I was filling out for an instant redeemable form for a gym membership. The form is printed out right on the next page, and there's no reason why they'd need a phone number to call me.

Basically, if there's no implication to call you and phone verification is not required (but number is), what purpose does it serve to require a primary phone number?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Charles Wesley, greenforest, PatomaS, Erics, Code Maverick Apr 16 '14 at 13:16

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • A lot of people make money selling information to advertisers. – Code Maverick Apr 16 '14 at 13:16

Potentially for further identification of the gym member.

i'm not sure what other information they may have asked for in the form, but it is possible (not probable) that two members have the same name, birthday, and several other identifying features, but they're not too likely to have the same phone number.


I'm a little unclear on the form you filled up; it sounds like an online coupon you filled out and not an actual membership form.

I can see legitimate reasons for collecting phone numbers for gym members (e.g. a way to contact you if they find a lost object of yours, emergency contact in case of accident) but in this case it sounds most likely like they're trying to gather leads to sell their memberships, in case you don't follow through with redeeming your form.

I know I can expect a phone call from gyms I've been to before every so often to get me to sign back up, especially after New Year's Day when people are generally paying more attention to their health.


Here are three reasons:

  1. Collecting numbers database for spam
  2. Use phone number as a login (not your case)
  3. Bad form design

I would blame it on bad form design.
Often personal information like address, city, phone number and email are considered to be standard inputs for forms. It's used because other forms use them too.

When I worked for an ecommerce company I asked them questions about their forms. I asked them why there were two input for phone numbers (optional). They said they phone numbers were required for a certain delivery method. But when I asked why there were two they couldn't answer. They wrote it off as a convention. It's what you do. You ask people for a home phone number and their mobile number.

Fact is there aren't really that much UX experts or people whose knowledge about user friendliness goes beyond "good user experience equals no errors". Especially businesses like gyms, who's core business couldn't be further from UX, don't know that large forms, especially ones asking for seemingly irrelevant information, can scare of customers.

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