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View Full Version : Being the SC (this is gonna be long and probably a 2 parter)


fma_fanatic
01-18-2014, 05:29 PM
Fellow CSers, is there a time where one can be justified in being an SC? I think there are times when it can happen. I'm fairly certain what happened last Saturday was in fact justified. However, I'll leave it to you to decide.

I spent most of Christmas trying to decide what to get DaDairyDruid. He's a guy, and as such, can be difficult. Of course, I know what he likes so it could have just as been easy to go to Barnes and Noble and get him a gift card. But I also know he'd been complaining about his shoes and I decided to get him new ones.

Cue Payless (where we usually go) to find the style he likes. He bought another style and it wasn't working out for him. After much searching online, it was clear that I couldn't just walk in and buy them. I'd have to order them. So I did, opting for ship to store for free shipping.

Never. Again. At least not at the particular store that I had them shipped to, anyway.

I get the call last Friday that they're in and we plan to stop by the following day to get them. When we arrive, I tell the employee that I'm there to pick up the shoes and that's where the niceties end.

The employee asks for my ID and I figure he's just going to check to make sure I am who I say I am. Instead, he brings out a large 3" ring binder and pulls the printed ticket out and starts to write down my drivers license number.

:eek: Oh. Hell. No.

This is important to pause here for a moment - When I first moved to Missouri, I became a victim of ID Theft. Hell ensued for many years and still does every now and then. I've been adamant in my pursuit to ensure that nothing ever ends up on anyone's hands again (including having my debit card replaced twice in the past year due to security issues - namely a local grocery store and Target).

When he started writing down the info, I stopped him and asked why he was doing that.

"It's to prove you picked up the shoes." :confused:

How does that prove it exactly, other than expose me to potential fraud? No, says I. I will not allow this, please find another way for me to verify that I have picked up the shoes.

He then tries to either fine me the manual about why they do this, or something. But that binder was full of people who weren't suspect in the least that a store was taking down their drivers license number. The pages had their full address as well.

People, that's just screaming for fraud! All it takes is the store being broken into, someone finding the binder and making fake IDs. Nope, I wasn't having it and insisted again that he find another way to verify this. Finally he asks if I want to talk to the manager.

Yes, I do. "Oh, she's not here, but I can call her." I'm slowly losing my cool. DaDairyDruid can see it, and he's just trying to keep out of it (trust me, this is smart. I've been known to turn on him when nothing is his fault. Patience of a saint he has). I could tell he was unhappy on my behalf though. He has a way of carrying himself and he knew I was right in my crusade to protect my personal information.

So he calls the manager on his personal cell. Meanwhile, I'm trying to explain to the clueless other employee about how their "policy" is a bad bad idea. She demurs with the "Oh I understand..."

Me: Oh, so you know what kind of hell you go through when every law office calls you demanding payment for fraudulent accounts opened and you have to continually provide proof that they might or might not accept?
Employee: *deer in headlights* well, I haven't had my identity stolen...
Me: You have no idea what you're talking about then.

I ignored anything else she said to me because honestly anyone who pretends to understand has no clue what they're talking about. The other employee gets the manager on the speaker phone and she tries to explain to me their "policy" and she's clueless too about why I'm upset.

Finally she tells the employee to give me the shoes and then says "and if she doesn't like the policy, she doesn't have to buy from us again." Yeah, that got my blood boiling. I had wanted to let DaDairyDruid try the shoes on, but decided that if they didn't fit, I'd return them to another Payless and we'd get him shoes somewhere else.

/end part 1

Silent-Hunter
01-18-2014, 05:43 PM
You weren't sucky, the company and it's employees were.

Irving Patrick Freleigh
01-18-2014, 06:04 PM
I can understand taking down drivers' licenses in the case of returns; it helps identify who the fraudulent returners are.

But not in a three-ring binder anybody can grab. Computer systems can be hacked but they're still much more secure than a binder.

