Life at UCB through the eyes of our international student bloggers

Sensitive Information: A Story Of Great Key-portance

Sensitive Information: A Story Of Great Key-portance

Last week I had to go and have a copy of my keys made. Everything sounds ok, right? It was ridiculously expensive, but I had the keys. There was one, small, tiny detail in that: the keys did not work.

I still had the original bunch, so I thought: ‘No biggie, just gonna return these and get them made elsewhere’. Why elsewhere though? Very easy explanation. Would you trust a shop that has to do one thing correctly (4 keys means 4 tries) and fails miserably (not a single one of them worked). I will take my business elsewhere, good sir!

Back to the juicy part: I went to return the keys (duh). If I overlook the fact that the guy was barely breathing and sweating all over his calculator everything would be great. I wanted a refund on my credit card (as I’ve paid using it).

The key-person (I legitimately have no idea how to call a person working in a key shop… locksmith maybe?) took out a small notebook and wrote down some things (from what I have seen it said something alongside the lines ‘keys do not work’, pretty regular stuff).

I was then asked to fill out the rest. This is where it got a little fishy.

When asking for a refund, you are usually required to sign a receipt-like piece of paper and that’s it. Good day, you too, goodbye.

This time there was a requirement for me to fill out my phone number, and more pressingly: my address.

I had a couple of problems with that. Let’s take a look at my logic together:

  1. A-ha, I see. I fill my address here and you fill my mailbox with BOGO nonsense until there’s no trees left. Hard pass.
  2. Do you not believe me that the keys do not work? Must you require my address to come check it yourself?
  3. I am returning keys I (quite possibly) have had made for my own building and apartment. Are you expecting me to tell you the address now and prepare dinner for you later?
    Note: yes I know, the keys did not work. However since they are key-professionals I am confident they could make it tick somehow.

And those are just the dominant thoughts. Of course I asked why they need this sensitive information. The answer wasn’t entirely clear so I put in a fake address. No stress.

Every single one of us shares incredible amounts of personal information every day. Online, on the phone, on the street. Most of the time it just turns out to have annoying consequences – calls from Linda offering you the newest tariff or emails from Jared requiring you to switch your gas supplier. More annoyingly those “you have been in an accident” robots.

Sharing is caring to a certain degree. Keeping your address secret from the public (amongst other things) it can save your time, patience and in rare occasions even your life.



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