You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Should you give out your zip code in the checkout line?


You’re checking out at the cash register, and at the point of sale, the cashier asks you for your phone number or zip code.

Why do they want that zip code? Most assume it’s to validate one’s credit card. But that’s not the real reason.

It’s because they want to get your address and create a shopping profile on you so they can better market to you. They want to want to know what kinds of products you’re most interested in order to provide them to you. The upside of this is that you may receive some great coupons and deal alerts in the mail. But the downside? Junk mail. Lots of it.

Bed Bath & Beyond just got sued for collecting personal information in order to send unprecedented amounts of unwanted junk mail to its customers.

When Clark is asked to provide his zip code at a check out register, he always politely declines. Most cashiers aren’t used to that. But, most will not pressure you any further about it either. And if you want those coupons (as our penny-pinching producer Joel does), and don’t mind the inevitable pile of junk mail that comes with it, it’s perfectly OK to continue giving out that information.

An important distinction: This does not apply to gas station kiosks and similar “unmanned” places, where one is required to enter a zip code to process the credit or debit card transaction. In these cases, that is a protective anti-theft measure.

Need help dealing with credit card companies?

If your credit card issuer is mistreating you, or if you’re having trouble with your mortgage lender, you’ve got a new place to turn for help.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is now taking consumer complaints about credit cards, consumer loans, student loans, mortgages and more.

When you file a complaint with CFPB, they do two things. First, they catalog and code it and use a database management system to figure out if there’s a pattern of problems that call for further investigation.

Second, they send the complaint on to the bank or lender or whoever you’re questioning. The bank is allowed to contract the consumer and try to solve the problem. If they think they’ve solved it, the bank will tell the CFPB, acknowledging that it’s been taking care of. (The consumer may see it differently at this point, but time will tell how well this system works overall. So far, it’s been a great system.)

In my book, this is a very useful process. The opportunity to fix problems and have the feds look for patterns is great. I’m not certain why some Republicans seem to have it out for the CFPB. After all, we taxpayers spent $7.4 trillion to save the banks. Wouldn’t it be nice if they followed the laws of the land?

That’s the goal of the CFPB, to bring them to accountability.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in

Michelle Obama takes dogs Sunny and Bo on final walk through White House
Michelle Obama takes dogs Sunny and Bo on final walk through White House

The Obamas will soon leave the White House for the last time as the president and first lady. Their eight years in the historic house is coming to an end. First lady Michelle Obama took the Obama’s Portuguese water dogs Bo and Sunny on what’s described as a final walk through the building the Obama’s have called home now since 2009...
Dog found in Detroit with ears, nose cut off
Dog found in Detroit with ears, nose cut off

The Michigan Humane Society is seeking the public’s help in a horrific case of animal abuse. The organization received a call from a concerned citizen in a Detroit neighborhood on Tuesday, and a rescue team located the injured Rottweiler mix and rushed him to an animal hospital after observing his severe wounds, according to a press release from...
Dating website matches Trump supporters
Dating website matches Trump supporters

One California man wants to "make dating great again" with a Trump-themed dating website. Trump Singles is a not-quite-new, but suddenly ignore-at-your-own-peril dating site is aimed squarely at supporters of the president-elect. Founder David Goss launched the site in May 2016 for "like minded" people with the same political views...
Gmail phishing scam may lead users to give up login info
Gmail phishing scam may lead users to give up login info

A new phishing scam is allowing hackers to gain access to unsuspecting Gmail users' accounts and target their login credentials, according to recent reports. Mark Maunder, CEO of security service Wordfence, described the scam in detail in a blog post, adding that it is also targeting other services beyond Gmail. Tech Times reported that the scam involves...
Tuna, star of the Amazing Acro-Cats, dies of cancer
Tuna, star of the Amazing Acro-Cats, dies of cancer

The cowbell won't sound quite the same now that Tuna, the star of the Amazing Acro-Cats cat circus, has died.Happy Cats Haven posted the news Friday on its Facebook page: "To all our fans of Tuna and The Rock Cats and the Amazing Acro-Cats, it's with many tears that we let you know that Samantha Martin's star kitty Tuna crossed the Rainbow Bridge...
More Stories