Radio Shack Won't Accept Cash Without Your Home Address

Reader Tim went to Radio Shack to buy something or other and the manager refused to process his cash transaction without first learning his home address. Tim left the store and dashed off a quick email to us. He let us know he was going to contact Radio Shack about the incident, but felt certain that he’d be ignored.

He wasn’t. Within about an hour Tim was writing us to say he had $20 in gift certificates from Radio Shack.

Here’s Tim’s first letter:

Just left Radio Shack store in Jackson Mississippi located on Hwy 18.

Sales Associate took my name and telephone number prior to ringing up about sixty dollars worth of small parts. Refused to finalize cash transaction without my home address! I left the store as he was returning the stock to the shelves.

I have attempted to make Radio Shack aware of this incident as well as my contacting your site. Perhaps their sales are so good in these trying times that they are not interested in doing business with folks who aren’t
interested in giving them such information?

Seems highly unlikely, but the whole incident was witnessed by a fellow I assume to be the manager, but I’ve no way to confirm that. In any event, I will report to you any communications I receive from Radio Shack in regards to this incident. At this time I am limited to going through a form on their website. Why do I feel that will be ignored?

Thanks,

Tim

Wow. I emailed Radio Shack (thru an online form) and then I called their 800 number to report the treatment I had been given earlier in the day. I got thru directly to the Area Coordinator and he apologized profusely and offered me $20 in Radio Shack gift certificates. Turned out their local corporate office is right down the street from my house, so I went right over and picked up the gift certificates. That’s a pretty fast response to a complaint wouldn’t you say?

Turns out the guy who was abusing me is the freaking store manager! I don’t think he’s in for a pleasant evening.

Thanks,

Tim

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. slowinthefastlane says:

    Jim Fakerson at 123 Fake St. in whatever zip code you want will work fine. Telling a fib is not perjury at Radio Shack!

  2. leprofie says:

    They were first in asking for phone numbers and insisting that all transactions required a phone number. I always gave them the store phone number. Maybe give them the store address!

  3. elocanth says:

    @slowinthefastlane: True, but it’s admirable to bring attention to idiotic policy, as well.

  4. IrisMR says:

    Awesome. Glad to know they fixed their mistake… But now, will they ask for his address when he’ll try to use these certificates?

  5. jwarner132 says:

    @slowinthefastlane:
    Amen to that. My favorite is using Beverly Hills, 90210.

  6. curmudgeon5 says:

    I don’t know, maybe I’m just cranky, but this doesn’t seem like a total resolution to me. Did they indicate that they’re going to stop demanding needless personal information, or just offer the guy some gift certificates to get him to feel better about the experience?

  7. WhirlyBird says:

    I’ve had the same experience with my Radio Shack. I just give them fake information.

  8. valarmorghulis says:

    I’ve asked clerks for their home address before I will give them mine. Never had one give it to me.

  9. friendlynerd says:

    @slowinthefastlane:

    Should you have to in order to complete a cash sale?

  10. MissPeacock says:

    I had a cash return to make in Belk once and they would not complete the return until I’d given them my name, phone number, address, and DRIVER’S LICENSE NUMBER. I make it a point never to return to any place that requires this kind of info from me for a cash transaction.

  11. homerjay says:

    742 Evergreen Terrace, Springfield, Ohiyamaude.

    DONE

  12. SuffolkHouse says:

    I never take the gift certificates. Let them keep the money and solve the problem. Otherwise, they just perceive their bad service as a petty-cash expense.

  13. chicagocooper says:

    1060 W. Addision, a classic

  14. curmudgeon5 says:

    I suppose giving fake info is the most expedient way to get out of there, but why not address it head-on and say you’re not going to give them your info? If more people refused to, these policies would become unworkable for the stores and they’d be dropped. I’ve noticed that I get asked for my phone number more and more during transactions, I say no, and the transaction goes on. I also refuse to give my zip code when they ask — that’s not so much a privacy thing as it is about me resenting that the store is going to inconvenience me by making my transaction take longer just so they can get marketing info.

  15. DogTown says:

    I would only give radio shack my address if they gave me a cash payment, the street address and cell phone number of their CEO.

  16. B says:

    My solution is don’t shop at radio shack. Seems to work fairly well. And has the added bonus of no longer needing to fend off wireless phone sales pitches when buying batteries.

  17. EllenRose says:

    I’ve had Radio Shack try for the name-and-address when paying with legal tender. I just tell them my name is Cash — Johnny Cash. Most of them get it, but as time goes by, it will be fewer.

  18. Bladefist says:

    Radioshack is obsolete. The internet is way cheaper, even with shipping, then their 20 dollars to convert A into B

  19. LeonardKlaatu says:

    I always use 10 Downing Street, London. Kids at Radio Shack have no idea.

