Jump to content

Giving out personal info over phone
to utility companies etc


  • Please log in to reply
26 replies to this topic

#1 glasnost

Posted 14 January 2013 - 01:05 PM

Just put down the phone from a (half hour long!) call from my energy provider. Yhe cal came from a blocked number. The guy from the call centre wanted to offer me a 14% discount on our electicity bill if I extended my contract.

Went through the usual spiel, I said I would go through with it and then he asks me to confirm my DOB, as in I tell him not he tells me. I said that I felt really uncomfortable giving out personal information as this was an unsolicitored call. He then became really defensive and gave me a another spiel about how this particular energy company was so well respected and he then proceeded to give me his full name and his ID number. Eventually I relented and gave it to him.

We then do all the recorded message thing when I had to verbally agree with the conditions of the contract. He then says that he needs to record my drivers license number to finalise the agreement. I said that I also felt uncomfortable giving out this. He becomes quite pushy at this point and suggests I give him my Medicare number or passport ID instead!

By this stage I had three kids going feral (I was trying to get lunch on the table when he called)and did end up giving him my license number however am I the only one who feels really uncomfortable about giving out personal data over the phone like this to unsolicitored callers? I actually feel a bit guilty as my gut feeling in the end was that it was a legit call and I think the guy I was talking to took my suspicion personally.  

Am I being paranoid? What do you do when you get these calls?

#2 9ferals

Posted 14 January 2013 - 01:09 PM

No, I don't think you are being paranoid - I think you are being sensible.

If I get unsolicited calls offering me special deals I ask them to post or email me some information so I can make up my mind in my own time.  If they won't do that (which they often can't/won't) then I tell them I'm not interested today but that if I want a better deal I will call back to the company when I'm ready.

Can you tell that I just don't trust unsolicited calls!

#3 MAGS24

Posted 14 January 2013 - 01:11 PM

If they call me then I don't give them any personal information. If I call them then I expect to give personal information but I know who I called.

My other rule is to never change companies with anyone if they call me on the phone because I don't like it when they call when I am busy at home and if I want to change companies, then I will ring them after I have had time to think about it.

If you are worried about it, you should have a 10 day cooling off period and they should have provided you with a contact phone number, so you could ring and check the details etc.

#4 cheekymonkeysmum

Posted 14 January 2013 - 01:14 PM

I've never had one of those calls though might depend on the energy company.

If our energy company  needs to tell us anything they send us a letter and if we need any info we ring them though they have never asked for our licence only dob address and account number.

Um did you get the mans details (like his full name etc) can you call your energy provider back to see if it was legit.  

I do hope it was a real call for you.

#5 Brownbear

Posted 14 January 2013 - 01:22 PM

My husband just had the exact same call and said the exact same thing about not wanting to give out personal details.

They told him he couldn't get the deal if he didn't give out the details. He said, "Well, I won't get the deal then".

So they put him on to a recorded message.

So he hung up.

Don't feel bad OP, I bet hundreds of people refuse.


#6 FeralFerretOfDoom

Posted 14 January 2013 - 01:38 PM

I always tell them to give me their extension number, and I will call the switchboard and ask to be put through, so I can confirm that the call originates from the company.

I absolutely refuse to give out my personal information when I have absolutely no way of knowing that the person I'm giving it to is legitimate.

I also do this for charities who call me soliciting funds - if I'm prepared to donate I tell them to send me information or confirm that I can donate online. I no longer make a donation over the phone. Every time I've done this they've been understanding of my position.

#7 TotesFeral

Posted 14 January 2013 - 01:42 PM

QUOTE (cheekymonkeysmum @ 14/01/2013, 02:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've never had one of those calls though might depend on the energy company.

If our energy company  needs to tell us anything they send us a letter and if we need any info we ring them though they have never asked for our licence only dob address and account number.

Um did you get the mans details (like his full name etc) can you call your energy provider back to see if it was legit.  

I do hope it was a real call for you.


Drivers licence was one form of ID put onto accounts with the energy company I used to work for. Although if you could give acct # and DOB then it was very rarely asked for.

OP I can understand why you would feel funny about it but having worked for an energy company and a telecommunications company it is something that they unfortunately HAVE to confirm.

#8 cinderellainsydney

Posted 14 January 2013 - 01:53 PM

It could be anyone. I can just as easily make up a reference number for the phonecall and give a false name and ID number. The next thing they will be asking is your bank / credit card details "to set up an automatic direct debit of your bills". Sure.

If they are serious about conducting business with you, they will send a letter such as an offer of supply with electricity discount etc.

#9 Citylovely

Posted 14 January 2013 - 01:56 PM

Just be careful as we had very similar calls from 'Telstra' (we are a customer of theirs).
They were trying to offer us free calls from our landline but wanted to confirm our personal details as well. It just sounded a bit fishy so I said I would call them back. They also got very defensive about it.
Called Telstra back and low and behold the call wasn't from Telstra so I would be very very careful.
I hope for your case it was legit.

