It seems more and more places want my phone number when I buy something these days. Nearly every place we go, the second we get to the register, we hear “May I have your phone number, starting with the area code, please?”.

I’m kind of a privacy freak, and that bugs me. There’s no reason beyond marketing stats that they need that. I know that they say they use it to boost customer service and enhance my shopping experience, but I don’t want them to track me. My experience is enhanced by knowing that I’m not being tracked.

So, when we hear that question, we simply say “We prefer not to, thanks”. We’ve never had anyone freak out about it, and I’ve noticed that every single one, regardless of store, put in 999-999-9999 for it, and we move on.

Now, occasionally they’ll ask for zip code, and I’ll give it to them. That’s the sort of large area stat that I think would truly help, without tracking me personally. But you don’t have to let them know everything about you that easily.

2 thoughts on “We prefer not to

  1. Do not worry: some day you will need to provide your Social Security number to purchase something. They will not *need* your telephone number.

  2. Yeah, but by that time it’ll be embedded on a chip on my debit card, or better yet, embedded in my hand.

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