  20. AMetamorphosis says:

    I would have given him this address: The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
    Washington, DC 20500

    Just like I tell other sales people my zipcode is 90210 & my phone # is 876-5309

    :-)

    Radio Schlock is still in business ? ? ?

  21. Wow. They still do that at RS? That’s actually a throwback to the good old days – the 70s at least. You know, when they had needles for every obsolete record player ever made, free batteries, and enough loose electronic parts to build your own nuclear weapon – or a killer robot. Those were the days. I don’t think I’ve been to Radio Shack in years.

  22. FilthyHarry says:

    I’m sure the 20 bucks in coupons that may not ever be redeemed is well worth it considering the value of the data collected from everyone who gives it up with out question.

  23. Antediluvian says:

    @valarmorghulis: (asking for clerk’s address)
    I’ll sometimes say something like “my, aren’t you forward — we’ve just met and you haven’t even bought me dinner yet!” Do it while smiling and it doesn’t come over as rude.

    Doesn’t work so well on the older clerks of either gender. In that case, where it’s clear they’re too low-level and are just following policy, I’ll smile and say, “No thank you.”

  24. pegr says:

    True Story:

    Frustrated by the same routine, I looked the RS clerk straight in the eye and said,

    “John Smith, 123 Main Street”

    He laughed and reached for his wallet. He produced HIS driver’s license… His name? John Smith…

    He then filled out the paperwork, “John smith…”

    ;)

  25. Wormfather says:

    They took it seriously :)

  26. JustAGuy2 says:

    @MissPeacock:

    On a return, a lot of places now ask for ID because of return fraud. There’s zero reason to ask for it on a sale.

  27. skategreen says:

    Since the cashier isn’t the one setting store policy, I just give fake info. My daughter worked for 2 hellish weeks at Work ‘N Gear, where the cashiers were given quotas for telephone numbers of store patrons. In those short weeks she saw how the staff were hectored and lectured about getting the numbers and how their very jobs depended upon it.

    Naturally, she was quickly indoctrinated by the general staff on the art of supplying her own fake numbers to fulfill the quotas. Two short weeks were enough nonsense for her.

    I make it obvious to the cashier that I’m “making it all up on the spot” and leave it at that. Too lazy to contact corporate!

  28. carterbeauford says:

    IIRC, asking for personal information has not been their policy for a while. I worked there seasonally in college, at that time we had to ask. When a customer asked why, I said “so we can send you junk mail”

    RS is indeed obsolete, but when you need an 8-terminal distribution block or a specialty audio cable, where else are you going to go? Can’t find any of that locally.

  29. Nighthawke says:

    They must be under the gun by Ft. Worthless to get folks put on their mailing lists.

  30. coan_net says:

    It’s a stupid policy for Radio Shack – but like others said – just give a fake address. It takes 10 seconds, you get what you need – in and out.

  31. humphrmi says:

    @chicagocooper: I use the same address. I often wonder how much junk mail Wrigley Field gets.

  32. valarmorghulis says:

    @Antediluvian: Dear god, with a name like your’s, who do you consider to be ‘older’?

    Yeah, I’ve tried to make it come across as humorous a couple of times, but like you said, that’ll usually only work if they’re in a good mood already.

  33. dookas says:

    Yeah when I worked in retail if someone doesn’t want to put their phone #….just enter (999)-999-9999…

  34. Gev says:

    Quite often college (and probably corporate) campuses assign room numbers to anything that’s bigger than a broom closet. I assume this is for keeping track of maintenance workorders or something like that.

    For a long time I used to give out various bathrooms (402 Foo Hall) as my address.

  35. NcSchu says:

    The odd thing is, they got his phone number. Businesses use the phone number to obtain the address to send mailings and other crap. So it’s strange that they would ask for both when they can easily find one with the other. Perhaps they worry that they are being given cell phones more frequently. Still, asking for an address is just wrong. It would be ironic if, to use the store credit, he had to give them his address.

  36. Buckler says:

    @MissPeacock: I had a cash return to make in Belk once and they would not complete the return until I’d given them my name, phone number, address, and DRIVER’S LICENSE NUMBER. I make it a point never to return to any place that requires this kind of info from me for a cash transaction.

    The reason for this is to help combat fraud. Rightly or not, many stores now require positive ID on returns (especially cash returns), and often only allow a certain number of returns by a single customer in a given amount of time. This is to keep shoplifters from lifting an item from the shelf and “returning” it with a receipt found in the parking lot, or purchasing an item to replace an old, broken one, then repackaging the old one to return, etc.

    After a certain number of returns, many store policies will allow you no more. They ask for your DL to track this.

  37. Wimpkins says:

    1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
    Washington DC 20001

  38. ptkdude says:

    @slowinthefastlane: I always give 1313 Mockingbird Ln, then whatever city/state I happen to be in.