#10 andieinvic

Posted 14 January 2013 - 02:19 PM

I had an unsolicited call from my bank a while ago, from someone who introduced herself as my new personal banker. She called, introduced herself and asked me to answer some security questions, including my birthdate and then asked my and dh's salary range! Like you I explained I wasn't comfortable giving out those details when I hadn't made the call and really didn't know her from Adam.  I also did say to her that I thought it was pretty bad practice for a bank to call their customers and ask for their personal details, they should be telling them not to give them out in unsolicited calls.  Anyway I asked her to send me an email with her details and checked them out and she is in fact my personal banker so I called her back.  I'm still very surprised that a bank would follow this practice shrug.gif . I agree with you - shouldn't give out personal details when someone calls you and you don't know for sure who they are.

#11 glasnost

Posted 14 January 2013 - 02:53 PM

Pretty sure it was legit as they have sent me a confirmation email about it. Unless that is a fake also unsure.gif

There is also a cooling off period. They are pretty sneaky as I think the call is more about signing up customers for another couple of years than offering a pretty crappy discount.

Next time I will do what PPs have suggested and tell them nicely to go away. It isn't just the security of personal date that concerns me. They also take a billion minutes to explain everything and I feel pretty annoyed that they wasted so much of my time.

#12 slvhwke

Posted 14 January 2013 - 03:08 PM

I had a similar issue with Centrelink.  Random lady calls and wants all my details to confirm who I am before telling me some information.

I told her I refuse to give my information out.  She may says where she's from but how the hell do I know if it's legit.

Instead I got her number, confirmed and called her back.

She was very huffy with me & kept going on about how she was just 'trying ot help me out'.

Honestly I would prefer a letter/e-mail asking me to call them, instead of random numbers.

#13 Coffeegirl

Posted 14 January 2013 - 03:08 PM

A couple years ago we had a CC with a major bank (BW).  I was getting a computer call me and ask me to enter my DOB and acct number.  But the computer didn't tell me they were calling from BW, nor why it was calling me.

After receiving these calls repeatedly (sometimes only seconds apart) I entered the number in google and found it was from BW.   I lodged a complaint with the bank.  I had a customer service guy ring me back and he couldn't understand why I was refusing to give my details to a computer  wacko.gif  He insisted that they were a reputable bank and would never use my details, but I couldn't get him to understand that the computer didn't even tell me what bank it was ringing from!

Edited by Coffeegirl, 14 January 2013 - 03:09 PM.


#14 Corella

Posted 14 January 2013 - 03:16 PM

Pet hate of mine too. Especially when they get huffy about saying no to giving out private information. And unsolicited offers? Just sound dodgy. Especially on a bad connection to a loud call centre when it's dinner time!

#15 RockLobster

Posted 14 January 2013 - 03:20 PM

My husband often gets calls from his bank, saying they need to speak to him about his account, then they ask him for his identifying info. His response is always:'You have just called me from an overseas call centre on a blocked number. I am not giving you those details. If you have important information for me, you can just tell me now'.They always get defensive and in the end they tell him to go to a branch and speak to someone there. He suspects it is a legitimate call, but still refuses to give his info.

#16 Berndt Tőst

Posted 14 January 2013 - 03:25 PM

Putting the whole security issue aside, I've done a bit of telemarketing in my time and I can definitely tell you that if they had a decent product, they wouldn't need to telemarket!
They are relying on the fact that you are put on the spot and don't have the ability to shop around before making a decision.

#17 Simply Me

Posted 14 January 2013 - 03:32 PM

If I call a company I am happy to verify my details. BUT if they call me then no.  I didn't want a call from them and obviously they already have details otherwise why would you answer to your name when called!

#18 Sassy Dingo

Posted 14 January 2013 - 03:35 PM

Out of curiosity, how are the banks/centerlink/ATO/energy company supposed to confirm that they called the right number without asking you personal questions?

Personally I would be cranky if medicare or some other agency called the wrong number and started giving out my personal details. What if my mum answered the phone as Mrs Dingo and then they just start talking about my results/personal details? I would be unbelievably cranky.

Things like name and address I feel aren't really a big problem to tell people on the phone as security questions- a phone book will get them the same information. If they asked me for my credit card details as security question I wouldn't answer then though.

You are of course entitled to take their name and number, look up the number of the switchboard and then ask to be transferred to the person calling, but how many people do you think do that? I work in an enforcement area of a government department so all of my initial contact is unsolicited and unwanted - I am not going to give out personal information when I haven't confirmed I am talking to the right person, especially when so many people are slack about updating their details with us.

