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SpringHeeledJack
13th Sep 2011, 22:16
I bought a pair of socks the other day and they were incorrectly labled (too small) which made putting them on a futile Chaplinesque comedy. I took them back to the shop and requested my £5 to be refunded as I didn't need anything else from the shop. A refund was no problem, except they needed my name, address and contact number before authorising this :hmm: And that for a very small refund.

I have noticed, especially in the last few years, the ever more penetrating desire of almost all commerce and government outlets to have as much of you as possible, I might be a rare beast, but I just want to buy something and that's that. I find myself becoming ever more reticent to divulge who I am or where I live to anyone who has no business knowing. How many websites stop you from purchasing or applying etc without giving them your pound of flesh ? It really get's my goat and I often find myself giving false information as a countermeasure, something that i'd prefer not to have to do. How do others deal with this conundrum and do they have coping strategies ?



SHJ

11Fan
13th Sep 2011, 22:32
Lie about who you are. For instance, my name isn't really 11Fan.

vulcanised
13th Sep 2011, 22:42
Funnily enough I went through that charade yesterday at Wickes. I bought some ready-mixed mortar and didn't notice until I got home it was 2 months past its use by date.

Two months later they gave me a refund without problem but wanted all my details. I will be most annoyed if I find that has put me on a mailing list.

McGoonagall
13th Sep 2011, 22:53
Register for a couple of other email addresses. Only use these for instances where you are required to provide an e-addy. Visit them periodically to delete all the bollocks and keep them active. Job done.

tony draper
13th Sep 2011, 23:01
Or tell em you dont have a computer(millions of of folk in this country dont) and have no idea what a email is or indeed would recognise one if you were pissing on it.
Invent a address summat like 27 Lufwaffe Street Coventry.
:rolleyes:

mixture
13th Sep 2011, 23:03
How many websites stop you from purchasing or applying etc without giving them your pound of flesh ?

Surely it's a bit difficult to conduct an e-commerce transaction if you don't want to provide them with a delivery address ? :cool:

However, anything other than core details necessary for the transaction in question, I always refuse to enter other stuff on forms.


How do others deal with this conundrum and do they have coping strategies ?


As others have said, false information where it's not important (e.g. before being granted access to download a free document). Multiple emails is also one that I use.

However, in terms of people asking for unnecessary details and bricks 'n' mortar shops asking for unnecessary details, I just recite various pieces of legislation at them and it tends to shut them up pretty sharpish.

G-CPTN
13th Sep 2011, 23:09
In my experience, they want 'a' name, address and signature to establish that it isn't a member of staff fiddling or a customer stealing and requesting a refund.

I have never had a follow-up (at least, not to my knowledge, although I have found myself back on the Readers Digest circulation!).

I confess to having given a false address when one store insisted that I fill out a television licence registration when I bought a computer not fitted with a TV tuner.
It was easier than convincing the assistant (and the store manager) that there wasn't a TV tuner fitted.

ShyTorque
13th Sep 2011, 23:10
I always pay cash and give a false address when buying a new TV set.

Rollingthunder
13th Sep 2011, 23:36
Bring back the receipt.

osmosis
14th Sep 2011, 02:40
I was asked to give some personal details one day and began to give them until they refused to accept a h.o.t.m.a.i.l. address insisting on my ISP address instead. I think the term effoff may have been used soon after that.

SpringHeeledJack
14th Sep 2011, 07:23
Dedicated e-mail addresses for websites and the like make sense, if only to cut out all the marketing crap and spam, but then if you've paid with real credit/debit cards your information can be used for other purposes such as being sold on to other companies. The false address ploy is always worth a go, though one does have to have all the details in the noggin :8

However, in terms of people asking for unnecessary details and bricks 'n' mortar shops asking for unnecessary details, I just recite various pieces of legislation at them and it tends to shut them up pretty sharpish.

Any particular passages that I need to brush up on ?



SHJ

mixture
14th Sep 2011, 09:02
Any particular passages that I need to brush up on ?

One of the easiest is Principle 3 of Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act :

Personal data shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose or purposes for which they are processed.

The ICO provides an expanded explanation of it :

This is the third data protection principle. In practice, it means you should ensure that:

- you hold personal data about an individual that is sufficient for the purpose you are holding it for in relation to that individual; and

-you do not hold more information than you need for that purpose.

So you should identify the minimum amount of personal data you need to properly fulfil your purpose. You should hold that much information, but no more. This is part of the practice known as “data minimisation”.


I would consider collecting name,address etc. in relation to refunds would be incompatible with principle 3 above. Especially if you are able to produce a receipt or other evidence of purchase (e.g. extract from credit card statement).


