life, thoughts

What’s Your Number?

What’s your phone number? Go ahead, type it out in a comment. No? Why not? What’s that, you say? You don’t want strangers in a public internet forum knowing your number?

Of course, I’ve asked these rhetorical questions to make a point, because I have something on my mind, and this may turn into a rant.

Why do I have to give my phone number out to everyone and their brother, sister, aunt, uncle, grandmother and every ancestor beyond?

Okay, let me explain. I’ve only been to the cosmetics store Ulta Beauty twice, and one of them was just to buy a gift card for someone. The second was last Saturday to get a product I couldn’t find anywhere else. When I checked out, the woman there asked me for my phone number. I said that I don’t usually shop at Ulta so they didn’t have it in their system. She then wanted to set up an account for me, and I told her no, because I don’t shop there often. She sighed and said, “Well, if you want to return this item you’re going to HAVE to give it to us.”

She wasn’t the only rude one at the store either. The sales woman that I asked to help me find the product was extremely snobby. I wasn’t exactly sure of the product name and she looked down her nose at me. Not to mention the rude young woman the first time I went just to get a gift card.

But, I digress.

It’s not only the high falutin’ stores that ask for phone numbers. They wanted my phone number at Big Lots, too. Except they were polite about it and told me to make sure I had my receipt if I needed to return my product.

I’ve been asked for my phone number at Kohl’s, Fruitful Yield (local health food chain), JC Penney, Petsmart, Walgreens, grocery store and more. To me, giving my phone number out to all of these places is no different than putting it in the comment sections of all of the bloggers I follow. Some of the checkout clerks seemed to get insulted when I say I won’t give it to them. PetSmart even said they won’t sell me stuff anymore if I don’t have either my phone number or their buyer card. I do have their buyer card, which has my old phone number from Florida attached, but I haven’t shopped at PetSmart since. There are other pet stores.

I stopped in for a blog post to get this off my chest today. I’m still busy with classes and moving slowly on my WIP. I’ll be popping in and out of the blogging world.

Quick note: The Ulta Beauty product I bought is terrible. Should I try to return it?

How many places have your phone number?


28 thoughts on “What’s Your Number?”

  1. I know you are keen to get people your phone number, but sadly, I can’t. I don’t want to get hacked or spammed by a person or get traced from a call like Boothworld Industries.
    Besides, I have a Story Sale! You can contact me through there and pick your stories! (Phone Number and Email included)
    I like your site!


  2. I’m definitely with you in not wanting to give out my phone number – I’ve never come across this here though, suggesting you can’t get a refund without a phone number – surely that’s breaking some kind of legislation? We do have many shops who have loyalty card schemes but I don’t often sign up for them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Andrea. We have the loyalty cards here too, and you get bonus points (for discounts) when you buy things. At first they needed your phone number just for those cards, but now they ask for it no matter what. They say they can’t do returns without a phone number, but if you have a receipt, a phone number is not necessary. The more info these computers accumulate about us, they more they can target us for ads (and who knows what else).

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Definitely take it back. Those stores say they will take back anything that doesn’t work for you. Our local Ulta is a good one but we have a Sephora that can be snooty. Sometimes I feel pressured so I rarely shop there. I have an Ulta account so they have my number and that’s how they look my account up. If I don’t shop frequently at a store I won’t bother with the rewards system. If I have to give a number I will do a series of the same number like 111 111-1111. Amazingly that’s been accepted (sometimes I use our local area code). I don’t like giving a phone number because I wonder if it will end up in even more telemarketing calls. They say it won’t but I am a doubting Thomas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kate. Yes, I do the same. I only give out my number to the stores where I shop frequently, which is the corner Walgreens where I run to frequently for an item or two. I will NOT give it out to every place I shop. It’s ridiculous. Good to know that you could use just any numbers. I may try that next time.

      I might lose my temper with the snooty attitude, if I return that item. Wish me luck. 😉

      Thanks for coming over and sharing your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh man, I hear you! I’m so tired of having to have all of these different accounts at stores that require you signing up online or at the store and being given a card, which results in a ton of emailed ads.

