Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I wag my finger at Nordstrom Rack

I just had the oddest customer service experience at Nordstrom Rack. As the clerk rang me up for my purchase, he recited his spiel about a rewards card and how it could save me money, was free, and would take only 1 minute of my time. I said sure, why not.

He asked for my ID and input the information into his computer. Then he pushed a keypad forward and asked me to enter my Social Security Number.

Hold that thought for impact. Roll it around on your tongue. My. Social. Security. Number.

I chuckled and said no. He explained it was necessary in case I lost my card. It was to protect ME from MYSELF. I declined again. He continued the transaction, vaguely, and I still assumed I was being signed up for the rewards card and saving $20. I asked him about it when he handed me the receipt and he said, "Oh, without your social security number, I can't sign you up."

I blinked and said, "Really? I'm surprised you get anyone at all to give you that information. What about identity theft? Most companies use a phone number." He shrugged.

And that was that.

I'm just plan flabbergasted. They took my ID, with my birthday, address, driver's license number, and then they wanted my social security number? Incredible! Why don't I provide my bank account number while I'm at it, my mother's maiden name, and my first pet's name? It's not even a credit card application. It's a rewards card!

For the first time I wished I used Twitter so I might alert the whole Internet to this madness post-haste.


Daniel B. said...


microblogging FTW.

I tend not to make any sense after 140 characters anyway...

Anonymous said...

They were getting ready to run a credit check. It's tied to their Nordstrom card.


Christy said...

Daniel, thanks, I'll check it out. :)

Anonymous, I suspected that was the case but the clerk clearly had memorized a spiel and nowhere in it did he mention a credit check. Looking back on it I'm actually insulted by the whole interaction. Disguising a rewards card as a gateway to a credit card is downright dishonorable, especially when you consider the last thing people need in this economy is to be tricked into applying or being authorized for yet another credit card. I am not anti-credit card, I am pro-transparency.