Would You Turn Your Cellphone off to Receive a Discount?

Would You Turn Your Cellphone off to Receive a Discount?It has happened to all of us. We are in a restaurant, a movie theater, or other public gathering when a cellphone rings. What happens next is enough to send anyone over the edge of sanity. Some loud mouth, inconsiderate person decides to share their conversation with the rest of us. But what’s the solution? If a company, a restaurant, a movie theater, or some other public entity gave you a discount, would you turn in your cellphone before entering the establishment?

One upscale restaurant in the Los Angeles area called Eva Restaurant is doing just that. If restaurant patrons are willing to surrender their cellphones when entering the business, they in turn will receive a 5% discount on their meal. This is not a ban on cellphones, since the discount program is strictly voluntary. What the owners of the restaurant are hoping is that this program will provide customers with a better, less distracted dining experience.

Is handing over your phone to people you may not know a good idea?

While handing over your phone to receive a discount on your food purchase may seem like a wise decision, how does one know that personal information stored on your phone may not be compromised? Information can include:

  • Personal phone numbers
  • Banking information
  • Passwords
  • Email contacts
  • Credit card information

With this being said, even losing a phone can be hazardous to your privacy. Most of us who wish to protect our phones will either add a password or, with the new Android Jelly Bean, protect access to our phones using facial recognition. There are other means available to protect our phones, so the chance of restaurant personnel trying to crack a password or code is slim. If you own a dumb phone, the point becomes a non-event.

If you are extremely paranoid and want a 100% guaranteed way to ensure that your information is not compromised, you can often remove the battery from your phone. The odds of anyone having the exact replacement battery would be very slim.

For those of us who come from a generation that once relied on a home phone and answering machine, I don’t believe it would be a hardship to go without a cellphone for an hour or so. But how about others who live for text messages, phone calls, and emails on the go? Would it be that hard to give up a cellphone for an hour when a discount is offered?

What about you? Could you give up your cellphone for an hour or so?

Comments welcome.

CC licensed Flickr photo above shared by compujeramey

Source: Eva Restaurant

Article Written by

I have been writing for LockerGnome since relocating to Missouri seven years ago, where I continue to be a technology enthusiast who enjoys playing with the newest and latest gadgets.

  • techguru

    How about just giving them the battery for your phone

  • Guest

    Delete me posted on wrong article

  • gbyers72

    umm sure and let them plug a usb cable into it and “charge” it :S They could be injection malicious code into it

  • Ron Schenone

    I like it. Excellent idea.

  • rodney

    how about just shutting it off and verifying it periodically with one of the waiters or salespeople? i don’t see where businesses have a right to even ask for your property, including temporarily, unless its money for a product or service…still sounds nanny state-ish…i mean idc id turn my phone off anyway its just the principles of property rights and privacy being violated or even the possibility of violation that concerns me.

  • JOe bobby O

    I like it!

  • http://twitter.com/PHactotum Perry Harris

    Although I wouldn’t give them my phone, I am willing to turn off the ringer. My risk, giving them the phone and having them do something bad with it, is too great for me.

  • http://jonnyrowntree.com/ Jonny Rowntree

    I would switch my phone off in a restaurant if it did offer me a discount. I’m not fond of people who use their phones while eating, especially when they have company.

    The only difficultly in getting the discount is verifying that your phone is off for the entire meal as this would vary from restaurant to restaurant. I’d hate for someone to switch their phone off 5 minutes before payment while I have had my phone switched off for the duration of the meal and for us to benefit from the same discounts.

  • sdeforest

    I would not give my phone to anyone to take it where I cannot see it. I seldom give my credit card to a person who will take it away from my sight–having been scammed that way once.

    A serving person who has a similar phone to one that you checked could swap batteries, giving you an old one and you would never know.

    Another person could remove and copy your SIM card. This is a low probability, but could happen. It is better to keep control of your things.

  • http://www.cyberfanatic.com/ CyberFanatic

    I would actually consider this.

