Guitar Center requires Phone # to use credit card?

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jimmie

DJ of the year
It's been a long time since I posted here but I figure there's probably no faster way to get an answer to this question. I went to GC today to make a small purchase and they refused to let me buy it on my credit card without giving them my phone number. I told them it was unlisted and they still refused. The guy specifically told me it was a security measure to protect against stolen credit cards and the system wouldn't let him proceed without entering a phone number. I didn't think to give him a fake number at the time but I'll probably go back later and try that instead.

So my question: Is this a real policy at Guitar Center? Is everyone else just giving out their number and not making a big deal out of it?

I don't actually care if they have my phone number. I know it may seem silly but it's the principle of the matter. We should have the right to make a purchase without giving up our personal information. I understand requiring a ZIP Code for credit card purchases and a lot of gas stations are even doing that now. A phone number to me is crossing the line. My number is readily available and I've made no attempt to hide it. The idea that if I wanted to keep it private I have no choice in the matter is what makes me angry.
 

Ken Heath

Super Moderator...da-ta-daaa!!!
Staff member
Okay...asked a former GC manager I know;

It's a grey area...they want to make sure that the card and the person holding it are the same person, it protects the consumer and keeps them from having to refund money on stolen card transactions. Most people stealing a card can't rattle off your phone number and when confronted by the police and the credit card company to give back the money, they can show they persued due dilligence in identifying the purchaser...especially if the card and the phone number really do belong to the same person.

If his boss said to get it no matter what, then he was just trying to keep his job!
 

djtunes

Checking Reality
It is really for your protection. I believe that the phone number that's on file with the bank is required for some purchases as an extra step to prevent theft.
 

Chris Wagner

School Dance Moderator
All that is ok IF there is a guarantee they aren't going to harvest the number and use it for other means.
 

bjojade

New Member
As long as they don't sell it, it's just fine. Your choice, of course is to pay CASH instead of credit card. Then they have no reason whatsoever to collect that information.

However, if you have a good relationship with the store, having your account on file can be a good thing. Eg, we collect customer info for just about every customer that comes in the store. This way, we can go back and see what products the customer has when they have questions regarding compatibility.
 
I deal with Fraud on a daily basis. I hope to find out more about this.

Guys, it's best to have your cell phone on file as the point of contact with your debit cards and credit cards. With debit cards, be sure to contact the bank AND the card issuer for any changes of information.
 

bill_smith

MobileBeat Moderator
Staff member
Jimmie it sounds like their software screen for doing a CC won't allow them to complete without putting something in there. I'd make them show you that, so that you can at least know that it is something that they cannot get around.

I do know that a lot of stores set up files so that you can get brochures, advance notice sales, and pull your file up so that they don't have to enter it all in everytime you go into the store.

Point being, I don't think that there is a plot to invade your privacy on purpose, it sounds more like they cant complete a sale because of the handcuffs on their software.

What you COULD do, is give them a fake number, and if their reasoning is that it requires your number(that's on your credit card at your bank) to validate the purchase, well, with a BAD number, it should kick it back, shouldn't it;)

That should clear it up for you.
 

Hutt

Pro Dj groupie since 1996
they refused to let me buy it on my credit card without giving them my phone number. I told them it was unlisted and they still refused.

how do customers (yours) get ahold of you?
 

GaryBonaducci

New Member
Is everyone else just giving out their number and not making a big deal out of it?
Yeah, both Guitar Center and I believe Sam Ash has had my phone number on file for years. It lets them see my mailing address and purchasing history, which I guess helps them protect against fraud like what they've told you. Since I don't answer my home phone at all anyway, it's been no problem.

I'm not surprised that they do this in my area. There's been many times where people have been robbed, and the perps head straight for Best Buy, Target, etc. and immediately purchase high-ticket items before the card is canceled. At one company I worked for in Northeast Philly, a guy walked into our building from an open door in the warehouse, then headed into the building's office section. He wandered around looking for an empty cubicle, and when he found one he swiped that person's credit cards from her wallet. Since he left her wallet, she didn't realize she had been robbed. Later, when the theft was discovered, she called her credit card company to find out the guy used her cards to get a flatscreen TV at a Best Buy not too far away. They had videos from the store, but the police told her it happens all the time and it was unlikely he'd get caught... She was better off just dealing with her credit card company and forgetting about it!
 

DJBusyB

Active Member
I guess I don't mind having my business phone number listed on their system, as I am a legitimate business. However, I specifically put on the signature line of EVERY Credit Card I have VERIFY ID.

I had one place tell me they could not accept my credit card if it did not have my signature! I questioned this and said "It says Verify ID, so why don't you confirm that I have a photo ID where the photo matches me and the name matches my card". They had no answer.

Brian
 

bjojade

New Member
On the card, it specifically says 'card not valid unless signed'

So, the solution is to sign it, but then also write SEE ID on the same line.

Not signing it and saying 'SEE ID' only makes it EASIER for a criminal to create a fake ID with their own signature. Now they don't have to learn your signature when using the card!
 

Chris Wagner

School Dance Moderator
The "See ID" is useless. A retail clerk isn't going to take too much time with it (if they do it at all) and they aren't well versed in spotting fake IDs.

If I were a theif, I'd love to have a CC with "See ID" on it. I'd just have a fake ID with the name on the card.

A better step that you only see on rare occasions is the clerk asking to see an ID even when the credit card is signed. Now, that clerk has the live signature, the signature on the card, and the state ID/driver's license.

