Two more chains sued over way they figure out customer addresses to send them junk mail

Massachusetts residents yesterday sued Sur La Table and the Container Store after they say got junk mail even though they never gave the chains their addresses.

In separate lawsuits, Judith Monteferrante and Elizabeth Christiansen say the data mining the chains used to dredge up their addresses based on their Zip codes and credit-card information violates Massachusetts consumer-privacy laws.

In March, the Supreme Judicial Court - the state's highest court - agreed, ruling stores could not require Zip codes to complete a credit-card purchase.

Monteferrante, suing the Container Store, and Chrisiansen, suing Sur La Table, are each seeking $25 in damages - multiplied by the number of other people they say also had their rights violated by the practice.

Monteferrante did not say which Container Store required her to reveal her Zip code; Christiansen says her rights were violated at the Sur La Table in Chestnut Hill.

The SJC decision came as an advisory to a federal court hearing a complaint by Melissa Tyler against the Michaels crafts chain. Days after the decision, Tyler sued Bed Bath and Beyond for $5 million for the same alleged practice. A fourth woman, Susan Esposito, is also suing Michaels for $5 million.

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Comments

Home Depot?

Home Depot goes one step further I think. Every time I buy something from there, for the next few weeks I'll get emails detailing whatever department I bought something from. I don't remember ever giving them my email address, yet somehow they have it, AND seemingly track purchases.


Obviously they have Obama's drones following customers around the store.

I wish it would all stop.

I have resorted to using cash everywhere. Restaurants, stores, and anywhere else with a physical presence now gets cash. Even for large ticket items. Not because I'm scare they'll find out where I live, but because I'll start to get magazine subscriptions and catalogs.

I disagree with this ban on

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I disagree with this ban on use of zip codes for some instances. I was notified by the MA Courts that my business must stop requiring zip codes and I'm not sure they got all of this right. When you purchase gas and use your debit/credit card at an automated fuel pump and are asked for the billing zip code for the card being used, that data goes nowhere. It is used to validate the correct zip code with the info on the mag strip. This was used to cut down on fraud at the gas pumps (huge problem costing retailer thousands of dollars). We've caught people trying to check the validity of "white cards" they made with stolen mag strip info at our pumps.

Again, if you're at a gas pump and plug in your zip code to authorize the sale - the data goes nowhere. The retailer has NO access to that data and once the match is made, the sale begins and thats it - it stays internal. So yes, this is completely wrong and was a questionably stupid idea.

I've been added to mailing lists for gas stations.

IT was Mobile. They noticed how much gas I purchased, and sent me a post card letting me know about their Speedpass program. They didn't find me by me walking in and having a friendly chat with the attendant. They got it from my credit card.

There can also be a different code issued for verifying a person is a card holder. Schools have started issuing ID numbers which are different than social security numbers as has the RMV. Needing someone's zip code doesn't have to be a requirement for ID verification.

Weekly flyers

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I wish there was a way to stop that large packet of newspaperlike flyers that comes automatically in the mail once a week in a blanket manner to all residents of my area. It is full of flyers for furniture stores and supermarkets that are not even near me. An absolute waste and a nuisance. I realize this is not the biggest deal in the world, but I wish there was a way I could be put on a "do not mail list" or something. But it's hard to be on a "do not mail" list when the item is addressed to "resident".

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Here's a way to keep stores

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Here's a way to keep stores from using your name and zip code to figure out your address:

Add another authorized user to your credit card account, with a fake name. Most credit card companies don't make you provide an SSN for authorized users.

I don't *think* this violates any laws, since you're still responsible for, and paying, the bill.

This also lets you figure out if your credit card company is giving away your info without your permission. Even though I opted out of everything with Capital One, I still got a credit card offer addressed to the fake name which has only been provided to them.

here's the e-quivalent

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Does anyone know how to stop those Facebook ads for the specific products you were searching for on other websites?

Beef TACO plugin for firefox

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Targeted Advertising Cookie Opt-Out... does what it says. You might also try Ghostery or AdBlock.