Sprint Can't Stop Harassing Non-Customer With Refund Check Offer
Personally Identifiable Information (PII) makes it possible for a marketer, salesman or hacker to uniquely identify you. But what happens when your unique personal data, like your home address or phone number, appears in a stranger's customer's record? Is it still your information to control?
In my last Technorati post on the topic of personal data, "Who's Protecting My Information in the Cloud?", I highlighted a challenge consumers have tracing their identity with platforms that share your account info, like Facebook, in order to extend capabilities through the Internet cloud. But what happens when a company erroneously possesses your data in an account they believe authorizes them to use it to market to you? What rights do you have as a consumer to remove your personal data from another person's account and opt-out of the marketing?
I, like many other consumers, have placed my phone numbers on the National Do Not Call List, so when I received an automated call from Sprint, on my Verizon landline phone, I was perplexed. I have not been a Sprint customer since the turn of the century. I have owned this landline number since 2006. My wireless accounts are with T-Mobile and AT&T.
The automated voice on the other end of the phone notified me that a refund check in the amount of $37.67 had been approved and was in the mail from Sprint . The bot repeated the message and hung up. I was concerned this call might be a scam, or reflect a misappropriation of my identity. Thanks to caller ID, I could return the call and the 800 number it resolved to turned out, in fact, to be a call center for Sprint.
After navigating their menu of options that kept asking me for my Sprint account information, which I don’t have since I am not a customer, I got to a live rep. The rep acknowledged after a few minutes she couldn’t access the customer account where my landline number was stored to remove it. Why? Because I couldn’t give her the PIN for that account, let alone the Sprint account number.
I requested they stop calling me since they had no explicit permission to use the number as the listed owner of the landline. I offered to fax an affidavit and a copy of my phone bill which showed my address, to verify it didn’t match their records for the customer who was associated with my home phone number.Continued on the next page