#19 glasnost

Posted 14 January 2013 - 04:08 PM

QUOTE (Sassy Dingo @ 14/01/2013, 04:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Out of curiosity, how are the banks/centerlink/ATO/energy company supposed to confirm that they called the right number without asking you personal questions?

Personally I would be cranky if medicare or some other agency called the wrong number and started giving out my personal details. What if my mum answered the phone as Mrs Dingo and then they just start talking about my results/personal details? I would be unbelievably cranky.

Things like name and address I feel aren't really a big problem to tell people on the phone as security questions- a phone book will get them the same information. If they asked me for my credit card details as security question I wouldn't answer then though.

You are of course entitled to take their name and number, look up the number of the switchboard and then ask to be transferred to the person calling, but how many people do you think do that? I work in an enforcement area of a government department so all of my initial contact is unsolicited and unwanted - I am not going to give out personal information when I haven't confirmed I am talking to the right person, especially when so many people are slack about updating their details with us.


There were other ways to verify my identity though that wouldn't have involved me giving out personal data. He could have asked for the amount I was charged on my last bill or my account no. Asking people to give out their medicare or passport number is just not on. Last time I do it, never again.

#20 niggles

Posted 14 January 2013 - 04:12 PM

I refuse and tell them I'll call back instead.

But don't despair. It's sometimes legitimate. DH gave our credit card details to an unsolicited call recently. I flipped out when he hung up and insisted he call to verify that they had contacted us to offer xyz and it was all above board.

#21 TeaTimeTreat

Posted 14 January 2013 - 04:25 PM

.

Edited by sparkler, 20 January 2013 - 11:32 PM.


#22 Lainskii

Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:02 PM

I got a similar call and ended up calling Energy Australia and complaining.

I don't understand how they can verify my licence or medicare number to confirm it is me? They don't have access to these databases so I could make up any number. This was my arguement to the lady on the phone who was very pushy and was insisting that I was missing out on a great deal.
When I asked her who she worked for as she said she was calling on behalf of Energy Australia, she refused to tell me but wanted my drivers licence and medicare number - ironic much.




#23 ubermum

Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:07 PM

I won't give that sort of information on the phone. If you called me, you know who I am. I tell them to email me or send me a letter.


#24 angelinaballerina

Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:49 PM

Whenever an energy provider, phone company,bank, tax office etc call me for whatever reason and ask me to provide contact details to confirm my identity - I deny them.

I will take their name and dept and call back after I have rung back on their registered phone number.

I actually hate when they do this, as they are ringing my personal mobile phone number so why should I have to prove who I am?

#25 ~ky~

Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:44 AM

I just say ... "you called me, you obviously have this information in front of you to check against, you tell me and I will confirm". If they are unwilling to do this, I then wish them a good day and hang up.

I hate unsolicited phone calls even if they are the company I am already with offering me something better. I would prefer a letter in the post or an email giving me some reference details to quote upon me calling their general listed number to redeem the offer.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Win a Mountain Buggy Swift

To celebrate Essential Baby reaching half a million Facebook fans, we have a Mountain Buggy Swift to giveaway to a lucky fan.

Shopping with kids: breaking the pester-power cycle

You're out shopping with your little one and they're incessantly whining that they want a treat. It's easy to say no ... the first time, at least.

eBay jacket may hold clue to murdered girl's identity

A jacket similar to the one found with the remains of a brutally murdered little girl in South Australia has been identified on eBay.

New mum forced back to work early due to paid parental leave 'technicality'

Shelley Parker had to keep driving buses until the date her baby was due and will have to rush back to work at the end of this week after being denied paid parental leave on a "technicality".

Pregnant Amanda Palmer poses naked for book drive

It has to be the most original way ever of promoting a children's book donation day.

The conception dilemma facing many parents today

Some parents who conceived through a sperm donor will be wary of telling the child, while others prefer to deal with it early on. But recent research suggests it makes little difference either way.

The wedding photo the bridesmaid would rather forget

We've probably all seen a passed-out bridesmaid at one wedding or another, but it usually happens towards the end of the night.

Pregnant TV meteorologist takes on haters

Pregnant TV meteorologist Katie Fehlinger has hit back at haters who called her a "sausage in casing".

Honest words from first-time mums

I didn't want to say anything negative to my pregnant friend, but I wish I'd been more honest.

Adorable baby experiences rain for the first time, couldn't be happier

Harper had seen rain from the comfort of indoors before, but had never had the pleasure of being outside and experiencing it first hand.

What it's really like to start a family in your fifties

Many people suppose that it must be much more tiring to have a baby in middle age, but all the mothers in the playground look exhausted, whatever their age.

'Biggest hypocrite ever': Josh Duggar admits to Ashley Madison account

An American reality TV star has been busted with a cheating website account, according to US media.

