips sometimes, but not year-round.  They do that a few weeks a year for some reason, I think it has to do with marketing (to find out where we're getting most of our customers from).  But when you cancel an order like that, the most grief you're causing is to the clerk who waited on you, not the company itself.  I'm not defending the whole zip code/phone number retrieval practice, but you can always refuse to answer the question, too.  --Cheryl  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Database garbage August 03, 2005 8:07 AM

The most effective way to convince invasive marketers to back off is to so severely load their database with useless garbage that they find it a worthless expense rather than valuable market research tool. 

That's only possible if large numbers of people object in creative ways.  It's difficult to not play along in markets where most food stores charge double or more a normal price for many common foods, unless one uses their cards.  Playing along can mean having several cards, some linked to bogus addresses.  Using government addresses and names that suggest threats against public officials could increase the nuisance and noticeability factor for corporate types at a store's offices.  Some DC area shoppers have operated Web sites for trading scans of store card bar codes, to allow randomly swapping codes for the express purpose of generating garbage customer records that make no sense to market research trackers.  Unless one is asking for check cashing review, it's generally pretty easy to use PO boxes, no or wrong phones, or completely invalid addresses.  Some cards I use have no connected personal details, as some stores hand out cards based and let you complete the form later if you say you're in a hurry. 

To send an effective message requires that it be obvious many "customers" are telling off management.  A customer named "Bogus Bullshit" living at 1 Wrong Way, North Pole, or the address of the store's corporate offices, can do that better than plausible but false details.  The problem is, too many dimwit sheeple play along and submit data useful to invasive store management, and don't even realize they've been bent over the checkout counter, sans K-Y. 

 [ send green star]  [ accepted]

lol August 03, 2005 3:22 PM

Using the address of the corporate offices sounds like the best way to send them a message.  [ send green star]
Time is money August 03, 2005 7:20 PM

The clerk that has to close out a rejected order is being paid to do that.  I always say something nice to the clerk but indicate that I can not complete the transaction.  It is not a reflection on the clerk but on a bad store policy.  And I do like the suggestion of using the companies home office addrress and phone number. THANKS EVERYONE FOR YOUR INPUT!  [ send green star]
yes i put down oshma bin laden on my food store card August 22, 2005 11:16 PM

yes i put down oshma bin laden on my kroger food store card and i still get the discount my mom has micky mouse on her kroger food she still gets the discounts to. I go to the stores shopping twice a month but i never buy anything but i sure have fun with the stores and other shoppers. i go to goldsmiths the place where they give you 10% off for useing a cridt card, well I pile alot of things i want to buy on the counter then tell them i want to pay cash as long as they give me 10 % off too. if they do not then i do not buy. I like to go beyond boycotts if anyone would like to know more please check out my group MADE IN USA. I have some ideas but need some help.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Maybe I am a sheeple September 15, 2005 5:10 AM

I have two disloyalty cards.  Tesco, and Nectar (Sainsbury's)  The Tescos one I load up with money and pay for petrol with it.  I know that they have a list of everything I buy, but then I don't go for their special offers unless they are offering something I want.  One or two of the things I buy is under-ordered consistently, so if they don't have it, I leave immediately without buying anything.  I should actually buy something I want, but only one item, so that they will know they have lost out on my normal £30 order ($55). 

Sainsburys gives you cash for the points you collect, and we save these vouchers up and buy all our Christmas booze with it. 

Since they have my address, they know where I am coming from, but not why.  I use about 5 or 6 different Sainsbury's stores, because you have a different profile of goods at each one.  Kidderminster (Worcs) is the one nearest to my shopping profile, except that their car park is a mess.  I always like to back into a parking space, but you end up having to make a very sharp right turn to get out. 

I buy their sturdy "bags for life" and use the Sainsburys ones at the Tesco checkout, and the Tescos ones in Sainsburys. 

Can you see it? Me with steam coming out of my ears, wrestling with the (non-power) steering on my Skoda Favorit leaving the car park in a rage. 

I do shop at farm shops, and fill my freezer from an organic butcher, so I am not dependent on the supermarkets for good food. 

My cousin is a librarian, and he said that the more you use the library, the more the books are to your taste.  I thought a bit, then realised that most people look on the returned books shelf, then go to the alphabetical shelves to dig out their favourite authors.  This way, when you bring them back, new readers can try your favourites, and similar things start appearing for you.  In the same way, at the supermarket, if you only buy what you want, and resist buying what they are pushing that week, they will have to stock up on what you like. 

Another reason why I have steam coming out of my ears, is because I read the labels, for salt, sugar, parabens  and phthalates, (preservatives in cosmetics and baby washing products). I check the manufacturer, and if the product hasn't a price on it or a price label nearby, I do not buy it. 

