Sunglass Hut = The New DMV

Why does Radio Shack need your phone number to sell you a pair of batteries? It’s unknowable. Or, actually, it isn’t — they’re data-mining you so they can sell it to third-parties or put together marketing statistics.

Similarly, why does Sunglass Hut need your date of birth, your complete medical history, your complete criminal record and any other details they can dream up just to sell you a pair of Ray Bans? Moreover, why will they refuse to sell you the Ray Bans when you categorically deny to become yet another ID code in their database of random, impertinent information?

It’s unknowable! Or, more likely, isn’t. James M’s email about his recent attempt to purchase from Sunglass Hut, after the jump.

Not as big as exploding batteries but still irksome.

Needed new sunglasses so where would any red-blooded American consumer go – sunglass hut. All was well as I went when the store opened and was able to find the perfect pair of sunglasses. Went to pay and was told by the manager (who was the only one there) I had to fill out a form that included Date of Birth and all the other info that DMV needs to issue a license. I asked why they needed this info and was told that they had to put it into the computer. I told the manager I would pass and just pay for the glasses. He outright refused to sell me glasses without filling out his little form. Having been the victim of 3 data breaches in the last 6 months I am leery about anything like filling out forms for no discernable purpose. I leave without sunglasses – he absolutely will not sell them.

I email customer service – no response.

I call corporate – the “we’ll get back to you line”.

I firmly believe that all we as consumers can do when faced with something like this is vote with our money. Sunglass Hut and Sears (who are affiliated) have just lost a customer. It is just a drop in the barrel but my wife and I buy a pair of sunglasses each every year. As a matter of fact we had just bought my wife a pair two weeks earlier at the same location without having to fill out this form. (Another thing that made me suspicious)

Long story short:

Sunglass Hut loses $300 a year

Sears loses vastly more.

I still buy what I want from other vendors who understand how to treat a customer.