Why Does ShopRite Need My Credit Card Info To Buy Liquor When I'm Paying Cash?

Over at Reddit, things are buzzing with a story from one 23-year-old reader who went to their local ShopRite in New Jersey to pick up some beer only to be told they needed to fill out a form that includes their credit card number — even though they weren’t using their credit card.

From Reddit:

I was buying a 6 pack of beer. I expected to be carded and kindly showed her my ID – no problem, but then the clerk asked me to fill out this form that is now required for all customers under 26. I was a little taken aback, but even more so when I saw the form. Turns out it is quite detailed, requiring your drivers license #, address, credit card # (I was not paying by credit and this was still necessary), and the other such info. Apparently they then keep the form on file and you initial it every time you buy liquor, up to 5 times, whence you need to fill out a new form…
I told her it was nothing personal but I found it ridiculous and wouldn’t be buying alcohol from them any more.

We’ve contacted ShopRite HQ for comment to see if this is a new company policy or just something going on at this particular store. We will update this post when/if we get a response.

My local ShopRite’s new alcohol policies for customers under 26 – a disgusting abuse of privacy [Reddit]

Thanks to Sandy and Nick for the tip!

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. ShruggingGalt says:

    I have no idea why they would need to do this other than to track when certain age people buy alcohol.

    My company’s stores sell beer/wine and we don’t do this.

    • cash_da_pibble says:

      but why would they need a credit card #?
      That’s sketchy as hell.

    • madderhatter says:

      So they have your name, address, CC #, DOB, etc. That’s just asking for identity theft. At the very least fraudulent charges on the credit card. What if you don’t have a credit card, are they not going to let you use cash ?

  2. Alvis says:

    I’ve come across something like this at Bottle King stores, where they wanted similar info (no CC#, though) on a form before they’d sell to me.

    Of all the purchases that could bite you in the ass if some store sells a record of them, booze is up there at the top – oh, sorry, you drink too much to get the standard rate health insurance.

    Definitely a go-somewhere-else situation.

  3. Eat The Rich -They are fat and succulent says:

    This is a total scam. Someone is jacking the OP.

    This should be reported to the proper authorities and brought to the attention of the corporate offices of the company. I bet they fire someone’s ass.

  4. Blueskylaw says:

    Sounds like ShopRite is trying to get detailed information on customers so that they could sell, err, I mean keep the information on file in case the customer came in at a later date and forgot to bring his credit card with him.

  5. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Anyone from New Jersey who can clarify whether this might be a new state mandate or something exclusive to ShopRite? It’s probably ridiculous regardless of the reason, but there has to be a reason why ShopRite would have these forms. I know there’s no such policy at any of Virginia or DC’s grocery stores.

    • DerangedHermit says:

      Shoprite is a cooperative, so what one loopy owner does might not be the same at other Shoprites.

    • aloria says:

      I am from New Jersey and a bit of a booze hound, and I have never heard of this before nor had it happened to me. The only similar instance I can think of is my local boutique wine store has a loyalty card program (which is entirely optional,) where you get certain discounts similar to a supermarket rewards card program.

      • Alvis says:

        The Bottle King incident I mention above was in NJ.

        My understanding was that it was supposed to be a cover-our-ass move in case someone was busted using a fake ID – they have a signed statement from you asserting that your ID is genuine.

        • eelmonger says:

          At first I was kind of pissed about this, but then I remembered how much it sucked to be a cashier that sold liquor. In my state you could be arrested if you sold someone that was underage liquor even if they had a fake id. Police stings were also frequent, but I actually don’t think having them sign a document would help in that case, since it’s kind of like asking a hooker if she’s a cop (i.e. it doesn’t work).

      • M-D says:

        I’ve been buying beer from my local Wegmans in NJ for years, and I’ve never been asked for more than my DL (or other proof of age) – I’ve certainly never been asked to fill out a form like the OP describes.

        I doubt this is a state mandate – the form sounds more like a tactic they’d try in Pennsylvania.

    • edicius is an acquired taste says:

      I haven’t heard anything about this and I tend to buy booze at ShopRite from time to time. However, I’m over 26, so that might be why I haven’t seen anything like this.

    • simonr27 says:

      I live in NJ and have never heard of this before.

  6. cardigan says:

    That sounds incredibly fishy. Basically all the elements one would need to steal a person’s identity. Not to say that is the intention of the form; but even so, it would be incredibly easy with all that sensitive personal information in one place …

    • burnedout says:

      Which is why storing whole credit card numbers violates PCI compliance. If Visa, et. al., got wind they could revoke processing privileges

  7. Burzmali says:

    I’ve never had anything like this happen to me at a liquor store, or any store for that matter. I agree with Alvis. Any store asking for my CC info when I’m paying cash will lose my business. Even hotels don’t force you to provide a CC if you tell them to just close the account out when you check in.