I used to get annoyed if I got to the checkout and they did not have a price.  I then started to refuse those items, and people behind me did the same.  Within a startlingly short time, a fortnight or so, suddenly every item was marked with a price.  It did entail a bit of sacrifice, but it was worth it!

So, I don't care if they have my home address.  They send me the vouchers, and I spend them on what I want, and make sure that they have what I want on the shelves.  I write to the store's headquarters, stressing that I am the customer they are talking about when they talk to the press, and that what I want is quality, value and quite a long way down the list, price. 

 I am not rich, but I don't waste money on things I can make at home.  I can make a bread and butter pudding more cheaply than they can, and mine is a thousand times better than theirs.  What is more, for the same money, I can split the mixture and make an egg custard as well. 

 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
anonymous  November 08, 2005 8:38 PM

Hi, I'm new here, thank you for the invite Freediver.

Our local Toys R Us (years ago when I made a REALLY nice salary - oh for the good ol days - LOL) once had me at the register. When my almost $500 purchase was rung up they asked my zip code. I said "my zip code has nothing to do with the cash in my hand" so she asked my phone number (the line behind me was growing as there were only 2 clersk on duty) to which I again said "my phone number has nothing to do with the cash in my hand" and she told me - are you ready for this?? That she couldn't finish the sale without one of those two pieces of info!!

I had her get the manager (which took flippin forever - the people behind me in line called me several choice names during the wait) and the manager actually canceled my entire purchase because she too claimed that "the register won't allow us to take payment without one of those pieces of information". So I calmly (uhm, on the OUTSIDE I was calm) allowed the manager to cancel my entire transaction and left the store.

I don't know if they have changed their ways because that was in 1999 when I was outfitting my entire nursery for my baby to be. I haven't been back there since.

 [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]

IP law November 08, 2005 11:14 PM

Purple dinosaurs are evil. 

They retain high capacity (but warped) assault lawyers, and send threat letters to all sorts of people who engage in perfectly legal parody or satire speech.  Anyone who can afford or arrange a defense (and it's become a big enough problem that some law collectives specialize in pro bono defense against takedown lawyer letters) tends to force them to back off, but not everyone knows how to play those games. 

Roadkills-R-Us was one of the better such sites, among a bunch over the years. 

 [ send green star]  [ accepted]

 November 09, 2005 11:48 AM

I just say, and it is true, I am unlisted. By law they can't demand your phone number.  Now you know there are no laws that state you are even required to have a phone.

I am sorry for people who have to wait, but when it comes to my privacy, they lose.

I NEVER give out my phone #. Even when I write a check. That is why I so love to use my check muss no fuss. Just bought a fridge with one. The only reason they had my personal numbers is because they delivered it. In that case one has no choice. But it was with a well known hardware chain (no orange on sign, Blue one) and I have always had good service there.

Sorry, I am yakking too much. Peace, Jacki

 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
PURPLE DINASAURS ARE EVIL! November 09, 2005 12:13 PM

I was sued by one for purchasing purple furry hands from one of my vendors.  That SOB also sued people who hired a dinosaur copycat, or rented a dinosaur costume for their children's birthday parties.  Nearly 4000 defendants....

 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
New Here too November 25, 2005 5:11 PM

Thanks for the invite, Freediver!

Ruth, I want your bread and butter pudding recipe. 

I absolutely hate it when they start asking for information at the checkout stand.  I don't want to give it out in front of everyone. Usually if I say I won't purchase my items after all, they apologize, stop the interview, and just ring me up. 

I would stop going to Microcenter, but they really are the only computer store I can afford, and all the others are doing it too, anyway. *frustration*

 [ send green star]  [ accepted]

Just say NO November 26, 2005 12:48 PM

If you clearly say NO, most stores will complete the sale.  I started this thread as I hit a grocery store that I said no for zip code, so they asked me for my phone number...I left the store after say I was sorry to the three people behind me.  [ send green star]
 November 26, 2005 1:46 PM

Walmart  has begun asking for copies of drivers lisence in order for an individual to right a check or use a a credit card, well at least in my home town they have.Last month  when i went to fill my prescriptions  they refused both and gave me a phone number to call in Bentonville and the  the moron i talked to said if i would send them a copy of my drivers lisence  they would gladly honor my checks and accept my credit cards/debit cards.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Wal-mart... November 26, 2005 6:53 PM

Aren't they special!   Well...may be not!  [ send green star]
 December 20, 2005 5:34 PM

