Despite claims by Verizon
that all account information is private and confidential, not all account information is. However, when the account holder calls to request a change in service, such as canceling internet service, the account holder must go through a series of questions.
I found this out by calling Verizon at 1-800-483-4000 to make a change in my service. The phone company’s automated service answered, which is normal in today’s computer age. I gave my phone number and voila, the computer recited to me my total bill and how much my past due balance is. It then asked me if I was going to make a payment. Hello? How does the computer know I am me when I didn’t have to confirm anything? I could have easily been a nosy neighbor or stranger.
I told the computer I didn’t want to make a payment, then went through the cycle of getting someone on the phone. When I did get someone, of course they asked me if they could open the account, then asked me to verify myself. Here is where the real stupidity comes in.
They asked for name and address, which I gave them. Then they wanted the last six digits of the account number. Like most people, I didn’t have the bill in my hand. So they wanted me to confirm my last two payment amounts. And like most people, I can’t remember the exact amount I paid on a fluctuating bill over the last two months.
Then she asked for the number that I had given for a callback number. Now you have to think about this. If I had set up my service only a month before then I would probably know this. But it has been over a year since I gave that number. I have lost friends, and in some cases my friends have had to change their phone numbers.
Then I asked if I could give my social security number. She told me that they didn’t accept that. In a world that revolves around social security numbers, a large communication company won’t accept the very number that IDs people for law enforcement and all forms of government? Come on!
So in the end, I had to hang up, search for my bill and call back. A bill that is easy for someone to get their hands on is what is required to gain entrance. The bill has the account holder’s name, address, phone number and account number- everything that is needed. A bill that can be accidentally delivered to the wrong place or stolen by someone with an ulterior motive.
So tell me everyone, do you feel safe now when that person on the other end says that your account is private and confidential, or when they ask permission to open the account so that they can help you?