Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: Roses on April 11, 2014, 05:34:59 PM

Title: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Roses on April 11, 2014, 05:34:59 PM
I was at a store today and was asked (as is often the case these days) for personal information at checkout.  This happened AFTER I had already handed over my credit card.  I used my standard "No Thank You" line...but the clerk was persistent.  Was I rude?  The conversation went like this:

Clerk:  Please fill this out.
Me:  No thank you.
Her:  We need this information for your purchase.
Me:  No thank you. 
Clerk:  We have to have this information in our system in order to complete your.
Me:  I am not giving you my personal information.
Clerk:  Rings up purchase and was very polite the rest of the transaction. 

And obviously did NOT need the information to execute the transaction.  Had she insisted, I would have left without purchasing.

Any other suggestions for how to handle?
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: TootsNYC on April 11, 2014, 05:47:31 PM
Well, you can go straight to this:

Quote
Had she insisted, I would have left without purchasing.

She was insisting, actually.

I've gotten so sick of this sort of thing that I will say, "If you do not proceed directly to the processing of my purchase, I will cancel it."

Or you can stand there and just look at her, without saying anything.

Or skip the "no thank you" for these thing. I'm not sure why you're thanking them--they're not giving you anything. Except grief.

My mother used to immediately say, "I never fill those out. Ring up my order, please."
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: rose red on April 11, 2014, 05:48:00 PM
Clerk:  Please fill this out.
Me:  No thank you.
Her:  We need this information for your purchase.
Me:  No thank you. 
Clerk:  We have to have this information in our system in order to complete your.
Me:  I am not giving you my personal information.
Clerk:  Rings up purchase and was very polite the rest of the transaction. 

The only thing I would change is "I don't give our personal information" or "I know you are required to ask, but I don't give out personal information."

I know it's annoying, but please don't take it out on the cashier (which you didn't, you were polite) and complain to corporate about their policy (if you were going to complain).
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: MrTango on April 11, 2014, 05:53:22 PM
My standard way of dealing with it is this:

Cashier: [requests personal information]*
Me: "No, thanks."
Cashier: [second request]
Me: "No."
Cashier: [Third request.]
Me: "I said 'no.' I'll shop elsewhere from now on."  (at which point I leave).

*The exception is my zip code.  If they ask for that, I give the zip code of my college campus (it has its own zip).
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Aquamarine on April 11, 2014, 07:01:05 PM
This is so annoying and it only seems to be getting worse.  The first time they ask, I tell them either I don't give out that information or that I don't fill out forms, whichever one pertains.  If they continue to ask I have started to just stare at them without saying a word until they ring things up.

They may be required to ask 3 times as is the rule some places, that does not mean it is incumbent on me to answer after the first time.  The question has been asked and answered and I am not going to play along after my first answer.

The one that really started getting my hackles up about this was at a Brighton store where I was going to buy a bracelet.  They wanted my name, address and phone number in order to buy (cash) a small piece of costume jewelry.  I remember telling them that they had two choices and to please pick one; sell me the item without that information or tell me they would not be allowing me to buy it.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: JenJay on April 11, 2014, 07:19:25 PM
I think you handled it very well. I suppose, when she said "If you don't fill it out I can't complete your transaction." you could have said "That's unfortunate. Have a nice day." and left.  :-\
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on April 11, 2014, 07:35:06 PM
Please don't blame the cashier.  Corporate people often insist on these kinds of things thinking it will help, or be useful information, or whatever, and the cashiers (or whoever deals with customers face to face) are often under threat of being fired of they don't  comply with the "script".

When I was in university I was actually fired from my job at the hardware store I was working in because I didn't meet my quota for 3 filled out store credit card applications per day.

I think you handled things very well, considering how annoying those kinds of things can be (I'm buying jeans, you don't need my postal code!) but I would also like to suggest you contact their corporate offices and inform them that you don't care for their policy of asking for your personal information at every purchase and will choose to spend your money someplace that doesn't do so.  The strongest statement you can make is to take your money elsewhere.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: siamesecat2965 on April 11, 2014, 07:36:59 PM
I hate being asked more than I hate asking at my job. I'll ask once, and most regular customers know it's simply to pull up their profile, so the purchase is linked to them. Some ask why, I tell them, and also that it's totally optional. And for those who don't want to, there's a button we can hit to decline and continue. But please complain to corporate if you're going to. The employees have NO say over this, and can actually get in trouble for not asking according to what corporate decrees.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: veronaz on April 11, 2014, 07:37:16 PM
I think you did fine, OP.

I stopped shopping at a local women's clothing store that I LOVED because the cashiers badgered me so much about giving various personal information.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on April 11, 2014, 07:51:13 PM
^^Same here, Veronaz.  There are places I just won't shop at any more because of this kind of thing.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: CrazyDaffodilLady on April 11, 2014, 08:20:08 PM
I live in a suburb that has a single ZIP code.  The local Michael's asks every customer at checkout for their ZIP code.  I'm sure that 999 out of 1000 customers have the same ZIP.  Why don't the cashiers just enter the ZIP without slowing the checkout line down further by asking???   Well, one time when the cashier asked for my ZIP, I said, "I live in [our town]".  She didn't know the ZIP code  ::).

It is annoying to be asked for personal information, but I know that the cashiers are only doing it because they have to, and it's a minor annoyance, so I'm always polite but firm.  It's a very minor thing, not worth getting upset or nasty about.  To me, the test of etiquette is how you act when things don't go exactly as you'd like.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: RooRoo on April 11, 2014, 09:44:17 PM
Hawk and Veronaz, I hope you wrote to the corporate headquarters or owners of the businesses and told them why you stopped shopping there. And mentioned how many people you know who did the same.*

Just staying away does nothing unless you tell the right people why. These stupid ideas (upselling & pushing loyalty cards and/or credit cards, requiring the cashier to ask 3 times) come from some guy in a suit at corporate HQ, who has never worked retail (or hasn't done so in 20 years), and thinks it will be such! a! good! idea!  ::) Not only can the poor cashiers get fired for non-compliance, so can the managers.

* If the letter is hand-written, they will assume 20-30 people are doing the same thing. I read that 40-odd years ago )in a book about being a political activist); it probably counts for even more today.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: veronaz on April 11, 2014, 10:00:56 PM
RooRoo, I didn't but I should have.  This was several years ago.  I did stop recommending them (I used to get lots of compliments and inquiries about their outfits).

The straw that broke the camel's back was when the clerk tried to bully me, insisting that my information was safe in their system and I would not get any more advance notices of sales or discount coupons unless I answered the questions.  I really wanted the items, :( but I put them on the counter, walked out and never spent another dime there.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: JenJay on April 11, 2014, 10:14:11 PM
I've mentioned before that I worked in a grocery store for a few years. We'd always had secret shoppers but toward the end of my employment they added two new fun things  ::).

They'd get executive staff to go into random stores in street clothes and pretend to be customers. There were very specific things you were supposed to do (make eye contact, give a verbal greeting, ask if you could offer any assistance, mention your department's special sale item, offer a sample if they expressed an interest in an item, etc.). If you missed any of the attributes you'd get a 5 minute lecture on customer service, aka "coaching". We had to roll-play these scenarios with our coworkers. We even had to keep a log with each department manager's signature to prove that every employee had roll-played that day.

The 2nd thing they added were "selling suggestions". You were supposed to glance in the customer's basket, make a note of what they were buying, and suggest an item from your department that tied in. For example, customer has an angel food cake, suggest some fresh strawberries. Customer has steaks, suggest some corn to grill with them. Or, customer asks where the frozen broccoli is, direct her to the fresh. It was absolutely ridiculous. People complained at us constantly. I had one customer literally set her hand basket down and walk out of the store. I felt so horrible. Here this poor lady just wanted to grab a few things and I had literally driven her out of the store by being annoying.  :(

We all hated it, but if you got caught not doing it, you could get written up. Fortunately that only lasted a few months and then "they" claimed we weren't getting enough work done having to spend so much time interacting with customers (because you never knew who was a secret or company shopper, so you had to go through all this with every. single. person!) Yeah, that was the problem. We weren't doing it correctly so it was taking too long. Based on the number of people who requested comment cards just from me, I'm guessing what happened is their genius ideas to drive up sales resulted in a noticeable loss of customers. So yes, contacting corporate and letting them know their new ideas stink really does work!
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: PeterM on April 11, 2014, 10:14:49 PM
Clerk:  We have to have this information in our system in order to complete your.
Me:  I am not giving you my personal information.
Clerk:  Rings up purchase and was very polite the rest of the transaction. 

"So you were lying before, then?"

I really hate this stuff. I try not to take it out on the cashiers, but they're the ones who are actively lying to me when they insist the information is necessary, like the cashier did to you.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: gellchom on April 11, 2014, 10:36:06 PM
I don't like to give out information, either, but I strongly agree with the posters who beg not to take it out on the cashiers by being rude or even snippy or cold about it.  They are just doing their job, and if they are anything like the posters here who report having had such jobs, they already are unhappy enough.  True, they are representatives of their company, but it isn't their choice.

Even "No, thank you," in my opinion, isn't quite enough, because it isn't really clear -- I mean, someone asked you for something, they didn't offer something, so "no thank you" isn't really responsive.  If I were the cashier, I'd probably think you didn't hear me right and ask again.

I usually say something like, "If you don't really need it, I'd rather not give my [phone number, address, whatever].  But I like Rose Red's formula: "I know you are required to ask, but I don't give out personal information" better.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: poundcake on April 11, 2014, 11:29:47 PM
JenJay, I stopped shopping at the grocery store you're talking about. I felt bad for the cashiers and stockers, but seriously, I do NOT need two people PER AISLE engaging me in conversation and asking if I need help! Jesus, let my eyes focus on the print on the cans first before you start yammering at me about what I'm looking for and what might go with it! Yes, I stopped shopping there, and started writing letters and Yelp reviews about these practices, and, only a few months later, the in-your-face "helpfulness" had been dialed back significantly.

Quote
Just staying away does nothing unless you tell the right people why. These stupid ideas (upselling & pushing loyalty cards and/or credit cards, requiring the cashier to ask 3 times) come from some guy in a suit at corporate HQ, who has never worked retail (or hasn't done so in 20 years), and thinks it will be such! a! good! idea!  ::) Not only can the poor cashiers get fired for non-compliance, so can the managers.

RooRoo is right. I've mentioned before one of my first jobs, working at a pizza chain. Some genius in corporate decided that we needed to go out of our way to greet customers who ordered for pickup. His brilliant plan was that, say, if Lisa called in to order a pizza, when she showed up to pick it up, one of us was supposed to cry, "Hey, everyone, Lisa's here for her pizza!" and then we'd all chorus "HI, LISA!" Mr. Corporate thought it would be cute and fun, like whenever Norm showed up at Cheers and everyone cheered "NORM!"

Well. At best, customers looked taken aback and a little confused. Quite a few found it problematic, and complained after. Some felt their privacy was being violated. Customers on the phones hated that their orders were being interrupted/unheard because of the loud yelling. Several occasions involved "Lisa" calling in for the pizza, but "Unnamed Companion/Spouse Obviously Not Lisa" coming in to pick it up, so we'd end up trying to cover that up with improv: "Hi, Lisa's Husband! Oh, just boyfriend? Sorry, what's your name? Pete? HI, PETE!" Most just hated that they were being "yelled at." Comment cards saying this began pouring in to the head office immediately.

