• When a retailer asks me for my zip code, I smile pleasantly and say “12345.” When they ask for my phone number, I smile pleasantly and say (whatever area code I’m in) 555-1212.

  • I really have no difficulty simply saying “I prefer not to give you that information”, but then, I’m a highly trained lawyer fulled prepared to litigate the consequences of my own actions all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States.

  • “Lie, lie, lie! Pollute their databases with false information at every opportunity!”

  • These days I usually ask “What’s the zip code here?” and give it back.

    It created too much hassle for me to decline. Honestly. Clerks at some stores that ask for this apparently had not been trained to accomodate customers who refused and were unable to figure out on their own how to continue with transaction without inputting the customer’s information.

  • When a retailer asks me for my zip code, I smile pleasantly and say “12345.”

    That’s all well and good unless you live in Schenectady, NY.

  • I say that I’m homeless…..

  • The reason they ask is because, if they start getting a lot of answers from another town, they might consider opening a store in that town. My Kmart asks me every time and I live in the same town, but I just count it as *my* cost of doing business. If I don’t want to answer, I’ll choose to shop elsewhere.

    Sometimes if using a credit card, especially at a gas station, you might be asked for your zip code as a check on whether you are the cardholder.

  • I would be quite happy to have the stores I frequent open locations closer to my home. I don’t get how it’s scary or improper to give (or request) this sort of information.

  • Ben — If you put on a tin foil hat, you would.

  • The part I’m still not clear on is did W-S refuse to complete the transaction without the zip code or did they just ask for it. To me there is a big difference there, but probably not to the California Supreme Court as this is not the first, and probably not the last, over-reaching decision they have ever made.

    I once used the 555-1212 at a Circuit City and the young clerk responded with “Gosh, there are over two thousand people who have that same number.” I didn’t have the heart to tell her and I guess she never watched TV or went to the movies.

    OTOH, Lowe’s adds your phone number to the receipt in their computers so if you need to return something and you can’t find the receipt the clerk can look it up for you.

    The plaintiff in this case probably has one of those Safeway Club Cards and would be really shocked to learn they not only know what kind of tampons she uses, but when her last period was…

    Anyone who believes there is such a thing as anonymity these days should call me, I have a bridge for sale. If you are real nice I might throw in some beach front property at no additional cost.

    Get over it folks the war is over; Google won!

  • The Zip code for Gitmo is 09360. Just saying.


  • I’m kind of fond of 90210 and love to watch the reaction. They know they’re heard it somewhere but can’t pin it down.

  • […] course, for those of you with a more cynical bent, Overlawyered has another explanation for the statute.  Print Post |  Email Post | Comments (0) | […]

  • I actually get warm-fuzzies when my favorite grocery store asks for my zip code. I think it’s great that they track purchases made by folks in my zip code–I want them to know which items to stock at their different locations, and where to open new ones. Loyalty cards, on the other hand, are an extremely creepy privacy invasion…

  • If they want my information, they need to pay for it. My answer always is: “I’ll trade you for a 20% discount”. 🙂

  • […] The lawsuits against store chains over inquiries in check-out lines were just the start: one lawyer has sued gas station operators on the theory that it violates state law to ask drivers at the pump to key in their zip code to verify their credit cards. [Russell Jackson, earlier] […]