To be sick of companies asking me to confirm my identity when they are the one who have phoned me out of the blue?

(107 Posts)
MuddlingMackem Thu 15-Sep-16 10:49:38

Just had the phone company ring me, saying they have some discounts I may be entitled to but can I just confirm my identity for data protection purposes.

I'm getting really sick of this and now point out that they should be confirming the info with me so that I can be sure they are who they're saying they are. The caller replied that anyone could have picked up the phone, they need to make sure they're speaking to the right person. They phoned my landline! I pointed out that I need to be sure that the person I'm speaking to is from the company he claims to be, I'm not the one who should be confirming my identity.

I suggested that maybe the way around this is for two part passwords on file, so the company says one part to confirm their identity and the customer says the other so both parties can be assured that they're speaking to who they think they are.

I know I'm being arsey, but in this day of so many telephone scams, AIBU to think that this is something thing which businesses should be taking into account?

raspberrysuicide Thu 15-Sep-16 10:54:00

If someone asks me to confirm my identity I say "yes ok tell me what details you have for me and I will confirm they are correct" that really throws them lol!

pitterpatterrain Thu 15-Sep-16 10:55:02

I completely agree

I don't think they like my attitude which is usually something along the lines of "we appear to be at an impasse as you could be anyone so I am not telling you my personal details" grin

The call normally stops after that for some reason...

HellsBellsnBucketsofBlood Thu 15-Sep-16 10:55:10

I never confirm anything to random companies that call me. If they need to be in touch I take the view that they can write, or call me to ask me to call them at a convenient time. It would be anyone calling.

Smidge001 Thu 15-Sep-16 10:55:45

I completely agree with you. It annoys me hugely and makes me rant at them down the phone.
Often they give me a phone number to ring them back on so I "know it's them", but tbh I don't see how that works either unless I go and check that that number is genuine first - or I could just be calling their partner in crime.
It's a stupid system. I like your solution. They could maybe give you 2 random digits of your password and you could give them another 2. (Just to avoid having to come up with yet another password/code)

vickibee Thu 15-Sep-16 10:57:51

this happens at work as well, we manage 600 plus properties and a utility company will ask me for the address of the property relating to the o/s bill and put the phone down because I don't know which one it is. WTF? You called me to chase the debt?

LateToTheParty Thu 15-Sep-16 10:59:04

YANBU. I have had the same conversations when I've been called out of the blue. Given how common telephone fraud is now, companies shouldn't be surprised when customers try to protect their identities & accounts!

Discobabe Thu 15-Sep-16 11:02:17

Yanbu!! My dh had a similar conversation with a company who contacted us, they got quite funny about it. It was an important issue and needed dealing with so he said he'd ring back (on a number he could check out first) so he could confirm they were indeed calling from the company the said they were grin. They were not imprssed but it's a perfectly valid point!! Especially when we're told to be so careful about handing out such info.

Seeline Thu 15-Sep-16 11:05:49

I get cross with the ones that go through the whole process of who I am, then refuse to speak to me anyway because DH is the registered bill payer.

AlbusPercival Thu 15-Sep-16 11:08:19

Plusnet? I had the exact same argument with them yesterday!

Lozzy5790 Thu 15-Sep-16 11:09:03

It's the law unfortunately, that they have to do that.

I work for an insurance company and we have to call people about their claims sometimes and folk get arsey with me, but if they do I just say "you're quite right to be careful, I'm calling from X company so can you please call us back on the number you've already got for us, with the reference you were given when you took out your policy".

I know they're calling you in your landline but you would seriously be surprised at the amount of people that just hand out any old number for an insurance claim. Once it was their mums neighbours house!

wasonthelist Thu 15-Sep-16 11:12:29

It's the law unfortunately, that they have to do that.
Which law?

Fortybingowings Thu 15-Sep-16 11:22:44

Tell them you're Mickey Mouse, Hillary Clinton, or Postman pat, then ask who they are!

ginag18 Thu 15-Sep-16 11:25:49

The Data Protection Act 1998

Lozzy5790 Thu 15-Sep-16 11:25:50

Data protection law. If you're giving out details on the phone like you would be if you're talking about someone's phone contract or insurance then the company is legally obliged to make sure that you are the account holder. They do this by asking three bits of information, two in the public domain (address, postcode) and one not (what's your monthly bill, what sort of bank account do you have).

You can look at the information commissioners website for the full details.

dodobookends Thu 15-Sep-16 11:25:54

I know they're calling you in your landline but you would seriously be surprised at the amount of people that just hand out numbers

The most aggravating ones are the people from your own telephone provider who are calling you about the contract for the very phone number they're ringing you on.