My guess is this is some kind of "security" measure to prevent theft by customers, made very insecure to customers because the average Payless shoe store runs on a very low level of technology.

As for the phone conversation between the employee and the manager--my guess is the manager said "I don't care what this person is saying about identity theft; you get their drivers license or I'm going to write you up or fire you for not protecting the company." So whatever hell you decide to rain down, please rain it down on the store manager or the people above her who require this. The store employees likely have no say on its enforcement.

Silent-Hunter
01-18-2014, 06:16 PM
Good point, I take back what I said about the employees. Except perhaps the manager.

fma_fanatic
01-18-2014, 06:40 PM
Part 2

Monday morning I used my Google-fu to find the number for the corporate office and called. It was clear as I was talking to the person taking my complaint that what happened was not the proper protocol for customers picking up items.

I was told that the only time they're supposed to take down drivers license numbers is when someone is writing a check.

I'll let that sink in before continuing.


So the manager of this store is running it with the idea that their customers are not going to question when someone writes down their drivers license number. They never did get my license number because I took back my ID the moment the employee set it down on the counter. It wasn't coming out for anything.

I am/was supposed to get a call from the district manager, but I sincerely doubt that will happen. Which is fine with me. I plan to buy the next pair of shoes for DaDairyDruid and have them shipped to me. No ship to store crap anymore.

The only positive thing (aside from the gift card they insisted on sending even after my saying no), was that the person taking my complaint understands where I'm coming from as she's had her identity stolen too.

If the district manager does contact me, I am definitely going to take up the matter of the manager running a store with a poor policy like this.

otakuneko
01-18-2014, 07:24 PM
Is one truly an SC when one is perfectly justified?

My driver's license never comes out of my wallet except for government (police, etc.) and medical offices. Inside my wallet, the number and address are covered. My name and picture are all anyone besides gubmint and medical office personnel need to see, and that's all they can see when it's in my wallet.

Cia
01-18-2014, 08:36 PM
It's possible that at this store the list started out as 'custy writing check need DL info" that morphed into a list of DL/address for everything as managers changed out.

kibbles
01-18-2014, 10:12 PM
I knew that places took driver license numbers, but only when writing cheque..not picking up shoes!! And the manager saying "well if she doesn't like it, she doesn't have to shop here"..I don't think anyone would blame you for becoming a SC after that..especially when you had very valid concerns.

cindybubbles
01-19-2014, 12:28 AM
You weren't sucky, so I asked the mods to change the thread title. Sorry about that.

Pixilated
01-19-2014, 01:02 AM
Certainly, one can be sucky even if one is justified ... it depends on how you react to a situation. In this case, I don't see that you were sucky. Angry, yes, but justifiably so. And you didn't rant and rave and scream at the staff, as if they somehow could change store policy, or invoke "Everywhere else" or "The guy at the other place" as a reason why they should do what you want.

Would definitely report that manager's comment to somebody higher up, by the way.

fma_fanatic
01-19-2014, 02:56 AM
You weren't sucky, so I asked the mods to change the thread title. Sorry about that.

Thanks cindy. Actually I do feel I was an SC. Getting upset over something that at the time might have been a policy to find out it wasn't. But I was mad. I should have tried to keep my cool. I guess if DaDairyDruid didn't try to tell me to cool it, then it might not have been that bad.

Pixelated has a point. I'm still waiting for a call, but if it never comes, I won't be surprised. I'll just take it as a lesson learned and pay the extra for shipping the next time DaDairyDruid needs new shoes.

dakhur
01-19-2014, 03:26 AM
It sounds like someone instituted a (now) redundant policy in the past, and it's been carried from the past to the future because no-one has queried it. My previous employer SaG has the same thing in that they still use hand-written ledgers of incoming and outgoing delivery transactions.