  • Don

    The old Nextel Walkie Talkies were the worst offenders. Anyway, I owned a cellphone jammer a few years ago that worked very well. Yes, strictly illegal but I was able to shut down almost any phone within 25 feet of my table. When the offending parties returned from outside I shut my device off. End of problem. I still can’t understand why people have become literally slaves to this technology! Social interaction is dead. The generation growing up today has no social skills and can’t communicate face to face. A shame really

  • Ramin

    I would be perfectly okay with this, my phone doesn’t contain any sensitive information anyways; for people who do carry personal information, I don’t think they would go for it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jtgralka J.T. Gralka

    I actually wouldn’t be okay with that. I don’t know why, but I think that it’s a little presumptuous of the business to impose their policies on their customers like that. Don’t get me wrong: I hate it when some loudmouth is yammering away on his cellphone in a restaurant or something like that, but I don’t think he should be forced to turn his phone off — and I don’t think he (or anyone for that matter) should get a discount or some perks for turning his phone off. It’s just a matter of having good manners. Maybe I should get 20% off my meal next time I’m in a restaurant for not spitting on the floor. Oh wait, I forgot! People stopped doing that in the 1930s because it was rude.

  • http://www.facebook.com/hen.sjoberg Hen Matt Sjöberg

    I don’t know have one of either a cellphone or a smartphone, so I would automatically get the discount, I don’t even often bring PSP often.

  • http://www.facebook.com/beshoy.lovesjesus Beshoy Shafek Malk

    Amazon card….I wouldnever turn off the phone just for a dicount , what’s the meaning of having a phone so people can call you if needed

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrdnv Jordan Vasquez

    No I would never give my phone to the staff at a restaurant. Fact is, you can’t trust anyone. And that phone is a couple hundred dollar phone with all my personal information on it. So just for 5%, no thank you. I’ll gladly take out the battery for them though…

  • ipad8769

    I possibly would an may not either. Love the Geek Outs! Thanks Chris.

  • ipad8769

    I may or may not? Love the Geek Outs! Thanks Chris.

  • http://twitter.com/ItsJordanVbaby Jordan V.

    I would definitely want a discount because I turn my phone off anyway! and it has a passcode!

  • http://twitter.com/uthmanbaksh Uthman Baksh

    Will I stil get the discount if I have my phone on vibrate? if you are peering on my phone screen reading my texts, you are just nosy.

  • http://twitter.com/LOLBOOM24 Aly Osman

    I would do that because who doesn’t like saving money and also saving battery life? I mean if it’s like a 90% off discount defiantly but 10% no way!

  • Jesse Aranda

    I wouldn’t want to hand them my phone, while the battery may be different most phones are either iphones or Android phones that use the common micro USB chargers [which will turn the phone on and let you use it without a battery]

    how about they add the discount if they don’t see you use your phone. If a restaurant can track how many refills I get, they could track if I used a phone just once. If I used my phone and they not notice, then I didn’t create much of a distraction did I?

  • http://www.facebook.com/GeorgeFrancis222 George Francis Pirkhoffer

    No, I would never give someone my phone, even if he/she was an employee. I would consider turning it off for a discount but these days it is too easy to reject or dismiss a call especially with iOS 6 new reply with message thing or remind me later. I think just turning it on silent, rejecting the call or at least leaving the establishment to take a call should suffice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ferraripower Andrew Benner

    personally i’d much rather just pay the whole bill. i’m rather paranoid when it comes to even letting close friends use my phone, let alone some odd restaurant i may have never been to. i mean if i was a long time customer of the restaurant and i knew the owners and employees on a rather personal level, then i might have to consider it. you can ask any one of my friends (not that you’ll ever have the opportunity to, mind you) it’s really really difficult to use my electronics. it’s odd though, cause i have no problem touching other peoples gadgets without warning, yet im extremely close guarding to my own. maybe i need to change my attitude towards other peoples stuff, and treat it as i would my own. good idea, self.

  • http://bkgcom.blogspot.in/ Bharat Kumar Gupta

    thats actually a good idea and def shud be implemented, i would also like to add this rule to service guys, repair people etc that visit our homes to fix something and engage immediately into conversation on the phone thus wasting valuable time of ours, along with rules like these i think its more of an etiquette training that shud be imparted to company individuals dealing with customers. Atleast thats what a major issue in my country. i support it

  • http://twitter.com/davidclare1 David Clare

    For a discount? Yes, I’d be happy to hand my phone over. save money on a meal, electricity and I can enjoy myself without checking my phone every 5 minutes.

