Is K-mart violating the law?

Is K-mart violating the law?

Posted in the Pittsburgh Forum


United States

#1 Sep 10, 2007
Is K-mart violating privacy laws by asking for zip code information for Visa credit cards?

Here in Pittsburgh when I pay for my merchandise with my Visa credit card at K-mart the digital key pad asks for my billing address Zip Code. This is not a security measure it is for market research. However, they are passing off their marketing research as if it is a security measure. This, to me, is coercive and a privacy infringement. I should be given a clear choice as to whether or not I want to participate in giving out my personal information. Does anyone know if they are violating any laws regarding this?

Chicago, IL

#3 Sep 12, 2007
I don't know of any laws, but we go through the same thing at State Stores here in Phila. There should def be a choice if you want to give it out, obviously it doesn't hurt to participate, but we SHOULD have the choice.

Miami, FL

#4 Sep 12, 2007
Down here if FL the hess station asks for your zip if you use a credit card. seems like a reasonable security check. I never put in a bogous one just to see what would happen, but I imagine it has a way of verifying the billing zip.

Fort Worth, TX

#5 Sep 12, 2007
K-Mart already violates the law (as do many businesses) by selling tobacco. It's illegal to poison people, no matter how slowly you do it. Tobacco should be banned, since it's illegal.

Philadelphia, PA

#6 Sep 12, 2007
Ron wrote:
K-Mart already violates the law (as do many businesses) by selling tobacco. It's illegal to poison people, no matter how slowly you do it. Tobacco should be banned, since it's illegal.
SHUT YOUR MOUTH A$$ you fail to realize your talking about banning freedom of choice.your an idiot

Norfolk, VA

#7 Sep 12, 2007
A busness can make their own rules as long as they dont brake any laws. I have left grocies at the checkout and walked out before.

I give them my phone No and tell them not to call and if I can put it in writing. I am on the "Do Not Call List" But you have to tell them not to call. cause you are doing busness with them and expemt from it. They also cant sell your No cause no one else can call you either.

As for address thats public knowlage and anything sent to me is shreaded.

...after I check for that million $ check

United States

#8 Sep 12, 2007
When they ask me for my Zip I just give them one for the next county. Then, I find another place to shop. No business has the right to expect the customer to provide them with a mailing list, for junk mail.

It is something like the supermarkers demanding your phone number when you use their 'club cards'.
Just because they are favored by our business, doesn't mean we owe them anything more than the cost of our purchase.

Around here; we shop the Farmers Markets where they take cash only and provide the customer with, fresh off the vine, produce.

By the way, The farmers will give YOU a phone number and address, so that you can order directly from the farm, if you wish.

Norfolk, VA

#9 Sep 12, 2007
Forhealthsake wrote:
When they ask me for my Zip I just give them one for the next county.
I do the same. I give them the one at the VaBeach ocean front. I have had to enter lat and long online and give them the location of a wreck in the Cheaspeake bay. There is a site for temp email and I use it to stop junk mail. That was the only thing I liked about AOL. To totaly block junk.

We have stores called Food Lion here.(and everywhere) that have a discount card called a MVP card. I have used it for over 10 years. I would like to see what data they have on me. Keep in mind that whatever they say, the infomation they collect is to help them and not you.

By law feds cant collect that type of data, but if they want it they know where to find it. They can also buy it like other big busness can.

Oak Forest, IL

#11 Sep 12, 2007
K-Mart charged me the full price instead of the ad price most of the time. Such crooks. I like Walmart. HeHe
Vern Douba

Hammond, IN

#12 Sep 13, 2007
It's KMART, soon that idiot Lambert will put them and Sears into the toilet. He can't sell off any more property and he and the nitwits he has hired do not have a clue on what their doing. All those complaining are probably the ones talking on their cell phones with no care everyone can hear their life stories and others with the Bluetooth rigs in their ears looking like they have been assimilated by the Borg. Give them the zip code.

United States

#13 Sep 15, 2007
Martha Stewart is the shining star of Kmart, as far as I'm concerned. Her products are very well made and stylish.

