Author Topic: How to Refuse to give personal info  (Read 13044 times)

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snowdragon

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Re: How to Refuse to give personal info
« Reply #75 on: March 24, 2013, 06:43:03 PM »
Did you confirm that it is store policy?  Is it possible that the cashier misunderstood or decided to take a hard line on her own?

I have written corporate about the incident and have not received any reply.

Tea Drinker

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Re: How to Refuse to give personal info
« Reply #76 on: March 24, 2013, 07:01:20 PM »
When I don't want to give my actual information, I give a valid phone number that won't reach me or bother anyone else: a valid area code (often my own) + 555-1212, for phone information. That's mostly for online stuff, where there isn't a person I can tell "no thank you" or "I prefer not to give that out."

For email, anything-at-all@example.com (or .org or .net) is a valid email address, but any email sent there will be thrown away: those domains exist to be used when giving examples as examples in textbooks, on websites, and the like. A human is likely to notice that they're not being given your real address, but it'll get around "I can't process this without an email address" because you can say something like "OK, then, just give it store@example.com." (In theory, a programmer could set things up to reject those, but for random marketing stuff at a cash register, they're very unlikely to bother.)
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TootsNYC

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Re: How to Refuse to give personal info
« Reply #77 on: March 24, 2013, 07:37:33 PM »
Unless the product is alcohol or medication, the birthdate is about marketing.  If a company thinks its products appeal to people 18-24 I think it wants to know if the majority of purchasers are really 25-44.

I agree that this doesn't make it any less annoying.

If this annoys you enough, e-mail the corporate office and complain.  Nobody likes to lose business.

then ask me what YEAR I was born in.

TootsNYC

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Re: How to Refuse to give personal info
« Reply #78 on: March 24, 2013, 07:45:55 PM »

I think that shopping somewhere, knowing their store policy and refusing to comply with it is rude.

I cannot tell you how wrong I think you are.

This is business, and rudeness (in terms of policy) often does not apply. In this instance, it doesn't apply.

Bottlecaps

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Re: How to Refuse to give personal info
« Reply #79 on: March 25, 2013, 12:01:58 AM »
Birthdate does seem excessive, but there are some situations where they honestly do need at least your accurate name, phone number, and/or zip code. Mr. Bottlecaps works in auto parts and if you're buying a part that comes with a warranty, they'll ask for your information because they use it to look up the purchase in the event that they need to honor the warranty and exchange your part. Of course you do have the right to refuse to give your information, but make sure you don't lose that receipt. :) He told me that he always politely lets people know if they refuse to give the information that it's solely for their warranty purposes and just lets them know not to lose the receipt if they don't feel comfortable giving the information out.

I'm sure that wasn't the case here though, and it does seem odd that they'd ask for your information for a natural cleaning product.

This still wouldn't be an exception.  There are other ways to look me up as a customer.  I'm okay with providing my name, and honestly, even though it's an extremely common name (both first and last names), I've never had a problem with stores finding me that way.  In one notable case, I'd needed tire service in Minnesota and my tires had been purchased in Florida.  The shop in Minnesota was perfectly able to find my records even though by that time I'd changed the state my car was tagged in.  Granted, he was about to give up and go get the VIN number off my car, but he was able to find me without it.

I worked for a bank for a long time and it's surprising how little bits of information can be used to commit things like account take over fraud and identity fraud.

Hence the reason it's not required, as long as the customer will have their receipt should they need to exchange the part under the warranty. Also, just to clarify, they don't need all three pieces of information - just a name or phone number will suffice for warranty purposes. I apologize for not making that more clear in my original post - it did sound like they asked for all three. There are those who don't want to give out any information at all (and that's understandable), but in that case they will have to bring the receipt, in legible condition, or else the warranty won't be honored.

That's the only time I would be willing to give out my personal information to a store, for warranty purposes, unless I had an ongoing relationship with the store and was part of a rewards program or something (for example, a drugstore chain has used my phone number a few times to apply my points when I accidentally left my rewards card at home).

In any case, I think a simple "No, thank you," said in a polite tone, should suffice if you prefer not to give personal information out to a store (or anyone, for that matter). If pressed, stand firm. :)
"Some of the most wonderful people are the ones who don't fit into boxes." -Tori Amos


Possum

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Re: How to Refuse to give personal info
« Reply #80 on: March 25, 2013, 12:26:32 AM »
I hate this practice! Yankee Candle always asks for my phone number at the register. The sales person always tries to convince me, saying "It's so we can send you coupons." But how would knowing my unlisted phone number help them mail me coupons? That never makes sense to me.
I just always tell them I don't have a smart phone.  No smart phone, no way for them to send my phone coupons. 

Even though I'm being truthful now, I intend to continue this reply pretty much forever.

(PS--These captchas are killing me on this site, I have to listen to them all to decipher them.)

Bottlecaps

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Re: How to Refuse to give personal info
« Reply #81 on: March 25, 2013, 12:32:52 AM »
(PS--These captchas are killing me on this site, I have to listen to them all to decipher them.)

