No you don't need my cell phone number!

I am tired of everyone wanting my cell phone number, not a “contact number” but specifically my cell phone number. Just the other day I went to order from a favorite restaurant and saw that they now had online ordering. I usually call it in and they can get busy, so I decided to git it a try. I went through the whole menu selection bit and then when it got to the contact information, it asked for an email, and a cell phone number. Thinking nothing of it, I thought the phone number request was just so that they could confirm the order or something of the sort.

Well no, their website said it was going to send me a text to confirm the order. Really? Then what was the email for? And what if I have texts turned off on my phone, then what? No food for you? And the box you have to check to let them send you a text probably has some legalese attached to allow them to send me spam messages unless I STOP them.

This was just the latest in the desire for Cell Phones, or the assumption that everyone has one and no longer uses a land line. Once when I was having my car serviced I provided my land line number so that they could contact me when the repairs were done. Not having heard from them most of the day, I finally called to get an update, and I was told it was done a few hours back, hadn’t I seen the text message? No, of course not. The intake form said nothing about the phone number needing to be a cell phone, nor that they would be texting me. How was I supposed to know? Now, I always specify that it is not a cell phone number and that they have to call me.

I also understand the need for two factor authentication, but that doesn’t require a cell phone either, not matter what I keep being told. In the past I would get an automated phone call with a verification code. Did all the automated voice software go on strike or something? When I travel I have a different cell phone number than when I am at home, so I am out of luck if they have to text me for some kind of authorization. If they call me on my VOIP phone though, no problem because as long as I have data I have a stable phone number.

Yes, most people have cell phones, and yes that means that they usually have a cell phone number. But that doesn’t require you to get it for everything!


My guess is they figure that everyone now has not only a cellphone, but specifically a smart phone so they can send you interactive advertising.

You’ll have to accept that without a cell phone you’re going to miss out on some things, the same way you would if you had no phone at all, or no car, or no internet access.

But I do understand the frustration if they ask for a “phone number” and then expect to be able to text it. That’s just ignorance. For example, if I’m representing my agency and providing contact info to a vendor I will automatically provide a VOIP phone number since that is what we primarily use. Good luck texting that.

Back when I did that very thing, giving a voice-only telephone number, I quickly discovered that there exists an automatic “text-to-voice” facility which will read the words and voice-act the emoticons.

“lol” got a really weird psychotic laugh.

Anyway, it’s just to say that a voice-only phone is no escape from text messages, that’s all.

The thing is, I do have a cell phone, but I want to be selective on who I give it out to. I should not be required to provide it for every transaction I make with certain companies. The worst being a Capital One that requires it but for some reason isn’t able to confirm that my cell phone number is mine. If they instead just called me and provided the access code, like every other bank and credit card allows you to, it would not be a problem, but they insist. I once had to call customer support and spend time on the phone with them just so that they could send me an automated voice call (which I had to flash to to hear) while I was on the phone with them because their own software does not recognize that my cell phone number belongs to me. Once again, not a problem if the default was to have the automated call instead of requiring confirmation via text.


^ This.

I have simply left my stuff and walked out of stores when they start demanding this sort of information. No, you do not need my phone (of any sort), my e-mail, my zip code, my address…

During this past year I did curbside pickup for a particular store where, of course, I had to leave a contact phone number. Holy shit the amount of text advertising I suddenly started getting! I wound up blocking their number and not going back until I could pay in person cash only. Fuck no, I am NOT joining your loyalty program! (I am kind of stuck going to them for one item unless I want to order on-line for it, which can generate the same problem all over again in e-mail).

Oh, that reminds me. Your car’s warranty has expired. Hit One and speak to a representative…

Meh, it’s just a “ding” on your phone. Easy to ignore.

That said, I don’t know why call blocking doesn’t have a feature that allows you to block any text that only has four numbers. Or anything less than ten really.

ETA: I have my phone set up so that it dings differently for anyone NOT on my contact list. So if it dings a certain way, I know I can ignore it with out having to look at my phone.

