Online Shops- Unnecessary Information requests !

The quarantine has bought to the forefront alternative methods of shopping. While bricks & mortar stores were closed, online shopping rose. However contactless delivery was not always possible.

Many stores adopted Click and Collect from your local bricks and mortar store, to keep customers but with social distancing.

Click and Collect let’s you purchase goods online and then physically collect it from the store without going through the postal or delivery service.

I tried this with a major department store and some other chain stores.

So just to clarify !
Click and collect
▪️ You shop for your item on their website.
▪️ You purchase it online.
▪️ No delivery, but you physically collect the item you have already purchased from the store.

Click image to view attachment page with links to gifs, video versions and image credits.

Before I could purchase the item online, they required me to give my:
▪️ Email.
▪️ Name.
▪️ Address / delivery address.
I could not proceed further without entering an address.

Now why would they require my address or delivery address, if I was physically collecting the item from the store ?

If I had decided to purchase the item, I would have had to show photo ID, (specifically mentioned on some chain stores click & collect information pages) to be able to collect the item that I had already purchased and would have received a receipt and purchase number for anyway.

When you purchase or return standard items in a physical store, you do not need to show photo ID. With a returned item, you are required to have the receipt of purchase, nothing else.
The same for online purchases and delivery, you don’t have to give photo ID, when purchasing standard items.
This process means that the name given at the time of purchase online would have to match the name on the photo ID. Which then means, you can’t get a family member, friend to pick it up even if you give them your receipt and purchase number to present at collection.
Obviously with alcohol etc. it is different, but they are not considered standard items.

Needless to say, they lost me as a customer.

Privacy when shopping.

Times like these give an indication of just what privacy problems and unnecessary inquiries can come with online purchases.

Firstly, when you buy something in a shop, they don’t even know your name, let alone your address, but they can physically see you, although what they see may not be how you always appear, and you definitely don’t show photo ID to buy standard items.

Secondly, even if you pay with a card in-store, they only see what is on the card. Alternatively if you use Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay etc, they get a proxy card number,  they don’t even have access to your real card number. These secure wallets can be used anywhere that accepts contactless payments, with a compatible mobile phone, watch, Fit-Bit or other devices that have secure payment protection software ( most new phones even budget phones) and NFC – a button on your device which you toggle on and off when you need it.( Near Field Communication) . Most in store terminals or any machine that accepts debit/credit cards, display the Contactless Payment Symbol

NFC symbol
Button on a phone off/on
Contactless Payment Symbol
Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay Symbols

Below inset is an excerpt from a CNET article on the  comparisons between Apple, Google and Samsung.


Apple Pay vs. Samsung Pay vs. Google Pay

“Are they ready to replace your wallet? We put all three through some tests to find out which mobile payment system is best.

Mobile payment systems use a method called tokenization to keep card details secure. Once you add your cards to the app, it generates a virtual account number and your real card number is never given to the merchant. When you tap your phone to make a payment, it sends the tokenized card number and a cryptogram that acts like a password. The card network then verifies and processes the payment”

The article goes on to give great comparisons and details of the 3 organisations.



It should also be noted that 99% of people who work in shops and administration are not people who would by law, like law enforcement etc. have the authority and credentials to have access to customers personal details.

Finally, when you order something online, all they need is:

  • Valid payment.
  • Email address or phone number / SMS, purely for delivery or collection updates and not spam mail unless you specifically opt in by ticking that box.
  • A delivery address, whether it is a PO box or a designated delivery address, but only if you opt for delivery.
  • They don’t need any other details unless it is alcohol, weapons etc that are not standard items. Alternatively, if you specifically choose registered post, which is usually chosen for such things as private personal documents with sensitive information etc. 

I tried the Click and Collect process over several days, with different stores and locations.

I could understand a store that was thrust into this due to the pandemic, and had to quickly set up online payment and shopping, but these stores don’t fit into that category.

They are major department store / chains, that have had shopping websites for many years.

This is only constructive criticism about one online aspect. It is not a criticism of any particular outlet, the products, service or any of their staff.


2 thoughts on “Online Shops- Unnecessary Information requests !

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