  8. aloria says:

    Lie and say you don’t have a credit card. It’s not entirely unheard of, especially for

  9. danmac says:

    Yeah…there’s no way in hell I’m going to be handing an identity theft pu pu platter to some random person at a grocery store. I would be taking my business elsewhere as well.

  10. rookie says:

    Your purchasing power,
    Will vastly increase…
    As soon as you remember,
    To beat them feets…

    HA!!!

  11. Cameraman says:

    Shenanigans. Which Shoprite in New Jersey sells beer? Beer can be sold in liqueur stores only.

    • chiieddy says:

      Incorrect. Some Shop-rite stores in NJ have liquor licenses which include a separate instore liquor store. It has a separate check out from the grocery store.

      • snobum says:

        Yea, I used to live in Hoboken. The A&P there could sell beer and wine. I forget what the laws were but I think each chain was only allowed to hold a certain number of licenses so very few locations would actually have alcohol.

      • Cameraman says:

        Seriously? Where? Knowing that will save me a lot of time.

        • spazztastic says:

          I know there’s one in New Brunswick on Rt 18, south of the Turnpike.

        • Torgonius wants an edit button says:

          ShopRite on 46 in Rockaway, NJ has the liquor store right inside the main entrance.

          I’ve never had them pull this on me, but then I have’t looked 26 for quite a while now.

        • DanRydell says:

          Knowing where you live would save us some time, because they aren’t everywhere.

          The Wegman’s in Bridgewater has an attached liquor store, and as of sometime this year you can make alcohol purchases at any register.

          • FreestyleDoctoress says:

            Yeah I work at that Wegmans and since late last year they’ve moved some of the beer and wine from the attached liquor store onto the main floor. You can buy it anywhere in the store as long as the cashier’s at least 18.

            • Alvis says:

              I hate the people at Wegmans who try to take their liquor purchases through the (un-staffed) self-checkout lanes

          • Cameraman says:

            I am in Ocean County. Costco in Brick has a separate entrance liqueur store, but none of the Shoprites or Targets or Stop & Shops or Aldi’s sells booze, which means when I want nachos, lube, cheap vodka, a hunting knife, a desk lamp, and an illegal immigrant (which is my shopping list most Saturday nights), I have to make at least two stops, which is a significant pain in the neck.

    • craptastico says:

      most Shoprites in NJ have a Shoprite Liquors next to them which is NOT usually owned by the shoprite or at all affiliated with it other then paying to use the name. i’d assume he meant a Shoprite Liquors

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      CO has the same law, except an exception for alcohol content of 3.2% or less. Which is shitty beer.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      Sorry, your call of Shenanigans has been declined. As a resident of NJ and a Shop-Rite Shopper, I normally shop at a Shop-Rite that has a liqour store, which, I might add, closes earlier than allowed by law.

    • jessjj347 says:

      I’ve never seen liquor in a supermarket in NJ either…

    • jessjj347 says:

      Ah, I should have suspected it was North Jersey…
      Why are the two halves of the state so different?

      • webweazel says:

        North Jersey is a suburb of NY, and not actually considered a part of the state of NJ by the people who live there in the South. Except for the bullshit laws they have to make the entire state suffer over because of the horseshit they like to pull in the North. This one’s par for the course. Probably some small issue they’re trying to fix in the North that will expand out to the rest of the state and totally piss off everyone in the South in the future. Guaranteed.

    • Alvis says:

      Based on a petition I saw at a Wegmans with a liquor store in NJ, the problem is that the state allows only so many in-store liquor sale arrangements per supermarket chain across the entire state.

      • mischlep says:

        This stems from a 1962 law in NJ which stemmed racketeering on liquor sales by grocery stores. Essentially, they were colluding on prices.

    • hugothebear says:

      New Jersey does allow supermarkets to sell alcohol. Each chain is only allowed two licenses though, so they’re more rare.

      Trader Joe’s in Westfield sells beer and alcohol.

    • teke367 says:

      Just to add to the list, the Wegmans (in Branchburg or Bridgewater NJ, not sure exactly which town it technically is in) also sells beer, wine, and liquore. I guess there is some loophole since the Wegmans also owns a liquor store. You can buy just at the liquor store, or if you are going food shopping too, you can take the liquor out of the store through the side entrance that connects to the main store, and pay with the rest of your groceries.

      Not sure about the ShopRite’s, but Wegman’s prices are usually noticeablly cheaper than liquor stores. I could buy a jug (1.75 liters) for about a dollar more than what a liter costs at a regular liquor store. I don’t actually drink so much to require a jug, but those prices are a little too tempting. In my experience, the deals really come at the larger bottles, I might say $5 or $6 on a jug, but only a dollar on a regular bottle.

