Standing up for myself

I have so had it with people who demand private information before performing a service for me.

Take this afternoon, for example.

I went into one of our department stores — well, okay, I wasn’t going to say which store (to protect the “innocent”), but why not? It was JCPenney.

Anyway, I went in simply to pay my bill, 26 dollars and some cents (I know, last of the big spenders!). The catalog station was busy, so I found a customer service booth in the ladies section and proceeded to hand the cashier my payment stub and check.

As she was putting my check into the machine, she turned to me and asked, “Does your check have your driver’s license number on it?”

I replied, “Of course not!”

She said she’d need to see my driver’s license then.

I asked, “What for?”

She startled a bit before mumbling that it was “corporate policy.”

Now I fought this same beast a couple of years ago (same store, by the way) when a male cashier wanted my driver’s license. I obliged then but, arriving home in a hot tizzy, I called the corporate office and learned it was NOT their policy to do that.

Yes, if a person is making a purchase with a check, the clerks ask for a driver’s license for identification purposes, but not if someone is just paying a bill.

I explained all this to the girl and, seeing I wasn’t about to give in, she backed off.

Good thing. I was this close to yanking my card from my wallet, telling her to cut it up, and promising her I’d never darken their doors again!

At home, I called corporate in another fury, and they assured me I was within my rights. They also suggested I call the store manager, which I did, and she said she’d see that all the clerks are clear on their policies.

One can’t be too careful nowadays. Sensitive personal information — social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, birth date, height, weight, you name it — is too often used for identification and just as often, mis-used when it falls into the wrong hands.

And as I told that girl, “corporate” already has that information on file; they got it when they approved my application for a charge card years ago. She surely didn’t need it to process my payment.