Give them the data
As long as they write to each client requesting their full agreement, in advance ! Where no answer from the client is considered a refusal by default.
Customer data is being considered as an asset for sale as part of RadioShack's Chapter 11 bankruptcy auction. The auctions, which took place earlier this week, are set to receive either approval or rejection from a federal bankruptcy court on Thursday. Among the assets available are 250+ stores in Mexico, just under 1,000 …
Won't work that way... they'll weasel it into "opt-out" but in very very tiny, light gray ink on white paper. At the very bottom of the last page of the latest catalog and coupon mailing.
Nice thought though and I wish things would work that way. Much like websites with tick-boxes already pre-checked and hidden in a pile of other text so they can claim you "checked the boxes".
This is where the law gets murky.
First, the data on their customers is an asset. It has value and one could place a dollar amount on it. You can thank Silicon Valley VC types for this.
So while the privacy laws may restrict how they use the data, it doesn't mean that the bankrupt company couldn't sell the data.
In short, you're still screwed because they could always join this data to their existing data on you ...
If they want to fight this in the name of privacy, to get maybe some fuel for better privacy laws, then I'm all for it. However, this shit has been going on since before the invention of the computer, so getting a company to try and sell you more shit via e-mail or snail mail is just another day.
"In short, you're still screwed..." Trust me, if
PhoneShack RadioShack is involved at all, I already know I'm screwed. About ten years ago one of their "agents" tried to sell me a phone. I said no. Then he tried selling one to my underage son. The little bitch flinched before I wised up and knew I was on camera (I saw RED). However, what I didn't know until later was that what he just attempted was technically solicitation of a minor, and I could of sued the branch. If I wasn't so infuriated I probably would of realized that sooner. So, if something like that happens to you, keep your wits about you, don't wind up like me by going cave man and miss the obvious blow that will land harder than your fist (I'm actually getting pissed right now remembering it :-/ )
The Register may collect, process and use your personal data (including your name, postal address, email address, telephone, mobile and fax numbers). We will do so to contact you regarding the services you have requested and/or to offer services to you, and/or to provide the services you have requested. This includes re-registration/renewal notifications, payment processing, surveys on improving our service to you and/or invitations to exhibitions, seminars and shows. The Register may employ trusted third party specialists to process and use your data on our behalf in order to deliver the products and services to you in a more efficient manner.
It wasn't just my email address but my name, company name, job role and direct line number that they passed on. The third parties confirmed from where they received the information and El Reg confirmed they did indeed supply it.
I've received apologies from many of those involved but, in real terms, this is illegal marketing and fraud.
This was Dixons in the UK as wel. I was desperate, needed batteries, total was 4.99 or something. "What is your phone number?"
"Why do you need my phone number?"
"I just need your phone number", and looked like he wanted to be somewhere else, like me!
Many PoS systems request email and phone # as a way to get more marketing data. You'd be surprised at how many people give it up without a fight.
I can understand this for online orders, however... at the PoS where you're buying the product in person?
In the States you can always give them <area code> 555-1212 (informtion) or any other 555 number which is never used as a real number.
From rec.humour more than 25years ago:
Do these guys at Radio Shack ever get on your nerves, asking you for a bunch of personal data when you're just there to buy something as simple as a couple AA batteries? I think we should inconvenience these people as much as they do us. A while ago I was in Enid buying a printer cable adaptor and the guy asked me for my name.
"Ghosseindhatsghabyfaird-johnson," I replied.
(blank look of confusion)
"How do you spell that?" he asked, obviously not wanting to know.
"With a hyphen," I clarified
"Once more?" he asked
"Could you please spell that?" he asked, glancing at the half dozen people waiting behind me.
"Oh... just like it sounds," I said nonchalantly.
Putting down "Johnson," he went on and asked about the address.
"Washburn, Wisconsin, 14701 N.E. Wachatanoobee Parkway, Complex 3, Building O, Appt. 1382b," I replied.
Almost through writing all this down, I said, "Or did you mean current address?"
Stoping, he said, (becoming irritated) "Yes. Current address."
"Diluthian Heights, Mississippi, 1372 S. Tinatonabee Avenue, Building 14C, Suite 2, Box 138201," I replied quite slowly.
Waiting until he finished I said, "No, wait, it's NORTH Tinatonabee Avenue." Annoyed, he backed up and changed it.
"I think," I interjected.
That "Battery Of The Month Club" was just a ploy to capture my data, circa 1973.
Once upon a time, Radio Shack brought in a truck load of cheap flashlights that came with the red cone attachments like you'd use to marshall an aircraft. Could not keep them in stock. Hundreds and hundreds sold per week. Insane.
The last time I used them was pre internet for me and I have moved several times since - but that time they asked for my Thumb print I asked why and they said there was a problem with credit cards identification, I said NO (was quite shouty) and as they wouldn't budge left without buying and never returned to any of their shops. It was only a small pack of AA baterys
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