The information was probably required in the past long before identity theft became a worry, and it would have been to make sure the information of who picked up the delivery is recorded correctly, which would have helped with returns if they were done on ordered products. However, as tech has changed, no-one has thought to change a system which works to keep up.

Kittykat
01-19-2014, 03:39 AM
I can't really blame you, I've never heard of writing down a driver's license. They've checked mine at the local Wallyworld for Site to store pickups, but never written anything down. The only time a store has ever written down my license number, is Publix because that's where I get prescriptions and they have to for FDA regulations for narcotics and such.

wolfie
01-19-2014, 03:46 AM
Considering the nature of the binder, a LOT of people (i.e. anyone picking stuff up in-store) know of its existence. What's the store's legal exposure if someone steals the binder (might need to do it as an "insider" - get a job there under a false name) to sell the information? Bear in mind that in a lot of states, the driver's license # is the SSN.

This would be worse than a hacked database (e.g. Target) because, with the binder gone, the store wouldn't KNOW which customers' information was compromised.

BlaqueKatt
01-19-2014, 06:22 PM
Considering the nature of the binder, a LOT of people (i.e. anyone picking stuff up in-store) know of its existence. What's the store's legal exposure if someone steals the binder (might need to do it as an "insider" - get a job there under a false name) to sell the information?


Unless it's locked in a safe or office, most payless stores I've been to don't have an employee at the counter for the entirety of open hours, pretty sure all it would take would be someone knowing about the binder, go in with an accomplice to distract the worker, step behind the register, grab and go, with no one the wiser until the next order comes in.

Aethian
01-19-2014, 06:35 PM
Can I just say... I don't think you were a SC. You were freaked out about a legitimate concern and people weren't listening to you. If the DM doesn't call you back, call corporate again.

fma_fanatic
01-19-2014, 07:43 PM
Unless it's locked in a safe or office, most payless stores I've been to don't have an employee at the counter for the entirety of open hours, pretty sure all it would take would be someone knowing about the binder, go in with an accomplice to distract the worker, step behind the register, grab and go, with no one the wiser until the next order comes in.

This binder came out from under the front counter, and unless there's a lock, it was not safely stored.

Aethian, I'm considering that. I would have figured that they'd take this seriously, but I'm beginning to think that either they're hoping that insisting on the gift card will make me go away or they're hoping I won't bother ordering again.

Kittish
01-19-2014, 08:05 PM
I second (or third) the suggestion that you follow up with corporate, this is a huge legal liability for them. That might get their attention and cause someone to actually listen.

If it doesn't, maybe consider posting the whole thing on places like PFB. I don't frequent that site, but I have seen instances where a letter posted there prompted action by a company.

ETA: Also, you might consider filing a complaint about the whole binder thing with the Better Business Bureau.

MoonCat
01-19-2014, 09:48 PM
You were NOT, at all, sucky. SC's complain for very little, or often, NO reason. You had a damn good reason.

See if they have a facebook page. Often, complaints entered there will get a very fast response.

Captain Trips
01-20-2014, 02:31 AM
See if they have a facebook page. Often, complaints entered there will get a very fast response.

You mean here? https://www.facebook.com/payless I was thinking the same thing - so found their FB page and posted this link for you, should you decide to go that route.

Difdi
01-20-2014, 07:03 PM
My driver's license never comes out of my wallet except for government (police, etc.) and medical offices.

I've never had my identity stolen (at least as far as I know), and I don't own a car, so I took that idea a step further. I don't have a state-issued ID card -- if I need ID, I use my passport.

It works for everything a driver's license does except driving and adds at least one layer of secured government bureaucracy between me and anyone attempting to misuse the information therein.

MoonCat
01-20-2014, 09:58 PM
I have a non-driver ID, which comes from the same dept. here that issues driver's licenses, and requires the same six "points" (proof of address, etc.). It is accepted as ID exactly the same as a driver's license would be. I'm going to be a little more careful who I show it to after reading this story.