Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Cablevision record keeping sucks. And it wants my Social Security Number to provide service.

In January I had tried to switch from Verizon FIOS to Cablevision.  "Tax" on Verizon was causing my bill to be unacceptably high and Verizon was too inflexible to provide any meaningful price concession.  Part of the reason for that is that Cablevision's agreement with the City of White Plains has expired, which entitles Cablevision to not pay PEG, whatever the heck that is.  Nice system of regulation, huh?

I ordered service from Cablevision and scheduled an installation.  That day I received a call from the Cablevision installer who said I was next and that he'd be here soon.  After a while he called again and asked for directions.  Eventually it became clear that the Cablevision installer had an incorrect address.  It wasn't even close, not in any way, not even the street number.  Not the street.  Not the town.  In fact it was private house and I live in a large apartment building.

The Cablevision installer put me in contact with the the Cablevision dispatcher who did not help.  I said you must have someone either here or nearby but the dispatcher would not do the installation that day and asked me to reschedule.

Later that evening I tried to reschedule but Cablevision started asking me a lot of basic questions and it turned out that they needed to start the signup process all over again.  Why?  Bad systems.

Fast forward to the recent nonsense over:

Cablevision collects VERY personal data and it's OK with the local government. THURSDAY, JUNE 18, 2015

"This call may be recorded for quality purposes." Who will give you a copy? THURSDAY, JUNE 18, 2015

Which led to:

Cablevision called but insisted on recording our conversation. I declined. SUNDAY, JUNE 28, 2015

A couple of days ago a guy (Mathew, I think) from Cablevision called to discuss what's described in my previous post:..

There are two things that federal and state legislatures need to do:
1. Prohibit private companies, especially those providing utility and pseudo-utility services, from demanding that a customer provide them with his/her Social Security number.
2. Ban the recording of conversations unless a copy and/or transcript is made available to the consumer...

Unfortunately, when a company with monopoly or duopoly power in an industry asks it is really a demand.

I call upon my elected representatives to pass legislation to fix this.


There was actually more to that aborted conversation.  Cablevision guy tried to check for a record of my having been a customer years ago.  Guess what he found?  The incorrect address from the failed installation in January.  I was shocked.  I assured him that I never lived anywhere near that location and might never have been in that town.

Then it dawned on me.  I wondered if I had been foolish enough to have provided my Social Security Number to Cablevision back in January to complete that installation order for new service.  Sure enough, I had.  I asked Cablevision guy to check and he was able to view it on his screen.  Oh, not the entire number.  Just the last four digits.  You know, the four that now serve as the universal mini ID that everyone and his uncle gets to request.  I asked Cablevision guy if he could remove my SSN.  He tried by backspacing the four digit value in the field and I guess saving.  Of course, that doesn't mean that it was deleted from the Cablevision database and I'd be very surprised if it was, especially since Cablevision preferred to lose me as a customer rather than provide me with its service without my SSN.  So when I tried to get Cablevision service a second time this year did Cablevision again ask for my SSN when it already had it?

Finally, I just received a second paper communication from Cablevision addressed to someone I have never heard of but to my mailing address, including apartment number.  Cablevision's database thinks that someone else lives here.

And Cablevision wants my SSN?  Again?

No comments: