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August 9, 2013 / Corina Valderrama

Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie Sued for Asking for Zip Codes

A class action lawsuit has been filed in the District of Colombia against popular retailers Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie for allegedly and unlawfully collecting customer zip codes.

The two named plaintiffs, Whitney Hancock and Jamie White, allege that they were asked for their zip codes while making purchases at each store.  The plaintiffs contend that the retailers ask customers for their zip codes “under the guise” that it is required when they make a purchase with a credit card.

“However, ZIP codes are not required when using a credit card.  To the contrary, District of Columbia law forbids retailers from requesting or collecting such Consumer Identification Information during credit-card transactions,” the complaint states.

California has a similar law, the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act of 1971, which prohibits retailers from recording a customer’s “personal identification information” during a credit card transaction and imposes a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per violation.

The plaintiffs argue that the retailers can use a customer’s zip code, along with the customer’s name, to identify the customer’s home/business address via commercially available databases.

If you feel that you have been improperly asked for your zip code during a commercial transaction, please contact Khorrami Boucher Sumner Sanguinetti, LLP for a private consultation.

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