But, a thief is going to be able to defeat anything pretty easy these days.
 

jimmie

DJ of the year
I'm surprised by the number of people who thinks it's no big deal. My problem with GC stems from the fact that they are very invasive. The thing where you have to show them your receipt before you leave the store? They can't legally force you to do this and if they try to prevent you from leaving they can be charged with a crime for holding you against your will. I don't take issue with providing my info to a company voluntarily, it's when it becomes manidatory that the red flags go up. I love shopping at Staples. I am a Rewards Platinum member and they can market to me all they want. GC doesn't have my blessing to collect any info. I don't believe the credit card security claim. I haven't encountered it at any other stores and neither of my merchant accounts with Elavon or Innovative require me to collect this info. I think GC is being disingenuous when they say it's for card security.

I'm going to try again and give a fake number to test this theory out. If they can't process my transaction as a result, I guess I'll choose to believe them and I'll give them the correct info. If it doesn't hold up the sale then I doubt I'll be shopping at GC again.
 

Hutt

Pro Dj groupie since 1996
I'm surprised by the number of people who thinks it's no big deal. My problem with GC stems from the fact that they are very invasive. The thing where you have to show them your receipt before you leave the store? They can't legally force you to do this and if they try to prevent you from leaving they can be charged with a crime for holding you against your will. I don't take issue with providing my info to a company voluntarily, it's when it becomes manidatory that the red flags go up. I love shopping at Staples. I am a Rewards Platinum member and they can market to me all they want. GC doesn't have my blessing to collect any info. I don't believe the credit card security claim. I haven't encountered it at any other stores and neither of my merchant accounts with Elavon or Innovative require me to collect this info. I think GC is being disingenuous when they say it's for card security.

I'm going to try again and give a fake number to test this theory out. If they can't process my transaction as a result, I guess I'll choose to believe them and I'll give them the correct info. If it doesn't hold up the sale then I doubt I'll be shopping at GC again.
Do you enjoy going there? to me is seems to be a pain in the *** to go there..why bother?
 

Hits

New Member
I'm surprised by the number of people who thinks it's no big deal. My problem with GC stems from the fact that they are very invasive. The thing where you have to show them your receipt before you leave the store? They can't legally force you to do this and if they try to prevent you from leaving they can be charged with a crime for holding you against your will. I don't take issue with providing my info to a company voluntarily, it's when it becomes manidatory that the red flags go up. I love shopping at Staples. I am a Rewards Platinum member and they can market to me all they want. GC doesn't have my blessing to collect any info. I don't believe the credit card security claim. I haven't encountered it at any other stores and neither of my merchant accounts with Elavon or Innovative require me to collect this info. I think GC is being disingenuous when they say it's for card security.

I'm going to try again and give a fake number to test this theory out. If they can't process my transaction as a result, I guess I'll choose to believe them and I'll give them the correct info. If it doesn't hold up the sale then I doubt I'll be shopping at GC again.
I understand people being concerned about their information. But for cryiing out loud, it's a phone # not a SS#. When you used to write checks at a retailer, they would want your phone #? Drivers License #, address on the check and all of that. If you buy online, what information are you going to have to provide. More than GC is looking for. GC is a convienence for me when I need something fast.
 
Jimmie,

They have the right to refuse service (sell) to you. It's their store, they're taking a risk on every single transaction and it's up to them to decide how much they want to write off annually. Credit cards can be stolen, checks forged and cash could be counterfeit.

I told you that I work with fraud every day. A couple of days ago, a lady called in, responding to an email that auto sent to her to confirm information. She was calling from work and refused to call us back from her billing phone number. I canceled her $800 order of clothes at her request because we weren't going to budge either. Too much of a risk.

The phone number entered at Guitar Center's register is probably automatically matched with the billing phone number on file with the card issuer. Gas pumps here in Georgia do address verification by requiring you to enter your zip code. No match, no gas.

Every time I turn around, there's another article on how identity theft has reach epidemic proportions.

Like that lady, if you're unwilling to cooperate with minimizing theft, shop somewhere that is willing to take unnecessary risks.

If we refuse a sale, at least we have the items to possibly sell it to a legitimate customer. If we sell it through a fraudulent transaction, we'll never be able to possibly sell those particular items again.
 

bill_smith

MobileBeat Moderator
Staff member
Gas pumps here in Georgia do address verification by requiring you to enter your zip code. No match, no gas.

And that's the drill that Jimmie needs to do with GC. give them a bogus number on purpose to see if the transaction flies. If it does, then you know they are trying to do the after market thing, if the transaction fails, good for them to protect you when you do purchase.
 

Airwolf

New Member
Exactly why my business cards have my business phone number attached to them.

But regarding ID theft, I do draw the line at giving out my SS#. I had to go to a clinic for a mammogram and they had a conniption fit when I refused to give them SS# for them to use as my ID number for their records. They finally called in a supervisor who was able to do a "work around". Imagine that. Why not just assign the work around number in the first place?
 

DJSTEVEZ

DJ Emeritus
I had to go to a clinic for a mammogram and they had a conniption fit when I refused to give them SS# for them to use as my ID number for their records.
Very interesting. If that incident happened any time in the last couple of years what they're doing is "unlawful" (as opposed to illegal) and is a clear HIPPA violation. They can get a nasty fine if this practice was brought to the attention of the right regulatory agency in your state. -Z-
 
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