I made the mistake of providing my email address to a store and I won’t be doing that again. Some respect a consumers privacy and the law but some don’t, and once a bad actor has your details it’s difficult to get rid of them.

The Shoe Company aka DSW

I just went in to buy a pair of shoes, I did get what I want and the product was good. However, I mistakenly provided them my email address. Before I even got to the car across the street I had received a cheesy marketing email from them so I unsubscribed.

I had thought that was the end of it but they kept emailing me, I unsubscribed every time. So, one day I just had enough and sent them an stern email. I also blacklisted their domain and IP address, so even if they responded I would never receive it.

Even that wasn’t the end of the story, they used an outsourcing contractor to contact me with a “how are we doing” survey. So I blacklisted the domain and IP address of that company too, I never completed the survey of course. Hopefully, I will now never hear from the again.

What To Do At The Store

A store may ask you for your email address and/or phone number before they have even started the transaction, just say “no”. If they press for it then I would just say “its none of your business”. You don’t have to provide the information to buy anything unless of course you are registering a product for future support or a warranty. They may even ask for an email to send the receipt to, just ask for a hard copy. Of course, its always best to remain polite and smile, the check out staff are just doing the job they’ve been told to do and they might even do the same when shopping themselves. If it becomes too difficult then I would personally walk out the store without making a purchase.

Loyalty Cards

If you have a loyalty card with a store then there is some kind of private information they have obtained from you at some point. I noticed one store has actually done away with them and buying a sale item, or other items come to that, no longer requires that card. That store was Haggens in the US, I was pleasantly surprised by that move.

Your Email Account

If you do want to give out an email to stores, and go on their e-newsletter list, I would recommend not using your main account, create one specifically for mailing lists and subscriptions.  That way, it keeps the junk separate from your day to day personal or business communication.

Assuming you only want to deal with one email account, and depending on what type of email supplier you have, it is possible to filter your messages in some kind of way, such as redirect them to a folder. You might be able to do this at the server level at your web host or by creating a rule or filter within your email program. I found this on YouTube for Gmail accounts.

I made a mistake and I’m now going through the steps to take back control as many others can do.