T-Mobile's improper internal procedures for "manual review" - legal liabilities / need for overhaul

jkim1991

    Hi there,

     

    I've been using T-Mobile for the last 2.5 years through my employer. I just stopped by your Chinatown / Gallery Place location to set up a personal line. Multiple privacy breaches happened during the process that took nearly an hour and a half, which can expose T-Mobile to a myriad of potential legal liabilities. There is a need for an internal review of and subsequent modifications to existing procedures described below. Please forward this to a proper investor relations / legal team up in your corporate chain.

     

    1) I have a temporary fraud alert set up on my credit; I had my wallet stolen a few months ago, and the thief used my credit cards to make unauthorized purchases. Clearly I'm afraid of someone in possession of and misusing my identity.

     

    2) When the store manager / his assistant tried opening a line for me, the process prompted a "manual review." The store staff called an internal number to continue in the process using their store landline, and it took about 15-20 mins to reach someone in the back office. Then I had to speak to this back office person right there on the spot, who asked me to verify a list of personal information, including my full SSN, over the phone. Imagine a store full of T-mobile store employees and other customers the front and back of me. I'm being forced to verbally "give up" the very personal / identification information that I've been trying to extra-cautiously protect, now in a public setting.

     

    3) I asked the back office person several times on the recorded line whether this was T-Mobile's official policy. He confirmed so. He even said, you can just whisper if you'd like. I was shocked.

     

    4) Then after he "cleared" me to proceed, the person said I have to choose which plan I want on the spot, as the "manual review" does not let on-site store staff open a line for those customers with the store tablet. I told him that I would have to see what my options are first.

     

    5) Once I reviewed my options and was ready to choose a plan, the store staff had to run the whole process of calling the back office number again - which is incredibly inefficient but something I reasonably understood. But then, a different back office person who picked up this time asked me to verify all my personal information including my full social once again. He. in fact, made me repeat three times because he couldn't write down the numbers correctly. All of this again in the crowded store.

     

    *On a separate note, the first back office person I spoke to forgot to ask me for a consent for a credit check. He retroactively asked me later whether I consent, at least 30 mins after they had run the check (I get instant notifications on credit checks). He actually acknowledged this on the recorded line.

     

    This is a long way to say that your current internal policy is improperly equipped to deal with customers who are victims of identity thefts. In fact, it further victimizes them by requiring them to reveal sensitive personal information in front of strangers in a semi-public / public space.

     

    One immediately actionable suggestion I have is to require store staff to process this manual review over a cell phone in a more private space vs. a landline in the middle of the store within feet of store staff and other customers.

     

    Please forward this to a proper channel so that I can receive a detailed response. I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.