It annoys some people that Target wants to scan their ID when they buy an M rated video game. Well, guess what? We’ve heard over and over that they don’t actually need to scan it. All they need to do is type your birth date into the computer. They’ll tell you they have to scan it — but if you hold your ground like reader “Wuuu” you can escape without being scanned.
I just want to share my experience regarding the purchase of a M rated Xbox 360 game at my local Target. With $50 worth of items in hand, I made it over to the electronics section and asked for a copy of Dante’s Inferno. Went the cashier rang up my game he asked to see my drivers license since I was buying a M rated game. I showed it to him after which he said he needed out of my billfold so he could scan it in the register. This is where I had a problem.
I refused after which he said the game cannot be sold to me unless he scanned it. I refused again and he said there was no way around it because the computer/register was asking for it. I refused once more and after some posturing on both sides I left my $50 worth of items and got ready to leave the store with making any purchases.
It was then I decided that I was not going to give up. I asked for the number of the district manager and he referred me to customer service where they could give me an 800 number. I told him this was unacceptable because I want to speak to someone with authority and not a $7 employee who would recite company policy.
I ask to speak to a store manager and he offered to get another manager. Again I told him that this was unacceptable because I wanted to speak with someone higher up in the chain of command. He then left and got a the store manager.
I explained to the store manager that I will not allow my drivers license to be scanned because it contains my organ donor information, my height, weight, color of my eyes, driving restrictions, etc, etc, and that was private and confidential and to scan it would be a complete violation of my privacy and Target did not need that information. I went on to explain my drivers license contains my age and that was sufficient proof of my age. I further explained even though bars may ask for ID they do not scan it. Nor does Best Buy, Walmart, Blockbuster, or GameStop and they are following the same state and federal law as Target does when it comes to providing proof of age. Although I have no problems showing my drivers license to prove my age, I absolutely refuse to have it be scanned.
The manager relented and said they don’t have to scanned but he will need to get a number off it to enter into computer/register. I accepted his offer and watched him type in my date of birth. I left the store with game in hand and Target made $120.
Sometimes being persistent pays off.
The ESRB (the organization that issues the ratings) is a self-regulating organization and not some sort of governmental body. Target’s compliance with its recommendations is strictly voluntary. There is no federal law restricting the sale of “M” rated video games to minors.
We’re not actually sure what Target does with the info they scan off your ID. Maybe nothing. But if it bugs you, try just saying “No.”