Buying stuff online/phone/mail-order is great these days, as you've got the very handy "Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000". With few exceptions, it gives you an automatic cooling-off period of seven days starting from the date from which the goods are received. And what's more, the legislation specifies that you DO NOT have to give a reason for asking for a refund.

Finally, there are your core statutory rights that items have to be of reasonable quality, fit for their purpose and as described. However, in terms of "bricks 'n' mortar" in-store purchases, you are generally expected to give the retailer a reasonable opportunity to rectify the situation in-house and use the refund card as a last resort.


(Disclaimer : Should be noted that I'm not a lawyer etc. etc.. )

Capetonian
14th Sep 2011, 09:23
As G-CPTN said, it is a part of audit procedures in some companies to ensure the refund has gone to the right person. That said, it's still bullshit and should not be necessary, particularly for small cash refunds.

The problem with giving a false address in the UK is that they ask for a postcode which covers a range of buildings, so you can't invent an address. If you use a real address which is not yours, you are doing something which is at best unfair on whoever owns that address and could even be illegal.

I solve the problem by saying I don't live in whatever country I'm in when it happens, and in the UK the systems are usually only designed for UK postcodes, so giving a foreign address will stump them.

Vrotpiel Goffelnaaier
Joumasepoes Laan
Kakdorp 1820
South Africa

............... generally does the trick. I did this once in a shop in Weybridge and the woman standing behind me was South African and started laughing which somehow gave the game away! Shen ended up buying me a toasted sandwich and tea for making her laugh so much!

Seriously though I find this intrusive and unnecessary and I sometimes refuse to give details.

I almost reached an impasse recently when hiring a car (in UK). I understand the checks they need to go through to establish identity, credentials, credit worthiness and so on, when I'm driving away with their motor car worth several thousnds pounds. I've been using the same national company for a long time and recently a new question popped up when the clerk asked me if he could have my employer's name and address. So I said no, because I don't have an employer. He asked why, and as there are a range of potential answers to that, I said because I didn't see why it was appropriate or necessary, so he simply ticked the box which shows what a farce so much of this is.

ExSp33db1rd
14th Sep 2011, 09:34
Dealing with Postcodes is tricky when completing Online info. for a USA purpose, from a foreign address. The address can usually be filled in without too much distress to the receiving computer, and even - if using a foreign address - any old State abbreviation, but the postcode is often a mandatory reqm't and unable to be made up. Not all US sites offer the drop-down menu option of " not a US address "

( sad to say, not a lot of the population are aware of the Great Wide World beyond the shores of New York or Los Angeles - that's why ! Ooops, not really being anti-US, just stating fact !)

mixture
14th Sep 2011, 11:41
Capetonian,

it is a part of audit procedures in some companies to ensure the refund has gone to the right person.

Not your problem that their audit procedures are poorly constructed. You should still refuse under the DPA. The more people that stand up for this nonsense the better.

I solve the problem by saying I don't live in whatever country I'm in when it happens, and in the UK the systems are usually only designed for UK postcodes, so giving a foreign address will stump them.


How about good old fashioned Poste Restante ?


Your name
POST RESTANTE
Post Office name
Full address of the Post Office
Postcode of the Post Office


See PostOffice website here (http://www2.postoffice.co.uk/letters-parcels/receiving-letters-parcels/redirection-options/poste-restante).

Beer_n_Tabs
16th Sep 2011, 22:10
Over the years I admit I have had to return various goods for different reasons, and had to succumb to giving umpteen details which now I think about it may not in my tiny mind be required, but suppose they have their reasons.

To this day though I havent had more than the usual junk mail through the letterbox, rarely do we get door to door sales men trying to flog crap, my email spam hasn't gone in to overdrive, MI5 havent kicked my door down, may bank account hasn't been cleared out by some rogue, and as I have to fill in the little form that allows me to vote then the guvinment already know where I live.

So in conclusion......


http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQy6JTEyXfyG0y7KpoTsiQZVulrjBBwjV7lypHRlXO f4J_x2fUbqQ

SpringHeeledJack
17th Sep 2011, 08:16
You are, of course, totally correct Mr Beer, there are plenty of other things to be properly concerned about, but the ever more penetrating strategy to have personal information way beyond that which is reasonable. In the example in the OP, a mislabled and faulty pair of socks :} costing £5, paid in cash and with receipt in hand required me to divulge enough information about myself to be well over the invasive line. I shall have to tweak my accent and in future just plead tourist status and circumvent the BS :)



SHJ