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According to RadioShack, Customer Information Is a Hot Commodity

  • Thursday, April 2, 2015

    The Shack is gone but not forgotten.

    Actually, that’s not entirely true. RadioShack did file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s gone for good.  All we know at this point is that reports claim it will be closing some of its less profitable stores.

    So you’re telling me there’s a chance?

    Strange Wares

    In Chapter 11 bankruptcy, everything has a price. All assets are evaluated and if something can be sold, it will be. This includes items that might not occur to you, such as cash registers and shelving.

    RadioShack has something else valuable to sell. It was reported recently that it will be auctioning off 65 million customer names and mailing addresses along with 13 million customer email addresses.

    You Are of Value

    You probably didn’t think twice about giving RadioShack your phone number when they asked. It turns out, they were pioneers in the industry – the first to routinely ask all of it’s customers for a phone number. It’s no wonder RadioShack now possess a treasure trove of customer information.

    But there’s a catch. RadioShack had a strict privacy policy that explicitly stated they would not sell customers’ information.

    And yet, here we are. RadioShack is proposing to sell the very thing it promised its customers it would not. It will be an interesting test of the strength of such privacy policies.

    As the legal challenges to the sale mount, we may learn whether such a privacy policy will be strictly enforced legally, or if such policies only exist to the extent the company wants to maintain a loyal customer base by not selling information. If the latter is true, and the company struggles to the point where customer loyalty is no longer an issue, then your information may be up for grabs. If so, you may want to think twice before giving away your information – for free at least.





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