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 Feral Cancerian

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

 

Trying to speed up the inevitable

As the waiting game of late pregnancy continues, this mum considers a few things that might hurry things up a little.

One month later: where is William Tyrell?

It has been a little over a month since William Tyrell disappeared from his grandmother's home, 33 long sleepless nights for his family as they mourn the absence of their cheeky young boy.

Winter's child less likely to be moody: study

Babies born in the summer are much more likely to suffer from mood swings when they grow up, while those born in the winter are less likely to become irritable adults, scientists claim.

Single mum of two creates award-winning baby app

Suddenly single with a baby and an 11-year-old son, Tara O?Connell developed an app to improve the lives of mothers who were similarly overwhelmed.

Food for thought: looking after yourself as a new mum

As soon as your baby enters the world, everything else takes a back seat - even the necessities of daily life such as eating are severely compromised, right when you need energy the most.

'Grabbable guts' campaign aims to cut toxic fat

The Live Lighter campaign will take people inside the human body to show the internal dangers of being overweight.

The best and worst month of my life

A new mum's first month of motherhood didn't pan out as expected when she lost a family member weeks after her baby's birth.

Facebook and Apple offer to pay female staff to freeze their eggs

Facebook and Apple are hoping to provide women with the freedom to build their careers without the added pressure of having children at or by a certain age.

How a pregnancy contract could work for you and your partner

The idea of making a 'pregnancy contract' with your partner may sound a bit silly at first, but it can help make the transition to parenthood a lot smoother.

Finding a mum-friendly personal trainer

Burping babies vs burpees – yes, new mums and personal trainers live in different worlds. But they can work together - once you find the right match for you and your lifestyle.

Ambulance service under fire: baby seats to go, response times 'worse than ever'

The NSW Ambulance Service is removing child-safety seats from ambulances, while the Victorian service is facing criticism over lengthy response times following the death of a three-year-old.

Alleged baby snatch incident a ?misunderstanding?, say police

Police say that an incident in which a man pulled on a woman?s pram while walking a popular Sydney route late last month was a misunderstanding.

Ebola killed my aunt and is shutting down my country

Three weeks ago, my auntie, a midwife, developed a fever. Sitting here in Sydney basked in Australian sunshine, that shouldn't be big news.

The night my ovary burst

One mum shares her frightening experience and vows to never take her health for granted again.

Is e-reading to your toddler story time or just screen time?

When reading increasingly means swiping pages on a device, and we're advised to read to their children early and often, should parents be turning to e-readers for storytime?

Community mourns inspiring young dad

A young dad who fought a five-year battle with cancer has been remembered for his inspiring legacy at a funeral service attended by hundreds of family and friends this week.

Meningococcal kills Queensland toddler

Public health authorities say the death of a toddler in north Queensland from meningococcal disease highlights the danger the illness poses.

Nicole Kidman: 'I hope every month that I'm pregnant'

Nicole Kidman is hoping to add to her family, but says she's doubtful it will happen.

Recall: Aldi Wooden London Bus play set

Aldi has announced a recall of their popular Wooden London Bus play set.

Great gift ideas for first birthdays

From soft toys to balance bikes, here are some great ideas for first birthday gifts.

Mum learnt she was pregnant hours before giving birth

Kim Walsh arrived at the doctor with abdominal cramps. Hours later, she was cradling the baby experts told her she could never have.

How cancer has made me a better, happier person

I'm a far better person post-cancer than I ever was before. The goal now is to stay around long enough to find out who I can become, and what I can achieve.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

16 parenting truths you won't find in the baby books

I am five years into this parenting gig and I’ve learnt that sleepless nights and changing dirty nappies are child’s play.

Win 1 of 5 Canon Powershot D30 cameras

Capture life more easily with the Canon Powershot D30. Shockproof, waterproof and dustproof, you can take it almost anywhere and shoot beautiful images, time after time. Enter now!

Best and worst potty party cakes

It's nice to celebrate a child making the shift from nappies to 'big kid' undies, but do we really need a semi-realistic used toilet cake to do it? Here are some of the best and worst cakes parents have used at 'potty parties' around the world.

7 tips for a financially festive Christmas

Plan ahead - and do it now - to ensure festive season expenses don't break the bank.

'Go the F*** to Sleep' author's new book for frustrated parents

A sequel is coming soon to the 2011 hit book 'Go the F*** to Sleep' - and this time, it's about mealtimes.

Great birthday party buys from Etsy

Handmade crafts to decorate and personalise your child's next birthday - from banners to cake decorations, we've got gorgeous party finds from Etsy.

Creative storage ideas for the kids' rooms

Creative and practical storage ideas for the kids' toys and books can also add some stylish decor to your home. Visit babyology.com.au for more stylish modern finds for hip kids & parents.

Warnings over child pain relief doses

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has warned parents and carers over a "confusing" pain relief dosage system.

To the mum in the doctor's waiting room

Maybe the mum I saw in that waiting room, seemingly disconnected from her baby, doesn’t have the support she needs.

10 space-saving nursery ideas

Starting a family doesn't always mean moving into a bigger house - not yet, anyway.

 

What's in a name?

Baby Names

Looking for a classic name, or an unusual name? Our Baby Name Finder is for you, search or browse to refine your shortlist.

 
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.