Long recovery ahead for girl hit by car weeks after baby brother's death

A little girl is more alert and starting to talk after being hit by a car a week ago, but still faces a long recovery.

How to react when a toddler lies

Q: My almost-3-year-old is starting to figure out that he can lie when asked if he ripped the book, threw the food, hit his brother, etc. Totally normal, I know. How do we respond?

The circular experience of a Centrelink client

A mum-to-be experiences the frustration of dealing with Centrelink, myGov and everything in between.

Kelly Clarkson announces live on stage: 'I'm pregnant!'

Singer Kelly Clarkson has announced she is pregnant with her second child during a concert in Los Angeles.

Hack

How to search the leaked Ashley Madison data

At least three sites are republishing Ashley Madison's user data on the public-facing internet.

Mum dances her way through labour

There are a fair few ways to distract yourself and beat pains while in labour, but it's probably a rare woman who chooses her dance her way through it.

'Rest in peace, my little lion': premmie baby Jacob passes away

Baby Jacob, whose photo of him born at just 27 weeks was deemed 'too graphic' for a fundraising site, has died.

Mum killed three young sons 'to help her daughter', prosecutor says

Niall Pilkington's death last summer apparently raised little alarm in Bellefontaine, Ohio. Tragic accidents happen, after all.

Shorter women have shorter pregnancies: study

When a group of researchers studied nearly 3500 mothers and their babies, they noticed a curious pattern.

Get your FREE Baby & Toddler Show ticket!

Get your free ticket to the Sydney Essential Baby & Toddler Show for September 25-27 - register online now.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

The worst 20 minutes of my life

Thirty seconds was all it took to turn a shopping trip into my worst nightmare.

Top baby names for England and Wales in 2014

George has overtaken William in the official rankings of most popular British baby names - and Game of Thrones is still having an impact on parents.

Baseball or baby? Dad's tough choice

What's more important, a baby or a baseball? That's a question this dad seems to struggle with.

Childbirth choices: five star or free?

It's not often you hear the words labour and luxury in the same sentence but for some, a 5-star start to parenthood is exactly what they seek. And with a number of private hospitals now offering packages which include a post-birth stay at a sumptuous first class resort, many mums are choosing to recover in style.

'Where did your boobies go, Mummy?' and other soul-destroying comments from kids

Most women carry a smidge of baby weight after giving birth. If you're lucky enough to have an older child in the house, they can keep you on track with your weight loss goals.

Do you read me, baby?

Is it too soon to be reading to my two-month-old son? If not, what should I read?

Minimising sibling rivalry when you've got a baby

Sibling rivalry is an act of competition, but if your children feel involved and special, this type of jealousy will be minimised.

Will studying on maternity leave take you away from your most important job?

I remember when I was trying to decide if I could combine motherhood and furthering my university education.

Win a Pacapod this Father's Day

To celebrate dads and families, we are giving away a Picos Pack from Pacapod Australia filled with a few extra goodies ENTER NOW

Preschooler hit by car shortly after baby brother's death

A mother has had a frantic race to the hospital after her daughter was hit by a car, just four weeks after her infant son died.

Gay couple and Thai surrogate in custody tug-of-war

A six-month-old baby girl is trapped in the Thai capital in a bitter custody wrangle between her Thai surrogate mother and her biological father.

Couple denied IVF over parenting concerns

A mother of six has been denied access to IVF treatment in order to have another child over concerns about her parenting skills.

The book that promises to put your children to sleep

Exhausted parents from around the world are singing the praises of a "miracle" book which promises to put even the most restless child to sleep in just minutes.

5 things every parent who feels guilty needs to know

Parenthood can make you feel bad, but you're not alone.

Royals criticise 'dangerous' attempts to photograph Prince George

The British royal family criticized paparazzi on Friday for what it called their increasingly dangerous attempts to photograph young Prince George.

'No jab, no play' rule to cover Victorian kindergartens and childcare centres

"Anti-vaxxers" face not being able to send their children to childcare centres or kindergarten if they refuse to have them immunised.

15,000 birthing kits on their way to developing countries

Giving birth in a hospital surrounded by medical experts is tough enough, but some women deliver babies without a clean sheet to lie on.

Photo of premmie 'too graphic', fundraising site says

When their son Jacob was born at just 27 weeks, Christina and Jeff Hinks were thrown into an uncertain world.

The latest Bugaboo collections: cool chevron and runner prams

Bugaboo sure likes to keep things fresh, and with the Australian spring/summer season coming up, there are two new Bugaboo pram releases.

Making room for two in the bed

Mum's room or their own room? Cot or bassinets? Deciding where twins will sleep can be tricky.

 

FREE TICKET

See Hi-5 LIVE in Sydney!

Get your free ticket to The Essential Baby & Toddler Show and save $20 - register online now!

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.