Sunday, April 15, 2007

Chinese Resturaunt Headaches

Ok, I thought about writing this article yesterday but I was still hot under the collar at the time. I'm glad I waited because I've had time to think about it now and maybe this wont come off as just ranting.

Yesterday while at work I ordered lunch from a local Chinese restaurant. I've ordered lunch and dinner from them for a couple of years now and they have good food and their delivery drivers are some of the most prompt in Knoxville. I've had absolutely nothing bad to say about them, until now....and its not entirely their fault.

Let me start from the beginning. I called, made my order, and decided to use my Visa debit card like I've done dozens of times before. I give my number, my expiration date....and then he asks me a question I've never had asked from a delivery place before. My billing address. I'm at work! Why do you need my billing address! Haven't you ever heard of invasion of privacy?

I confront him about this as nicely as I can muster, and he tries to tell me its to protect me in case someone steals my card. I reply that if my card is stolen its none of his business, I can have it canceled and if I don't its my problem, not his. He then complains they've been getting a lot of canceled cards and they're trying to protect themselves. This is understandably frustrating for any business owner, but its the cost of doing business. They can sue for their money or they can do the same thing Walmart does when they don't catch shoplifters....write it off on their taxes. The bottom line is its not my problem, don't try and take my right to privacy away.

The order taker then tries to explain they have a new credit card system and it requires it. He further explains that they don't even have a computer at the restaurant and they're an honest small business. Of course at this point I do feel kinda bad for the guy because I know this to be the truth. Credit companies have no souls; they need your name and address so they can sell them to marketing firms to send you useless junk mail.

Nevertheless, I don't let him totally off the hook. I tell him I believe him to be honest and don't think he'll steal my info, but I do reprimand his restaurant for choosing such an invasive company to do business with.

Do I feel sorry for him? A little, but maybe if enough people complain about all the intrusive behavior by these companies they'll start insisting the credit companies lay off. This continual invasion of privacy has got to stop! Between these intrusions by big business and the government we're quickly losing what made this country great.

So long as I'm not harming anyone else I should be able to live totally anonymously from Uncle Sam AND Uncle Sam Walton. Please, stand up for your rights, don't just roll over and let them be sold to the highest payed marketing agency!

No comments: