what the fuck!

Ok, since the last time I looked, did it become impossible to conduct internet commerce without letting some monkey call you on the telephone first??

I've now tried to order a stereo for my car from two different companies, and neither of them would ship the order without a phone number. "I will not give you my phone number, because I don't trust you not to give it to telemarketers," I mailed them. "Ok, we've cancelled your order," they said, "Have A Nice Day, Please Come Again." I'm now making attempt number three.

What the fuck!

I sense the hand of fate telling me, "you only drive your car once a month, it's fine that there's been a big empty hole in the dash where the music used to come out for two years, you don't need this stupid thing."

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16 Responses:

  1. icis_machine says:

    have you asked then if there are other ways they can verify that you are a legit buyer?

    i.e. the cyberdog method: fax a pic of the card

    or only ship to the billing address.

    or just billing address verification in general?

    • jwz says:

      No, I just told them to fuck off and went elsewhere. I was shipping to the billing address. I'm not doing business with someone who makes me jump through pointless hoops.

  2. atakra says:

    I totally agree. Twice in the past month I've gotten in almost-arguements with the cashier people at Best Buy and Office Max because they ask me for my phone number and/or zip code in order to track their demographics. When I've refused to give them either they usually have to call their manager to come and close the sale. On a related note, somehow Safeway got my real home address and real name and sent me a card that *gives* me %5 off every time I go there. BUT I'm still using the old one that has a long name made only of consonants which is great fun when they ask you to pronounce your name. when they ask, "how do I pronounce your name?" I usually answer with "VERY carefully."

    • icis_machine says:

      i have also... even for a refund of a few cents at the hardware shop. i paid i cash for pete's sake.
      i refused to give a name or zip for 43 cents.

      after 5 minutes of discussion, i have them j smith at 55555.
      this satisified them. although i don't know how.

    • jwz says:

      Every time I go to Safeway they act shocked that I don't have, or want, a "club card." They don't seem like the sort who are good actors, so I must assume that I'm the only one they ever get that response from. "You'd save a lot of money!" "I don't like being tracked." (click, click) "See, you would have saved $1.22!"

      One thing I've always wondered: does the merchant have the ability to save the info off of your ATM card? I think I remember reading that that is illegal, but if it isn't, there wouldn't be a need for these "club cards" because they have all the info already anyway, unless you pay cash, which nobody does.

      • chaobell says:

        I've known people who've worked at grocery stores, and they tell me they have a lot of Donald Ducks, Mickey Mouses (Mickey Mice?), and Abe Lincolns sign up for club cards.

        One claimed to have seen a guy sign up as Jesus H. Christ.

  3. neschek says:

    Maybe buy from someplace local? get something used off ebay or craigslist or something? Hell, I'd just about rip my stereo out to give to you. I don't drive but about once a month either.

  4. naturalborn says:

    Once the grocer at Safeway asked me what my name was. After a few seconds of us staring at each other, I answered 'Jones!', obviously kidding.

    I think she was giving me a test to determine if I was worthy of the receipt which can give you some kind of savings. She gave it to me anyway. Bitch.

    I payed via ATM once and the grocer said my name that time, but not since then, I guess they don't keep it. Them saying my name gives me the creeps, my identity doesn't need to be announced to everyone else in line.

    • jwz says:

      Yeah, I really don't feel that things have gotten more friendly and personal by hearing them say, "thank you mister Za Za Za Za Za Zawin Za Za..."

      • hafnir says:

        Since I guess we're on a tangent anyway, see that doesn't bother me nearly as much as when you're at the video rental store and they have to list off out loud everything you're renting. Even if I was renting "Bambi" I'd be embarrassed, so what's up with that?! I've even complained and they do it anyway - I think I'm not jock and/or attractive enough. Do you think if I finished each item as they said it with "for your mom", they'd stop? Nah, I'd just get kicked out of the rental club, wouldn't I.

  5. klarfax says:

    why not just put in a fake phone number?

    • jwz says:

      I got the distinct impression from the first one that they were planning on having a monkey actually call me to confirm the order before shipping out, so in that case, a fake number wouldn't help.

      The third store hasn't cancelled the order yet, so this time for sure. (This time I entered "no phone" instead of "555-1212".)

      I get zero telemarketing calls now, and it's partly due to being a total hardass about giving out my number. It took two years before I expired off the various lists.

      • naturalborn says:

        I just moved and I get constant phone calls not for anyone in particular, but for targeted at phone numbers in my exchange in general. They don't even know who lives here. Some of them don't even have operators, just recordings which play when you pick up.

        We need spam filters for phones.

        I head if you make your answering machine play the fax machine pick-up sound initially you'll get off all the lists real fast though.

      • yakko says:

        I handle telemarketer cleanup a bit differently.

        I have this old USR Sportster that's hardware-strapped to answer on the first ring. It cut my telemarkerter calls way down after leaving it hooked up for a week.

        Too bad I need to do this again, because I'm a dumbass and didn't give them my phone number from 2 addresses ago, or didn't just say "No. fucking. way."

    • jlindquist says:

      Balancing both the "Divert telemarketers" and "I can be reached if it's legitimate" needs, I habitually give out the number for the Qualcomm switchboard. ((858) 587-1121, tell your friends.) The idea at the time was, if someone truly needs to speak to me, they'd likely call during business hours, when a receptionist can transfer them. (Or after the VM system upgrade, they can just punch my name in as DTMF.) If the number finds its way to a telemarketer, at least the call gets picked up by someone who's paid to spend their time answering the phone. (And just maybe, they'll be sharp enough to put it on an "obvious waste of time" do-not-call list.)

      I haven't allowed the fact that I quit working for Qualcomm almost a year ago to stop me. Besides, my blasted voicemail account there still works!

  6. otterley says:

    I only give out my cell phone number. I receive very few telemarketing calls (the only ones have been from credit card companies asking me if I want "protection") because it's illegal for telemarketers to dial them (similar to the anti-junk-FAX laws out there), as it costs the recipient (me) money to pick up the phone.