  39. Nytmare says:

    I see their plans to stop asking for personal info at the register panned out as well as Jerry Springer’s plans to stop provoking controversial outbursts during his shows.

  40. tf5_bassist says:

    They can’t figure out what they want to do with this policy… Back when I used to work there (I know… *sigh*), they first said yes you must get at LEAST name/phone, and address was better (still needed it for things like checks, certain service products, and whatnot).

    Then they got rid of the whole policy altogether, only collecting info for warranties, phones, etc… Then they brought it back, and i dunno wtf they’re at now, but some of the old-school managers are just real pricks about their metrics and numbers. Severely so.

    So just remember this: You don’t HAVE to give your name, number, and address for a cash sale (I had lots of people say their name was “Cash, Johnny Cash” as mentioned above). The employees are not supposed to refuse sale due to not providing this information… however, most of them will get away with doing whatever they want, it’s pretty sad.

    Next time, just tell them that the missed sale will affect their numbers more than their Names/Address percentage, and if they refuse to make the transaction for you, you will indeed give your name and address–as you RETURN ANYTHING you buy at ANY OTHER Radioshack at HIS location, and never give that store a positive transaction again.

    Trust me, it’ll work. Managers HATE returns.

  41. danno99 says:

    I always tell them I’m homeless and live in a cardboard box.

  42. savvy9999 says:

    1313 Mockingbird Lane
    Mockingbird Heights, CA, 66666

  43. RandoX says:

    I had to buy some microswitches for some arcade controls I was rebuilding a few years ago. The clerk asked me if I had a “project” going on. I told him with a straight face that I was building a remote controlled machine gun. Oddly enough, he didn’t ask me any more questions.

  44. DeleteThisAccount says:

    @AMetamorphosis: You got your phone number wrong….

  45. DeleteThisAccount says:

    @Wimpkins: The zip is 20500…

    I guess I’m the fictional phone number / address Nazi today.

  46. AMetamorphosis says:

    @AngrySicilian:

    LOL, Thanks !
    Its this damn dyslexia again ( grin )

  47. kc2idf says:

    You can use Schenectady, NY 12345, just to mess with them. It is a legitimate zipcode, and matches the city and state, but sounds illegitimate. When they call you on your bullshit, be very insistent about it.

    Don’t try this if you live in or near Schenectady, though. Most everyone around here knows that 12345 belongs to the GE campus. (Yes, I live in Schenectady though, obviously, in a different ZIP code). Also, be sure to pronounce it right: ska-NEK-ta-dee.

    Also kind of fun is to use 22 Twain. Pronounce it two-two, not twenty-two. Try saying it out loud if you don’t get it.

  48. John Whorfin says:

    @chicagocooper: You falsified your renewal!?!

  49. obamaramallama says:

    Incredible, I got the same treatment about ten miles away in Pearl, MS on Highway 80. I bought around $80~ worth of parts (I usually go to Hoopers Electronics, but I was in a rush). When I tried paying with a $100, the sales clerk asked for my name and address – I refused. He then gave me the option of paying with a credit or debit card or leaving the store. So I left the store. I ended up going to Hooper.

    Long story short, I have not been to a Radio Shack in over a decade and thanks to my incident, and Tim’s as well, I won’t be going back for another decade more :)

    I’m glad that Tim got a gift certificate out of the deal, but I would have sooner burned the thing than accepted it.

  50. rags827 says:

    This process of being asked to provide any information other than “How would you like to pay for this” is absurd. I walked into a Pizza Hut a few months ago to order a pizza. I told the clerk,who had an Asst Manager name tag the type of pizza I wanted and he entered it into the computer terminal and then asked for my telephone number. I said “why do you need my phone number, I’m standing right here giving you the order?” he insisted that the computer could not process the order without my phone number. So I gave him 555-1212(information) and then walked out. I went to my local pizza shop and they only asked what type of toppings I wanted.

  51. ChuckECheese says:

    @Wimpkins: You should use that address with a lot number.

  52. pestie says:

    If you’re looking for a good ZIP code to give in these kinds of situation, 20505 works well. It’s a ZIP code allocated entirely to the CIA, and people never recognize it as fake like they do with 90210. It even checks when compared against a list of valid ZIP codes, which some ZIP-code-demanding web sites check.

  53. yikz says:

    @slowinthefastlane:
    Ditto on the fake address.

    Frankly, I’d give them 1060 West Addison, Chicago, IL 60613.
    And if they want a phone number, I’d give them my fax line at work, or my local “favorite” politicians’ office number.

  54. unclescrooge says:

    Whenever store clerks ask me for personal information before allowing a purchase, I give them the number and address for our local police department.

    These stores are simply compiling information so that they can resell your data to third parties with whom they have an agreement and you get the telemarketing calls and snailmail spam..aka junkmail.

    I just wish Congress had a backbone and outlawed all marketing and pr.

