When will AT&T stop the unnecessary credit checks for no-contract accounts?
I recently set up a new AT&T wireless account, and chose a Mobile Share Value plan over GoPhone because of a nice corporate discount and the possibility to add family members in the future. The Mobile Share Value plan seemed a good option: I brought my own unlocked phone, and I appreciated the freedom of a no-contract plan. I had been told (incorrectly) that I would not need to provide my social security number (SSN) if I brought my company ID and W-2 form to my local AT&T store.
Given the recent AT&T data breach, it was very frustrating when I found out that I would in fact need to provide my SSN and date of birth in order to start a Mobile Share Value plan. I offered to set up automated payments, and to pay ahead of each month's service. Neither was acceptable; I was told that to start the Mobile Share Value plan I was required to have a credit check, even though I own my phone and my service is non-contract. In the end I gave my SSN -- only because I had canceled my service with my previous provider and I needed a phone -- but I would never have switched to AT&T if I knew that I would have to put my personal information in the hands of a company that has shown itself to be incapable of protecting its customers' identities.
The only bright side is that I don't have a contract, so I will be leaving AT&T at the end of the month.