    • uberbitter says:

      Grocery stores can sell alcohol if they have a liquor license. The reason you don’t see more of this in NJ is because an entity can only hold a maximum of two liquor licenses, and they each only apply to one location (unless they also own adjacent property, in which can it can be extended to include those). This is why only two Wegmans in the state sell liquor, only two Costcos, etc.

      This doesn’t apply to places that serve alcohol but don’t have packaged goods, like restaurants.

      • mischlep says:

        Except in some cases the store will lease the portion of their store out to a (technical) third party to operate the liquor store. Wegmans in Mount Laurel, NJ operates under this agreement, a highly trusted member of the Wegman family actually holds the liquor license, not the store itself.

    • simonr27 says:

      ShopRite has its own liquor stores in NJ.

  12. ElizabethD says:

    Wow. That’s just one big NO. Not that I would ever get carded anymore, but still I’d never agree to divulge all that info to a damn liquor store clerk.

  13. chiieddy says:

    Were they paying cash or check?

  14. Straspey says:

    Rather than checking with Shoprite headquarters to see if this is really part of their company policy, I would suggest somebody call the New Jersey State Liquor Authority (or whatever the name of that agency is is in NJ) to check and see if this is not illegal.

    If this is a violation of the law, Shoprite could be in jeaopardy of losing their liquor license – which includes selling beer to all those weekend sports fans.

    • coldfire409 says:

      Actually I’d check with the corporate office first. It could be a rouge employee, or if it’s a franchise it could be a rouge franchise owner. If that’s the case the let the corporate office take care of the problem. If it persists then contact the state department that handles these complaints.

  15. Melt says:

    We had to do this at the convenience store I worked at for any ID presented for people under 30 that was questionable in nature. Perhaps it looked funny, etc. It was a liability item to show we had checked ID, believed it to be OK, but weren’t quite sure.

    • aeturnus says:

      I’m pretty sure this is a violation of the card holder’s agreement. The business you were working at was at risk of losing its ability to handle credit cards that violated that agreement. I hate that people just roll over and assume its okay, rather than finding out for themselves.

  16. Urgleglurk says:

    “If I were human, I believe my response would be “Go to Hell.” ;-)

    That’s bullshit. Take your business elsewhere.

  17. vastrightwing says:

    Speaking of which, the U.S. Post office basically wants me to fill out a long form lease where they want my real address… “two forms of acceptable identification. One form of ID must contain a photograph. Your ID must be current, contain sufficient information to confirm that you are who you claim to be, and be traceable to you.”

    I know what they’re trying to do, but guess what? I want a PO box for my business, but the hassle of filling out all this none sense is more than I’m willing to do for it. Why do they care who uses the PO Box and for what purpose? Yea, so they’ll get some mail fraudsters using the PO Box. All they need to do is have a camera watching the area to see who comes and goes and be done with it. Someone wanting to commit fraud will simply present fraudulent documents anyway. So what’s the point of annoying people like me?

  18. bwcbwc says:

    Sounds suspiciously like they were scamming you into filling out a credit application of some kind. Kind of like the banks that scam people into signing up for overdraft prodtection. Or worse, a crazy new form of ID theft.

  19. daemonaquila says:

    I would make a huge stink about this to me media and credit card companies. It is NOT ok to ask for all that information, especially CC info. This is an incredible risk for identity theft, even if it’s a real policy rather than someone that’s scamming. Also, I believe that the various credit card companies would object to this severely, since they have contracts with businesses that restrict what kind of info can be requested when paying by credit card or kept in conjunction with a credit card. A policy like this might just get their right to accept CCs revoked (threatened, anyway).

  20. MaximusMMIV says:

    I’d like to offer some constructive criticism. The opening paragraph to this article is nearly impossible to read. I don’t want to be a stickler for grammar or anything, but “they” does not match a singular subject at all. I had to re-read the paragraph three times just to make sure I understood it correctly. It’s “he or she” or “his or her”, and preferably only one of those after researching to determine whether it is a “he” or a “she”.

    • jesirose says:

      It’s most likely a he. Now you can rest :-P

    • Conformist138 says:

      Actually, no, you’re somewhat mistaken. While it is in somewhat of a grammatical gray area, using “they” as a singular gender-neutral pronoun is gaining acceptance. It’s extremely common in everyday English and really only debated in more formal settings. I doubt many people so much as paused over that sentence.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they

      • MaximusMMIV says:

        I understand that it’s gaining acceptance. My point is that the paragraph would be easier to read without it.