Within a week, the geniuses at Corporate decided maybe this wasn't the friendliest route to good customer service with our pick-ups after all.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: LifeOnPluto on April 11, 2014, 11:55:24 PM
I was at a store today and was asked (as is often the case these days) for personal information at checkout.  This happened AFTER I had already handed over my credit card.  I used my standard "No Thank You" line...but the clerk was persistent.  Was I rude?  The conversation went like this:

Clerk:  Please fill this out.
Me:  No thank you.
Her:  We need this information for your purchase.
Me:  No thank you. 
Clerk:  We have to have this information in our system in order to complete your.
Me:  I am not giving you my personal information.
Clerk:  Rings up purchase and was very polite the rest of the transaction. 

And obviously did NOT need the information to execute the transaction.  Had she insisted, I would have left without purchasing.

Any other suggestions for how to handle?

I'd honestly be baffled at this question, as I've never heard it before. Sometimes at museums and galleries I get asked for my post code, but never for detailed personal information at a regular shop. My reaction would be to blurt out "Why on earth do you need my personal information for this item?!"
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: blarg314 on April 12, 2014, 04:40:39 AM
You were supposed to glance in the customer's basket, make a note of what they were buying, and suggest an item from your department that tied in. For example, customer has an angel food cake, suggest some fresh strawberries. , contacting corporate and letting them know their new ideas stink really does work!

I think that wins for basic illogic.

Aside from the annoying customers part, what's going to happen if it works?  The customer, with their basket half unloaded says "That's a great idea - I'll be back in a minute" and heads off to the produce section to fetch some strawberries, leaving the line stalled until they get back.

The first time someone asks, I say no politely. The second time, I say no firmly. If they insist after that, or claim that they have to have the information for me to buy the product, I'll leave without purchasing. I'm not going to be rude to the cashier, but I'm not going to spend money at a store that thinks that bullying me into handing over personal information solely for their marketing purposes.

When I'm visiting the US or Canada, mind you, there's always the option of giving them my phone number. Mind you, given that my number starts with a zero, it's not going to be much use.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: TabathasGran on April 12, 2014, 07:17:12 AM
I just smile, look directly at them and say "No."  Apparently they know I mean it because almost no one ever asks a second time.

I think "no" carries more weight by itself. 

It felt rude to be so blunt at first but I'm used to it now.  I also do this for donations requests at the checkout.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: m2kbug on April 12, 2014, 10:34:42 AM
Unfortunately the cashier's hands are tied.  This comes from corporate and employees can get in trouble if they don't ask.  I have even just filled out dummy information to appease the cashier for those little discount tabs.  Otherwise, all you can do is what you did.  You can express your displeasure to the cashier, but don't bite her head off.  They can, hopefully, pass on the multiple complaints to their manager.  Also, call or write the corporate entity who thought it was a brilliant idea.  These people don't actually have to do the things they are requiring and apparently never get harassed while shopping, so they remain clueless on how annoying this is. 
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: nutraxfornerves on April 12, 2014, 11:13:05 AM
Quote
"Hey, everyone, Lisa's here for her pizza!" and then we'd all chorus "HI, LISA!"
I'm surprised they didn't have college students happily making up unfortunate or even obscene names just to be funny.
"Hey, everyone, Onweed's here for her pizza!"
"Hi, Onweed!"

I did run into one of those information things that made sense because the clerks explained it. The company was asking for ZIP codes from all shoppers to help them decide what might be the best place to locate a near store.  But all they wanted was a ZIP code, no other identifying info.

Several times a year, the museum where I volunteer asks for either the ZIP code or country, if not from the US. That helps provide information on visitors that is useful when applying for grants or loans of objects.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: kherbert05 on April 12, 2014, 11:36:27 AM
I was at a store today and was asked (as is often the case these days) for personal information at checkout.  This happened AFTER I had already handed over my credit card.  I used my standard "No Thank You" line...but the clerk was persistent.  Was I rude?  The conversation went like this:

Clerk:  Please fill this out.
Me:  No thank you.
Her:  We need this information for your purchase.
Me:  No thank you. 
Clerk:  We have to have this information in our system in order to complete your.
Me:  I am not giving you my personal information.
Clerk:  Rings up purchase and was very polite the rest of the transaction. 

And obviously did NOT need the information to execute the transaction.  Had she insisted, I would have left without purchasing.

Any other suggestions for how to handle?

I'd honestly be baffled at this question, as I've never heard it before. Sometimes at museums and galleries I get asked for my post code, but never for detailed personal information at a regular shop. My reaction would be to blurt out "Why on earth do you need my personal information for this item?!"
It lets them target advertising for things popular in specific zones.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: mich3554 on April 12, 2014, 11:54:11 AM
I live in a suburb that has a single ZIP code.  The local Michael's asks every customer at checkout for their ZIP code.  I'm sure that 999 out of 1000 customers have the same ZIP.  Why don't the cashiers just enter the ZIP without slowing the checkout line down further by asking???   Well, one time when the cashier asked for my ZIP, I said, "I live in [our town]".  She didn't know the ZIP code  ::).

It is annoying to be asked for personal information, but I know that the cashiers are only doing it because they have to, and it's a minor annoyance, so I'm always polite but firm.  It's a very minor thing, not worth getting upset or nasty about.  To me, the test of etiquette is how you act when things don't go exactly as you'd like.

I did ask about zip codes and was told that it was how they determine where to put stores.  So zip code is the only piece I will give out because I would LOVE not to have to travel 30 miles to Tuesday Morning.

Anything else?  Nope.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: JenJay on April 12, 2014, 12:43:31 PM
You were supposed to glance in the customer's basket, make a note of what they were buying, and suggest an item from your department that tied in. For example, customer has an angel food cake, suggest some fresh strawberries. , contacting corporate and letting them know their new ideas stink really does work!

I think that wins for basic illogic.

Aside from the annoying customers part, what's going to happen if it works?  The customer, with their basket half unloaded says "That's a great idea - I'll be back in a minute" and heads off to the produce section to fetch some strawberries, leaving the line stalled until they get back.


No, this was in the departments, not the checkstand. My examples were from the produce department but everyone was supposed to do it. If you walked into the bakery with strawberries they'd recommend the angel food cake. So as a customer you'd get hit up to buy something you didn't want in every single department and maybe a couple of times in the general aisles, if you were unlucky enough to bump into multiple employees. Yeah.  ::)
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Yvaine on April 12, 2014, 12:50:10 PM
You were supposed to glance in the customer's basket, make a note of what they were buying, and suggest an item from your department that tied in. For example, customer has an angel food cake, suggest some fresh strawberries. , contacting corporate and letting them know their new ideas stink really does work!

I think that wins for basic illogic.

Aside from the annoying customers part, what's going to happen if it works?  The customer, with their basket half unloaded says "That's a great idea - I'll be back in a minute" and heads off to the produce section to fetch some strawberries, leaving the line stalled until they get back.


No, this was in the departments, not the checkstand. My examples were from the produce department but everyone was supposed to do it. If you walked into the bakery with strawberries they'd recommend the angel food cake. So as a customer you'd get hit up to buy something you didn't want in every single department and maybe a couple of times in the general aisles, if you were unlucky enough to bump into multiple employees. Yeah.  ::)

Ugh. And it would just rub me the wrong way to have people peering into my cart the whole time too. I like the polite fiction that no one notices what I'm buying at the grocery store, just in case it's nothing but ice cream, wine, and a 10-pound box of Midol.  ;D
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: JenJay on April 12, 2014, 01:04:05 PM
You were supposed to glance in the customer's basket, make a note of what they were buying, and suggest an item from your department that tied in. For example, customer has an angel food cake, suggest some fresh strawberries. , contacting corporate and letting them know their new ideas stink really does work!

I think that wins for basic illogic.

Aside from the annoying customers part, what's going to happen if it works?  The customer, with their basket half unloaded says "That's a great idea - I'll be back in a minute" and heads off to the produce section to fetch some strawberries, leaving the line stalled until they get back.


No, this was in the departments, not the checkstand. My examples were from the produce department but everyone was supposed to do it. If you walked into the bakery with strawberries they'd recommend the angel food cake. So as a customer you'd get hit up to buy something you didn't want in every single department and maybe a couple of times in the general aisles, if you were unlucky enough to bump into multiple employees. Yeah.  ::)

Ugh. And it would just rub me the wrong way to have people peering into my cart the whole time too. I like the polite fiction that no one notices what I'm buying at the grocery store, just in case it's nothing but ice cream, wine, and a 10-pound box of Midol.  ;D

Exactly! We felt like total creepy stalkers. We had a lot of fun joking about inappropriate suggestions we could have made based on a customer's purchases, though. Like "Hello sir, I see you've got a microwave dinner and single-serving Ben & Jerry's. If you need the 30lb bag of cat food it's on aisle 3. Can I show you where that is?" or "Oooh, bottle of wine, two steaks, and some roses, eh? The condoms are on aisle 5!" In your example we could have recommended some gossip magazines or maybe a discount chick-flick.  ;D

I miss my coworkers (though not that job!).
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Aquamarine on April 12, 2014, 02:13:30 PM
I sometimes wonder what is wrong with the people that come up with this crap at corporate.  Do they live in a parallel dimension that the rest of us don't know about?  What normal, rational human being going about their daily life thinks that some of the things read about in this thread are a good idea?

Let's make our customers, feel spied on, hassled and pressured to buy more stuff, that will really make them happier loyal customers.  Newsflash to corporate everywhere: not everything has to be "FUN", sometimes people are just doing their chores because they have to do them, not because they want to.

I truly do not understand where they think up some of these bizarre things they want their employees to do.  The yelling at you at the pizza place seems extremely unsettling to me.  Hope no one with social anxiety issues got pizza from them when they were going through this phase.

I wish someday one of these people could sit me down and explain their thinking because it is something that truly baffles me and seems to defy good simple common sense. 
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Bottlecaps on April 12, 2014, 02:31:59 PM
I'm going to go out on a limb here and offer a different (and reasonable) explanation for why stores sometimes ask for your information.

Mr. Bottlecaps works in auto parts. Almost all auto parts come with some sort of warranty or another, whether it's three months or a lifetime warranty. Some parts houses ask for your name and/or phone number to put in the system so if you need to use the warranty, they can quickly look up the purchase and verify that you in fact bought that part at that retailer (or in some cases, that particular location). Now granted, it's not really required as long as you keep your receipt, but he was required to at least ask, and Mr. Bottlecaps would tell people that he was asking for their info strictly for warranty purposes (I would hope all parts salespeople would explain this, but who knows). If they refused, that was OK, but he would definitely explain to them that they needed to keep the receipt in case they needed to bring the part back on warranty. In the case of heat-printed receipts, it's hard to get them to last more than a few months, let alone a lifetime. :(

The parts store he works at now doesn't require this information. Their receipts are not heat-printed, but printed out of a regular office laser printer, so as long as you store them properly where they won't get wet or anything, they should last a lifetime. Heat-printed receipts are a whole other story though, lol. I've dug heat-printed receipts out of my purse when I clean it only to find that a receipt from barely a month ago (that's about how often I clean my purse out, lol) had almost none of the print still visible on it.