Someone please do correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you only have to do the captcha for your first five or ten posts, just to prove you're not a spam robot. :)
"Some of the most wonderful people are the ones who don't fit into boxes." -Tori Amos


bansidhe

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Re: How to Refuse to give personal info
« Reply #82 on: March 25, 2013, 01:13:33 AM »
Lurker here......I just want to point out a less than honest cashier can use the information (generic) you provide to match with credit card number to either fraudulently make purchases with the card number OR set up new accounts in your name.  I'm not saying that's the case, but I've heard of it happening.

My bank thinks this is exactly what happened to me - twice. The first time they just used the existing account and the second time they opened a new account in my name. I never shared much personal information but prior to this happening had thought it was OK to give my ZIP Code. I don't do that anymore.

I can't imagine why anyone would need a customer's name or date of birth in the situation the OP describes. Pretty sure I would have called over a manager in that situation.
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HappilyInsane

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Re: How to Refuse to give personal info
« Reply #83 on: March 25, 2013, 03:48:30 AM »
I once asked a store manager why they needed my zip code. He gave me a couple of good reasons, and I've never had a problem giving that to a store, but I've also never had a store refuse to complete a sale if I didn't unless it was a controlled substance (which the item in the OP was not).

For one, they do use it to determine if they need to open a store in another location and the second has to do with ad zones in your local paper. Newspapers divide their circulation in zones. Stores that put out ads pay to do so. They can choose to put ads in all zones or just certain ones. If you live in a town with more than one zip code, this helps the store determine which zones they are getting a lot of business from and make sure they get the ads into those zones.

Our town has 5 zip codes but one is the 'main' one. When in doubt, I give the main one. If I'm paying cash, it really doesn't matter because they have no other information on me.


Redwing

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Re: How to Refuse to give personal info
« Reply #84 on: March 25, 2013, 09:47:00 AM »
I don't have a problem giving my zip, but wouldn't like providing anything else.  I realize some stores have to input a date of birth for an alcohol purchase and I have no problem with that.  However, at one big box retailer, my husband was trying to purchase some nicorette as he was trying to quit smoking.  This store asked for his driver's license, not just to view it, but to scan it.  My husband politely refused and he didn't buy the nicorette there.  We both wondered why they would even need to verify his age.  I guess the small amount of nicotine that may be in the nicorette.  But, sorry, no cashier is scanning my driver's license for any reason.

Crazy Chicken Lady

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Re: How to Refuse to give personal info
« Reply #85 on: March 25, 2013, 12:50:33 PM »
I shop at Tractor Supply at least once a week for chicken or bunny food (amoung other things) and have only been asked my zip code. When the store in my town first opened up, the woman in front of me refused to give out her zip code. The assistant manager ,who was running the register, just smiled and told her he would just enter the store's zip code. He certainly didn't refuse to sell anything to her.

This definitely doesn't sound like a corporate policy. I'm surprised they haven't responded to you yet.

BeagleMommy

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Re: How to Refuse to give personal info
« Reply #86 on: March 25, 2013, 02:29:19 PM »
I usually tell cashiers that my phone number is unlisted (which it is) and I've never had a problem.  If they want other information it depends on the situation.  I will gladly provide i.d. if I'm purchasing alcohol or medication, but for most other purchases I just say "I prefer not to give out that information".  I've never had a problem.

Eden

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Re: How to Refuse to give personal info
« Reply #87 on: March 25, 2013, 03:49:37 PM »
The only time I couldn't get out of providing my personal info was for a store return. One store's policy was to require my phone number and address despite the fact that I had paid cash. I declined and the cashier could not move forward on the return in her register without the info. I finally gave it and told the cashier it was a terrible policy that would make me think twice about shopping there again, telling her I knew she didn't set policy, but she was the only person I had to complain to.

TootsNYC

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Re: How to Refuse to give personal info
« Reply #88 on: March 25, 2013, 05:11:03 PM »
a legitimate response. But the returning of purchased merchandise is a privilege that the store gives you, or it is a marketing tactic. But it is not your right.

And since they want to be able to verify that you exist (and are not the partner-in-crime of a dishonest employee), should they spot something that makes them fear fraud--or they want to know whether they have some customers who are returning many, many things, it's not unreasonable for them to say, "this is the condition under which we will accept returned merchandise."

It's not rude for you to refuse to comply. But they will have the right then to not accept the returned merchandise. And you then have the right to say, "I won't shop in your store."

none of it rude. All of it the natural give-and-take of business.

MariaE

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Re: How to Refuse to give personal info
« Reply #89 on: March 25, 2013, 05:28:11 PM »
I've worked in retail. We had to get addresses whenever people made a return in order to protect ourselves against serial returners. Though our clothes were cheap, we had a HUGE problem with people wearing the clothes and then returning them after the event was over. Repeat offenders could be caught once we had their address on file.
 
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