Too Much Information..

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Marcie Mac, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    What is it with companies wanting to know all this stuff that is none of their business?

    This morning I went to the gas station, and went to buy a pack of cigarettes. Clerk says "Can I have your birthdate and year" Mmmmm no.... Well I cant sell you a pack of cigarettes unless you give me your birthdate and year. I tell her put your birthdate - she says she can't - they were doing that and got caught cause they apparently LOOK at these dates, and wrote up almost all the clerks for not following the rules. So I said forget it, cancel my gas and cancel my cigarettes - got in my car, drove across the street and gave them my business. sigh...
    Although I would love to pass for a nubile 18 year old, that isn't the case here.

    At lunch, I go to a retail store to buy something for the office. Girl says can I have your zip code. MMMMM....what for. So we can see who is shopping here - and they use it to see if they need to open a new store. I told her no. If you were packed to the gills, and I ALWAYS had to wait in line, maybe, but I have never been in this store where there are more than 20 people max, even at Christmas - put in your zip code.

    Then after work, I go to a fast food restaurant to get take out. She punches in my order and asks me for my name as I am handing her my atm card cause she HAS to put it in to finish my order cause they are using a new system. This is a place I go to frequently, and I get my receipt with a number on it, and they call my number, I get my food, and proceed merrily on my way. It took me aback for a second. Then she starts glaring at me....I told her to look on the card - she says what - I said LOOK ON THE CARD - I think they would have to peel me off the ceiling at this point if I told her and she said is that with an "ie" or "y". She starts banging at the keys entering my name. So my take out comes to the counter - and they call my out my......number

    I am pretty sure they get more information than they need every time I use my debit card. I have even had people ask me for my cell phone number to put in - what is the deal with that.

    Plus I never sign my name on the back of a credit card - I print ASK FOR ID. Its rare they even look at the back of my card anyway. It threw one big store for a loop, cashier had to call over the manager and she apologized that they couldn't sell me my order cause I didn't sign my card with an actual signature. Told her to put back the 400.00 worth of bedding and I will go elsewhere to buy it if they didn't like the idea of me trying to protect myself and didn't have the time to look at my drivers license.

    I think I am getting a little militant in my old age (I was bad enough when I was younger). SO laughs when we go out to dinner and there is a line cause I always make up a name. When I go to sit back down he says "what name am I listening for this time.

  2. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    Oh, you would love the one clothing store that I go to. They ask for phone #s when you check out. Um duh why would I give that out so they can sell it to others to call with all sorts of **** I dont' want. I agree they ask for way too much. The other day at walmart the guy asked to see my husband's id to buy a dvd. Ok no biggie at first. He actually slid it through the thing. Ummmm I have big time issues with that. NO, No , No. I have no idea what all they put on those but whatever it is the stupid people at walmart don't need that info. I freaked out. The guy said they had to do it that way now. I said I guess I am not buying R rated dvds from there again. No thank you.

    I so agree with you that they ask for way too much information.

    When does it end. I thought we had the right to privacy. Hmmm I must be confusing that with something else.

  3. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    The birthdate wouldn't bother me because they have to enter that by law as some kind of precaution to insure cigarettes aren't being sold to minors. If they carded you, they would just put in your birthdate from your ID.

    The zip code doesn't bother me, either. It really doesn't reveal anything about me and I'd love to have some of these stores closer to me.

    The name at the fast food restaurant would annoy me and I'd say so. Then I'd tell them my name is Jane. Really. What could they possibly need that for?

    I don't sign the back of my debit card either and some stores actually ask for my ID. I've never been refused a purchase because of it. Someone there was not educated on that.

    I don't have a cellphone, but if I did I would not being giving the number out.

    My personal pet peeve - and I'm probably alone in this - is how companies treat their customers so....informally, I guess. They call you by your first name. That grates on me. I would never address a client or customer by their first name unless they told me it was ok. Most of them do, but I never start out that way. And the one that really got me...AEP our electric company....when you called their customer service dept you got Mr. or Mrs. So and So, yet they addressed you by your first name. When they did that, I corrected them and said it's Ms. XXXX. They'd get upset. But they never gave out their first name. I have to admit, I made a few comments about that one. Now, several years later, they've changed and use their first names and ask permission to address you by your first name.

