Sunday, December 17, 2006

What's you zip code?

That's the question I get more and more at the check-out as I shop around Wilkes-Barre. My answer is always 99732. Most of the time the clerk just enters it without thinking but this morning I was challenged. The young lady asked me where that was and I replied Nome Alaska. She asked if I lived there and I said no, I just like the zip code. She then informed me that she couldn't ring up the sale without the zip code of where I live. After few minutes of back and forth explaining to her that I knew why the marketing people want to know that but I wasn't willing to co-operate and it was no sweat off her ass where I lived or zip code I provided she still wouldn't take my money. So I left about $60 worth of merchandise on the belt and went to another store.

12 comments:

Bill Fitzpatrick said...

What an idiot of the cashier, Most dont tkae notice becuase they dont care, Im sure if you called the store and told them about what happned they could correct the problem, or better yet give u a gict card for like 5 bucks.
my gocery store has ur type in ur number if u dont bring ur club card, i use my real number becuase there is a very small employee discount, but i also have a fake number 570-555-4444,(the beauty is its in Philly so 570 means nothing to them) i use for fun and for customers who do not have cards. The namnet yat appears Allen Iverson.

Gort said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
David Yonki said...

The way to handle that situation for the cashier was to nod politely to you and say, "yes" and then tell you they had to enter a special store code, entering in a code for wilkes barre, kingston, kalimizoo, whatever worked to get the store the sale and you out the door. But employers employ such mindless robots who have no common sense whatsoever. I hope that store that you were in burns to the ground, all the mindless employees get unspeakable diseases that eliminate their skin in a most painful manner and that anyone holding stock in the place gets indicted for insider trading. Good for you leaving the sixty bucks on the table. Before I did that though, I would've asked for a manager, then leave the sixty bucks of stuff on the table and tell him why I was doing it and where I was taking my business. We are the only country in the world where our businsses make it hard for you to spend money. A few years ago, my wife after a brain injury in a car accident did not want to purchase a car. She was walking everywhere which was impractical. So I went to three car dealerships and said, "I have a $8,000 down pymnt, I want no less than $210.00 payment on the remainder of the deal and I want either a Taurus, Sable or Mystique. I want all three on the lot and I'll have the buyer come to pick out the one she wants. This is a slam dunk sale for you because she will buy one of these cars". No one would help me of the three main dealerships on Auto Row that I saw. The excuses ranged from "it would be too much work", to "you're not the buyer" to "we never did anything like that before". I was in sales (radio) at the time and I was astonished that these morons wouldn't take my money. I finally went to a dealership in Exeter where I got an old time sales guy wearing an Ozzie Nelson sweater who said yes and put the project together in one hour. My wife purchased the Mystique on her lunch hour, the guy had a sale that day and we've never even contemplated going back to the big three near the Woodlands because it was evident to me they didn't need or want our money. Then big surprise when these places go out of business and everybody blames the consumer for not supporting the local business climate! Yeah, right.

Kayak Dude said...

I have "See Driver's License" on the back of every credit & debit card I have instead of a signature. Needless to say, I'm only asked for my D/L about 10% of the time. I'm sure the same manager who drilled the zip code policy into that clerk's mind would fold in a minute if you asked for them.

pope george ringo said...

1984 for sure; Gort, was the payment by credit card? I once paid in cash and was asked not only for my zip code but also for my phone number {At Best Buy}; One day in the name of preventing identity theft, one will be instructed to provide a hand/ finger print at the register for authenticity. But I guess we don't care to spout about it/ perhaps we should write our congressman and Senators to protest this zip code thing before it gets out of hand. Can you provide links???

PA_Lady said...

Usually these are marketing tests to find out whether or not there are enough shoppers from a particular area to justify opening a store there. They were doing this all over Elmira about a year/18-mos ago. Wihin 6 mos, there was a new Panera Bread, an Outback, a Holiday Inn Express. Athens Twp even got a Lowe's.

t.g. said...

1. Good for you and Badassss! I tend to mess with them over this issue as well.

2. My favorites are 10048 (The zip code assigned to the Twin Towers) and 90210.

peace - t.g.

AboveAvgJane said...

I use 24601 -- Jean Valjean's prisoner number from Les Miserables. No one has caught on yet. Someone I know uses Nelson Mandela's prisoner number for something (I can't remember how many digits it has).

D.B. Echo said...

I've never worked in retail, but I try not to make clerks' jobs any more miserable than they already are. Most stores, I am sure, have a contingency for if a customer elects not to give out personally identifying information. But odds are that the clerk had it drilled into her head by her manager that she must, absolutely MUST, get that information from each and every customer - so the manager, in turn, can meet some arbitrary goal set by the corporate headquarters.

Check the company's website for information on what the magic words are to get a sale completed without giving out this information. Or call their customer service hotline, or even the local store and ask for the manager. Write a letter. Complain. But please don't take it out on the wage slaves at the cash registers. "Mindless robots" or not, they don't deserve to be abused by every customer who has a problem with company policy.

Joyful Alternative said...

Sounds like Radio Shack, which has been doing that sort of thing forever.

That doesn't bother me much unless I'm already irritable, but I hate those supermarket cards with which they track everything I buy; if I don't produce a card, I don't get the "sale" price. I can just see a future in which the supermarket sells this information to the health insurance companies, which then double my premium for buying too much instant coffee.

AboveAvgJane said...

DB,

I agree with you in principle, but won't give up personal information just to make someone's day easier. It is impossible to get the attention of those making the policy, to get them to stop it, so we have little choice but to deal with those in front of us. If someone asks for a zip code I will say "I'd rather not, thank you." If they insist I give the fictious one. They've done their job and I haven't provided data that I didn't want to provide.

Anonymous said...

I was asked this at a big departments store near the downtown square in Wilkes-Barre. I was a bit suprised when she asked me this. I said "is that legal". She did not replay in the slightest response why she needed this. But I eventually said, "i guess its for marketing purposes" , and "i'm from here in Wilkes-Barre". It would help if they put up a little index card with a "for business purposes, please tell us your zip (or city)", rather than make you feel like some sort of outsider who shouln't be shopping here. There is not too much personal info. given when you only give your zip code, not too much or any harm in that, but please post a little sign.