In cases like this, if you're still not comfortable giving any info out but the integrity of your receipt might not last as long as your warranty, and you want to make sure you can use your warranty if needed, I suppose you could make up a name and/or phone number. As long as you can remember the made-up information, then it should work. :)

All that said though, if you're buying tomatoes instead of an alternator, and they refuse to accept "no" as an answer, be polite and don't take it out on the cashier, but by all means, discontinue the transaction and leave.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: shortstuff on April 12, 2014, 03:23:57 PM
I hate being asked more than I hate asking at my job. I'll ask once, and most regular customers know it's simply to pull up their profile, so the purchase is linked to them. Some ask why, I tell them, and also that it's totally optional. And for those who don't want to, there's a button we can hit to decline and continue. But please complain to corporate if you're going to. The employees have NO say over this, and can actually get in trouble for not asking according to what corporate decrees.

I've always taken this route when I was in retail jobs.  For phone numbers, it reverse-looked up the address to mail out coupons.  Zip codes were for the newspapers to have flyers.  My script was ask first, and most people gave it out.  Those who asked why got the reasonable explanation.  Anyone who still has reservations was "allowed" to not participate.  Quotes because I was a teenager, I didn't really care whether or not they gave me the info as long as no one, customer or manager, was yelling at me :) 

The worst case of asking for personal info was this: my mom has a store credit card for a nice homewares/clothing type department store.  Her new card was mailed out, and the first time she used in store they asked for her driver's license number!  it was "policy" when activating a card to input and the save the DL number.  My mom naturally, and politely, refused that step, and asked to just continue with the transaction.  The cashier said she was literally unable to proceed without the info, and mom was about to ask for a manger when I had a thought. 

"What happens for someone without a driver's license?"  "Oh, we just use the phone number."  "Well, can my mom use her phone number instead?!?"  Stupid corporate policy, and the poor cashier was "off script" and didn't supply us with a workaround.  Stinky situation.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: TootsNYC on April 12, 2014, 03:47:33 PM

The 2nd thing they added were "selling suggestions". You were supposed to glance in the customer's basket, make a note of what they were buying, and suggest an item from your department that tied in. For example, customer has an angel food cake, suggest some fresh strawberries. Customer has steaks, suggest some corn to grill with them. Or, customer asks where the frozen broccoli is, direct her to the fresh. It was absolutely ridiculous. People complained at us constantly. I had one customer literally set her hand basket down and walk out of the store. I felt so horrible. Here this poor lady just wanted to grab a few things and I had literally driven her out of the store by being annoying.  :(


And of course, Corporate is ignoring the fact that, as a customer, the LAST thing I want to do, once I've gotten all the way through the store and am FINALLY at the checkout, is go BACK into the store for some other stupid thing.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Katana_Geldar on April 12, 2014, 04:17:45 PM
I read somewhere that when Walmart went to Germany there were a lot of complaints about people feeling harassed by the greeters.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Dr. F. on April 12, 2014, 04:50:41 PM
I read somewhere that when Walmart went to Germany there were a lot of complaints about people feeling harassed by the greeters.

I feel kinda harassed by them too, and I'm American. I seem to recall a study which showed that "city people" prefer to be left alone while they shop, unless they have a specific question, while "country people" prefer to chit-chat and be greeted. (I may be mangling the results, as I'm operating off of memory here.) I don't consider myself a city girl, but I do prefer to be left alone.

I wonder if that doesn't play into Corp. minds, in that they think their customers are whatever and thus will prefer constant interaction, even though they themselves don't. If correct, it's pretty condescending.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Acadianna on April 12, 2014, 07:15:49 PM
I sometimes wonder what is wrong with the people that come up with this crap at corporate.  Do they live in a parallel dimension that the rest of us don't know about?

It's because they don't live in the "real world" of delivering the actual service, so they're clueless about the circumstances that dictate what works and what doesn't. 

We see the same thing in education -- people in government agencies or universities (who haven't been in a classroom in years, or possibly have never been) telling us how to teach.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Alli8098 on April 12, 2014, 07:18:06 PM
I've completely avoided one of the maternity stores by my local mall after my one and only visit.  The young store clerks didn't even greet me or ask if I needed assistance (this was a small store so I could be seen when I entered).  And then when I made my purchase they were insistent for my personal info so I could start receiving special offers.  They were put off when I refused and barely said a word as I was rung up.  It's one thing to be pushy for that info and another to get an attitude when a patron says no.

And now that I need some more maternity items I'll be going somewhere else.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: shhh its me on April 12, 2014, 08:19:34 PM
I sometimes wonder what is wrong with the people that come up with this crap at corporate.  Do they live in a parallel dimension that the rest of us don't know about?

It's because they don't live in the "real world" of delivering the actual service, so they're clueless about the circumstances that dictate what works and what doesn't. 

We see the same thing in education -- people in government agencies or universities (who haven't been in a classroom in years, or possibly have never been) telling us how to teach.

I think its part inexperience and part trying to minimize a talent and skill into a "paint by numbers" formula.

If you analyze successful sales people/companies , things like using names and making suggestion are really common but they happen organically as part of the process not as part of a MUST DO check list "Make a suggestion in each department".   When the goal is good service , you offer help when someone looks flummoxed  it feels naturaland helpful and like good service because it is natural , helpful and good service.    When the goal is "CRUD MONKEYS! I'll be fired if this is a mystery shopper and I don't make a related suggestion. Hurry , think , think , think ;What goes with a box of wine, pita chips and hummus.....I'm going with Red solo cups " it feels forced and creepy and possibly offensive because it is.   
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: JenJay on April 12, 2014, 08:43:19 PM

The 2nd thing they added were "selling suggestions". You were supposed to glance in the customer's basket, make a note of what they were buying, and suggest an item from your department that tied in. For example, customer has an angel food cake, suggest some fresh strawberries. Customer has steaks, suggest some corn to grill with them. Or, customer asks where the frozen broccoli is, direct her to the fresh. It was absolutely ridiculous. People complained at us constantly. I had one customer literally set her hand basket down and walk out of the store. I felt so horrible. Here this poor lady just wanted to grab a few things and I had literally driven her out of the store by being annoying.  :(


And of course, Corporate is ignoring the fact that, as a customer, the LAST thing I want to do, once I've gotten all the way through the store and am FINALLY at the checkout, is go BACK into the store for some other stupid thing.

I wasn't a cashier, this was in my department (produce) and every department was supposed to do it, including people who worked stocking the aisles. So a customer could easily be hit up 4 or 5 times in a shopping trip. Fun, huh?!
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Roses on April 12, 2014, 08:58:28 PM
Mr. Bottlecaps works in auto parts. Almost all auto parts come with some sort of warranty or another, whether it's three months or a lifetime warranty. Some parts houses ask for your name and/or phone number to put in the system so if you need to use the warranty, they can quickly look up the purchase and verify that you in fact bought that part at that retailer (or in some cases, that particular location).

OP here.  I was buying makeup.  In a high end, department store.  That is not under warranty and they do NOT need my personal info to complete that purchase.  I e-mailed the store and complained, from my "spam" e-mail address.  I'm not going to send a letter, because, any good, decent, well respected letter would have...my name, address, etc.  And, not willing to share that with this place.  I won't be going back.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: LETitbe on April 12, 2014, 08:59:28 PM
The other reason you may be asked a zip code is to validate a credit/debit card, but this would obviously be after you've swiped it. Just wanted to throw this out there, so people don't think every request is violating your privacy.

That said, I really could care less about a store doing market research by asking my zip code...I mean, it's really not a "violation of my privacy" to do so, IMO. I already use rewards cards and credit cards, so they really already have access to that kind of info. If someone asks for an email address I say "no thanks" and have never been hassled. If someone pushed me, I'd go with "I know you have to ask, but I'm not interested in providing that information".
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Mary Lennox on April 12, 2014, 08:59:58 PM
If someone asks for my postcode, I usually put on my "thinking face" and say "I have no idea, we just moved and I can never remember it."
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: LETitbe on April 12, 2014, 09:01:07 PM
Mr. Bottlecaps works in auto parts. Almost all auto parts come with some sort of warranty or another, whether it's three months or a lifetime warranty. Some parts houses ask for your name and/or phone number to put in the system so if you need to use the warranty, they can quickly look up the purchase and verify that you in fact bought that part at that retailer (or in some cases, that particular location).

Ahhh I see...I applied for and was offered a job at a department store, and they have really crappy policies for people selling cosmetics. It made me super uncomfortable. Luckily, I was offered a better job elsewhere. Honestly, I feel bad for the salesperson (if they were otherwise kind and helpful) and hope that corporate receives your letter and others like it and reconsiders their policies.
OP here.  I was buying makeup.  In a high end, department store.  That is not under warranty and they do NOT need my personal info to complete that purchase.  I e-mailed the store and complained, from my "spam" e-mail address.  I'm not going to send a letter, because, any good, decent, well respected letter would have...my name, address, etc.  And, not willing to share that with this place.  I won't be going back.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Tierrainney on April 12, 2014, 09:01:14 PM
The auto parts warrantee thing from a previous poster reminds me.

I bought my daughter riding boots today. In order for me to get the full coverage guarantee, they needed all my information. I get so  many catalogs and junk mail already, I did not want to give them. But they didn't explain why they needed all the information until after I declined to supply it. So now I expect I'll start getting another catalog and flyers that I don't want.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: blarg314 on April 12, 2014, 10:19:45 PM

If there's a good reason for my information, that benefits *me*, and and the cashier explains it, I may give it. "So we can send you spam" is not a good reason.

In general,  if I find shopping at a store annoying, and I can purchase the goods somewhere else, I will simply stop shopping there.  I'm generally only interested in making a formal complaint if I think it will actually be useful to me - something that can be addressed immediately, or for smaller businesses where the manager actually has power to change. For a large chain, with decisions made at headquarters, it's not really worth my time to look up the address and write a complaint letter if I've got other, less annoying options.


Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Peppergirl on April 12, 2014, 10:51:38 PM
I guess I don't understand how it's a violation of privacy to give a zip code.   :-\

I'm honestly not trying to be snarky or start anything, I'm genuinely baffled...can one of you explain?

I surely understand it on phone numbers, email addys and home address, etc.

I love EHell!  I learn so much. :)

Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Roses on April 12, 2014, 11:14:51 PM
The form I was asked to fill out included name, address, phone number, email address.  Zip code I don't care about...
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Peppergirl on April 12, 2014, 11:29:23 PM
Oh, yes Roses..sorry!  I meant some of the other comments from PP's who have advised they don't want to give zip codes for privacy reasons.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: GreenBird on April 12, 2014, 11:44:10 PM
I guess I don't understand how it's a violation of privacy to give a zip code.   :-\

I'm honestly not trying to be snarky or start anything, I'm genuinely baffled...can one of you explain?

I surely understand it on phone numbers, email addys and home address, etc.

I love EHell!  I learn so much. :)

Apparently your zip code combined with the name from your credit card can be enough to uniquely identify you when those items are combined with consumer information databases that companies can buy.  The info then matches you with your address, purchasing history, and whatever other data they've mined from other sources.  It's downright creepy. 
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Elfmama on April 13, 2014, 12:02:59 AM
I was at a store today and was asked (as is often the case these days) for personal information at checkout.  This happened AFTER I had already handed over my credit card.  I used my standard "No Thank You" line...but the clerk was persistent.  Was I rude?  The conversation went like this:

Clerk:  Please fill this out.
Me:  No thank you.
Her:  We need this information for your purchase.
Me:  No thank you. 
Clerk:  We have to have this information in our system in order to complete your.
Me:  I am not giving you my personal information.
Clerk:  Rings up purchase and was very polite the rest of the transaction. 