    Thing is, I wasn't raised in the South (lived there starting at age 15) so I never learned the Ma'am and Sir thing. We aren't a 'formal' family. I just think there's a certain ways you treat the people who are the reason you are getting a paycheck.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I'm a difficult child at heart. (reformed, I suppose but difficult child none the less)

    I refuse to give out my zip code and inform them it is none of their business.

    I won't own a bank card nor a credit card. I pay in cold hard cash. I throw a tantrum at walmart if they try not to give me cash back for a refund. Uh, no. I pay in cash, I don't want your stupid gift card as my refund, thank you. (I usually have to have the store manager called in for this)

    I never give out my phone number.

    I don't show my ID for cigarettes. I shop at the same gas station every single day to buy them. When there is a new cashier and they try to card me I give them my birthdate instead. (manager knows I'll go somewhere else)

    Years ago I know Meijers started a thing about asking for customer's SS#'s when they wrote a check. Customers threw a hissy fit. Those that didn't know the dangers were warned by many of the cashiers. (myself included) And then they threw a hissy. Policy changed to optional, then vanished.

    Ask me for my name and you probably won't get my real one. Depends on why I think you're asking.

    I'm teaching my kids to be the same way. At first husband thought I'd gone a bit off my nut. Now days he agrees and follows suit.

    It won't be long and businesses will distroy our right to privacy if customers don't put their foot down and put a stop to it.

    Just my opinion. But this has been a sore spot for me for some time now.
  5. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Heather - See, I don't mind being called by my first name at all but I do have a thing about people not being able to pronounce my last name - maybe it is a Cali thing, and Irish last names here are rare - but am amazed at the amount of people who obviously havent even learned to pronounce phonetically.

    Everytime I hear someone call out my name as Mrs... Ma... Ma... Ma ....Muck mmmmm Macamora ??? I want to slap them silly - makes me think of that song "I'm turning Japanese, I'm turning Japanese I really think so" every darn time. If I have trouble with pronouncing someones name, I always ask them if they would mind saying it for me first before I made a mess of it..

  6. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    My first name is so unusual that there is only one other of me in the US at this point. It's all of four letters and is spelled logically.

    Still, people come up with everything other than the phonetic spelling. They just don't hear the pronunciation.

    I understood while l living in Germany that it'd get butchered as pronunciation rules are different. I used to write it out in accordance and say, "write this, but say it like that", and we were fine.

    on the other hand, my last name in Germany was much like being named "Smith" in the US.

    My vet and doctor both used to ask for the "American Mrs. xxx" when calling me into the office and that worked fine.

    I am ashamed to admit that I went most of the way through a box of checks over here before realizing that they had my first name spelled wrong.
  7. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I'm with Heather. I really don't like people being overly friendly. You call me by my first name and (1) odds are you'll mispronounce it anyway and (2) I'll guarantee you you will get this response, "Do you know me? Am I a friend of yours?" I usually get a long pause and then a no. Then I ask, "Well, if you're not my friend and you don't know me, why are you calling me by my first name?" Mind you, I did this when I was in my 20s and still do it in my 50s. I like a little formality in my life. I don't like people who don't know me misprouncing my name.

    I don't mind giving out my zip code because it really is done to see where to open a store. You don't get my phone number unless there is a reason that I want you to call me -- not my home, not my cell. I'll happily tell you I'll make up a phone number but you don't get my real number. I've even told clerks to put in their phone number. I've also held up lines while clerks call their manager. Barring one time at Sears (my nemesis of stores), the phone number became a non-issue.

    Like Marcie and Heather, my cards say ask for ID. Never had a problem with it and a few clerks have commented that they think it is a very smart idea and do the same thing.

    One of my biggest pet peeves/fears is having a grocery clerk do the, "Thank you for shopping with us, Ms. XYZ." Sorry, I really don't need my name broadcast through the checkout line. I flat out tell them to not use my name before they even start checking me out. Granted, part of it is paranoia because of past experiences but the other part is just a dislike of my personal information made public. This frequently causes some consternation and confusion. I actually had to write a letter to one grocery chain that their new policy was stupid and downright dangerous. It took them about a week to change their policy that all clerks had to say a person's name!
  8. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member

    I've a very simple and phonetic name. It's Italian, but it's three lousy syllables and you can't imagine how people butcher it. My mother's family names get really butchered.

