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

 

Tell us what you think

to WIN 1 of 2 $500 Coles/Myer gift cards

What not to say to a new mum

Some phrases just pop out before you really think about them, but there are some things you should try to not say to a new mum.

Why I'm glad to be an indulgent granny

The phone calls started a couple of weeks ago. At about 5.30 each evening - if I am lucky - I will be greeted by a sweet, excited voice declaring: "'Allo Annie".

Is this the worst relationship advice ever published?

You sometimes have to wonder whether relationship/sex advice from magazines is designed to help or humiliate.

How you talk to your baby now can impact social skills later

People used to think that social skills were something kids were born with, not taught.

Three truths about C-section mums

Lately I've been thinking about the caesarean stories and the brave women who birth their children with strength and beauty.

Scientists predict when you should start a family

Scientists have calculated at exactly what age you need to start trying to get pregnant to have the best chance of realising your dream. 

Differently abled child

When 'protecting' a child is really a cover for judgement

Why are people so concerned for this happy child and his mother?

When toddlers have strange obsessions

When it comes to two-year-olds and birthday cakes there are a few requests that are usually at the top of the list. But a cake featuring a local personal injury lawyer?

When Mama Bear strikes

When we become mums, our instinct to protect our children and keep them safe from harm is so strong we're often likened to a Mama Bear protecting her cubs.  

Immunity boosters for kids

There are no guaranteed ways to avoid the dreaded winter illnesses completely, but there are ways we can boost our children's immunity.

Mum shares portrait of her proudly breastfeeding three-year-old

Jade Beall usually chooses to breastfeed her son, now 3, in private. This week, however, she shared portraits of her breastfeeding her preschooler.

Dealing with a toddler's morning tantrums

Your schedule is not important to your two-year-old, and you cannot convince her otherwise. So what can you do?

Child in suitcase 'could have died eight years ago'

A child whose remains were dumped in a suitcase in the South Australian bush is believed to have been a girl aged between two-and-a-half to four.

MP breastfeeds baby during parliamentary session

An Argentinian mum and politician has caused a stir on social media after being filmed breastfeeding her baby.

My baby's first seizure

It was 1am on a cold winter's night when I woke suddenly to the screams of my 12-month-old son. Our lives were about to change forever.

Portable pools 'more dangerous than permanent ones'

Inflatable and portable children's pools may be required to be sold with compulsory fencing to prevent backyard drownings, with some experts even floating the idea of a ban.

Heartbreaking moment mum kisses her one-week-old goodbye

At 11.07am on April 2 this year, Sarah Marriott welcomed baby Sebastian into the world.

The amazing Tee Pee bed and kid-friendly Frankie Bunk bed

These kids' beds definitely fit the brief of providing personality and personal space for little people who are moving up in the world.

The funny things kids say when you're pregnant

Since becoming noticeably pregnant, my son has taken more of an interest in the sibling he'll soon have.

The real problem with having one child

In this age of political correctness, it seems the one subject still subject to discrimination is that of the Only Child.

Six-week-old baby found dead, believed stabbed

A neighbour heard a child screaming before a baby was found dead, believed to have been stabbed, in a house in Newcastle.

The fire hazard in more than 70,000 Australian homes

So far, 206 Samsung washing machines have caught fire and some have exploded. But many remain in people's homes.

How having a baby can bring on OCD

We all know that having a baby can turn your life upside down - and it can also bring a raft of new anxieties and worries.

IVF gender selection being considered for Australian parents

Couples using IVF may be able to choose the gender of their babies and women could be financially compensated for donating their eggs.

The best age to get married (according to the latest study)

Not too young, and not too old. That's reportedly the best age to get married. Not everyone agrees.

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

Tell us what you think

to WIN 1 of 2 $500 Coles/Myer gift cards

Why I'm choosing to be a single mother right from the start

I believe that you get out of families what you put into them, and I will give mine my all.

Mother and baby units are a necessity for mental health, not a luxury

I have had two postnatal psychotic episodes. The first when my eldest child was six weeks old, and another after my second child was born.

30 French baby names

French names are always in fashion, but a few have risen in popularity in recent years.

New mum's Spanish maternity nightmare

A British woman who gave birth in Spain has told of her ordeal after spending weeks trying to convince medics the baby girl was hers.

Preparing Rover to be a good dog with baby

Some friends of ours say that it's dangerous to have a dog around a newborn and that we should start looking for a new home for him. Is it?

Company offers to ship working mums' breast milk home

First Apple and Facebook announced they would pay $20,000 towards the cost of their female employees freezing their eggs, now IBM in the US has come up with an innovative new policy aimed at retaining female employees.

Prince William speaks of his pride at wife Kate and 'little joy of heaven' Charlotte

The Duke of Cambridge opened up about family life and his plans for the future in an interview to mark his first day as an air ambulance pilot.

'Glowing' eye saves baby Mason's life

A simple photo taken in front of an evening fire gave new mother Sarah Bowers the power to save her baby's life. 

Parenting and decision overload

Of all the advice people told me before having a baby, no one warned me about the amount of decisions involved.

Proof that toddlers can't be left unsupervised - ever

Parents of toddlers all know the moment when realise your child is being suspiciously quiet. It can only mean one thing - trouble!

Meet Jeremy Ryan, The Voice contestant with seven kids

If you have trouble recalling the ages of Jeremy Ryan's seven children on The Voice, you're not alone. So does he.

Baby's adorable reaction to wearing glasses for the first time

Getting glasses can be a formative moment in a person's life.

Police officer buys supplies for family after mum of six caught shoplifting

When a mum of six was caught shoplifting nappies, clothes and shoes for her kids, the last thing she expected was for a stranger to pay for her haul.

Why pregnant women on antidepressants shouldn’t panic about birth defect claims

The risk of having uncontrolled depression is far greater than the small increased risk of birth defects that may be associated with specific antidepressants.

Arrests made over children's birthday party brawl

Police have raided properties and arrested a number of people over a brawl at a child's birthday party at a play centre in Sydney's west.

Family shares awesome drone baby announcement

Looking for a creative way to share some big news? Look to the skies, like this family did.

Young warrior Owen defies doctors' predictions

Little Owen DiCandilo's name means "young warrior", and it's a description that perfectly fits the inspiring 18-month-old

Advice for dads: when to approach your wife for sex

The exhaustion that comes with caring for young children often means romance between parents becomes a thing of the past.

I might be fat, but I don't need saving

I've been fat for pretty much most of life, besides a few crazy moments of being less-fat, but for the most part I've existed on this earth with a little more meat on my bones than desirable.

The rookie mistakes we make as parents

Since the dawn of civilisation, generation after generation of new parents have had to rely on instinct, trial and error - and sometimes get it wrong.

 

FREE TICKET

See Pinky McKay 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.