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How Do You Respond?

October 8th, 2011 at 09:16 pm

How do you respond when you go to a store (Best Buy, JC Penney) and they tell you they need your phone number, zip code, address, email address, etc. for a "survey"? Now, keep in mind I am not talking about information for if you are buying an extended warranty, applying for a credit card, or other service. I am talking about just going into the store to buy something and someone demands your phone number and/or zip code.

I personally decline and tell them if such information is required for a sale, they can either call a manager or lose a sale, because that information is not required to do a sale. They generally do give in, but I have had to get store management involved a couple of times.

I just get really uptight whenever people ask for my phone number, social security number, address, etc. for no good reason. I won't even give my social security number to a doctor's office, because even the insurance company does not have it. Obviously, the doctor needs my phone number and address, though. I must be in the minority on this issue because most of the time, they look at me like I have just grown three heads.

Why won't I give out such innocuous information as a zip code or phone number when it is not really needed, you might ask? Well, it's a privacy issue. I come into a store usually to buy a specific thing, not to apply for a home loan or credit card. And I don't need to be told whatever "wonderful" products they have, so I don't need spam or junk mail. I am an adult capable of dialing a phone or getting on the internet to find out what they do have, but they don't seem to understand that.

I think the only thing that I hate worse is when I go into a store and they want to sell me a credit card to save me some money. Yea, right, a 25% interest credit card is going to "save" me money.

I was just wondering how many other people there are out there like me.

8 Responses to “How Do You Respond?”

  1. My English Castle Says:

    You're not crazy--I won't give them any info either. I smile ever so sweetly and say, ala Bartleby, "I'd prefer not to."

  2. LuckyRobin Says:

    I don't give out that information either. Kmart always wants your zip code if you do an electronic transaction. I've said no and the person behind the counter just punches in their local zip code instead and are okay with it. Other places are a bit weird about it, though. I just tell them it is none of their business.

  3. Whitestripe Says:

    Eh. I don't really care that much. I figure there are tens of thousands whom live in my post code area.

  4. Petunia in an OP Says:

    I've started giving other zip codes in my area. I have not been asked for other information.

    I think this works best when you live in a city/suburb with many zip codes close by.

  5. creditcardfree Says:

    It is definitely your right not to give that information out. The company is gathering information to help them target their sales and understand where their customers come from. I see both sides...but go with what feels right for you.

  6. Jerry Says:

    @My English Castle - kudos for the Bartleby the Scrivener reference. =) Leads me back to high school English class.
    Yeah, there is no need to give that information up for an insurance company or a doctor's office. Be nice, but be firm!

  7. patientsaver Says:

    I'm with you, all the way. Wal-Mart lost a class action lawsuit on the very issue of asking for your zipcode when you pay using a credit card, and yet, they still follow the same practice!

    it irks me to no end. I always leave out my marital status (again, none of their business) and SS on new doctor patient forms, and most of the time they don't question it.

    It's not just a matter of privacy; it also increases the risk of ID theft. Sometimes, if people are pestering me for personal info, i'll tell them i experienced ID theft it he past and that i'm doubly cautious about releasing personal info; that sometimes helps make them back off.

  8. PauletteGoddard Says:

    When I'm asked for a zip code I smile sweetly and say "you can use the one we're in now."

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