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Mentor

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3 Messages

Tue, May 22, 2012 12:57 AM

AT&T, privacy, and business ethics

I just got this email from AT&T about my CPNI usage. Apparently they want to use my private info for marketing purposes. Here's what's wrong with that.

I'm already a customer, leave me alone. Stop advertising new services and products to your own customers it's an annoying waste that clutters the website, my inbox, and wastes time when calling customer service.

Second, they were going to take my private info anyway if I did not respond the long, confusing e-mail with unfamiliar abbreviations like CPNI. They are profiting from every instance of non-response. Most people don't have the time or don't care enough to contact AT&T and request not to have their privacy invaded.

The language used is deceptive: "By checking this box I am requesting that AT&T restrict the use of my CPNI." that's the quote. See, it seems like they are restricting you, because of the purposefully confusing language. In reality, they are being restricted. I wonder what they have to gain that they would phrase it in a backwards way like this, surely AT&T has no concern for clarity when communicating with customers.

Bad show guys. Most people aren't going to notice, the rest probably won't care, but I hope there are a few people who demand more from a company they pay thousands of dollars to annually.

Responses

Contributor

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1 Message

8 years ago

Nefarious business practices, without question. I got the email, clicked on the link to opt out, and then was told I needed an account number, which was supposedly in the email. It wasn't in the email - only the last four numbers were. So I log into my ATT account, get the number, go back to the form, enter all the numbers and my zip code and get this: We're Having Trouble Processing Your CPNI Request You can still make your request by phone. Please call a representative at 1-800-288-2020. I've now already wasted 7 minutes of my life. I call a representative and am greeted with endless menus with the "Push 1 for, push 2 for," which every consumer in the nation hates to deal with, especially as we know we're all getting routed to the same place. When I finally reach a representative, she says she has to put me on hold, where I wait for 4 minutes. It took 8 minutes of holding and pushing number buttons to even reach her in the first place. Finally, after 12 total minutes, she comes back and says I've been opted out. Total life wasted: Around 19 minutes. What a racket. First, make people opt out rather than needing to opt in to get their privacy invaded, then make it so difficult to opt out that most people will give up. And waste your customers' time.

Contributor

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1 Message

8 years ago

Same xact thing happened to me!  Interesting coincidence.

Contributor

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1 Message

8 years ago

I'm trying to opt out of this, and the link doesn't work for me...and I've talked to 6 different people and none of them know what I'm referring to when I ask about trying to keep AT&T from using my CPNI.

Tutor

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2 Messages

8 years ago

The exact same thing happened to me. The direct link provided in the email did not work. I just spent 15 minutes on the phone, most of it on hold, attempting to opt out of future attempts to monetize my private information. The representative knew nothing about the email.

 

I am not a commodity to be passed around within the ATT family of companies, for "marketing" purposes or otherwise.

AnnB1211

Former Employee

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65 Messages

8 years ago

All telecommunication companies do this. Whether you opt in or out, your information is not being passed around.

Tutor

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2 Messages

8 years ago

This is simply not OK.

 

From the email:

 

"AT&T companies that provide telecommunications and interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service (which permits VoIP customers to both send and receive calls to/from customers with traditional telephone/telecommunications service) would like to share your customer proprietary network information within the AT&T family of companies for our own marketing purposes, including using that information to offer you additional products and services."

My "customer proprietary netowork information" should not be traded or shared amongst any business entities, within or without the AT&T "family", for marketing purposes or to offer me additional products and services.

 

I pay AT&T enough money monthly that it's infuriating to have them inform me that without my intervention, I'll be subject to unsolicted sales & marketing attempts.

 

I want more signal and less noise from my communications provider. Whether or not all telecommunications companies do this is not the issue. The issue is that AT&T did and does. How is the fact that this is a problem an anathema to AT&T's customer service?

AnnB1211

Former Employee

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65 Messages

8 years ago

They don't share your information. If you decide not to opt in but have not been able to opt out though the link/email, there is a privacy statement that has to be read before anything can be offered to you. The whole purpose is to present other ATT products to you, NOT share your information.