  55. ophmarketing says:

    Ah, slowinthefastlane, you beat me to it. I’m a big fan of sending unwarranted junk mail to Wrigley Field, too. :-)

    For phone number requests, I still give out the number for the now-long-deceased pay phone that used to be at the end of the hall in my college dorm back in the ’80s.

  56. Darkwish says:

    @pegr: That’s a classic!

  57. DCGaymer says:

    I had to go buy a soldering iron last week at RadioShack here in DC (Connecticut and N st NW). Training must be a bit lax…they didn’t ask for my name, couldn’t get two of the 3 credit cards offered to swipe and couldn’t print out a receipt. Given that they’d swiped three of my cards but not had my sign anything I wasn’t leaving till I got a receipt. Which they said they couldn’t print. I had to MAKE them get a manager out of the back room who could print a receipt. They were not happy. I’m not sure what kind of scam they were trying to run…but I’ll be watching my charges like a hawk for the next few weeks.

  58. sgodun says:

    John Smith
    1 Main Street

    Radio Shack has that info for me about a thousand times over.

  59. rjhiggins says:

    @Bladefist-안녕: I’m no RS fan, but if you’re in the middle of a project, and you need a A-to-B adapter, are you going to go order it online and wait a few days? Not me.

  60. SadSam says:

    I like the fake address suggestions, but I just say no thank you when asked for this type of info. and I’ve never run into a problem.

  61. shanoaravendare says:

    I haven’t gone into a RS since they tried to sell me a battery for my crystal radio set.

  62. rjhiggins says:

    This passive-aggressive, give-em-fake-info stuff is fascinating. Have some guts, guys: Just say no, and if that’s not acceptable to them, walk out. If enough people did that some of them might get the message.

  63. rshmgr says:

    I am a RadioShack store manager and this incident should never have happened. The reason why RadioShack employees ask for a customers information is to keep a record of the transaction under the customer’s name. This makes it easier to look up a transaction if the customer wants to return an item without a reciept and helps us prevent fraud. A customer does have the right to refuse information at any time with cash transactions. The store manager or employee should have known this and completed the transaction without the customers address. In the future the customer should not have given his name and phone number to begin with if he wants to protect his privacy.

  64. MadDog23 says:

    Sorry, refusing the info does not work with them. Since literally 20+ years back, they have been doing this to me. I always refuse. Sometimes they say nothing, but I’ve actually had a manager argue with me as well!

    I’ve taken the time out to explain WHY I don’t want my info recorded, but the paid by the hour employees don’t care.

    My solution has been to never shop there unless it’s a dire emergency. Meaning possibly 3-4 times over 20 years.

  65. picardia says:

    @Buckler: Yeah, you want to be really careful to cut down on the fraud of people PAYING CASH.

  66. Oh come on, people. Why cause a scene when it just takes 30 seconds to give them your name and address.

    I mean, everyone else does it without complaining… Why cause a scene?

  67. KogeLiz says:

    I am curious if the posted asked the employee WHY he wanted that information. Or if he asked customer service.

  68. Buckler says:

    @picardia: @Buckler: Yeah, you want to be really careful to cut down on the fraud of people PAYING CASH.

    Re-read my post. It’s to cut down on fraud committed by people scamming the system to get FREE cash. Unfortunately, those who have legitimate cash returns get screwed in the process.

  69. APowerCosmic says:

    The whole policy of this irritates me to no end. When customers would come into my former place of work (Sears..yeah) and it would ask for this and all they bought waas like a PS3 or a game, I’d tell them to make something up unless countless Sears ads appealed to them. As odd as it sounded, helped my commissions considerably!

  70. Antediluvian says:

    @valarmorghulis: (who do I consider older)
    Have you SEEN the waitstaff at Denny’s lately?

  71. thepassenger says:

    I had a similar experience last night at MicroCenter in Cambridge, MA. I used to receive their flyers in the mail after buying something there with my credit card, no surprise and no big deal. But I have not bought anything there, or even been in the store, in a long time, and to be asked for this info for a $5 cash sale is just corporate stupidity.

    I started to give some phony info, then stopped, looked at the cashier and said, “Can we just skip this nonsense?” making sure she understood that I understood she was just doing her job. Apparently they are not as rigid about it as the Shack, because she just shrugged and we finished the transaction.

  72. jamesdenver says:

    They often have trouble entering my home address on Kringlumyarbraut Street in Reykjavik.

    Wait no i don’t. I agree with the principal of refusing to give an address. But if you want to just move on giving a foreign address is a fun way to confuse them, (i don’t think any system can accept non U.S. adys) and they don’t get points. Unless THEY just make up an address for you.

  73. Coles_Law says:

    Give the store’s address. Very few catch it.