And obviously did NOT need the information to execute the transaction.  Had she insisted, I would have left without purchasing.

Any other suggestions for how to handle?

I'd honestly be baffled at this question, as I've never heard it before. Sometimes at museums and galleries I get asked for my post code, but never for detailed personal information at a regular shop. My reaction would be to blurt out "Why on earth do you need my personal information for this item?!"
I read somewhere that asking for your Postal/Zip Code when you used a credit card was to help prevent the use of stolen cards.  If their computer says that your zipcode is 12345 and you tell them 10203, it might be that you are using a card that isn't yours. 
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Elfmama on April 13, 2014, 12:13:40 AM
I sometimes wonder what is wrong with the people that come up with this crap at corporate.  Do they live in a parallel dimension that the rest of us don't know about?  What normal, rational human being going about their daily life thinks that some of the things read about in this thread are a good idea?

Let's make our customers, feel spied on, hassled and pressured to buy more stuff, that will really make them happier loyal customers.  Newsflash to corporate everywhere: not everything has to be "FUN", sometimes people are just doing their chores because they have to do them, not because they want to.

I truly do not understand where they think up some of these bizarre things they want their employees to do.  The yelling at you at the pizza place seems extremely unsettling to me.  Hope no one with social anxiety issues got pizza from them when they were going through this phase.

I wish someday one of these people could sit me down and explain their thinking because it is something that truly baffles me and seems to defy good simple common sense.
40 years ago, I worked at a cashier's job for a few months in Alaska.  Corporate office was in Seattle.  Word came down from corporate that Post Office boxes weren't sufficient addresses on personal checks.  (Yes, this was the era of the personal check.  No debit cards back in those days, children! and credit cards tended to be used only for major purchases.)  Corporate says "They have to live in a house or apartment somewhere!  They don't live in that PO Box!"

I got a whole bunch of grizzled sourdoughs complaining about that.  Yes, they lived in a house, out in the boonies somewhere.  No street address, often enough no streets at all.  They got in and out on snow machines or private bush planes.

I finally took to telling them to make something up.  1234 Back of Beyond Road. 
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: iridaceae on April 13, 2014, 06:58:35 AM
I always feel kind of sorry for the local Michael's clerks; they ask for a zip code and I bet their computers aren't set up for Mexican zip codes- we get a lot of shoppers up from Mexico.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: menley on April 13, 2014, 08:15:54 AM
Yes, in Texas (and most other places I've traveled in the US), a zip code check is a fraud prevention check. If you don't give them the zip code that matches the credit card billing statement, the transaction is denied by the credit card company. I've had that happen numerous times when I moved (changing zip codes) and put in the old zip code without thinking.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: MariaE on April 13, 2014, 10:08:56 AM
Yes, in Texas (and most other places I've traveled in the US), a zip code check is a fraud prevention check. If you don't give them the zip code that matches the credit card billing statement, the transaction is denied by the credit card company. I've had that happen numerous times when I moved (changing zip codes) and put in the old zip code without thinking.

How do they cope with international credit cards? Is there some sort of check so they only validate US credit cards?
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: menley on April 13, 2014, 10:20:38 AM
Yes, in Texas (and most other places I've traveled in the US), a zip code check is a fraud prevention check. If you don't give them the zip code that matches the credit card billing statement, the transaction is denied by the credit card company. I've had that happen numerous times when I moved (changing zip codes) and put in the old zip code without thinking.

How do they cope with international credit cards? Is there some sort of check so they only validate US credit cards?

I have no idea, actually. I do live overseas now and occasionally try to buy things from US companies online, with my foreign credit card, and oftentimes the foreign credit card will be rejected online because the zip code doesn't match the expected format (here it's a 4-digit code rather than 5). I think that's the limits of the web system, though, and not the credit card processing system.

In general, the US has some issues with international credit cards (for example, chip + pin technology isn't prevalent there). I've been in stores before where an international credit card has been declined for whatever reason, and the employee's only option is for the customer to locate an ATM and bring in cash.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: MariaE on April 13, 2014, 01:13:55 PM
4-digits here as well. We had some issues buying train tickets at Newark but ended up just entering a NYC zipcode and it went through without problems. I've never had any issues shopping online though.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: knitwicca on April 13, 2014, 02:59:36 PM
RooRoo, I didn't but I should have.  This was several years ago.  I did stop recommending them (I used to get lots of compliments and inquiries about their outfits).

The straw that broke the camel's back was when the clerk tried to bully me, insisting that my information was safe in their system and I would not get any more advance notices of sales or discount coupons unless I answered the questions.  I really wanted the items, :( but I put them on the counter, walked out and never spent another dime there.

This is called "data mining".  Many stores are owned by the same company ( Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body for example).  The cashier may not know that the information is sent to corporate and shared between all the companies under their umbrella.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Alli8098 on April 13, 2014, 03:26:22 PM
I was told by my store manager when working retail as recently as 2011 that the zip code is for demographic info to know where our customer base was coming from.  Supposedly to see where to build more stores and which zip codes to distribute coupons to.  However we were not to ask more then once and to take no for an answer.  Good thing is we only had to collect the data for only a month or two and then it was to business as usual.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Amara on April 13, 2014, 03:46:38 PM
I feel for those working the front lines who have to ask for such information, but I am not giving it. However, rather than making their jobs harder I simply make up the information. You want a zip code? How about 12345? It works. Or I know that Arizona begins, at least I think it does, with 845 so I just add two numbers to that even though I live in California. I also do not carry grocery store cards so I just enter the general phone number of the largest employer in my area. It works.

I began doing this a long time ago because I didn't want to make anyone's job harder or be unpleasant about refusing. And it works for me. Corporate gets zip, the cashier gets an easy transaction, and I get out of there, privacy intact.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: MurPl1 on April 13, 2014, 03:48:30 PM
I'm currently swapping over to a different credit card company for my store and the one i"m currently with has an option to collect zip codes.  We do not have to collect it for the transaction to be processed.  But for some reason we get charged more per transaction when we don't include the zip.

Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: mmswm on April 13, 2014, 04:08:50 PM
I use my local area code plus 867-5309 if asked to provide a phone number.  I've only had one cashier "get it".  Young kid, who smirked a little bit and then jokingly shouted "Jenny!  I've finally found you!"

Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: knitwicca on April 13, 2014, 04:23:27 PM
I use my local area code plus 867-5309 if asked to provide a phone number.  I've only had one cashier "get it".  Young kid, who smirked a little bit and then jokingly shouted "Jenny!  I've finally found you!"
;)
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: nolechica on April 13, 2014, 04:43:00 PM
I use my local area code plus 867-5309 if asked to provide a phone number.  I've only had one cashier "get it".  Young kid, who smirked a little bit and then jokingly shouted "Jenny!  I've finally found you!"

When that song made the one-hit wonder list, 12 people actually had that number.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: blarg314 on April 13, 2014, 07:34:59 PM

In Canada postal codes are unique to an address. So unless you live in an apartment building, it *is* your address.

Using credit cards  with an international address in the US can be a pain for some things. In my experience, for example, you cannot use pay at the pump for gas, because the system doesn't recognize non US zip codes, and that's what's used for identification.

Mind you, if you have a US credit card without a chip (I think most don't, right?), you may be out of luck travelling when travelling abroad because you can't enter a PIN, which is the security screening for those cards.

I've had problems using international cards for buying stuff on line. A lot of sites aren't set up for international addresses, and sometimes it's physically impossible to enter my address, or I can't make it match the way it's reading the address to check the credit card payment, or it simply doesn't fit in the amount of space provided.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: mmswm on April 13, 2014, 08:38:41 PM
I use my local area code plus 867-5309 if asked to provide a phone number.  I've only had one cashier "get it".  Young kid, who smirked a little bit and then jokingly shouted "Jenny!  I've finally found you!"

When that song made the one-hit wonder list, 12 people actually had that number.

As of a couple years ago, somebody in NYC still did, and refuses to give it up.  According to a high level telecommunications engineer I know, quite a number of people had the number when the song came out.  Many of those people requested their numbers to be changed, which the company my father worked for changed without a fee, and then put the number on the "do not issue" list, and let it die a natural death.  The FCC could have also fined the song writer, as there are actually laws regarding numbers that can be used in media.  That's why "555" numbers are used in TV and movies, as that's the prefix the FCC has set aside for fake numbers.

/end hijack.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: shortstuff on April 13, 2014, 08:50:44 PM
Yes, in Texas (and most other places I've traveled in the US), a zip code check is a fraud prevention check. If you don't give them the zip code that matches the credit card billing statement, the transaction is denied by the credit card company. I've had that happen numerous times when I moved (changing zip codes) and put in the old zip code without thinking.

How do they cope with international credit cards? Is there some sort of check so they only validate US credit cards?

In my area, as far as I know, only gas stations use the zip code thing as a purely-identity theft feature (here in NJ we cannot pump our own gas ;)).  And even then, not every gas station does it.  So many are locally franchise owned, there's no huge policy in effect, although it happens more often at truck stops and gas stations just off the largest highways. 

When I was in retail, the computer systems in my stores could not accept international information.  It was very frustrating for customers who wanted to be on the spam lists, or sign up for the credit cards. 

The other thing I was always  :o about was typing in the driver's license number for a check, so the bank could validate the account over the phone/internet system.  I felt so bad for foreign travelers who wanted to pay by check but couldn't!  Or the little old lady with out a license.  I understand having to have fraud prevention measures, but it's all very one size fits all from a policy standpoint, and it doesn't always work out in real life. 
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: AuntieA on April 14, 2014, 01:43:44 AM
A liquor store chain here has a discount club, but it's online. In order to use the coupons which one prints off, one must give the clerk their email address. Yeah, like I'm going to say any email address out loud in a liquor store. I just hand the clerk one of the personal cards I made up for myself (name, phone #, email address only). They hand the card back after verifying my membership.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: wolfie on April 14, 2014, 09:01:19 AM
I feel for those working the front lines who have to ask for such information, but I am not giving it. However, rather than making their jobs harder I simply make up the information. You want a zip code? How about 12345? It works. Or I know that Arizona begins, at least I think it does, with 845 so I just add two numbers to that even though I live in California. I also do not carry grocery store cards so I just enter the general phone number of the largest employer in my area. It works.

I began doing this a long time ago because I didn't want to make anyone's job harder or be unpleasant about refusing. And it works for me. Corporate gets zip, the cashier gets an easy transaction, and I get out of there, privacy intact.

12345 is in upstate NY. So yes that will always work and if they really are collecting to see where their customer base is then it will throw them off a bit if you are in CA. (not that that is a bad thing) ;-)
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: wolfie on April 14, 2014, 09:04:49 AM
I use my local area code plus 867-5309 if asked to provide a phone number.  I've only had one cashier "get it".  Young kid, who smirked a little bit and then jokingly shouted "Jenny!  I've finally found you!"

When that song made the one-hit wonder list, 12 people actually had that number.

