Poll: Giving or obtaining contact information

New directive handed down at work today. On all phone calls, we must request Social Security number, a contact telephone number, the name of the customer’s employer and a phone number at work. Supposedly this is so that if they discontinue their service and don’t pay the final bill we can hunt them down.

Personally I think this is an enormous waste of time and said so, but more diplomatically. My boss comes back with “every company I deal with verifies this.” Other than at health care providers for insurance purposes, I’ve never had a company ask me to verify my employer or work phone number or even ask for a secondary contact number, unless they were specifically needing to call me back about the specific issue I’m questioning.

So the poll is: for those who handle customer contacts directly, do you on every call gather this type of information, and if so what sort of company are you? For customers, do you have companies asking you for this level of information, and if so what type of companies ask for it?

I would never give my SSN out over the phone, and I would assume that any company asking for it this way was a front for an identity theft scheme.

Hell no. Just today I called a brake place for an estimate, and they said they couldn’t give it to me right away, nor would they let me hold; they wanted a name and number to call me back. I gave them phony info as the quickest way to get them off the phone, and took my business elsewhere.

I would NEVER give my SSN out like that. I would lie about it, as will many of your customers.

No company I’ve ever dealt with has asked me for all of that information. The only type of business that has asked for my SSN had been banks, and I would give that to them if I had initiated the call. My health insurance company doesn’t even ask for SSN anymore.

Unless it was for something akin to a legal proceeding, I would never hand over that information, especially over the phone. Then again, I also don’t like to give me zip code and/or telephone number to retail stores.

I get pissed when I am at Radio Shack, paying for something with cash, and they want my phone number. I never give my social security number to anyone unless its a big deal like financing a car or getting a mortgage. The thing that I am secretly pleased about is that I turned off my land line phone, since I use my cell phone so much and I am finding myself giving out that dead number.


The help desk for the company I work for will usually ask for the last four digits of your SSN. I on the other hand, I need your full SSN if I need to issue a SupID for a peticular system, and 99.9% will give it out. One guy actually started bitching about it to me, and I basically told him that he couldn’t do what he need to do without it. So fess it up, or no access.

Now what I really wanted to tell him was something like this, “you want me to give you full access to our system, the ability to view payroll files and other business critical data, and you cannot give your SSN?” After a year our security department has yet to come up with a fix so that the SupID forms don’t ask for the entire SSN.

I really don’t see a problem with giving out SSN’s for situations involving access to our systems and such, but asking for a SSN for every call? WTF? That is rididulous and a waste of time.