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AT&T, privacy, and business ethics

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.
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Message 1 of 129
Former Community Manager

Re: watch out for your personal information

nateast wrote:

Can you believe this email I got from AT&T?!? 

I haven’t been a customer of theirs in over a year.  When I called the number the email mentions, the customer service representative asked me, “You’re not really going to make me look for your CPNI number are you?”

He couldn’t find it and told me he would not be able to check if my information is being shared with 3rd party companies.  Here’s the kicker, he did know what my social security number is.

There is no AT&T number or email address where I can ask not to have my information shared.

Does anyone know who to contact or complain to?  Or perhaps if there are any other blogs where  I can post this.

Any assistance would be appreciated.

Thank You.



I'm very sorry that you had a poor experience when you called in to opt out of CPNI. If you happen to recall the representative's name or ID, please let me know. 


The numbers provided in the email you received are the right ways to contact AT&T about opting out. You can also complete this online by using this website: Note - you will need your account number to complete the online form. 


If you were not able to successfully opt out, I'd be happy to help. Just  send me a private message with your name, old account number, phone number and the best time to contact you. I'll have a member of my team contact you directly to help. 


Again - I apologize for the difficulty you had. 

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.
Message 121 of 129

Re: watch out for your personal information

drumn_bass wrote:

What's wrong with this line?

"CPNI does not include your telephone number, your name or your address. Protecting the confidentiality of your CPNI is your right and our duty under federal law. As an AT&T customer, you can restrict the use of your CPNI even within the AT&T family of companies."

It clearly states that no "personal information" is being shared. Plus you can opt out at any moment.

I would be more concerend over what is floating around on facebook, twitter, lnkedin and 3 dozen other "social" sites and where that is getting. companies are using those sites as searchs for pre-hire qualifications more then what is passed on with cpni

Message 122 of 129

Re: AT&T, privacy, and business ethics


I agree that restricting ATT CPNI is harder than it should be.  I was able to get to the form quickly, but the form returned an error and asked me to call ATT support.  That led to a 26 minute phone call to complete a task that should take 30 seconds.  Either ATT deliberately makes this process difficult or they're support process needs improvement.  I like to assume the best in people and companies, so I'd lean more toward their process needing improvement.


First of all, the web form should work, every time, for every customer with a valid account number and zip code.


Second, when a customer calls and says the acronym CPNI there should be an automatic response from the representative saying "Yes we have now restricted your CPNI, have a nice day."



Message 123 of 129

Re: AT&T, privacy, and business ethics

Know this is an older thread but since I just had Voice installed about 2 months ago I was also emailed the below flier yesterday about my privacy and sharing CPNI. Glad I did a double-take and noticed my info was going to be shared unless I opted out. What a backwards email, as the OP said, and you should be requested to opt in instead of out. Luckily I was able to enter my account number and billing zip code fairly easily in the link.


I find it ironic I can't get any help/att support to stop the massive amounts of spam coming into my AT&T Yahoo email yet they want to bombard me with more spam from the "AT&T family of companies"?? This is utterly ridiculous!!



AT&T Voice Privacy, sharing my info, 2-4-2013.png


If you get to thinking you're a person of influence, try ordering someone else's dog around.

Need help? Contact AT&T at 800-288-2020.
Message 124 of 129

Re: AT&T, privacy, and business ethics

Thanks for posting this.  Unfortunately as of 4/15/14 it appears not to work, I get the message below repeatedly.  I would prefer not to spend time on hold then get marketed, to opt out of something I shouldn't even need to.  It makes me wonder if ATT crippled this page to route more people thru their phone marketing machine.  Funny, almost everything else customer-facing these days is a web form, presumably to cut down on CS overhead.


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.

Message 125 of 129

Re: AT&T, privacy, and business ethics

 I just wasted 5 minutes dealing with your email, finding my account number, logging in, opting out, etc.


I pay you plenty. I just added features to my account, in fact.


Just leave us alone. ... start caring about treating your customers right.


[Inappropriate content removed]

Message 126 of 129

Re: AT&T, privacy, and business ethics

I got a notice about this in the mail from AT&T and am having the same problem: 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. Since I have cell and Internet form AT&T, but not voice, I'm not even sure that CPNI is an issue for me.
Message 127 of 129

Re: AT&T, privacy, and business ethics

lenticular wrote:
I got a notice about this in the mail from AT&T and am having the same problem: 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. Since I have cell and Internet form AT&T, but not voice, I'm not even sure that CPNI is an issue for me.

It covers cell and Uverse/DSL also

Message 128 of 129

Re: AT&T, privacy, and business ethics

I called AT&T this morning. It took me 15 minutes to get CPNI Restriction set up. The first support person didn't seem familiar with it, but forwarded me to someone who understood. My experiences with AT&T people (technicians, phone support people, and those on this forum) have been almost entirely great. The problem is with the company, which in this case seems to be trying to evade the FCC requirement that customers be allowed to restrict their proprietary network information. Reading back on this thread, it isn't clear that the opt-out webform has ever really worked (it certainly didn't for me), yet they continue to promote this as a way of opting-out. AT&T requires the billing number, which I had to look up, and they don't allow you to opt-out while logged in to your AT&T account. The opt-out error message gives you the number for general support, and you must talk to a first-tier support person before you can get through to someone who is able to help. All of this makes it appear that AT&T aims to make it hard for people to opt for CPNI restriction. I don't think that this is what the FCC had in mind ( ) and am contemplating filing a complaint with the FCC ( ).
Message 129 of 129
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