My wife and I went shopping this past weekend and at one of places we were at, the cashier kept asking for personal information. First she asked our name, then address, then phone number and it went on and on. Finally, I told the lady she didn't need that info. She kept insisting she needed it to complete the transaction. She also said she needed it for the receipt. I gave her a piece of my mind and we were on our way.

Well, this isn't the first time this has happened, but it doesn't have to happen to you.

There are many reasons these retail establishments do this. The main reason is solely because they use it to build their database so they can send customers (for all intents and purposes) junk mail. When you are asked for personal information, you can simply deny their request and pay for your item. If they insist on the info, then you can insist on speaking to a manager and inform them that is not required, nor is it law.

Now, with all of that being said, you may encounter a cashier asking for your zip code or other personal information when paying by credit card. If you are paying by credit card and the card isn't signed on the back, you might get asked for your zip code. In this case, you should just offer up your ID. These stores do not have an agreement with the credit card company that requires your zip code. As a matter of fact, some states have laws that prohibit retail from asking for personal information. If a store feels the customer is fraudulently using a credit card, then requiring an ID is legal, but no other personal information is needed.

In most cases, these stores ask for personal information so they can send you stuff, but in some cases there could be ulterior motives, like identity theft. The only time you should offer up personal information if it's 100% necessary to complete the transaction, like an address for shipping or social security number for opening a line of credit (via

So, if you're ever in a situation like my wife and I were in, simply tell them no. If they persist, give em the finger and walk out. Heck, you might go even further by calling their corporate office with a complaint. Who knows, they may send you free crap to calm you down.