When I went to college all the dorms came with phones and each room had the next number in sequence. Campus has 867 as the first three digits and a male dorm had 53* as it's base. They were not amused when people would call for Jenny.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Morticia on April 14, 2014, 09:07:23 AM

In Canada postal codes are unique to an address. So unless you live in an apartment building, it *is* your address.

Using credit cards  with an international address in the US can be a pain for some things. In my experience, for example, you cannot use pay at the pump for gas, because the system doesn't recognize non US zip codes, and that's what's used for identification.


I think you have been misinformed. My neighbours on both sides of my house have the same postal code I do.

I have found using 00000 works at U.S. gas pumps.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Outdoor Girl on April 14, 2014, 09:38:31 AM

In Canada postal codes are unique to an address. So unless you live in an apartment building, it *is* your address.

This is not true - a particular area of a city or town will all have the same postal code.  Until my Dad's town got too big, the entire town had the same postal code.

I will usually give my postal code but comments here have me rethinking that.  I only give personal information to a few very specific shops because it is advantageous for me to do so.  And a few shops that require a membership in order to shop there will have my information, as well.

I usually say 'No, thank you', when asked for personal information.  I, fortunately, have never had anyone insist.  But if they did, I wouldn't be shopping at that store again.  I do the same when asked to donate $2 to whatever their cause of the day is.

The stories about having to suggest other products based on what is in someone's cart reminds me of the day I was not very eHell worthy.  I was at the cashier in the grocery store when a college aged man put one small pumpkin pie on the belt, with two cans of whipped cream.  So I opened my big mouth and said, 'You know, one can of whipped cream is more than enough for that pie.  Unless you are planning more fun for later.'  I couldn't believe those words came out of my mouth; I don't know what came over me.  The kid paused, gave me a grin, and said he was planning on more fun.  The cashier just howled.  And I got the heck out of there.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Morty'sCleaningLady on April 14, 2014, 09:52:31 AM
I use my local area code plus 867-5309 if asked to provide a phone number.  I've only had one cashier "get it".  Young kid, who smirked a little bit and then jokingly shouted "Jenny!  I've finally found you!"

A local plumber has that number in my area code.  They run the song in their ads.  love it!
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: TootsNYC on April 14, 2014, 11:42:19 AM
I guess I don't understand how it's a violation of privacy to give a zip code.   :-\

I'm honestly not trying to be snarky or start anything, I'm genuinely baffled...can one of you explain?

I surely understand it on phone numbers, email addys and home address, etc.

I love EHell!  I learn so much. :)

Apparently your zip code combined with the name from your credit card can be enough to uniquely identify you when those items are combined with consumer information databases that companies can buy.  The info then matches you with your address, purchasing history, and whatever other data they've mined from other sources.  It's downright creepy.

I also remember reading once that the fact that you gave them your ZIP Code can be used to claim that you have established a business relationship with them, and they can spam you to whatever degree they would have been otherwise prohibited from doing.

But I've also been told the "checking on where our customer base is" as the reason. I'm generally willing to give that out.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: nuit93 on April 14, 2014, 12:22:13 PM
Please don't blame the cashier.  Corporate people often insist on these kinds of things thinking it will help, or be useful information, or whatever, and the cashiers (or whoever deals with customers face to face) are often under threat of being fired of they don't  comply with the "script".

When I was in university I was actually fired from my job at the hardware store I was working in because I didn't meet my quota for 3 filled out store credit card applications per day.

I think you handled things very well, considering how annoying those kinds of things can be (I'm buying jeans, you don't need my postal code!) but I would also like to suggest you contact their corporate offices and inform them that you don't care for their policy of asking for your personal information at every purchase and will choose to spend your money someplace that doesn't do so.  The strongest statement you can make is to take your money elsewhere.

I was almost fired from a department store for the same reason, despite the fact that I would constantly hear complaints from customers about how we badgered them for the store card.

Please, PLEASE don't take it out on the cashier.  S/he could get in trouble even if you just refuse to go through with the transaction.  Give fake information if you have to and complain to corporate.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: livluvlaf on April 14, 2014, 12:47:41 PM

In Canada postal codes are unique to an address. So unless you live in an apartment building, it *is* your address.


This is not true - a particular area of a city or town will all have the same postal code.  Until my Dad's town got too big, the entire town had the same postal code.


Definitely not true. My grandparents and my Aunt live over 15km apart, and share the same postal code. As do the rest of the farmers in their region.

I live in a densely populated city, 12 of my neighbours share my postal code. But when I lived in a 20 story building, it had a unique postal code to the rest of the neighbourhood.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: livluvlaf on April 14, 2014, 12:57:58 PM
Yes, in Texas (and most other places I've traveled in the US), a zip code check is a fraud prevention check. If you don't give them the zip code that matches the credit card billing statement, the transaction is denied by the credit card company. I've had that happen numerous times when I moved (changing zip codes) and put in the old zip code without thinking.

How do they cope with international credit cards? Is there some sort of check so they only validate US credit cards?

I recently attended a conference in the US general stores with regular processing credit card terminals have no problem accepting my Canadian CC. They also asked for my Zip code, but I just told them I was visiting from out of country. It didn't hinder the trancation in the least. But many of the vendors at the conference trade show were using "portable terminals" (Square) which couldn't accept my credit card. Their software wasn't set up to process a card without the Zip confirmation.  OTOH - my Canadian bank card only works at ATM machines cannot use it at retail terminals.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: dawbs on April 14, 2014, 01:03:11 PM
I guess I don't understand how it's a violation of privacy to give a zip code.   :-\

I'm honestly not trying to be snarky or start anything, I'm genuinely baffled...can one of you explain?

I surely understand it on phone numbers, email addys and home address, etc.

I love EHell!  I learn so much. :)

There are some good articles on it too:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/adamtanner/2013/06/19/theres-a-billion-reasons-not-to-give-stores-your-zip-code-ever/

http://business.time.com/2013/07/11/when-retailer-asks-can-i-have-your-zip-code-just-say-no/
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Bottlecaps on April 14, 2014, 02:11:53 PM
Mr. Bottlecaps works in auto parts. Almost all auto parts come with some sort of warranty or another, whether it's three months or a lifetime warranty. Some parts houses ask for your name and/or phone number to put in the system so if you need to use the warranty, they can quickly look up the purchase and verify that you in fact bought that part at that retailer (or in some cases, that particular location).

OP here.  I was buying makeup.  In a high end, department store.  That is not under warranty and they do NOT need my personal info to complete that purchase.  I e-mailed the store and complained, from my "spam" e-mail address.  I'm not going to send a letter, because, any good, decent, well respected letter would have...my name, address, etc.  And, not willing to share that with this place.  I won't be going back.

That's understandable. I was just giving a reason for why some retailers might ask for that information, especially in the case of appliances, parts, etc.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Library Dragon on April 14, 2014, 02:40:59 PM
Ironically, the failure for corporate officers to discuss these types of ideas with the front line folks (Hey, you should get some beef steaks to go with your tofu burgers!) is considered the number one mistake in strategic planning.  Ivory Tower planning won't build your market share.  Too often it drives away customers.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: MamaMootz on April 14, 2014, 03:13:47 PM
And this kind of badgering is why I stopped shopping at a certain Tween clothing store. I was badgered over $4 and my information.
Yes, I know there are quotas but this is truly what happened to me the last time I shopped there -with DD and DH. If we hadn't had been in a hurry to get out of there, I definitely would have spoken to the manager about it.

While we were getting checked out:

Cashier: What's your phone number?
Me: It's unlisted, we don't give it out.
Cashier: What's your e-mail address?
Me: I don't give that out, either.
Cashier: It's just for coupons, so that you can save money. Give me your e-mail address.
Me: No, thanks, I don't want to receive coupons.
Cashier: (rolls her eyes at me and rings up transaction). It comes to $46.00. If you spend another $4, you earn $25.00 in StoreBucks and get a coupon for X% off your next purchase.
Me: No, thanks. Let's just pay for what we have here.
Cashier: It's only another $4. We have underwear, necklaces and candy that would help you meet that price.

At this point, DH steps in and says, "No thank you".

Cashier: Oh come on! It's only $4! And you get all these StoreBucks and a coupon!
Me: No, thank you.
SA: No necklaces, or underwear? It's only $4!
DH: We just would like to pay for what we have. We don't use StoreBucks. In fact, I'll give YOU $50.00 to stop trying to sell them to us.
Cashier: $4 isn't much and I know your DD was looking at the mustache necklaces earlier.

At this point, Cashier turns to DD and asks her if she doesn't want a necklace.

All three of us just stood there and looked at her - trying the use of Complete Silence to get her to finally understand "no".

Cashier: You're killing me! It's only another $4! And you can get a COUPON. (Tone implying we are stupid for not wanting the coupon).

Me: Actually, YOU are killing ME. Please finish the transaction.

Cashier finally gave up, finished the transaction, shoved the receipt into the bag, and tossed the purchase at us. Didn't thank us and I could tell she was angry.

See, I don't want to take this kind of thing out on the cashier, but this one BADGERED us. I did complain to corporate about it and they replied back saying they would be "retraining" her. But the way she badgered us ensured I would never return to the store. I was the most furious when she tried to upsell my daughter directly when it didn't work with us, no matter how many times we said no.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: shhh its me on April 14, 2014, 03:24:23 PM
Ironically, the failure for corporate officers to discuss these types of ideas with the front line folks (Hey, you should get some beef steaks to go with your tofu burgers!) is considered the number one mistake in strategic planning.  Ivory Tower planning won't build your market share.  Too often it drives away customers.

As a funny side note a now defunct Co I worked for decided to implement a plan based on the well reasoned argument from the VP of one dept.  They told us and the 400ish employees came up with 400 different ways to say "that is the most ridiculous idea EVAR!" . The answer to that was to hire a very expensive motivational speaker who specialized on "Learning to make new habits and  make change"  6 months later VP was fired and "Yeah, we're not doing that anymore" 
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: wolfie on April 14, 2014, 03:30:35 PM
Ironically, the failure for corporate officers to discuss these types of ideas with the front line folks (Hey, you should get some beef steaks to go with your tofu burgers!) is considered the number one mistake in strategic planning.  Ivory Tower planning won't build your market share.  Too often it drives away customers.

As a funny side note a now defunct Co I worked for decided to implement a plan based on the well reasoned argument from the VP of one dept.  They told us and the 400ish employees came up with 400 different ways to say "that is the most ridiculous idea EVAR!" . The answer to that was to hire a very expensive motivational speaker who specialized on "Learning to make new habits and  make change"  6 months later VP was fired and "Yeah, we're not doing that anymore"

so what was the ridiculous plan!
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: shhh its me on April 14, 2014, 03:45:09 PM
Ironically, the failure for corporate officers to discuss these types of ideas with the front line folks (Hey, you should get some beef steaks to go with your tofu burgers!) is considered the number one mistake in strategic planning.  Ivory Tower planning won't build your market share.  Too often it drives away customers.

As a funny side note a now defunct Co I worked for decided to implement a plan based on the well reasoned argument from the VP of one dept.  They told us and the 400ish employees came up with 400 different ways to say "that is the most ridiculous idea EVAR!" . The answer to that was to hire a very expensive motivational speaker who specialized on "Learning to make new habits and  make change"  6 months later VP was fired and "Yeah, we're not doing that anymore"

so what was the ridiculous plan!

