Bogus! The Container Store Wants Your Phone Number

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Today was my first time in the Container Store.  I bought something;
at checkout, she asked for my phone number.  I politely declined.

She assured me that they didn't sell the number; their purpose, she
said, was to tell them where their customers were coming from for
store planning and general demographic purposes.

I'm no Einstein, but my mind works quickly enough that it took me all
of about half a second to realize that this was utter and complete BS.
I even told her that, and explained it:

1) if you want to know where your customers are coming from, use the
ZIP code where they live.

2) If you insist on using a phone number, you need only the area code
and exchange in order to pin down a geographic location.  You don't
need my entire number.

3) What about people who have only cell phones and no land lines?
"Oh, the company we use has some way of working through that," she
said.  This poor babe.  She had no idea what she was saying or to whom
she was saying it.  I explained how unless their data collection
company had inside tracks with the cell companies, which we're finding
out is HIGHLY frowned upon, a cell phone number is not trackable to a
physical location for the purposes of demographic planning.

In other words, the Container Store just throws this BS out there as a
smokescreen.  I told her up front that I didn't believe they'd never
sell my phone number, and a couple minutes later -- after explaining the
above -- I restated that.

Of course, it was like talking to a wall.  Nonetheless, it forced me
to think it all the way through and come to the conclusion that in
FACT the Container Store is lying to everyone when they say they're
going to hold your phone number private.

Either that, or they're spending a lot of time and money and effort
collecting data that are entirely useless.

But once they realize the data are useless, they'll just recoup their
losses by selling the numbers.

Fortunately she accepted without question my knee-jerk "No, thank you"
response to her request for my phone number.  But she had to plug
something in; she plugged in all 1s.

Shades of the old Radio Shack days, when you couldn't buy a 30 cent
battery without giving up your family tree and medical history.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Speaking of Radio Shack, at the store
in Skokie, IL where I worked as one of the 'you have questions, we
have answers' people, (in other words a humble sales person for a two
year period in 1994-95 96?) they were big on the that 'get a name and
_address_ and a _phone number_' for even a small purchase like
batteries. I went along with it and based, I assume, on my good looks
and charm managed to obtain a lot of names, addresses and phone
numbers. My specialty was telephones and telephone equipment. The
store manager and the regional manager and the _area_ manager (as well
as we clerks) all got such _tremendous_ heat from the general public
RS finally discontinued the system. It was a horid system, in a
terrible place to work. PAT]

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