What’s Your Address?

You know what I really don’t enjoy? In many stores, when you are trying to pay, they start asking you for your phone number and address. I’m autistic, so when I’m put on the spot this way, I immediately forget my address and phone number utterly and completely.

So then I start getting nervous, especially when the cashier looks at me expectantly.

And, of course, I start inventing weird phone numbers and addresses just to get the cashier to leave me in peace.

And then the cashier starts telling me that they don’t sound right and if am I sure this is, indeed, my address.

And, of course, I get even more flustered and start cursing the moment when I had the silly idea to go into that store at all.

And the cashier picks up on my nervousness and starts examining my card very closely.

And this makes me feel like I’m some kind of a suspicious individual which always leads me to lose my speaking faculties altogether.

All this, just because I decided to buy a new hair-brush. Seriously, people, I don’t know what I would do if I online shopping didn’t exist.

There had also been a few occasions when I was asked unexpectedly for my first and last name and I blanked completely. I just stood there, staring at the person who was asking me, at a loss as to what my name could possibly be. It usually helps to fake a fit of coughing in these situations.

17 thoughts on “What’s Your Address?

  1. That is very strange. Why would they need your address and phone number just for buying a brush? It’s not like you’re opening a bank account.

    I have never been asked such information by a cashier. You have a right to refuse to give it to them.


  2. That’s just ridiculous. Next time just refuse. I doubt they would be dumb enough to turn away a customer for that reason; and if they do, then you know never to go there again.


  3. Are they just asking for phone number or address ? Not your name ? When you are paying with CC or with money too ?

    Sounds like identity harvesting to me.

    I mean there are a few shops around here who ask for your zip code, but that is it.


    1. Tim is right, Clarissa. They want to add you to their mailing lists and send you unsolicited ‘store cards’ and so on. Next time, give the cashier a cool look and say you’re sure you don’t need an identity check to be allowed to buy a hairbrush.


  4. It’s totally identity-harvesting. That way they can sent stuff to you, sell info to other people, and so on. Exception: depending on what and where you’re shopping (like MicroCenter and BestBuy and stuff) they keep your phone number on record so later if you come in to return something and don’t have a receipt, or if you purchase a service plan or something, they have you on record as having bought it from them.

    Usually I refuse, or flip the “on the spot” back to them: “Why do you need it?” If they hem and haw and mutter, I just say, “yeah, no thanks.”


    1. Thanks for telling me! I actually thought they wanted the address to verify my credit card. Now I understand why I get all those annoying catalogues and flyers in the mail.

      Sometimes, I’m just unbelievably dense. At least, now I know what this is all about.


  5. I forget those things, too!

    But retailers almost never ask me for them … I only get asked my address when I pay with a check, and then it’s more to confirm it, like, “You still live at Blah Blah Blabbity Street? OK then.”

    I agree with your other commenters that they’re just trolling for information they can sell to third-party advertisers, and that you can just refuse to tell them and you’ll still be able to make your purchases.


  6. It’s probably nothing as horrible as people planning identity theft. Many, many companies are trying to build mailing lists or lists of other info about their clients. The courts have ruled that companies CANNOT require you to disclose unnecessary personal information in order to make your purchase. So practice saying “no, I’m not giving out that information.” Practice saying it three times in a row, because they’ll keep asking you. But ultimately, you don’t have to say a word.

    And trust me, the people asking these questions don’t like being intrusive and weird any more than you do.


  7. Hey autistic. Off topic. Tell now: are you lefthanded? Lefty? I suspect you are not or in a best may be ambidekstr.
    I will then tell why.
    Re the topic I am autistic too, and have ready always a nick for those occasions and real email that I don’t use seriously and p.o. Box address ready. To fill out all that crap is so annoying me that I often do not get what I want once they asks me too much .
    I am thinking: its my time of life, watches are running, don’t do what you don’t need,it kills your presious limited time of life.
    I would say I’ve better read your blog again than do all that promotive BS.
    Even when “get Ipad” “get Iphone” “get free free “- but write down whole bunch of crap crap crap.


    1. No, I’m right-handed. In my country, everybody was forced to be strictly right-handed, usually by very cruel means. So I have no idea what I was meant to be in this sense. 🙂

      “I would say I’ve better read your blog again than do all that promotive BS.”

      -I’m all for that! 🙂


  8. The other day I got carded but didn’t have an ID on me. So, I got nervous and told the cashier that I was 25. Then I realized that I am actually 29 and told him. I then got even more nervous and told him that I had a daughter (as though that’s any proof of age). Not autistic but maybe it runs in the family. 🙂


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