Thursday, May 25, 2006

When stores ask for personal info, comply or don't buy

QUESTION: A few days ago I was paying for my purchases at a retail (national chain) clothing store in Colorado Springs. The head manager demanded to know my phone number and my home address and insisted that she couldn’t “complete my transaction” nor could she “get out of the system” unless I gave her that information. I've heard of other businesses demanding the same information from their patrons at the checkout counter. What I want to know is, are we customers REQUIRED to give that information before we can pay for our purchases and leave the store?
-J. Moore

ANSWER: Rebecca Herrera, director of operations at the Better Business Bureau, checked with several agencies. The Federal Trade Commission does not have a law enforcing whether companies/businesses can require customers to give this information. In short: it’s store policy. Her advice is that when the person at the point of sale says she can’t complete the transaction without personal information, the consumer must make the decision whether or not to continue with the purchase.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fake address / fake phone number...problem solved.

2:30 PM, May 25, 2006  
Anonymous Michelle said...

I normally have given fake info, because I live in Woodland Park and I don't want more big box stores up here. But now, some credit card machines require that the billing zip code is entered to process. Argh!

8:13 AM, May 27, 2006  
Blogger Victoria said...

I understand giving some info at the time of purchase -> zip code for example can help the business determine which areas (and advertising) are driving business into the store...

However, with the threat of identity theft looming large in at least my consiousness as I provide information online and offline - I'd certainly think twice about the data I decide to share... even with some of my favorite stores!

9:33 PM, June 06, 2006  
Blogger roastedbeans said...

In regards to a Visa or Mastercard used to pay; merchants cannot require anything beyond your matching signature. That's right, they can't even ask for an ID!

1:04 AM, July 02, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to know if they can legally ask a child for this same info. My 12 year old daughter was asked for her home phone number while shopping with 3 friends who are all clearly under the age of 18.

6:14 AM, August 18, 2012  

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