New pricing formal in which prices would be set solely by the buyer. (A buyer who had a habit of "I really like this so this will be 10% more.") Going from individuals have 25% discretion to zero and most importantly not honoring a WRITTEN guarantee and wanting to continue issuing the guarantee.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: wolfie on April 14, 2014, 03:55:11 PM
Ironically, the failure for corporate officers to discuss these types of ideas with the front line folks (Hey, you should get some beef steaks to go with your tofu burgers!) is considered the number one mistake in strategic planning.  Ivory Tower planning won't build your market share.  Too often it drives away customers.

As a funny side note a now defunct Co I worked for decided to implement a plan based on the well reasoned argument from the VP of one dept.  They told us and the 400ish employees came up with 400 different ways to say "that is the most ridiculous idea EVAR!" . The answer to that was to hire a very expensive motivational speaker who specialized on "Learning to make new habits and  make change"  6 months later VP was fired and "Yeah, we're not doing that anymore"

so what was the ridiculous plan!

New pricing formal in which prices would be set solely by the buyer. (A buyer who had a habit of "I really like this so this will be 10% more.") Going from individuals have 25% discretion to zero and most importantly not honoring a WRITTEN guarantee and wanting to continue issuing the guarantee.

So they expected people to just make sure they gave a fair price???? I can see that working for some people but most people are going to be like "cool - I will pay $1".   What is the point of issuing a guarantee if you have no plans for honoring it?
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Mrs. Tilney on April 14, 2014, 04:05:49 PM
Mind you, if you have a US credit card without a chip (I think most don't, right?), you may be out of luck travelling when travelling abroad because you can't enter a PIN, which is the security screening for those cards.

I traveled to the UK recently and could still use my US credit cards, which don't have chips. They had to pull out alternate charging machines in a few places, but they were able to complete the transaction.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: shhh its me on April 14, 2014, 04:06:45 PM
Ironically, the failure for corporate officers to discuss these types of ideas with the front line folks (Hey, you should get some beef steaks to go with your tofu burgers!) is considered the number one mistake in strategic planning.  Ivory Tower planning won't build your market share.  Too often it drives away customers.

As a funny side note a now defunct Co I worked for decided to implement a plan based on the well reasoned argument from the VP of one dept.  They told us and the 400ish employees came up with 400 different ways to say "that is the most ridiculous idea EVAR!" . The answer to that was to hire a very expensive motivational speaker who specialized on "Learning to make new habits and  make change"  6 months later VP was fired and "Yeah, we're not doing that anymore"

so what was the ridiculous plan!

New pricing formal in which prices would be set solely by the buyer. (A buyer who had a habit of "I really like this so this will be 10% more.") Going from individuals have 25% discretion to zero and most importantly not honoring a WRITTEN guarantee and wanting to continue issuing the guarantee.

So they expected people to just make sure they gave a fair price???? I can see that working for some people but most people are going to be like "cool - I will pay $1".   What is the point of issuing a guarantee if you have no plans for honoring it?

Exactly what we were screaming about with the guarantee.  I meant the company buyer not customers ,she'd occasionally fall in love with pieces of merchandiser and think "I love it therefore everyone else will too and if they don't they're just poopyheads. I'm going to deviate from the pricing formula and add 10% *or more*"   
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: nuit93 on April 14, 2014, 04:07:30 PM
Ironically, the failure for corporate officers to discuss these types of ideas with the front line folks (Hey, you should get some beef steaks to go with your tofu burgers!) is considered the number one mistake in strategic planning.  Ivory Tower planning won't build your market share.  Too often it drives away customers.

As a funny side note a now defunct Co I worked for decided to implement a plan based on the well reasoned argument from the VP of one dept.  They told us and the 400ish employees came up with 400 different ways to say "that is the most ridiculous idea EVAR!" . The answer to that was to hire a very expensive motivational speaker who specialized on "Learning to make new habits and  make change"  6 months later VP was fired and "Yeah, we're not doing that anymore"

I know we don't work for the same company but I've had my own share of stories like that!
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: wolfie on April 14, 2014, 04:11:28 PM
Ironically, the failure for corporate officers to discuss these types of ideas with the front line folks (Hey, you should get some beef steaks to go with your tofu burgers!) is considered the number one mistake in strategic planning.  Ivory Tower planning won't build your market share.  Too often it drives away customers.

As a funny side note a now defunct Co I worked for decided to implement a plan based on the well reasoned argument from the VP of one dept.  They told us and the 400ish employees came up with 400 different ways to say "that is the most ridiculous idea EVAR!" . The answer to that was to hire a very expensive motivational speaker who specialized on "Learning to make new habits and  make change"  6 months later VP was fired and "Yeah, we're not doing that anymore"

so what was the ridiculous plan!

New pricing formal in which prices would be set solely by the buyer. (A buyer who had a habit of "I really like this so this will be 10% more.") Going from individuals have 25% discretion to zero and most importantly not honoring a WRITTEN guarantee and wanting to continue issuing the guarantee.

So they expected people to just make sure they gave a fair price???? I can see that working for some people but most people are going to be like "cool - I will pay $1".   What is the point of issuing a guarantee if you have no plans for honoring it?

Exactly what we were screaming about with the guarantee.  I meant the company buyer not customers ,she'd occasionally fall in love with pieces of merchandiser and think "I love it therefore everyone else will too and if they don't they're just poopyheads. I'm going to deviate from the pricing formula and add 10% *or more*"

and the stuff she hated would be 10% less or more? yeah I didn't think so. That does sound like a stupid plan. I mean don't the prices include looking at what competitors sell it for? Why should I pay 10% more with you then them? especially if you won't honor your guarantee.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: LETitbe on April 14, 2014, 06:19:26 PM
Mind you, if you have a US credit card without a chip (I think most don't, right?), you may be out of luck travelling when travelling abroad because you can't enter a PIN, which is the security screening for those cards.

I traveled to the UK recently and could still use my US credit cards, which don't have chips. They had to pull out alternate charging machines in a few places, but they were able to complete the transaction.

I've never had an issue with US credit cards, as long as they're international like Visa & Mastercard. The only time internationally I've been denied was when debit was required (and that was in Ireland, and had a chip). I've even used American CCs at foreign ATMs in several countries, no problem.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: nolechica on April 15, 2014, 01:27:30 AM
I use my local area code plus 867-5309 if asked to provide a phone number.  I've only had one cashier "get it".  Young kid, who smirked a little bit and then jokingly shouted "Jenny!  I've finally found you!"

When that song made the one-hit wonder list, 12 people actually had that number.

As of a couple years ago, somebody in NYC still did, and refuses to give it up.  According to a high level telecommunications engineer I know, quite a number of people had the number when the song came out.  Many of those people requested their numbers to be changed, which the company my father worked for changed without a fee, and then put the number on the "do not issue" list, and let it die a natural death.  The FCC could have also fined the song writer, as there are actually laws regarding numbers that can be used in media.  That's why "555" numbers are used in TV and movies, as that's the prefix the FCC has set aside for fake numbers.

/end hijack.

Interesting, yeah this was 1999 or 2000, no idea how many people still have it.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: menley on April 15, 2014, 04:12:08 AM
Mind you, if you have a US credit card without a chip (I think most don't, right?), you may be out of luck travelling when travelling abroad because you can't enter a PIN, which is the security screening for those cards.

I traveled to the UK recently and could still use my US credit cards, which don't have chips. They had to pull out alternate charging machines in a few places, but they were able to complete the transaction.

I've never had an issue with US credit cards, as long as they're international like Visa & Mastercard. The only time internationally I've been denied was when debit was required (and that was in Ireland, and had a chip). I've even used American CCs at foreign ATMs in several countries, no problem.

It's difficult to get around Norway without a chip card - all of the metro stations, for example, only accept chip+pin in Oslo. It was a big problem after-hours when the cashiers were gone and we needed to get on the metro!
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: DanaJ on April 15, 2014, 11:26:50 AM
I read somewhere that asking for your Postal/Zip Code when you used a credit card was to help prevent the use of stolen cards.  If their computer says that your zipcode is 12345 and you tell them 10203, it might be that you are using a card that isn't yours.
So every time an employee uses a corporate card it would be flagged as fraud? No. The "it's for security" purposes is the lie they tell you to make you think giving them valuable marketing data is good for you rather than good for them.

I always provide 90210 as a ZIP and for a phone number I use the phone company's customer service line. It's like 765-FONE, but when you actually say 765-3663 most employees don't know or don't care. Certainly when I've used 90210 in the past, I've had cahsiers say that's the one they get the most. (Or did back in the 1990s.)
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: menley on April 15, 2014, 11:46:50 AM
I read somewhere that asking for your Postal/Zip Code when you used a credit card was to help prevent the use of stolen cards.  If their computer says that your zipcode is 12345 and you tell them 10203, it might be that you are using a card that isn't yours.
So every time an employee uses a corporate card it would be flagged as fraud? No. The "it's for security" purposes is the lie they tell you to make you think giving them valuable marketing data is good for you rather than good for them.

I always provide 90210 as a ZIP and for a phone number I use the phone company's customer service line. It's like 765-FONE, but when you actually say 765-3663 most employees don't know or don't care. Certainly when I've used 90210 in the past, I've had cahsiers say that's the one they get the most. (Or did back in the 1990s.)

I'm not sure what corporate cards have to do with anything, but as I've stated in earlier posts, I HAVE had credit card purchases rejected when I accidentally typed in the incorrect zip code.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Susiqzer on April 15, 2014, 11:49:49 AM
And this kind of badgering is why I stopped shopping at a certain Tween clothing store. I was badgered over $4 and my information.
Yes, I know there are quotas but this is truly what happened to me the last time I shopped there -with DD and DH. If we hadn't had been in a hurry to get out of there, I definitely would have spoken to the manager about it.

While we were getting checked out:

Cashier: What's your phone number?
Me: It's unlisted, we don't give it out.
Cashier: What's your e-mail address?
Me: I don't give that out, either.
Cashier: It's just for coupons, so that you can save money. Give me your e-mail address.
Me: No, thanks, I don't want to receive coupons.
Cashier: (rolls her eyes at me and rings up transaction). It comes to $46.00. If you spend another $4, you earn $25.00 in StoreBucks and get a coupon for X% off your next purchase.
Me: No, thanks. Let's just pay for what we have here.
Cashier: It's only another $4. We have underwear, necklaces and candy that would help you meet that price.

At this point, DH steps in and says, "No thank you".

Cashier: Oh come on! It's only $4! And you get all these StoreBucks and a coupon!
Me: No, thank you.
SA: No necklaces, or underwear? It's only $4!
DH: We just would like to pay for what we have. We don't use StoreBucks. In fact, I'll give YOU $50.00 to stop trying to sell them to us.
Cashier: $4 isn't much and I know your DD was looking at the mustache necklaces earlier.

At this point, SA turns to DD and asks her if she doesn't want a necklace.

All three of us just stood there and looked at her - trying the use of Complete Silence to get her to finally understand "no".

Cashier: You're killing me! It's only another $4! And you can get a COUPON. (Tone implying we are stupid for not wanting the coupon).

Me: Actually, YOU are killing ME. Please finish the transaction.

Cashier finally gave up, finished the transaction, shoved the receipt into the bag, and tossed the purchase at us. Didn't thank us and I could tell she was angry.