  74. sean77 says:

    “So sorry we asked your address when you were buying batteries. Here, let me make it up to you, here is $20 in coupons. Now, what’s your address so I can mail these to you?”

  75. avsfan123 says:

    Well, during the brief 4-month stint I had with the Shack…

    Name and address was a quota you had to meet for their advertising shit. 80% was the goal, so you had to get 4/5 name and address combos from customers. We actually made up a “refused” entry to boost our N&A percentage, and the customer didn’t have to deal with those damn ads.

  76. Floobtronics says:

    I had a Radio Shaft..err..Shack try this nonsense on me a few weeks ago. I needed a simple UK plug converter, a mere $9.99 purchase. $10.69 with NJ sales tax. I pulled $0.75 out of the cup holder in the car before going in, and pulled a $10 out of my wallet.

    The “Assistant Manager” gave me the same bit, citing it’s “our policy”. I informed him of my policy of not giving out personal information for no reason, put the $$ on the counter, picked up my converter and started walking out. I pointed out that $9.99 + 6% tax was $10.69 and he should take the $10.75 on the counter, give me my receipt and while he’s at it, stop trying to invade my privacy.

    After a few seconds of stammering, he handed me my receipt and wished me a nice day.

  77. revmatty says:

    @jwarner132: My preference is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington D.C. 20006. Most people don’t know what it is.

    And let me say that there was nothing more annoying when giving out my work address in the early 90′s than having people say “Oh wow, so you work in Beverly Hills and your zip code is 90210? Do you ever see Kelly or Mitch*?”

    *Or whatever the hell their names were, I’ve never seen the idiotic show.

  78. MercuryPDX says:

    When I last worked for them years ago, we were tracked on Names and Addresses. The main reason they wanted this was for sending you flyers in the mail. If customers objected, we had a catchall address which was usually the store’s (Use the last 4 digits of the store’s phone number to get it). A sale was never worth the fight over a better N&A average, and most of us knew that.

    I’m a little surprised the sales rep didn’t just use the catchall and be done with it.

  79. Phyrexia says:

    I work here at a RadioShack in Dayton, OH. And yes, this manager was very in the wrong. Regarding credit card transactions, I always ask to see ID. For any bills over $100, I ask for ID. That’s it.

  80. tom2133 says:

    I remember when I worked for Sports Authority, we had to do the stupid “ask for a phone number with every transaction” stupidity. I didn’t care for it. I didn’t even want my own company to have my phone number, honestly. I would cashier, and I would use 867-5309, 1-800-222-3334 (800-ABCDEFG or Hooked on Phonics), Dick’s Sporting Goods or the corporate office phone number.

    I remember the boss got hardcore about phone numbers, so I asked for them. I asked a customer for his phone number, and he gave me 867-5309. I told him “my thoughts exactly.”

    We were told for a while that this was for “store tracking” so we can determine where to build stores and allocate stock accordingly. yeah right. Turns out, we used the numbers for a robo-dialer. I caught a lot of shit from customers for that. But they’ve got a right to be angry – to have a phone call auto dial them to get them to go to the store.

  81. DuckSeason says:

    I wonder how many people would notice if you gave the address of the store you were at, or at least the shopping center that hosts the store.

    Also, I wonder if that would constitute any sort of fraud.

  82. Phyrexia says:

    I’ve worked at RS since August. I’m so apathetic about the RS system I only ask name and info when I have to (i.e. delivery transactions, payments, etc.). I ask for ID if you pay credit or want to use a $100. Oh, and remember now if an RS employee doesn’t offer you batteries, you get a free pack. LOL.

  83. HeartBurnKid says:

    @jwarner132: Personally, I like using 123 No Street, Schenectady, NY 12345.

  84. wobudong says:

    Hey, I’m 75 (look only 74) and I was carded at Gristede’s on 9th Ave and 54th St, NYC, yesterday when I bought 3 bottles of seltzer and a bottle of beer. I finally asked if they thought I was too old to buy beer. But I coughed up my driver’s license.
    Got the beer!
    (This is the supermarket chain who’s CEO wants to run for mayor of New York City. He’s going to card voters, too?)

  85. typetive says:

    @DuckSeason: “I wonder how many people would notice if you gave the address of the store you were at, or at least the shopping center that hosts the store.

    Also, I wonder if that would constitute any sort of fraud.”

    Well, it depends on how the question was phrased and how you give the info.

    If you were to say, “my current location is … ” and give them the address of the shop you were at, I can’t say that you’d be fibbing, just that they weren’t paying attention.

    (Yes, I’ve done this before.)

    The only info I do give out when asked (sometimes) is ZIP. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for them to want to know how far you traveled to the store. When I have a bad experience though I give out 44444 (Newton Falls, OH – the town with ZIP!).

  86. Pro-Pain says:

    Some people are just so rediculously moronic. I hope this asshat got fired. Not reprimanded, flat out TERMINATED ON THE SPOT. Get your shit and LEAVE.

