Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Good for California

A new law was passed in California preventing stores from asking customers their zip codes during purchases...

In California the cashier can no longer ask for your zip code during a purchase. But even if this isn’t the law in your state, you should know if they do ask, you don’t have to answer.

Last week California’s Supreme Court ruled that asking for a zip code infringes upon consumer rights. The Song-Beverly Credit Card Act of 1971 prohibits stores from recording a consumer’s “personal identification information” during credit transactions – and the ruling labeled a zip code as personal information. Since the ruling, consumers have filed class action suits against major retailers in California, including Target, Wal-Mart and Victoria’s Secret. The penalty for requesting such information can be anywhere between a penny and $1,000.

Retailers often run a reverse check on the shopper to obtain their address information, and then proceed to send them marketing information, according to Valdes. These mailing lists are often duplicated and sold to other retailers.

When a store asks you you're zip code, do what I do. Tell them 90210. Phone number? That's easy, too. 867-5309...

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