Thanks for the invite, Freediver! A couple of years ago, I wanted to make a purchase with my debit card. The guy asked for a credit card as a form of ID. I showed it to him, without letting it go. He said he needed it so he could write down the number. I said that he didn't need the number, since I wasn't paying with that card. He said that he needed it as "backup." I said that MasterCard won't pay if my debit card is bad. He said that they would. I've heard -- directly from the credit card companies -- that using a credit card (that you're not paying with) is only as a form of ID. They won't pay for the charge that's originally from another form of payment (i.e., check). This guy wouldn't give up, so I just paid with the credit card. Whenever I go to a store where the clerk asks, "Phone number, please?" I just say, "No, thanks." It's such an odd answer to their question, that they tend to pause for a moment. Then, they just continue the transaction. I found out that I live in a state where it's illegal for them to refuse a shopper's card if you don't want to give personal information. So, now I just go to the store, ask for a card, and refuse that personal info. Now, they can't track me at all. I really resent that they don't just give everyone the same price, without some gimmick, though. But, now that I found out that everyone has the right to it, without having to sacrifice their privacy, I gladly take them. I was making a purchase (at Motherhood Maternity, of all places!), and they were really pushing to get me to give them my personal info. They said that, if I needed to return something and I forgot the receipt, they couldn't issue the return if I'm not in the computer. I said something along the lines of, "That's a risk I'm willing to take." She got miffed at me, like she owns the store or something (I know that she's not the owner, or even the manager.) namaste, alex phoenix, az  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 December 20, 2005 5:36 PM

Maybe they get a bonus for the personal info.  [ send green star]
Nosey Stores December 24, 2005 6:38 AM

When shopping and a clerk asks for a phone number,just say "no phone",no hassle, no problems.Most grocery stores that offer a discount card will give you one, without the filling out of an information form.I have a couple of those,what you don't get by doing that is special offers or coupons in the mail.If you charge purchases or use a check, they do get your mailing information that way.But go ahead and ask for a discount card without filling out the info form.Then you too can enjoy the specials.

 [ send green star]  [ accepted]

 December 24, 2005 2:23 PM

Wow, I've been livin' in a cave, I've never had anyone ask me for my phone number when I was paying with cash...wild.  But, yeah, I am quite the hermit and I just don't shop like I did years ago.  The mall isn't where you'll see me more than a few times a year, and I can't remember the last time I was in one of those little high-dollar shops.  Thrift stores and resale shops are my friend   Don't use credit cards anymore and begrudgingly use debit cards for most purchases. 

Melody X, I can't even fathom how stupid that was of them to lose that kinda sale over that bit of information, paying cash?  And way back in 1999?  And those name-calling sheeple...  Geez, what the powers-that-be are getting away with, it's inconceivable, and soooo many going right along with it.  It makes ya' wonder when or if the sheeple will ever draw the line...number on the forehead?? 

Yay, Melody, for tellin' 'em to stuff it.


 [ send green star]  [ accepted]

 December 27, 2005 6:27 PM

I have a slightly different approach that I've been using for sometime now, but it works. I give them the wrong phone number.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 February 05, 2006 7:18 PM

"No phone", "unlisted", and "not from the area" generally work.

A couple years ago, I signed up for a Macy's card because there was a good one near my university and it definitely saved me money at the time... but then I started receiving mailings for Kathleen Y instead of Kathleen E.... I looked at my Macy's card and presto.... it read Kathleen Y -- the cashier entered my my middle initial incorrectly.    since then my card has mysteriously been cancelled -- but I don't think that's related, but it's just as well because the Macy's I work near isn't worth shopping at generally.... not that I have money to spend.  bills =

 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 February 09, 2006 10:10 AM

i am happy to see this group.  i have been boycotting since the 60s.  I remember the first time i had finished with a haircut and they refused to let me pay them unless i gave them info to put into their computer about my personal self!  i was shocked and angry and argued with them.  i refused to give them the info and the girl at the register refused to take my money.  i slapped the money down and said i would never be their customer again, and i did NOT give out the information.  that was the beginning, in the 70s or whenever it was, of stores asking such information for their computer base.  the young clerk was an idiot and did not understand why i was uncooperative and grossed out.  i was in my 20s and i thought she was the beginning of a long stream of horror and of people like her who have no apparent intellect or social consciousness.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Thanks for the posting.... February 09, 2006 2:58 PM

This is an important topic.  I am glad to see it continue to spark someones value system.   [ send green star]
hello March 07, 2006 11:25 AM

Hi, Im new to the group and I just noticed this topic.  I noticed its about a month old but I wanted to add my two cents really quickly.  I am so frustrated with giving out my info to stores. Every single time I buy something from Best Buy, they ask me for my phone number.  My boyfriend told me to stop giving it to them because he never does.  He always said his is unlisted.  So now thats what I do.  And they take my order and dont hassle me at all.  I get so sick of it.  I know it has happened at other stores but I cant remember them off the top of my head.  But I know now everywhere I go, I always say unlisted and dont give them any info about anything.  I havent had any problems yet.  I havent had the issue of giving a credit card for ID if I use my debit card though.  I think thats stupid.  Anyways, it does get old when they keep asking you twenty questions at the register when all you want to do is pay and leave.  And NO I do not want your stupid issues of Entertainment Monthly or Sports Illustrated either!   [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 March 07, 2006 3:00 PM

