Days after the Supreme Judicial Court ruled stores could no longer force consumers to supply their Zip codes on credit-card purchases, a second Massachusetts resident has sued a chain of craft stores for violating a Massachusetts consumer-privacy law.
In her lawsuit, filed yesterday in US District Court in Boston, Susan D'Esposito says Michaels fed her Zip code into a database program to find out where she lived and bombard her with circulars and other crap she never asked for - and may have sold her personal information for a profit.
Like Melissa Tyler, whose case resulted in the SJC opinion, D'Esposito is seeking to be named lead plantiff in a class-action suit against the chain. D'Esposito filed in federal court because Michaels is headquartered outside Massachusetts and because "the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $5,000,000.00."
In her suit, D'Esposito says she shops several times a year at the Michaels store in Saugus:
Each time Dr. D'Esposito presents her credit card, she is asked to state her zip code to the Michaels employee. Believing that she is required to do so in order to complete the credit card transaction, Dr. D'Esposito each time provides her zip code. On several occasions, when asked for her zip code, Dr. D'Esposito has responded by asking the clerk, in sum and substance, "Why do you keep asking for my zip code? You already have that information." Dr. D'Esposito has been told by Michaels' employees that she is required to provide her zip code in order to complete her credit card transactions.
Subsequently, Dr. D'Esposito has actually received unwanted marketing materials from Michaels, and her personal identification information may have been sold by Michaels for a profit.
One of D'Esposito's lawyers is very familiar with Tyler's suit - he initially represented Tyler in her suit, still pending, also in US District Court in Boston.