I usually point out that they must already know who I am, my telephone number and what my address is, because they have all that on the screen right in front of them and they are the ones ringing me, whereas I don't know them from Adam grin

ginag18 Thu 15-Sep-16 11:26:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lozzy5790 Thu 15-Sep-16 11:28:57

To be fair, it annoys me too, but in general the companies are just following the law and the folk calling you don't want to be dealing with someone having a go any more than you want to be answering the questions.

One time I had a workman in and he picked up my landline!! :O I was fuming! But imagine if that had been my bank or something calling to tell me something sensitive! It wasn't, it was my mum, who put him in his place, but you can never be too careful.

myfavouritecolourispurple Thu 15-Sep-16 11:33:27

*It's the law unfortunately, that they have to do that.
Which law?*

They're going to claim it's the Data Protection Act. It's not. It's the " we need to protect our arses so we're going to use no common sense whatsoever Act".

I won't give any info over the phone either unless I know it's them because I called them earlier or whatever. And I'm not calling them back because the lines are generally not freephone. If they want me, they can either email me or write to me if they're not going to use common sense.

And it's really annoying when the account is only in DH's name (because their system will only have one name) and they won't speak to me even though we use a joint account to pay the bills. Years ago I had an argument with NTL about it and they eventually very grudgingly said they could set up a password on the account. I said they either spoke to me or I'd cancel the DD on the joint account.

These companies take data protection far too far. If I phone them because I want to terminate an account it stands to reason that they need to know it's definitely me. Fine. But there will be other things where quite honestly anyone could call if it's a general query about something. Why not ask what you want first and then go through the whole DP malarkey.

But if they phone you, nope. They're calling you, invading your privacy and they can prove who they are. Not the other way round.

ceeveebee Thu 15-Sep-16 11:39:35

I had this same conversation with BT who called my landline and asked me to confirm the number. Not my name or DOB, just the telephone number they'd called me on. Makes no sense whatsoever, that does not confirm who I am. DH doesn't even know our landline number so he wouldn't have been able to answer!

MuddlingMackem Thu 15-Sep-16 11:40:05

dodobookends Thu 15-Sep-16 11:25:54

>>>> The most aggravating ones are the people from your own telephone provider who are calling you about the contract for the very phone number they're ringing you on. <<<<<

It was in this case. BT as it happens.

In this instance, I told them if they're who they say they are they'll have my email address so they can email the offers to me. grin

BackwardElephants Thu 15-Sep-16 11:41:22

I just say nope, you called me, therefore this must be a sales call and I am not interested. If I was, then I would have called you!

BeetlebumShesAGun Thu 15-Sep-16 11:45:11

It is the Data Protection Act, and they do have to ask. Especially if its financial. I work in compliance for a finance company and can assure you any potential breach of DPA (such as not asking security) gets reported to the Financial Conduct Authority who can fine the company.

It really irritates me when I listen to calls and hear people like you going off on one to our staff who are just doing their jobs. You'd be the first to complain if your personal information was disclosed to the wrong person.

NotCitrus Thu 15-Sep-16 11:45:53

Joys of being deaf. I can just about make out that they're asking me for info, so I tell them to email me or write and hang up. Or get DP to answer and have him get told they can't speak to him (fair enough) or they just chat to him anyway. Of course the places that I have given them authority to speak to him on my behalf tend to be in the first category, not the second.

Sometimes I just get my female friends to pretend to be me.

If only they'd just email me...

MuddlingMackem Thu 15-Sep-16 12:06:02

BeetlebumShesAGun Thu 15-Sep-16 11:45:11

>>>>> It is the Data Protection Act, and they do have to ask. Especially if its financial. I work in compliance for a finance company and can assure you any potential breach of DPA (such as not asking security) gets reported to the Financial Conduct Authority who can fine the company.

>>>>> It really irritates me when I listen to calls and hear people like you going off on one to our staff who are just doing their jobs. You'd be the first to complain if your personal information was disclosed to the wrong person. <<<<<

Yes, these people are just doing their jobs. No, they shouldn't disclose personal information to anyone but the customer. But, and it's a huge but, companies shouldn't be so hypocritical as to insist on checking identity from their side yet bulldoze over customers who want to be able to do the same from theirs.

If a fraudster convinced a customer of yours to share personal details by claiming data protection, must confirm your identity, which were then used to scam the customer, what would your reaction be? You shouldn't have given out personal information out to just anyone! But when it's someone who phones you there is currently no way of the customer confirming that they are who they say they are. This NEEDS TO CHANGE!!

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