3 or 4 months ago I had an item to sell and thought I’d try the Facebook Marketplace thing as well as the usual place I sell whatever I have to sell. I completed making out the ad, uploaded photos etc. It then turned out they wouldn’t place my ad live on site until I gave my cell number. Cell number to Facebook?! Surely you jest. I wasn’t that hard up to sell the item. And I too refuse to give my cell number out in most instances.
Related; some stores have their cashiers ask, can we email you the invoice receipt? Really?
I know people who complain about all the junk they receive, while at the same time faithfully reciting their contact information to all those that ask. It’s a matter of time before they get ripped off.
Only 4 or 5 people have my cell number. Primarily I use email but still have a land line that I answer only when I recognize the caller (8 of 10 are robocalls). Cell phone is for playing mindless puzzle games and keeping in touch via email when I’m away. Yes, I’m older than 30. It’s sad that communication has become such a suspicious endeavor.

It can be annoying, but text messaging is very common.

I got a text message recently telling me my brother’s glasses were available. If I had given them my land line number instead, I would have gotten a very strange voicemail. (Are they calling me from their cell phone? I understand it’s a pandemic, but it’s a doctor’s office that is actually open.)

I have never had any problem declining store requests to provide a phone number. No one has ever voided a sale based on refusal. Usually they just put in a random number to satisfy system demands.

You’re an asshole for doing this.

It’s dumb for anyone to assume that they will be able to text your phone number if they didn’t specifically ask if it was a cell.

But on some level - I don’t really get the resistance to giving out a cell phone number or email address. I mean , I understand it to a point ( since I don’t give everybody my cell phone number ) but some people take it to an extent that I would find inconvenient. My mortgage company doesn’t need my cell phone since nothing they are calling about can’t wait for me to get the message on my landline- but I don’t want to stay home all day waiting for my mechanic to call me on my landline. Maybe the restaurant I ordered from needs to contact me while I’m driving over to pick up my order. Having my receipt emailed to me means I don’t need to worry about being unable to find it when I need it.

And although I may be the exception, I haven’t ever noticed an increase in marketing text messages after I give out my cell number One single company, out of all the companies I’ve given the number to texts me a coupon once a month or so.

Anytime a business requires a phone number and, so far as I’m concerned, they have no reason to ever contact me by phone and/or they’re just using it as an rewards account number, I use my old disconnected landline number. It’s easy to remember so I can use it at places like Best Buy or the pet store or Harbor Freight and I don’t really care if they try to call it or text it or sell it to someone.

From another thread:
" The COO of CVS said to the Wall Street Journal (paywall warning), “Every one of these customers is coming through our digital front end, so we have their email, we have their text message, and we have the ability to communicate with them regularly.”

Although that seems like a good idea, phone numbers are re-assigned, so by using a phone number that you no longer have, you are actually giving out someone else’s number who might not appreciate getting messages from those companies. That is why I don’t give out a number in those situations, if asked, I just say no, and most places accept that.


Neither have I. I don’t think I’ve ever received a text from a store I bought from, unless I specifically signed up for their mailing list to receive discounts. But stuff like drug stores, supermarkets, nope never happens.

I have no problem giving out an email address, and as I have a VOIP phone, I actually have an app on my cell phone that I can use to answer my “land line” (in quotes because it really isn’t) and they email me voice messages anyway. So it really is not an inconvenience for me to use either of those methods, my gripe is that the cell phone number is becoming a requirement in situations that do not require it. Sure, I will give you a way to contact me, but I should be able to choose what that method is.


I don’t mind the occassional text message I’ll receive by doing this. It in no way compares to the email spam I’ll get from some companies when you have to give your email on your order. No I don’t need an email from you every single freaking day about whatever special or the “Hi, let me tell you a story you don’t care about.” when you don’t have a special offer just for me that day. I ordered a pizza from you once 10 months ago and never ordered again so get the hint.

Nah. If they don’t want to exchange money for goods, without a bunch of hassle, then the store is the one being an asshole.

I hate “club cards” or any sort of system like that. I’ve never left my stuff and walked out, but I have threatened to if they didn’t just ring me up without the hard sell on their “discount card.”