    Hope you’re enjoying your classes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi L. I have an old aol email address that I give out only for junk ads. It’s really getting out of hand.

      Have a nice weekend. Hopefully we’re seeing a turn for the better in the weather.


  5. Okay, I’m with you – it’s hard enough to have our multiple email boxes innundated with ads generated from these phone lists but then now texts? Not to mention just the age-old (and I’m feeling it as a generational thing) privacy thing?

    …how about a famously great Lori rant about the places that don’t accept cash for any services (ie-coffee houses, and other increasing retail places) So much fodder to write about, Lori!
    Go for it, girl!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Laura. You know, I do think it’s a generational thing. Young people today just give up all kinds of info without a second thought. We were raised with more privacy.

      Once they have your phone number in a system, you can be targeted for ads. They know what you’re buying and where. I’ve had ads pop up on the internet for something I just bought the day before. It’s really creepy. Sometimes I get an ad for something I didn’t buy but was just talking about to someone. REALLY creepy.

      Oh boy, yes, I’d have to do an entirely new blog post for places no longer accepting cash. And, how bout all these stores that are constantly pushing 10% off if you apply for their credit card? Ugh.

      Yep, plenty to rant about.

      Thanks for sharing in the phone-number-request misery. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ‘Big Brother is watching you’…oh yeah, I guess that’s another generational thing lost on the plethera of stuff people google these days…too bad such wisdom is diluted with inane tweets by those in power!
        Take care.


  6. I would try and bring it back (even tho I hate hate hate doing returns – in this case I would if it was expensive) and I like Jill’s idea of Using a random number at times

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Y. I’m still contemplating returning the product, because I might lose my temper with those snobby girls. 😛 I like Jill’s idea, too. I think I’ll try that using a fake number next time.

      Thank you for stopping by and comment, Y. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes – returns suck as it is but worse when the snobs do not realize they hurt business that way! Oh my – I won’t eat at certain restaurants that have snotty servers – have no room in my life for that – and we were dining out last month and there was a half hour wait to se say the bar outside – the bartender was so cool that right when they called us for our table – we stayed and dined there – because of her!
        And with your Ulta item – if it did not work out you really should consider going back for principle – rather than toss the item- and just shake off their uppity vibe because they likely live in a world of Botox and surface – and then they give writers some writing material for later – hah

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Nice to find good service at that bar. Seems like it’s a little more rare these days.

          The girls who work at Ulta are just that . . . girls. They’re super young faces are caked on with makeup, and they’re entitled attitudes don’t like being questioned. I know you’re right about me returning the item, but I dread it.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. yes – and if you dread it then it is not worth your energy and the taste that will linger. When that happens to me – I give the item to someone who wants it or it goes to a charity that takes whatever it is I have (and some shelters for women take make-up)

            And I recently shopped at this store across town- a discount store that i love because they have some fun things (you know, they buy a lot of items that did not sell of went out of business).
            I got in the car – hubs was driving – and noticed she charged me for two of the coffee pods (the brand was Di Bella and the blend was “culture” and so I got some for a small group – thought it would be nice to chat about) now they were discounted and so that mattered – but we were so far away by the time I noticed and I decided to let it go. I could have called and told the manager and then he would write down my name and I might have to fill out a form and then walk over and get the box – ugh.
            not fun.
            I was there again recently and almost thought about bringing it up but the lady was a little bitchy (snarky) and it was then that i just felt “let it go”
            and I will – after mentioning it here – the five bucks will come back around.
            but my point connects to your main point – snobby customer service might fly in beverly hills (even tho some have griped about it there too) but it is SO not good for business

            Liked by 1 person

  7. This phone number bit is something that has really bothered me for a long time. I thought it was just me who didn’t want to part with that information, but I see there are a lot of people out there who feel the same way. One response, when I asked what they wanted my phone number for, was in case I left my credit card behind, they could call me. I said, “Thanks, I have it right here in my hand.” There is no excuse for demanding a phone number. I often get prompted by websites to add my cell phone number (for supposed security reasons), and even if I wanted to comply (which I don’t), I couldn’t because I don’t have a cell phone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Anneli. You can no longer open any new email accounts without putting in a cell phone number. If there is an email address that doesn’t use a phone number, I’d love to know about it. My emails are all old, from before computerized cell phones.