See, I don't want to take this kind of thing out on the cashier, but this one BADGERED us. I did complain to corporate about it and they replied back saying they would be "retraining" her. But the way she badgered us ensured I would never return to the store. I was the most furious when she tried to upsell my daughter directly when it didn't work with us, no matter how many times we said no.

I had a similar conversation at a sports store once. She requested my phone (no!), my email (still no!), and then when I used a credit card, asked for my license. (Oh heck no!)

Sorry, Miss Cashier, you don't get to request enough information to commit identity fraud, even in the name of protecting my identity. When I pointed out that she was violating the terms of her store's agreement with MasterCard by requesting identification (yes, I was curious and looked it up after a thread on the topic!), and that requesting my name, address, phone number, email, and drivers license number for a $20 purchase was ridiculous. The people in line behind me were all having little "aha!" moments of their own... no one complained, even though it made the transaction last a couple extra minutes.

This was not that store's policy to request a license for every credit card transaction, just one cashier who was taking it upon herself to check everyone's identity. I appreciate the thought, but not in conjunction with all of the other requests for information.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: CrazyDaffodilLady on April 15, 2014, 03:41:01 PM
The local cable company often asks for my Social Security number :o before they'll proceed with a business transaction.  I don't know if they already got it somehow and expect me to match it or if they're trying to get it.  There is no reason on earth why the cable company needs my SSN. 

When I refuse to give it, I'm told that they require it "for my protection".  What I need is protection from unethical, money-grubbing, lying companies like them.  The cable company is near the bottom of the list of businesses I trust.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: LETitbe on April 15, 2014, 08:59:41 PM
The local cable company often asks for my Social Security number :o before they'll proceed with a business transaction.  I don't know if they already got it somehow and expect me to match it or if they're trying to get it.  There is no reason on earth why the cable company needs my SSN. 

When I refuse to give it, I'm told that they require it "for my protection".  What I need is protection from unethical, money-grubbing, lying companies like them.  The cable company is near the bottom of the list of businesses I trust.

All the cable companies I've called required a SSN to sign up. They all ran credit checks before they would let me sign on. Therefore, if I later called with an issue, I'd assume they asked for SSN for verification. If I was really opposed to providing my SSN at that time (which would seem pointless, as they already have access to it), I'd just simply say "What other information can you use to verify identity?", which I've had to do lots of times with other companies asking things I'd forgot lol.

ETA: If I distrusted a cable company so much, I wouldn't do business with them. Which I didn't, for two years, when I lived in an area only covered by dish networks I didn't trust. I went without cable and internet instead.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: shortstuff on April 15, 2014, 09:01:33 PM
And this kind of badgering is why I stopped shopping at a certain Tween clothing store. I was badgered over $4 and my information.
Yes, I know there are quotas but this is truly what happened to me the last time I shopped there -with DD and DH. If we hadn't had been in a hurry to get out of there, I definitely would have spoken to the manager about it.

While we were getting checked out:

Cashier: What's your phone number?
Me: It's unlisted, we don't give it out.
Cashier: What's your e-mail address?
Me: I don't give that out, either.
Cashier: It's just for coupons, so that you can save money. Give me your e-mail address.
Me: No, thanks, I don't want to receive coupons.
Cashier: (rolls her eyes at me and rings up transaction). It comes to $46.00. If you spend another $4, you earn $25.00 in StoreBucks and get a coupon for X% off your next purchase.
Me: No, thanks. Let's just pay for what we have here.
Cashier: It's only another $4. We have underwear, necklaces and candy that would help you meet that price.

At this point, DH steps in and says, "No thank you".

Cashier: Oh come on! It's only $4! And you get all these StoreBucks and a coupon!
Me: No, thank you.
SA: No necklaces, or underwear? It's only $4!
DH: We just would like to pay for what we have. We don't use StoreBucks. In fact, I'll give YOU $50.00 to stop trying to sell them to us.
Cashier: $4 isn't much and I know your DD was looking at the mustache necklaces earlier.

At this point, Cashier turns to DD and asks her if she doesn't want a necklace.

All three of us just stood there and looked at her - trying the use of Complete Silence to get her to finally understand "no".

Cashier: You're killing me! It's only another $4! And you can get a COUPON. (Tone implying we are stupid for not wanting the coupon).

Me: Actually, YOU are killing ME. Please finish the transaction.

Cashier finally gave up, finished the transaction, shoved the receipt into the bag, and tossed the purchase at us. Didn't thank us and I could tell she was angry.

See, I don't want to take this kind of thing out on the cashier, but this one BADGERED us. I did complain to corporate about it and they replied back saying they would be "retraining" her. But the way she badgered us ensured I would never return to the store. I was the most furious when she tried to upsell my daughter directly when it didn't work with us, no matter how many times we said no.

I think I used to work for this store.  And unfortunately, I don't think complaining to the store manager would have worked.  The computer keeps a running total of "missed opportunities" where you almost qualify for the coupons but don't reach the mark.  My manager would have badgered ME about why couldn't I just get that $4 of upsell.  And I was the assistant manager!  They just don't seem to understand that not everyone is in love with their store and need to make another visit and get $xx worth of merchandise before they can even use that "awesome $25 coupon." 
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: LETitbe on April 15, 2014, 09:03:23 PM
I read somewhere that asking for your Postal/Zip Code when you used a credit card was to help prevent the use of stolen cards.  If their computer says that your zipcode is 12345 and you tell them 10203, it might be that you are using a card that isn't yours.
So every time an employee uses a corporate card it would be flagged as fraud? No. The "it's for security" purposes is the lie they tell you to make you think giving them valuable marketing data is good for you rather than good for them.

I always provide 90210 as a ZIP and for a phone number I use the phone company's customer service line. It's like 765-FONE, but when you actually say 765-3663 most employees don't know or don't care. Certainly when I've used 90210 in the past, I've had cahsiers say that's the one they get the most. (Or did back in the 1990s.)

No, most corporate cards are tied to individuals, therefore would have their ID registered. Or the individual would know the business's zip. I've had cards rejected when I entered my current zip, forgetting the card was registered at a previous address, on several occasions. It's not a conspiracy (though I've also had some go through with the wrong zip, so it's not foolproof, either).
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: shhh its me on April 15, 2014, 09:08:55 PM
The local cable company often asks for my Social Security number :o before they'll proceed with a business transaction.  I don't know if they already got it somehow and expect me to match it or if they're trying to get it.  There is no reason on earth why the cable company needs my SSN. 

When I refuse to give it, I'm told that they require it "for my protection".  What I need is protection from unethical, money-grubbing, lying companies like them.  The cable company is near the bottom of the list of businesses I trust.

All the cable companies I've called required a SSN to sign up. They all ran credit checks before they would let me sign on. Therefore, if I later called with an issue, I'd assume they asked for SSN for verification. If I was really opposed to providing my SSN at that time (which would seem pointless, as they already have access to it), I'd just simply say "What other information can you use to verify identity?", which I've had to do lots of times with other companies asking things I'd forgot lol.

ETA: If I distrusted a cable company so much, I wouldn't do business with them. Which I didn't, for two years, when I lived in an area only covered by dish networks I didn't trust. I went without cable and internet instead.

My cable/internet and cell phone companies asks for the last 4 digits to verify identity.   I like that better.  I'm assuming that in general the CS can only see the last 4 digits, which I think is a good idea.

Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Another Sarah on April 16, 2014, 03:53:56 AM
The local cable company often asks for my Social Security number :o before they'll proceed with a business transaction.  I don't know if they already got it somehow and expect me to match it or if they're trying to get it.  There is no reason on earth why the cable company needs my SSN. 

When I refuse to give it, I'm told that they require it "for my protection".  What I need is protection from unethical, money-grubbing, lying companies like them.  The cable company is near the bottom of the list of businesses I trust.

All the cable companies I've called required a SSN to sign up. They all ran credit checks before they would let me sign on. Therefore, if I later called with an issue, I'd assume they asked for SSN for verification. If I was really opposed to providing my SSN at that time (which would seem pointless, as they already have access to it), I'd just simply say "What other information can you use to verify identity?", which I've had to do lots of times with other companies asking things I'd forgot lol.

ETA: If I distrusted a cable company so much, I wouldn't do business with them. Which I didn't, for two years, when I lived in an area only covered by dish networks I didn't trust. I went without cable and internet instead.

My cable/internet and cell phone companies asks for the last 4 digits to verify identity.   I like that better.  I'm assuming that in general the CS can only see the last 4 digits, which I think is a good idea.


No, the CS can generally see the whole number.
The UK data protection act (and I guess its equivalent in the US) prevent companies from supplying a whole bank AC number to a third party, even if they are the account holder (in case it's actually not the account holder and you've just given their bank details away) They can only supply four digits.
I used to work for a bank and part of my job when setting up new supplier bank accounts for payment was to confirm the bank account details with the supplier. Some bright spark in management's idea to catch any typos in the forms. IT was completely idiotic but they would not be dissuaded. I have never done a job I hated more
"hello, this is Another Sarah from Bank. We are setting you up as a supplier on the system and I need to confirm the bank details you'd like us to pay to"
"It's on the invoice"
"Yes, it's bank policy to confirm the details for a new supplier before we make the first payment. Are the last four digits XXXX?"
"Yes"
"Can you confirm the first four?"
"NO! THIS SOUNDS EXACTLY LIKE A SCAM! THIEF!" *click*

You can't blame the suppliers for being suspicious - it did sound exactly like a scam. Problem was, if I couldn't confirm the bank details I wasn't allowed to set the supplier up, meaning they didn't get paid. Cue another round of irate phonecalls from the supplier. It was awful, stupid, made the bank look really bad, and as far as I know, they still do it today
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on April 16, 2014, 06:27:35 AM
I live in a suburb that has a single ZIP code.  The local Michael's asks every customer at checkout for their ZIP code.  I'm sure that 999 out of 1000 customers have the same ZIP.  Why don't the cashiers just enter the ZIP without slowing the checkout line down further by asking???   Well, one time when the cashier asked for my ZIP, I said, "I live in [our town]".  She didn't know the ZIP code  ::).

It is annoying to be asked for personal information, but I know that the cashiers are only doing it because they have to, and it's a minor annoyance, so I'm always polite but firm.  It's a very minor thing, not worth getting upset or nasty about.  To me, the test of etiquette is how you act when things don't go exactly as you'd like.

I did ask about zip codes and was told that it was how they determine where to put stores.  So zip code is the only piece I will give out because I would LOVE not to have to travel 30 miles to Tuesday Morning.

Anything else?  Nope.

Ahh, is that what it is? Now that wouldn't bother me so long as they put a store in one of the many empty storefronts in our town.  Hobby Lobby took over an empty cabinet store and 2nd and Charles took over what was a Borders, as I think our town's pretty good about not putting up new buildings unnecessarily if they can get the store into an existing, empty storefront.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: m2kbug on April 16, 2014, 11:58:42 AM

<snip>

Cashier: (rolls her eyes at me and rings up transaction). It comes to $46.00. If you spend another $4, you earn $25.00 in StoreBucks and get a coupon for X% off your next purchase.
Me: No, thanks. Let's just pay for what we have here.
Cashier: It's only another $4. We have underwear, necklaces and candy that would help you meet that price.

At this point, DH steps in and says, "No thank you".

Cashier: Oh come on! It's only $4! And you get all these StoreBucks and a coupon!
Me: No, thank you.
SA: No necklaces, or underwear? It's only $4!