    As for all that info....I was somewhere where they actually put your driver's licence in their computer every time someone bought cigs. I hated getting behind someone in line for that. Now, they do it everytime you buy cold medicine. This drive's me insane! I hate when stores ask for phone numbers too. That ticks me off more than you can imagine.
  9. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    My current pet peeve is trying to buy allergy medications. Look, I understand that methamphetamine is a big problem, but meth labs don't buy cold medicine a package at a time.

    I HATE having to go through filling out forms and turning over my driver's license to buy a measely month's worth of tablets just so I can breathe.

    Especially as you couldn't make enough meth to get one good high out of one pack of allergy pills!

    Social Security numbers? It infuriates me. The SSN tracking was meant only to track payment into the FICA system and technically it's against privacy laws.

    Why should I need to provide that to open a utility account or bank account or whatnot?

    by the way, if you provide a driver's license number, it is linked to your SSN.

    You want my phone number? Oh, you'll get it, with the numbers scrambled.

    Birth date doesn't bother me,and clerks are stuck with that one as most modern sales systems won't accept tobacco or liquor sales without either the clerk entering a code stating the purchaser is over thirty or forty, or the entry of a birth date.

    I don't care about giving my birth date and I don't care about looking over forty. I'm pushing fifty and I look it.

    I also don't use credit cards though I do have a debit card. Everything is done by cash or direct debit.

    Zipcode is a demographics thing for marketing. They want to know what sells in a given area. I don't give mine out. It's a MYOB issue in my humble opinion.
  10. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    Two renewals ago, Ohio made it an "option" that you didn't need to have your SSN on it, so of course, I had mine taken off.
    What they didn't tell you was the next time you came in for renewal (or if you took your child in for temps or license test) you would need to show them your SS card!
    I don't carry my SS card with me (for obvious reasons).
    Telling the BMV your SSN is not good enough. They need to see your actual card.

    Of course, if you've gotten a SS card recently, you will notice the US Government has removed the words "not to be used for identification" from the card. Even they have given up on it.

    There are plans out there for "wired" refrigerators, etc. Things you purchase will have small chips in them, and the fridge will transmit what you have purchased to a central processor that will then let companies know who is or isn't buying their products. Of course, these are being called "conveniences" because you will be emailed, etc. when your milk is low or expired. I call it breach of privacy.
    Some of the Matrix cards (ID cards) that companies use also can be used to tell the company how often a person goes to the restroom, or where in the building they are and how long they spend there. Depending on the technology used, it can even go so far as to tell if you are out in the parking lot.
    Cars can now transmit to insurance companies, etc. whether you drive the speedlimit, or go over it, what roads you drive on, etc.

    All of these things have good uses, but can be taken WAY to the extreme. It really is that old "slippery slope" argument.
  11. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I don't mind the ZIP code thing so much. The town I live in is so small, we all have the same ZIP code. I usually pay by check and my home phone number and address is already on my checks. The gas station I go to always asks for a second phone number now - I give my work number. I NEVER give my cell phone number. Only my kids and a few people at work have my cell phone number and it's going to stay that way! I never even turn it on anyway. I just keep it with me for emergencies. I've had some ask for my email address too - ain't getting that either!

    The thing I HATE is being asked to announce how old I am in front of a whole grocery store full of customers just so I can buy cigarettes! I would like to think that my appearance could cause them to question whether I was old enough to buy cigarettes, but I turned 62 in February, so who am I kidding!!! I live a half block away from this grocery store and I'm in there almost every day so they know me and don't ask. A lot of the cashiers are young - high school kids working part time. Occasionally there will be a cheerful little new one who will loudly ask, "BIRTHDATE?" ... and all the nosey folks waiting in line will turn around and stare at me intently, waiting for me to answer! And that's when I narrow my eyes Clint Eastwood style, assume my most evil look, and hiss at them, "Make one up!" ... and they do! And they never ask again!
  12. babybear

    babybear New Member

    So has anyone come across those "pay with you fingerprint" things? We have them in the grocery store. I find them rather creepy.
  13. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Try applying for jobs. I think every business in Vegas has my SSN now...and you don't even get to meet them. It's all online. So now, my SSN is in every database known to mankind.

