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Mentor

 • 

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

I clicked on your link that goes directly to the form to fill out. When I clicked to submit it, I got an error message saying that "We're having trouble processing your CPNI request. So I called the number listed. None of the options were for Colorado. So I called the number for 'other states.' Still no results. WHAT THE HECK IS THE POINT OF ALL THIS CRAP? HOW DO I SIMPLY OPT OUT FOREVER ON THIS SORT OF THING? AND, AS OTHERS HAVE SAID, WHY IS IT SO HARD TO OPT OUT?

Tutor

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2 Messages

8 years ago

I have been in the customer service business in some form or another since my first job at 16 and by God I have had it with this level of service.  I simply can't abide any supposedly reputable company providing service and information with such little apparent concern for the convenience or frustration of the customer.  ATT ranks in the top 5 worst customer service companies I have dealt with in my 41 years of life.  Due to ATT's monopoly of land line service,  I have been forced to deal with incessant calls to return to ATT Long Distance Service that I received several years ago, the current weekly junk mail to bundle my internet, cell and phone that look enough like official correspondence that you feel obligated to open only to throw away in disgust, the endless circles of automated phone menus, to the CSR's who are, with few excpeptions, uninformed, uncaring, unthinking, and unyielding.   Why oh why does it seem so often to be company/industry policy to create tasks(burdens) for your customers and then make those tasks unexecutable?

 

FYI:  The link att.com/ecpnioptout provided on my mailed notice was, up to a few minutes ago showing the message that the site had been moved or shutdown with no alternate link.  It now appears to be linked to the same site provided earlier in this thread.  However, after following that link, I received the same message that others have received:

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.

 

shortcircuit

Mentor

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27 Messages

8 years ago

Sounds like AT&T is promoting telemarketing. No wonder they don't consider repeated calling harrasment.

Voyager

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1 Message

8 years ago

I just received this email today (and this post was started two months ago! Why am I JUST getting this now?)

I too was concerrned this was a phishing scam - the links gave you no clue as to whether they were legitimate or not.  I tried calling the number(s) listed and got the usual run-around that resulted in...nothing.  I thought: surely, this came to my email, so it SHOULD be in my messages on the ATT site.  Wrong again!   Finally found this forum (for which I had to create an entirely NEW account just to post  (can't use my regular ATT account and have the option of a different screen name???).   I did find a link through the recommended search function that FINALLY brought me to the opt-out form.  Really ATT?  I had to go to a search to find the link? 

Completely ridiculous.  This whole process took the better part of 20 minutes! 

Get your act together ATT!  Not liking this one bit.  All this on top of the fact that the service is kind of crap.  Still have over a year left on this contract, but I might just take the financial hit and get out early. 

jamileh

Former Community Manager

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5.2K Messages

8 years ago

I'm sorry you had such a difficult time going through this process. 

 

Did the link in the email you received not work properly?

 

Will you please tell me a little more about the experience you had when you called in?

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

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.
harryspar

Guru

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552 Messages

8 years ago

@jamileh I know you are in a difficult position having to defend/help out a sleazy policy decided by your employers.

Fact is, this opting-out-only policy is dishonest and very low.

Anything that isn't right, isn't right even if you provide an opt-out.

It should not be the customer's burden do protect his privacy from you.

Tutor

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2 Messages

8 years ago

And here we go again.  Typed in the following from the card received in the mail www.att.com/ecpnioptout and got the following message,

Page Not Found The page you're looking for has moved,
been replaced, or is currently unavailable
to view.

 

No alternate link provided and did not automatically forward to the new page.

 

I never received an email.  When I first tried to use the online page I got the message that my request could not be completed, to try again later, or call the automated phone number.  My account number is not on the mailer as is stated by both the web page and the phone service so I had to find it myself.  After getting it from my online account info page I found that there are more digits in the account number than allowed in either opt out system.