  87. Bruce says:

    Give ‘em this zip code which is (was…) in lower Manhattan:

    [zip4.usps.com]

  88. uberbucket says:

    I’ve has Circuit City try this on me a couple times as well. And in my defense, I’ve only ever gone there for ‘emergency purchases’.

  89. dafountain says:

    It would be nice if we could all stand on our principles and not give them information they have no reason to know but it gets to be a pain. I too make stuff up. It gets to be fun. 1313 Mockingbird Lane was a favorite. If all they want is a zip I always give one from another part of the country. If they want a phone number I just make one up but some fun could be had there too. Like giving one for an escort service or a 900 number. No matter how ludicrous the numbers given they never blink.

  90. TruPhan says:

    Aren’t gift certificates worthless anyway? I know that I’ve seen Burger King and Best Buy turning them down with my own eyes in past month (neither of which really surprises me; well, BK actually a little bit. Mmm, BK stacker…)

  91. scoosdad says:

    @tom2133: Cabela’s in East Hartford CT asked me for my phone number at checkout last weekend, and I declined. She asked if she could have my zipcode instead and I had no problem giving her that. I’m sure they just use zips for tracking where customers come from.

    Bed and Bath around here is another one that asks for phone numbers for any transaction. Also the Container Store. I’m always amazed at how many people in line with me give it willingly.

  92. jimconsumer says:

    When asked for my phone number I tell them I don’t have a phone. This is especially fun because I always have a cellular phone clearly attached to my hip, in plain view. It hasn’t happened yet, but I’m waiting for some cashier to say, “Oh yeah, then what’s that?” … so I can respond, “It’s a garage door opener. Now, are you going to sell me this shit or what?”

  93. dragondorm says:

    You all need to stop your B******* and just refuse if you don’t want to give it. It’s only required on certain transaction. i.e. checks, cell phones, service plans, gift cards, anything service related and returns. Getting your name and address is primaraly for waranty purposes. How many of you hold on to your reciepts? They can look it up for you with that info. If you by chance get a flyer you can go to the web site and remove yourself from the flyer list. Just don’t complain when you miss a sale. If you do refuse to give your name and address don’t complain when they can’t refund your product because you lost your reciept.

  94. darundal says:

    @curmudgeon5: The problem with that is that most people won’t. They will agree that something like this is bullshit, but they won’t do anything because most people think they will either be the only one doing it, that only a (too) small number of people do it, or that they are somehow obligated to do as they are told.

  95. ellastar says:

    Corporate wants us to track names and addresses, but it isn’t required on most transactions (exceptions being paying with checks, buying service plans, cell phone transactions, and returns). The Manager who pulled this was just being retarded, or really wanted to get his name/address capture percentage up.

    @MissPeacock: Only name and address is REQUIRED for returns. Phone number is optional. No corporate store is supposed to ask for your DL # unless they’re running a credit check or something.

    @RandoX: My manager always asks that question, mostly because he’s genuinely interested. But he probably would have found your answer very amusing :)

    @DCGaymer: Sometimes the receipt printers will randomly stop working. The associates should have at least known how to print up the receipt on another terminal without asking the manager, it’s not that hard. To get it working again, all they have to do is restart the terminal.

    And to everyone who gives out a fake address, most of the time giving out name and address is optional, associates just like to get their numbers up. But don’t ever give a fake name and address if there’s a mail-in rebate. I had a guy who did that once, giggling at the time. He wasn’t too happy when he got his rebate check and found out he couldn’t cash it because he didn’t have an ID that matched the fake name on the check. Also name/address helps if you ever lose you receipt, as we can look it up that way, or we can look it up if you paid with a debit or credit card.

  96. Shuft says:

    I current work at a Radioshack, and this isn’t an issue win my store.

    Nobody in my store asks for info unless it is needed (check/return/wireless/service plans/etc). We’ve never gotten any grief from the district manager about it afaik.

    Even so, some people get upset that they need to give us info if they want a return.

  97. crappedcrusader says:

    How’d he get the gift cards?

    Thats right… he gave out his address.

  98. Residentdrunkgirl says:

    The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
    Washington, DC 20500

  99. Keat says:

    @crappedcrusader: Read the article. He picked them up at the local corporate office.

  100. Taydin says:

    I worked at a Jewelry store for two years and the POS would not let you proceed with a sale without a name, address, and phone number. Perhaps Radio Shack has a similar system. If I had a customer who did not want to give out their information, I would just put a fake name and put the store’s address and phone number in the system. Which, I did most of the time because if you got a real address and phone number, it meant you had to send promotional materials to their house and make those ever so evil telemarketing calls.

  101. kretara says:

    I often give out 02134 as my zip unless the clerk is an ass, then I go with the address’s below.