      The reason they ask for numbers at stores is so they can collect info on what we’re buying. I used to get ads ON MY COMPUTER for things I bought where they have my phone number. Since we moved to Illinois, they still have my old, disconnected number, and I haven’t given out my new one.

      I do not like this collection of data on people. I better not get started, or this will be six more blog posts in this comment. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Couldn’t agree with you more. I think it stems from how people are just supposed to accept this collecting of information as part of life in a wired world. Many people don’t care. Think about Alexa – it will monitor your conversations. If you haven’t specifically turned off Siri or Google voice your phone is monitoring you too. In that context, giving out a phone number is almost meaningless. Knowledge is power, especially for companies trying to make money off you and trying to find out everything about you so they can “tailor” their ads to you and others like you.
    Sorry – now I’m ranting.
    Great post. I hope your classes are going well. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Lynette. Don’t even get me started on this collecting of information on us. That is something that really bothers me. I read a scary article about facebook the other day. This gathering of info is why I refuse to get a new phone. I have a Smartphone that they no longer make. It doesn’t use Google or Siri. I never use Google to search either. Not that Microsoft can’t do the same thing, but I only use their products (Bing for search) because I haven’t heard bad things about them . . . yet. I also rarely use the internet on my phone, nor do I have any social media aps on it. I use my home computer/laptop for that stuff (like this blog).

      Okay, you got me started. LOL. And I even held back on all of the stuff I know about collecting data from people. 😉

      Thanks for stopping by and understanding. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My Samsung (of course you have to watch out for Huawei and its associates now) will be glowing with apps after every update. I have to turn them all off all while the phone keeps telling me that I’m losing this or that capability. After Sunday’s update I found an app running in the background and had to turn off about five different variations of it. Pairing is another irritant – my phone knows that I have a Samsung tablet and always wants to talk to it. No!

        I agree that the younger ones are giving away their privacy at an alarming rate. They don’t seem to get that identity theft and banking fraud are real things that happen. Yikes.

        Ranting again. I’ll stop.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oy! This does sound like an irritant. And yes, I heard about Huawei, but I’d venture to guess a lot of young people haven’t heard about them.

          No problem. Rant away. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Lori, I’m baffled why so many places want your phone number?! Here you’re rarely asked to give this although they’ve started to ask for email addresses to forward receipts. I’ll always say no and ask for a printed one instead!It beggars belief that the staff are also so rude in the process. No wonder you needed a rant …my personal current bugbear are the numerous spam calls from supposedly British Telecom saying the internet is down (it’s not), wanting detail etc. I just put the phone down but the other morning one such call was at seven!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Annika. Some people might believe that spam call from your British Telecom. We get spam calls here, too, but from scammers.

      Here they ask for phone numbers so they can look up your receipt by your number if you make a return. Also, some stores you can accrue points for discounts, and they add those points every time something is bought and applied to that phone number. This is their way of incentivizing to get phone numbers. I think it’s a sales ploy so that they can put what you bought into cyberspace and send you ads.

      Thanks for stopping by, Annika. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I just give fake numbers…it’s less hassle. I’m more bothered by being asked if I’d like to make a donation to this charity or that…it changes each week. I have three main charities I donate to each month. I don’t like to be asked each time I pick up some groceries or stamps.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Jill. Giving a fake number is a good idea. I’ll have to give the same one at all the dozens of stores that ask me, otherwise I’d forget when I go back and they ask me for my number. I could give them my old number from Florida, which is probably still disconnected.

      I don’t get them asking for charity that much here. Once in a while they’ll ask if I want to round out my change for a charity.

      Thanks for the good idea. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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