  21. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    north carolina, the state is the only liquor seller. even their form to get a license to transport more than 8 liters in your car doesn’t require credit card info. just driver’s license number, name and address.
    and actually, that form applies to any age. it’s required each time you buy more than 8 liters at a time and it’s to give you a copy to carry in your car in case you get stopped for a traffic infraction on the way home. you sign that you are a private citizen and not a reseller. the store gets a copy, you get a copy and it’s good for that day only.
    i found out about it stocking up for a party.
    it’s also a little less unexpected since it’s being filled out and filed by government employees at, what is technically, a government office, since it’s a state owned business. and if the state wanted to sell your name, address and driver’s license, they already have it.
    the idea of a private company asking for this information when it’s not being used to complete the transaction scares me. there are probably laws governing the use of your credit card number after it’s used for a transaction. and credit card company protections. but when visa asks how the store employee got your number and you say you wrote it down for them without a transaction… i bet visa doesn’t want to cover that loss

  22. mbd says:

    Unaware of any such law here in NJ. Further, having a credit card is NOT a requirement for purchasing liquor.

  23. common_sense84 says:

    Identify theft scam. Under the new laws someone 21-26 most likely won’t even have the credit history to get a credit card.

    Next time say you don’t have one. But honestly, go somewhere where the clerk is not data mining for identify theft out in the open like that.

  24. simonr27 says:

    I would be interested to find out if this is the place by me. I only know of one ShopRite Liqour store anywhere near me. I do not get carded anymore so it would not apply to me. But I do not know of any lore in NJ that does this. I know plenty of people who get carded but do not have to fill out forms or anything. It has to be something with the store. Or someone is trying to steal information from customers.

  25. mistersmith says:

    Anytime someone pulls this crap and “insists” it’s required, I lie. Lie my ass off. Give them a fake credit card number (change one or two digits in the last half of your real card number, so it looks like you’re reading it off when you fill it out), give them a fake cell number (+1 to your real number works), etc. Why? Because eff them, that’s why.

  26. madtube says:

    I have not seen any ShopRite here in Jersey that even carries beer. Around here we have to go to the liquor store, a stand-alone store.

    • aeturnus says:

      ShopRite stores are owned by co-op and occasionally they also have a liquor license which allows them to have both grocery and liquor in the store.

  27. ariven says:

    I wonder if they are keeping the credit card information in a secure area in compliance with PCI/DSS rules. I suspect that if their credit card companies found out what they are doing, they might find themselves merchant account-less fairly fast.

  28. zombie70433 says:

    What if you said, “I dont have a credit card”

  29. Andnowlights says:

    I wonder if this is just in NJ or in other states too. I live in CT… too bad they don’t sell anything but beer cause otherwise I’d try this out.

  30. averydedog says:

    Shop Rite does not own the liquor store, it rents out the license to an operator. The form is a trade association attempt to protect the member stores.

  31. noncomjd says:

    ShopRite is a buying coop and some of its members are great, but some of them are the worst shopkeepers and make shopping a miserable experience.

  32. retailriter says:

    More and more, retail establishments of all kinds are wanting all kinds of your personal information. I’m beginning to think there’s more money to be made in capturing and reselling customer’s info than there is in selling actual merchandise.

    These days, whenever I make a purchase and they ask me for something they do not need or have no business asking for, like say my zip code, phone number, or e-mail, I just make something up, just whatever pops into my head! I change it up each time. Because I am a middle aged Mom, no one would have reason to believe I would be giving bogus info!

  33. nms says:

    The Total Wine chain (their should be some Consumerist posts about other shady crap they pull too BTW) used to photocopy the Drivers Licence and write down the DL ID # on a different sheet of paper of anyone between 21 and 22 that was buying anything (beer, wine, even glassware or a soda) from their store. So yeah, any random cashier could have a copy of your ID until they mailed the form off to their corporate office at which point the whole damn company (operating in about a dozen states on both coasts) had access to a photocopy of your ID and your ID #. Crazy huh?

    They changed that policy only after a friend of one of the owners’ kids complained about it… not after hundreds of not so well connected customers protested this privacy invasion.

  34. dilbert69 says:

    This is ridiculous. I accept the need to prove your age when buying alcohol, but I think the state should issue a card with the state seal, a photo, and a birth date, and NOTHING ELSE. Then you whip out the card, the cashier confirms that the picture on it looks like you, the cashier verifies that the birth date renders you old enough to buy, and voila. No privacy violated. The entire point of paying with cash is that you don’t have to identify yourself.

  35. taaurrus says:

    There is a store up the street from me that writes down my drivers license number on the receipt every time I buy cigarettes. It doesn’t matter if I’m paying cash or by credit card – they always require ID and they write the number on the receipt. Is that legal? I don’t really like them writing down my drivers license number every time I shop there.

  36. taaurrus says:

    Also – so what if you don’t have a credit card? Not everyone has one. You can’t buy beer then if you don’t have a credit card? I would have put the beer back – no I would have left it on the counter – and walked out.