    I’ve had this zip stuck in my head since I was a kid. I guess growing up watching Zoom! and all the other good stuff made by WGBH for PBS did help me in some way.

    That is the zip for Allston/Boston, Mass. where WGBH is located.

    If they demand an address (and I don’t feel like telling them to F off) I give them
    69 Hump St.
    Tittmoning, Austria

    Or, if they are really being asses about the address stuff I’ll give them
    69 Hump St.
    Fucking, Austria

    Both are actual towns in Austria.

  102. Mr. Gunn says:

    I’ve told them to put down the store’s address, and they did. Now they get the junk mail they were trying to send to me!

  103. jamielarue says:

    Federal privacy laws prevent them from requiring your address or your phone number. Report these to your state attorney’s office and it will stop quickly.

  104. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot says:

    Not sure if many Canadians read Consumerist, but I’ve often given out the address of 2121 Station F, Toronto, Ontario, M4Y-2N9. Geez, that makes me feel old now….

  105. nsv says:

    The last time they demanded this information from me (which was a long time ago,) I gave them “R. Shack,” and their own address. I worked at the same mall, so I knew the street address there. The kid took it down and never figured out he was taking the address of his own store.

    Since then, a simple no seems to work.

    I just bought something at Advance Auto Parts, though, and when I refused to give personal information the cashier informed me that I would not be able to return the item if I needed to. I said “Excuse me?” fairly loudly, and watched a manager walk over. She explained the situation, and he said that I could still do a return but I’d need the receipt. She seemed unaware of this.

  106. spamtasticus says:

    I don’t know if anyone remembers the icat bar code scanner fiasco from Radio Shack about 8 years ago. Basically they gave out “free” bar code scanners that looked like little skinny white cats. Only catch is you had to give them your name address etc to get one. Well, in the hacker community we realized that scanners had UID’s. They had a chip that uniquely identified them and when hooked up to your computer via usb to “catalog your belongings” it was sending out what you owned out to radioshack’s partners. Bad shack Bad shack.

  107. spamtasticus says:

    Here is an article about the scanner.

    [slashdot.org]

  108. Craysh says:

    I was completely waiting for the “Now we can send these gift certificates to you, I just need your address…”

  109. RedSonSuperDave says:

    I’m no longer allowed inside the Dothan mall after an unfortunate incident in 2003 when the Radio Shack cashier stated that not only could the transaction be completed (specifically, me buying a pair of six-dollar headphones) without giving him my address and phone number, but I was NOT ALLOWED TO LEAVE THE STORE until the transaction was completed, whether I ended up buying the headphones or not.

    Security was called, the police were called, and I got my headphones at the cost of no longer being welcome in that particular mall.

  110. j3s says:

    I’m always surprised at how many stores in the U.S. continue to do this given the growing privacy and security concerns of consumers nowadays. Obviously, the ability to generate revenue with these customer databases has something to do with it.

    I’m surprised it hasn’t been fully mentioned as of yet, but, if being asked for your address, zip/postal code, and/or phone number upon checkout bothers you, and saying “no” won’t work for whatever reason, just tell the cashier that you live outside the country. Most of the U.S. retail systems have zero ability to deal with this and the cashier will inevitably enter a default or made-up address. You can take it a step further if you are bored and, as I do, actually give them your address, valid or otherwise, and wait for the fun to begin:

    Cashier: “Can I get your mailing address, please?”

    Me: “Sure, it’s Halford House…”

    Cashier: “Sorry?”

    Me: “Sir Edward The Great’s Royal Academy of Music”

    Cashier: “Wait…”

    Me: “Dickinson Hall”

    Cashier: “Sir..”

    Me: “Number 666″

    Cashier: “But…”

    Me: “South Hill Park”

    (Cashier frantically attempts to enter address)

    Me: “Hampstead Heath”

    (Cashier gets really confused)

    Me: “Hampstead”

    (Cashier gets even more confused)

    Me: “North London”

    Cashier: “Uh…”

    Me: “Great Britain”

    (Cashier has no idea what to do)

    Me: “United Kingdom”

    (Cashier begins sweating)

    Me: “NW3 2SB”

    (Cashier’s head explodes)

    ===

    I’ve yet to ever have a problem doing this. For reference, both MicroCenter and Radio Shack get really peeved when you drag this process out for about 10 minutes only to learn that you don’t live in the country and that their data entry system is ill-equipped to handle postal codes that begin with a letter and are longer than 5 digits long. I guess they don’t expect tourists or non-residents to ever shop in their stores. Twats.

  111. rshmgr says:

    When you give the stores address it doesn’t do anything. The only mail you receive is a flyer once every two weeks. Only one flyer gets sent to each address. So, only one flyer will be sent to the store if you give the stores address as your own.