 

I give up. Call customer service and have them read word-for-word what it means and what to expect. Here a link to more comprehensive info on what CPNI means.  CPNI

Tutor

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1 Message

8 years ago

I agree that this has been a very frustrating endeavor, but as of today, the online form to opt out of sharing CPNI works (at least it did for me). Type in your customer ID (not your phone number), complete the rest of the form, and submit. Your account number can be found on your bill or on the top left side of your paperless statement. I hope this helps my fellow AT&T users.

Tutor

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1 Message

8 years ago

I am have the same problem everyone else is! Shame on you AT&T!!! Threatening to share my information unless I opt-out of this program, and then making it impossible to opt-out!!! I have tried online. I have called both numbers listed in the email. You owe your customers better than this. I have given this company thousands of dollars over the years for service that is faulty at best ("But, sir, my map shows that your home has excellent coverage"). Fix this and fix it now!

Teacher

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4 Messages

8 years ago

So how the heck do we "opt out"?

Teacher

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4 Messages

8 years ago

The problem, Mr. AT&T employee, is that it isn't always easy to tell if something is a legitimate email. Therefore, just randomly "opting out" or responding to this type of "spam email" can get people into trouble if this isn't AT&T. I say, by default, leave people out unless they want to "opt in". [Per Guidelines:  Keep it Relevant and Appropriate].

jamileh

Former Community Manager

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5.2K Messages

8 years ago


@tvstimmyg wrote:

I am have the same problem everyone else is! Shame on you AT&T!!! Threatening to share my information unless I opt-out of this program, and then making it impossible to opt-out!!! I have tried online. I have called both numbers listed in the email. You owe your customers better than this. I have given this company thousands of dollars over the years for service that is faulty at best ("But, sir, my map shows that your home has excellent coverage"). Fix this and fix it now!


Do you get an error when you try the website? Can you tell me what happens? It seems to be working just fine. 

 

What happened when you called?

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As of May 1st, I am no longer serving as the Community Manager for AT&T. This account will no longer be able to accept private messages.

Did a post have a solution that worked for you? Help other people find solutions faster by marking posts that helped you as an "Accepted Solution". Learn about accepted solutions here.

I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.
jamileh

Former Community Manager

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5.2K Messages

8 years ago


@dcsqueen wrote:

So how the heck do we "opt out"?


Instructions are included in the email (either use the online form or call in) as well as discussed in this thread. 

 

You can also search on www.att.com for CPNI, the first result is the opt out form. 

 

I've linked it here for you: https://www.att.com/ecpnioptout/InitiateCPNIForm.action

--------------

As of May 1st, I am no longer serving as the Community Manager for AT&T. This account will no longer be able to accept private messages.

Did a post have a solution that worked for you? Help other people find solutions faster by marking posts that helped you as an "Accepted Solution". Learn about accepted solutions here.

I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.

Tutor

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1 Message

8 years ago

I just did it an it worked fine.  I used the Account Number on my bill instead of my cell phone number.  Had no issues.  I actually did try it with my cell phone # first the way I log in to pay my bill and I received an error that way.

 

I suggest that everyone try it with their account number if they have not tried it already.

 

Twbips

AnnB1211

Former Employee

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65 Messages

8 years ago


 

The problem, Mr. AT&T employee, is that it isn't always easy to tell if something is a legitimate email. Therefore, just randomly "opting out" or responding to this type of "spam email" can get people into trouble if this isn't AT&T. I say, by default, leave people out unless they want to "opt in". [Per Guidelines:  Keep it Relevant and Appropriate].

 

If you don't opt in, your preference is "Undecided", which requires for a rep to read a privacy statement, you can opt out during that particular interaction. If you want this changed, you can call customer support. They can change it for you. But even if you opt out, you may still be read the disclaimer when you call giving you chance to opt in for that specific interaction. Something so common and simple is creating an unnecessary outrage. It's not that big of a deal.