I give them my cell number and zip code. works well for me and it seems that nobody has that # right now so it's not even putting some poor person out.   [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 March 07, 2006 3:46 PM

Why don't you just say '3' or something when they ask for your number and start an argument with them if they disagree?  [ send green star]
 March 08, 2006 6:00 PM

LOL, Freediver! That's hilarious, I'd love to hear that argument

"It's 3 dammit...I don't care what most people have...I'm tellin' ya' it's's 3 okay!" ...  LOL!!!

I dunno, I guess it works, but it bugs me that for such an insignificant thing, we are prodded to lie.  Personally, unless really backed into a corner, I'd prefer to turn it around and ask "Why do you want to know?"  That's also a good one when people in general are asking ya' personal questions.  That usually throws them for a loop, not expecting that comeback...which gives ya' time to change the subject

 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
The Best Buying? March 12, 2006 10:29 AM

I am also one of those who can not stand all these places asking for my personal info. I particularly dislike it from one of the big electronics chain since I found out a year or so ago that they use your info to classify you as an "angel" or a "devil". If you are classified as a devil the employees are encouraged to be rude to you. How do you get classified that way? When you give them your zipcode and they tie that in to the average income level of your neighborhood, or with enough info, they check with credit reporting bureaus. If they show that you only shop during sales and buy sale items.... you are again a devil. I have even caught them trying another tactic. I participate in a number of online surveys and have had five pop up lately asking about my opinions of different electronics stores, etc... it appears to be unbiased at first but at the end you are told that this above company would like your name and address to contact your for future studies. Yeah right!

Well, devilish me tends to give a store it's own phone number and address or that of one of their other locations. (They rarely catch on) A few times when asked for my name I have used things like: Elvis Presley, Joe Montana, Darth Vader or something else utterly ridiculous so I have fun with it. Won't even tell you how much fun I have with telemarketers and junk mail.

 [ send green star]  [ accepted]

and thanks March 12, 2006 10:31 AM

for the invite!  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Say No To Supermarket Big Brother March 16, 2006 4:24 PM

Interesting web site addressing this issue:  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
RFID Virus' March 16, 2006 6:58 PM

RFID tracking can now be affected by virus'

It may be worthwhile when filling out 'personal info' for these cards, to make up a name.

 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 March 17, 2006 5:24 AM

I had the same run in with the Best Buy people, and Lane Bryant. I have my phone on the 'do not call list' but if you buy from someone they are allowed to call you within a certain amount of time without breaking the law - so I absolutely refuse to give out my phone number to anyone. Some of the clerks seem to take it personally as if I have just hurt their feelings, but I think there's enough information floating around out there about me, without adding more to it.  Luckily, it's never got further than a pissed-off sales clerk.  I would be seeing red if it got as far as a manager, as in some of these stories.
 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 November 15, 2006 12:50 AM

Thanks for the invite freediver. I never thought about the phone number or zip code thing at super markets here. Thanks guys for the awareness!  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
anonymous Nosey Stores November 15, 2006 7:01 AM

I am another of those who choose not to give out either my phone number or my postal code.  This goes for the bank as well as stores.  When the bank began to insist, I gave them their own branch phone number and their head office address.  I deal with cash only and have no need or any mailings from them.  My attitude is that I am the customer and the one who should be calling the shots.   [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
 November 15, 2006 11:38 AM

I always lie...even aboiut my post code.  I give them a neighboring town.  he he  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
# 100 February 22, 2007 6:25 PM

I started this thread a few months back. 

Many of you have responded to this. 

This is more important today! 

I think with the reacent reports of data being stolen from data banks at strores, today, there is more reason not to give out your personal information.  

Thanks for all the input!

 [ send green star]
Good shoppers may find their info sold March 06, 2007 1:13 AM

Credit information companies will have the power to sell detailed records about responsible borrowers, not just those in serious debt, as part of a current review of privacy laws in New Zealand and Australia.

 [ send green star]
anonymous  March 06, 2007 12:53 PM

I guess I have just taken the easy way out of this  morass.  I cut up my bank card and all credit cards.  I  now deal in cash only. 

 [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
  New Topic              Back To Topics Read Code of Conduct


This group:
$ Boycotts $
623 Members

View All Topics
New Topic

Track Topic
Mail Preferences

New to Care2? Start Here.