Personal info at the retail checkout
Paul Phillips likes to refuse to give it to them.
I have a habit of not giving companies my personal information unless there's some reason they should need to know it - which is approximately never. If I'm in your store and paying cash for an item then all you need to know about me is that I didn't fill my wallet out of my laser printer. Lately it seems like everywhere I go they immediately ask me for either my phone number or my zip code. I always politely decline to share that information.
The interesting part is how the clerks tend to respond to that.
Paul describes the reaction ...
I think that once people get accustomed to acting under color of authority (even minor authority as in the employee-customer relationship) they quickly become addicted. Soon they find any deviations from the script to be intolerable slights. There isn't a reason in the world a low-level retail employee should give a damn whether they successfully collect my personal information, but when nine people out of ten automatically answer their questions, they unconsciously come to believe that the tenth guy is only refusing because he's a dick who likes to cause trouble.
I have had the same experiences as Paul. I also usually refuse to give them the requested information and get surly reactions from them. But unlike Paul, who refuses the information because he's doing what's right and fighting for Truth, Justice, and the American Way, I just do it because I'm a dick who likes to cause trouble.