    Passcodes and facial recognition are there for a reason, use it… Fair enough, there are certain people that can hack phones, but would a reputable restaurant want to run the risk of their business for personal data?

  • http://twitter.com/TheDualCoreDude Lewis Wickes

    Discount for turning off my phone, Why not? I hardly use it when I’m out anyway.

  • oliver18754

    I always have been watching your videos and as always, they’re all entertaining. I always ignore all hater comments and always try to defend you and diana when i can. Thanks for all the entertaining videos and keep it up.

  • Tommy Sadler

    I suppose if the movie theatre gave me a discount it would take away some of the cost for the insanely high food prices!

    • http://twitter.com/LindaBl63487293 Linda Blair

      You can’t go 2 hours without eating?

  • Tiber Ius

    That idea is right out of the 90s, right? Back when the only use for a cellphone was talking. Oh wait, back then we (in Europe) had texting already. So the idea must come frome the 80s? HAHAHA!

  • David Perriman

    It’s social manners that’s the main problem these days. If I’m out and about socialising, the phone gets switched off and stays in the car. If I need to carry and use it (to call a cab, for instance if I don’t have the car), then I do it from outside the building. It’s high time that those cretins who insist on conversing (loudly) about nothing in particular in restaurants, pubs, etc. were given some lessons in manners. Not everyone wants to listen to their inane chatter. Surely, owners of such establishments can set their own rules and if anyone digresses, they should be asked to leave. A “phone-free zone” sign would be OK in my book. I can’t understand why anyone should be THAT desperate to stay connected 24/7. It used to be known as “posing” when mobile phones (as we call then in the UK) were comparatively rare but there are still the show-offs who like to flash their expensive iphone toys, or whatever, around a restaurant table AND even send texts during a meal! Cuts no ice with me.

  • Cworld01

    No, i can not give my cell phone or even bettery for an hour not even for a sec.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mnm9994u Muhammed Nazim

    Instead I saw a video the other day on YouTube about a hotel that used extensive sound absorption and rebounding to increase audibility in their cabin. I think that may catch up better than this!

  • IvanTomica

    Although i would like a discount on new phone i would never give my old one back. First reason is that for 20$ i would rather have it stored in my closet collecting dust. Second reason is data on that phone. You are never 100% secure that you deleted all of your data from phone, and if you have some sensitive content, conversations, numbers etc. on that phone it is better to leave it at home instead of exchanging it for few $

  • http://twitter.com/creation4use Samuel Guillermo

    Saving money is always a good thing

  • http://twitter.com/joelovesandroid Joe Sakamoto

    I always have my phone password locked and I find the possibility of restaurant workers unlocking the phone’s password unlikely so I probably wouldn’t mind handing it over to the restaurant workers to save money. However, I don’t think many people would want to hand over their phones to strangers. When you think about it, people have passwords and private data inside their phones so I don’t think they’ll let it go that easily.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eileen.j.hay Eileen Hay

    put phones under a cone of silence. all noises now done !

  • A Dash

    Just put a lock they wont hack it then

  • http://www.kindorf.net/ Scott Kindorf

    In today’s economy, I think I could give-up my passcode-secured phone in order to receive such a discount on my meal. If you don’t have that capability and are concerned with security issues but would still want a discount on your meal, simply take a moment and remove your battery *and* SIM card before entering the restauraunt.

  • kevalc7

    i would definitely go for a discount rather not keeping my phone with me. it seriously dose not make me a difference. in our house we are actually not allowed to keep our cell phones on the dinning table. i would definitely get a 5%discount…

  • http://www.facebook.com/familyhearingandbalancecenter Dale Hansen

    I wouldn’t leave anything of value, including my phone…which is my Wallet???

  • http://www.facebook.com/dennis.mcclune Dennis McClune

    I think anyone whose cell goes off in a restaurant, and isn’t an emergency services provider should be asked to leave immediately ….I always turn mine off in real restaurants…Mickey D’s dont count.

  • http://twitter.com/LindaBl63487293 Linda Blair

    The question really pisses me off. Now, what if I don’t have a cell phone to annoy anyone with, including myself? So I have to pay more for my meal???

  • Trevor JRB

    i would give up my phone its not a big deal to me