<snip>

Any time someone tells me it's ONLY X-dollars, I put a different value on it:  It's not ONLY $10.  Ten dollars can buy 4 gallons of milk.   A couple gallons of milk and two boxes of cereal.  I could get two loaves of bread, peanut butter and jelly, and lunch meat.  I can get a package of hamburger and toilet paper for $10.  It's not ONLY $10, it's lunch next week. 

This is where the APPS get you.  It's ONLY A DOLLAR, until you've spent $30, a dollar a day for a month.  Also notice how some of those coupons expire in about a week or two and only applies if you spend a minimum of X dollars, that is if you don't promptly lose it.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Vall on April 16, 2014, 12:54:21 PM
I'm so glad that I don't have to deal with this where we normally shop.  Some will ask and I say no.  They immediately say, "That's okay, you don't have to".  I don't think I'd frequent anywhere that harassed me for information.  If someone did harass me, I'd have no problem with quietly walking out, leaving my items behind.

I say no once and expect them to accept my answer.  I would probably say no twice if needed.  If they don't respect my answer twice, I'm not answering a third time.  I understand that the cashier is doing what he/she is told but I'm not going to put up with it.  That's probably why I don't have to deal with this where we normally shop.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: wolfie on April 16, 2014, 01:34:04 PM
My grocery store has that "donate a dollar for cause and get scratch off game where you can win prizes" which are usually coupons or a free item although it says there are some cash prizes. I know cashiers have to ask each customer if the want one. One cashier used to ask "Would you like to buy charity ticket for a dollar - although I know you probably already bought one last time". Which made a no so much easier to say - even if you never bought one of the tickets!
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: rose red on April 16, 2014, 02:23:54 PM
My grocery store has that "donate a dollar for cause and get scratch off game where you can win prizes" which are usually coupons or a free item although it says there are some cash prizes. I know cashiers have to ask each customer if the want one. One cashier used to ask "Would you like to buy charity ticket for a dollar - although I know you probably already bought one last time". Which made a no so much easier to say - even if you never bought one of the tickets!

When cashiers ask for donations, I usually just say "Not today."
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: gellchom on April 16, 2014, 03:07:52 PM
I usually say "not today," too, if I don't want to add a dollar or round up for charity.

It has been very interesting learning in this discussion about the reasons companies do this, the requirements placed on cashiers, and how the information is or may be used.

Getting back to the etiquette issues, though, I still feel that whatever the reason for the request for information, there is no need for or benefit to being nasty or even short with the cashier about it.  "Sorry, I'd rather not" has always worked just fine for me.  It gets the job done just as well as ragging on them about it or an abrupt "No," and it keeps everyone's day a little more pleasant.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Miss March on April 16, 2014, 03:12:27 PM
Recently deceased comedian, John Pinette, does a very funny bit about being asked for info when making a purchase.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_KRtj351kE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_KRtj351kE)
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Marga on April 16, 2014, 03:51:14 PM
Recently deceased comedian, John Pinette, does a very funny bit about being asked for info when making a purchase.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_KRtj351kE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_KRtj351kE)

This had me laughing out loud!
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Teacup on April 16, 2014, 05:25:01 PM
I work in one of these jobs that requires us to ask for all of your personal info.  I'm glad so many people realize it's a requirement.   :D

They do track our results weekly, daily, and even hourly.  If we don't meet our goals we get the pleasure of being on a before work early Friday morning conference call and, if that doesn't help, we get the pleasure of being written up.  They can even track false information by store and employee number, so we can't just enter no.thanks@fake.com and get credit (it's suprising how seriously they track the fake info gathering). 

Having said that, it's possible to be meet the goals and still be polite.  Saying "no thanks" or even "no" (in a pleasant tone) should be enough. Should this not be enough, you have every right to take your business elsewhere. 

You were polite, she was doing her job, and many wise members have correctly identified the correct people towards which to direct your ire, corporate.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: CrazyDaffodilLady on April 16, 2014, 06:51:51 PM
Teacup, Would you prefer that people don't give fake information?  I have a fake phone number and email address that I give if it's easier than arguing about the matter.  Several places identify me by phone number, and it's sometimes helpful to me for them to have a record of my past purchases, but I DO NOT want them calling me. 
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Aquamarine on April 16, 2014, 07:29:35 PM
I work in one of these jobs that requires us to ask for all of your personal info.  I'm glad so many people realize it's a requirement.   :D

They do track our results weekly, daily, and even hourly.  If we don't meet our goals we get the pleasure of being on a before work early Friday morning conference call and, if that doesn't help, we get the pleasure of being written up.  They can even track false information by store and employee number, so we can't just enter no.thanks@fake.com and get credit (it's suprising how seriously they track the fake info gathering). 

Having said that, it's possible to be meet the goals and still be polite.  Saying "no thanks" or even "no" (in a pleasant tone) should be enough. Should this not be enough, you have every right to take your business elsewhere. 

You were polite, she was doing her job, and many wise members have correctly identified the correct people towards which to direct your ire, corporate.

Yet management continues to wring their hands and wonder why everyone seems to be using Amazon.  Just saying.  It's just soooo much less hassle.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Elfmama on April 16, 2014, 10:07:17 PM
Teacup, Would you prefer that people don't give fake information?  I have a fake phone number and email address that I give if it's easier than arguing about the matter.  Several places identify me by phone number, and it's sometimes helpful to me for them to have a record of my past purchases, but I DO NOT want them calling me.
Unless you know that the fake number you are giving out is a  null number, or maybe someone's fax line, please don't give out a fake number.  You're just shifting those annoying phone calls to someone else.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: CrazyDaffodilLady on April 16, 2014, 10:33:34 PM
The phone number I give has the local area code but a prefix from a nearby city.  The number doesn't actually exist and never will.  When forced to give an email address, I use a made-up name and domain like daffgrrl@pinkhotel.net.

I don't understand why an employee would be blamed for customers giving fake information.  If it's a big problem, management ought to figure out that customers do it because they don't want to give their real information.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Fer on April 16, 2014, 10:59:51 PM
[q]When forced to give an email address, I use a made-up name and domain[/q]
Just like with phone numbers, please make sure the domain isn't in use. 

I have a personal domain set up for my blog and email.  I have a specific email address, but anything sent to [mydomain] hits my inbox, whether it's addressed to [me@mydomain] or not.  In addition to the usual spambot stuff, periodically I get a flood of spam sent to [madeupname@mydomain], where someone has clearly used it as a fake address.  It can get frustrating trawling through the emails to clear them, block them, and find actual personal correspondance addressed to me!
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Isisnin on April 17, 2014, 10:49:10 AM
Teacup, Would you prefer that people don't give fake information?  I have a fake phone number and email address that I give if it's easier than arguing about the matter.  Several places identify me by phone number, and it's sometimes helpful to me for them to have a record of my past purchases, but I DO NOT want them calling me.

I can't speak for Teacup or her store, but where I work as a cashier, when customers don't give their info some employees will enter fake info to meet the quota they are assigned. 

E.g.   a neighbor works as a cashier for the same chain store, but in a different town.  Neighbor told me a story about an employee at that store who was constantly praised and awarded for meeting and surpassing the quota. Management kept saying to all the other employees  "if "great employee" can do it - you can too!".  Well, neighbor worked next to "great employee" and constantly saw "great employee" entering false information to meet and exceed quota.  E.g. customer would give name and phone number but wouldn't give email address, so "great employee" would enter a made up email like "noemailagain@email.com".  So "great employee" got credit for signing up a new member.  Eventually, "great employee" was caught and fired.

I won't enter fake information, but I get a lot of customers who WILL NOT give their emails address.  I suggest that they sign up for a shopping email address with one of the free email providers.  Then they don't have to ever actually have to go into that email address again if they don't want to, but they can give it out to the stores so they can get the discounts.   Everyone loves that idea and a couple customers came back to me to sign up with their new shopping email addresses.

But I really hate this whole member thing and getting credit apps.  I recently had a customer say that he was rejected last year and should he apply again.  Well, the store would've wanted me to say yes and get the credit app from him.  I told him it was too soon to apply again.  Fortunately, management wasn't' around to hear that conversation.

Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: rose red on April 17, 2014, 11:42:01 AM
I don't give any information to stores anymore. I had the same email address for over 5 years without one spam. After I gave it to a certain store, I started getting them. I don't believe it's the store sending them, but perhaps it's some security hole in their system that gave scammers access to the customer file. Yes, I know everybody gets spam, but perhaps I would still be one of the lucky few who doesn't if I hadn't given that store my email.

So I'll be polite to cashiers because it's not their fault, but my answer will always be a big fat NO. I refuse to even make up fake information.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: Teacup on April 17, 2014, 12:54:07 PM
I personally would rather customers just say no thank you, but I can't speak for everyone.  If it is easier for you to give out fake info, go ahead.  Cashiers usually know not to enter egregiously fake information and can usually take the hint when you give it out.  I don't feel like it's inherently rude to give out fake info and I don't know all the legality of it, but I myself prefer a "no thank you." Keep in mind, I have to respond with something like "Okay, just so you know, that's how we send you coupons and special offers.  Let us know if you ever change your mind."

The fake info tracking catches the obvious stuff, i.e. 555 prefix phone numbers, names without vowels (yes I know those do actually exist), fake cities, addresses like '123 Random Back Alley', using celebrity names repeatedly, using your own information repeatedly to get credit, just to name a few.  A few of those could be attributed to typing errors, so they usually only approach someone if they have many, many flagged entries.  Although, last year at least three associates in the district got caught entering false info, so the pressure to meet the goal is definitely there.

In the long run, that's their problem to deal with, not yours as the customer.  In all honesty though, on days when most of my customers have been mean about refusing to give information I have been known to find an extra coupon for the first customer that says 'no' politely and with a smile.  I goes a long way to make my day better, so I want to pay it back. ;)
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 17, 2014, 04:02:58 PM
I don't mind giving my zip code and do provide an email address for a few stores that I already get email from.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: JenJay on April 17, 2014, 05:54:06 PM
I have a yahoo email account that I use to sign up for deals, both in store and online. It does get a ton of spam but it's all filtered to the spam folder. Legit emails re points, coupons, etc. make it into the inbox.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: miranova on April 18, 2014, 02:18:43 PM
There are a few stores that I actually like getting coupons from.  When I shop at those stores and they ask for my email address I am able to truthfully say "oh you already have it, I get your emails all the time".  This seems to work.

Anyone else I just say "I don't give that out" with a smile.  It sounds more final than "no thank you" to me and I don't get a lot of pushback from it.

Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: CrazyDaffodilLady on April 18, 2014, 03:37:00 PM
Yesterday the cashier at Michael's asked for my email address, but was pleasant when I refused.

Today I saw the news that Michael's has been hacked.
http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/michaels-hacked-as-many-as-26-million-cards-affected/25545876 (http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/michaels-hacked-as-many-as-26-million-cards-affected/25545876)

According to the story, Michael's has been aware of the problem for over three months.
Title: Re: When "No Thank You" dosen't work...what next?
Post by: jedikaiti on April 18, 2014, 05:24:33 PM
Yep - and much to my annoyance, I had to find out from the news today, instead of any kind of contact from them. Never mind that they've got at least one of my email addresses! And yes, I checked my spam folders.