    I crack up at the ID for cigs. I just laugh and say, "Look at me. My kids are old enough to smoke!" I'm sure there was some lawsuit in the past that forces them to ask.

  14. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Marcie, i'm with you. i won't give phone number or e mail address. Zip code doesn't bother me.
    We always give husband's first name for restaurants. Makes it easier.
    although, i'm concerned about identity theft, i am more bothered by solicitations. i don't want people calling me. We never give SS#.
  15. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I admit, my last name is difficult and no one gets it right. It's Polish and has the double consonant thing going on. It's not easy. But, if they try it, I'll tell them how to pronounce it. I just really don't like people I don't know presuming they can address me so informally. I'm not an uppity person. I just think it's proper manners.

    Our former pediatrician's office used to verify your name, address, phone number and insurance information loudly and it could be heard by all in the waiting room even after HIPPA went into effect. Even though, I'd state that nothing had changed, they would still insist on reading out loud this information. They stated they were required to do this. I have an unlisted number and they were just broadcasting it even though I would try to stop them every time and tell them nothing had changed. I said something to the doctor and he said that wasn't his area and I'd need to call the office manager. I raised a stink with the office manager and they finally had to write in red on my kids' files that they weren't to do this.

    Of course, this is the same practice that tried to tell me that I wasn't allowed to have copies of my children's medical records when I was leaving the practice because it was the doctor's records on my children. So, I sent them a nice certified letter outlining the section of applicable law and let them know that if I had to take them to court to get them, they would be responsible for my attorney and court fees.
  16. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Zip codes are for marketing purposes. They are looking to see what their demographic base is and where their next store should be located. I never give out my zip code as I enjoy living in a mostly farmed area away from the insidiousness of having a strip mall on every corner.

    I never EVER give out my SS#. I had a DR's office ask for my SS# on my medical form and I left it blank. The receptionist called me up to the desk and asked in hushed tones for it again. I whispered back that I don't give out that info. She asked for a copy of my license instead, clearly annoyed that I would suggest HER of any wrongdoing in regards to my SS# - DUH. Why would a DR's office need that information??

    Many stores collect phone numbers to put you on their mailing lists. I never give out my phone numbers anymore. I used to have a mailbox filled with catalogs, but no more. In particular, I remember getting sometimes 4-5 Victoria Secret catalogs a week! I finally asked them why they sent them even after I cancelled them and they told me that every time I give my phone number out I am back on the catalog list. How ridiculous is that?

    I think in today's world, especially in view of the way our government has created a legal way to pry into our personal information, we must guard that personal information more than ever.
  17. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I give out Matt's phone number.

  18. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member

    BBK, That's funny!
  19. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Big Brother is obviously standng there with open arms :(

    In Ca. they are trying to pass a law where you have some sort of devise on your heater/airconditioner starting next year that would let THEM control how much heat/air you get during those days where it is really hot/cold and everyone is using.

    Our electric meter is hooked with something so they never have to come into the yard and read the meter - The gas company still sends out some guy with a pair of binoculars on a stick and he peers over the fence trying to get a read every month.

  20. HI!

    Legally you do not have to give your social security number out for anything or anyone. Not even in a doctors office. Only on a credit application with a signature.

    I have a secret identity and always pay in cash. Meaning when I am asked my name I say it is Imano - last name Giveu. Then they repeat it. Imano? Giveu? Yes thats my name. I don't have to prove it because I pay cash and not debit.

    As far as my zip code they are always impressed with the numbers from the Norwegian town closest to the physical North pole. See US systems are not set up for foreign zip codes. Your problem not mine.

    And as far as my birthday? Easy to remember - January 1, 1900. I always hear "Oh maam you mean 19??. I say "You asked me for my birthday and that's what I gave you - IF you think it's hard to believe I am 107 years old, then you shouldn't be here asking redundant questions. And at 107 do I really have to get permission to buy cigarettes? I was growing tobacco before your Grandmother was born.

    As far as calling out our name in restaurants? Harry Potter. Yes. Harry Potter; magical party of 4. We used to say Elizabeth Windsor, but it lacked a certain air unless you arrive by coach with 3 Welsh Corgis in tow.

    My best suggestion would be to make up your alter ego, pay cash, and enjoy the little joke to yourself.

    Dances With Wolves