 

Basically, I am finding so many errors in att's opt out process that I get the impression that att would rather I didn't opt out.  My observation of many large corporations including att is that if the company doesn't want its customer's to be able to do something like opting out or requesting warranty concessions or anything that might cost the company a couple of bucks, the company will make the process so unbearably frustrating as to be undoable.  The percentage of customers willing to hold long enough, escalate issues, follow endless trees of menus, etc is not surprisingly quite small.  Few people have the time, the patience, or the debating prowess to navigate the maze of customer service land mines.

 

By my count this process is plagued by:

1) Email failure

2) Dead web page address

3) Failure of web page to accomplish it's own goal with no reason given as to why

4) Failure of automated phone system to accomplish it's own goal due to a lack of account number format information

5) Web page and mailed card provide contradicting information concerning location of account info

6) Att's failure to provide adequate information or template concerning account number format required

7) Att's overall failure to provide a functional method to opt out that requires a minimum of effort and time.  It is important to remember that the main complaint here is that Att is forcing their customers to do something out of the norm.  The customers are having to pay attention to and modify something that they normally would not have to.  They have all been frightened into deep concerns over protecting their personal information and so feel the need to do so but no one wants to be frustrated by a broken system.  Until someone at Att decides to look at this problem from a customer perpective frustration is inevitable.

jamileh

Former Community Manager

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5.2K Messages

8 years ago

I'm sorry the website did not load for you. I just clicked on it and it loaded properly. 

 

The email would have been sent to your email address of record. If you did not received it, perhaps it went into a spam/junk folder? If you do not have an email address associated with your account, you would have received only the mailed letter as you indicated in your earlier post. 

 

Will you please send me a private message with your name, account number, phone number and the best time to contact you? I will have a member of my team contact you directly to assist in opting out. 




To send a private message, you can either click on the link in this message or click on the little blue envelope in the upper right hand corner, click "compose new message" and type my username in the "Send To" field.

 

 

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

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

 • 

5.2K Messages

8 years ago

Thank you for the private message with the information. I've responded with some additional information and a few questions. 

 

Please take a look when you have a moment. 

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

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.

Contributor

 • 

2 Messages

8 years ago

This


@LamarWashington wrote:
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.

This is bull.  It is so obvious and transparent that AT&T is purposely making it difficult for customer to opt out. Nefarious business practice. I am fed up, wasted 20 minutes, and nothing to show for it. Bye Bye AT&T.

jamileh

Former Community Manager

 • 

5.2K Messages

8 years ago

I'm sorry you had difficulty opting out. 

 

Did you try using the website or did you call in? What happened when you tried to opt out?

 

Please let me know how I can help. 

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

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.

Contributor

 • 

1 Message

8 years ago

In this day and age of identity theft and issues of internet security, I can't believe that I am beiong told that my information is going to be SHARED for MARKETING unless I put the effort forward to opt out.

 

That's sleazy and underhanded, and it makes me want to quit ATT.

 

I'd rather have recieved an email that said "We've updated our security measures to protect you from phishing."

 

Un.  Real.   

 

And if I wrote what I really think I would no doubt be edited and banned from this forum.  (there would be a lot of swearing ...)

 

**** *** ATT.

 

EDIT:  WHen signed in, as per normal to pay my bill, if you search "CPNI" you know what comes up?   THIS THREAD.

 

So you are WRONG Jamileh

 

[Please keep it courteous]

  

jamileh

Former Community Manager

 • 

5.2K Messages

8 years ago

I'm sorry this issue has frustrated you so much.

 

When you are signed into the site, you're shown search results that include the AT&T forums so it's expected that this thread would appear. 

 

If you "View All Search Results" you will see the following:

 

cpni_search results.JPG

 

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

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

 • 

2 Messages

8 years ago

When the link included in the 'opt out' email is clicked, it brings you to the AT&T homepage where you can buy new phones and service.  Not to an opt out option.  How did this mistake pass by your IT and web design teams? Please check all work before you sign off on it.

jamileh

Former Community Manager

 • 

5.2K Messages

8 years ago

The link should take you to a page where you can opt out, I have used it successfully in the past. 

 

You're right though, the link is currently stopping at the main page where you would normally log in to your account. 

 

I will pass this to our production team and see why this is happening. 

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

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.

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