Thanks for all your reponses on this issue. The main beef I have with Kmart concerning this is the coercive method they're using to do their market research. I'm just a little man, up against a huge corporate goliath here, a little gadfly taking a tiny bite out of someone's time, a concerned consumer trying to do what little he can to hold back the tide of privacy invasion. It's a little thing what they're doing, a tiny overstep, but hardly anyone notices, hardly anyone besides my little self cares? I fear, if no one speaks up and say's "excuse me sirs, you're overstepping your bounds," what's gonna stop them from implementing more invasive measures?

So I called them at 1 866-KMART-4-U, and the lady who answered my call right off the bat asked me for my full name and telephone number, I responded by telling her that I was calling about a privacy concern and was not comfortable in giving out my personal number (with the 866 technology they have my number anyway!), well you know what she did? The lady hung up on me, which made me angry enough to post this issue here, and every where else I can get people to read how Kmart does business.

Here's the email I sent them, and still no response:

<<<I recently purchased some merchandise at a Kmart in Western Pennsylvania. When I paid with a Visa credit card the digital key pad asked for my billing address Zip Code. This question was not a security measure (as the head manager confessed to me) but used for market research.

The way this market research is being carried out—that is, in the guise of credit card security—is coercive and, in my view, a privacy infringement. The digital key pad did not present the question as optional. Kmart customers should be given a clear choice as to whether or not they want to participate in giving out personal information.

I understanding the rules for Visa credit card transactions to be that if my card is signed, and if my signature on the credit card slip bears a "reasonable likeness" to the signature on the back of my card the merchant can not demand additional personal information, such as photo ID, phone number or even a zip code. I'm not a lawyer, but I suspect what you are doing may very well be illegal in the state of Pennsylvania and elsewhere. It should, at least, be considered a deceptive research tactic and consequently unethical.

Thank you for your attention to this matter,

“Life is a great puzzle”

Since: Sep 07

VaBeach, VA

#14 Sep 15, 2007
Another thing to think about. Giving out personal info with purchases gives a record of what you bought. Even if like Google they use something other than names to keep track of people. If anyone really wanted to track you it is possible just by a profile. Example: You bought a book and a beach towel and a house plant from a store. To find your records all that has to be done is look for someone who bought those items at the same time. (date also helps too) If customer 11543 bought these items now they can see everything you ever bought. The government does not need to save any info on you. If they need it they either buy it or get a court order for it. Some cases they can do it secretly. The only way around it is pay cash.(while you can)

East Liverpool, OH

#20 Nov 27, 2007
There are privacy concerns in our world today, this is true. However is it the media that has us so paranoid that the thought of passing out any information is cause for concern. I recall years when giving your full birthdate, mothers maiden name, address, phone number, etc was the norm. Today we live like the movie Enemy of The State in a state of paranoia. I have recently had my credit card used by unknown vendor employees without my authorization. We all are at risk , but we are at risk of being in an auto accident and being hit by lightning for that matter. I choose not to live in a world of paranoia.


Since: Oct 07

Charleston SC

#21 Nov 28, 2007
Ron wrote:
K-Mart already violates the law (as do many businesses) by selling tobacco. It's illegal to poison people, no matter how slowly you do it. Tobacco should be banned, since it's illegal.
On what planet is tobacco illegal?

Fort Wayne, IN

#22 Apr 8, 2008
The ZIP code isn't for marketing. It's to reduce the risk of theft. If the ZIP code doesn't match the zip code for the credit card's billing address, the charge shouldn't go through.


#23 Apr 9, 2008
Rock why cant you participate in a conversation without namecalling? you think we should ban all cell phone stores too. they cause brain cancer......why just stop at tobacco

Seattle, WA

#24 Aug 2, 2009
I work at a k-mart here in washington state. You do have a choice if you want to give your zip code or not all you have to do is hit clear when it asks for your zip code and it will move on to ask you if you want debit or credit. Maybe if you people would ask or state that you didn't want to give your zip code the associate working would have told you how you could skip that part. I guess some people are just to lazy to ask or say straight up when they don't want to give something out.

Las Vegas, NV

#25 Nov 1, 2012
AMEN ^^^

Saint Albans, WV

#26 Dec 10, 2013
The Do Not Call List only applies to companies that are selling you something. It doesn't apply to anyone else such those giving surveys or asking for donations. I do this for a living!
Kenny sux

Verona, PA

#27 Dec 12, 2013
...and that's a deficiency the politicians won't fix, as they love governing by polls of a mere sample of the voters... if they look at likely voters at all. That, and they can advertise & solicit your money!

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