    If the manager pisses you off for no reason at all you can sign them up for a bunch of junk mail from other business( i.e. Home Depot, Sears, Lowes, etc.)

    I’ve never done that by the way.

  112. grayem98 says:

    My favorite is to give them the “Happiest Address on Earth”:
    1313 S HARBOR BLVD
    ANAHEIM CA 92802-2309

  113. RvLeshrac says:

    @MissPeacock:

    This is to cut down on return-fraud, which is a HUGE business. Many large shoplifting rings have begun altering their model to return fraud since most stores don’t have systems or policies in place to catch it.

  114. typetive says:

    @RvLeshrac: “This is to cut down on return-fraud, which is a HUGE business.”

    It seems pretty obvious by now that anyone can return anything without a receipt and when they ask for your address, just give the stores’ … there’s gotta be something in there.

  115. dragondorm says:

    @spamtasticus:

    LOAD OF CROCK. You should take off your aluminum foil hat now.

    They were could be used to catalog bar coded items, but what they were designed for was to scan a bar code and be taken to a web page for the company/product asumming the product was in the database.

  116. GOKOR says:

    @kretara: No you don’t, stop acting like a douche.

    Everyone who thinks RadioShack has a policy that requires them to get name and address, you’re wrong.

    The company would like that they get everyone’s info, but probably 95% of stores DO NOT ask for it, and there is no negativity from coorporate for it.

    As for fake info, most could care less if it’s fake or real, but the associate will catch shit if it’s obviously fake. So don’t be a douche to them, they’re trying to survive the day without getting bitched at, just like everyone else.

    A tip for you RadioShack customers, if you complain, the regional and district managers will hook you up. It’s more important to them that you are happy, even when you’re overwhemlingly wrong, rather than backing up the store when they’re right.

  117. GOKOR says:

    @typetive: If it’s a Radio Shack labeled product you can get a store credit for the lowest sale price of the last 6 months, without a receipt.

    If it’s a third party item and you have no proof that it was purchased at the store, they don’t have to take the return. You have no proof that you even bought it from a Radio Shack.

    This is one of the few things that coorporate will not help you out with.

  118. spaceace76 says:

    As a radioshack employee, I can assure you this is not a store policy whatsoever. This is essentially the story of one douchebag manager (there are lots of them) probably taking out a bad sales day on an innocent customer. There is a popup in our System that asks for the customers’ name, and more recently, they’ve reinstated asking for the phone number. However most associates will simply clear this message out. There’s even a button labeled ‘CLEAR’ on our keyboards for just this function. The only time we take any names/numbers is when it is necessary. In fact, the only way to ring up merchandise is to get rid of that message. You can still take a customers name afterwards, but you have to hit the ‘CUSTOMER’ key. Clearly, this manager was just being a dick to Tim. If I were you Tim, I’d raise hell. Call everyone you can who will listen. Chances are that this is only a small portion of misconduct this person has committed towards customers and has thus far gone unpunished. The only reason this person is working at this company is because they can. Radioshack lost tons of people after changing it’s payscale, so these days anybody can get a job there, resulting in some of the worst customer service people imaginable.
    I’ve had some bad service experiences myself, so I make an effort to give people what they need, not what I want to sell them. I actually avoid selling:
    Service plans (I have the lowest rate in my district)
    Radioshack cards
    Any product I know for a fact is of poor quality (just today I told a guy that none of the bluetooths we carried would fit his needs for extreme noise cancelling)

    This company is completely backwards. While I do enjoy helping people find what they need, I think it is sad that radioshack can’t see that it’s most recent actions have basically told employees that it doesn’t care about them, it only cares about profit. If you think OUR cell pitches are annoying, try hearing it from your manager for a living.

    Gah. I’m done with my rs rant for today. I think I’ll go to bed early, I’m opening tomorrow.

  119. Akula765 says:

    Basically what spaceace76 just said…

    Also an RS employee
    For the most part there’s no reason for us to ask your personal information, and we usually won’t bother.

    There are a few products where we have to ask because the computer literally will not let us complete the transaction without name, address, and phone number. Basically it’s only cell phones (pre-paid & post-paid), SIRIUS satellite radio, and Dish Network. And then it’s only so RS gets credit for those sales from the service providers.

    We also of course ask it for extended warranties and returns, but I don’t think that’s unreasonable.

    I also usually ask for it if it’s a big ticket, just to avoid potential drama in the future by being able to look the receipt up. You can certainly refuse that though.

    On my own little tangent… this is understandably a wrong situation. But folks… please don’t get all uppity when we ask you if you want the extended warranty or batteries. It’s our job, it’s how we get paid. If you don’t want it just say no, don’t get all defensive.

  120. BugMeNot2 says:

    I stopped shopping at Radio Shack years ago solely because of this policy.

  121. When they lose enough business for that nonsense, they’ll either change their policy or die. Just how business should work.