2006/08/09

To Record Is Corporate, To Refuse...Denied

One of the many telecom troubles I've had over the last week is recorded solicitations on one of my cell lines, and so I've been on the phone with T-Mobile to try and get the caller blocked. I won't go into detail about the calls, but during one the representative asked me if I was recording our conversation. Somewhat surprised I replied, "No, but what if I were?" He then informed me that T-Mobile doesn't allow customers to record service calls, and that T-Mobile would terminate any conversation that they determined was being recorded by anybody but them. Interesting, huh? They can record you...and will, but they won't let you record them.

But the story is so much more complex than simple recording. State and federal laws are involved. For example, California law (Section 632 of the CA Penal Code, as well as the laws of 11 other state) requires that all parties consent to being recorded. And what happens if you withhold your consent? Well...I naively thought that all carriers would be the same, applying a draconian standard that just cuts you off if you refuse to be recorded or admit to recording. Not so, in fact after a little experimentation I found that the policies are all over the map. So here's a little chart containing the results of my experiment. (I've ranked these roughly in order of their responsiveness to customer desires) -
    CarrierRecords Customer CallsShutoff on RequestAllows Customer Recording
    Sprint PCSYesYesYes
    Verizon WirelessYesYesYes
    AT&T BroadbandYesYesNo
    CingularYesNoYes
    T-MobileYesNoNo
So there you have it, a tiny table of paranoia, and of course T-Mobile, my carrier, is the worst.

12 Comments:

I've got T-mobile here too, and they are not good. Nope, not good at all.
DINGular here...oh well...I'll just make sure I don't threaten anyone on the phone...not sure how long I can go though.
Praguetwin, T-Mobile in Europe? Still part of Deutsche Telekom, right?

Sumo, I thought about changing to Cingular about a year ago, but I've heard a lot of bad stuff from local Cingular users. The advantage would be a more modern network, but I'm not sure it's worth it. Well...anymore shenanigans from T-Mobile, and I might switch anyway.
Da Germans mit der Handies...lol.


...Wait a minute, I have t-mobile too, strange...
Dude, I have went off on cell phone companies. I don't usually like to be a dick on the phone to customer service people, but sometimes you just can't take it anymore
Yep, they are huge over here.
Praguetwin... So what is it about Deutsche Telekom that makes them so frickin' paranoid? When I was checking this out I told the representative that I intended to record this conversation, and they got downright rude about it.

Now, every time I call in they ask me if I'm recording the conversation. I've been "flagged". :-)

Graeme, I hear ya man. See the above.

Fred, shouldn't that be "Die Deutsche mit der Handies." ;-)
This is very bizarre.

My cell phone is never turned on, no one has my number except Mr Pop and I only keep it for emergencies. I really could live without it.
PoP, I'm so the opposite of you. We no longer have a land line, save for the one that supports our DSL connection. Three cell phones. One for me, one for the Frogette, and one for the Pad.
We had T-Mobile til this summer. Switched over to Verizon. For everything. Wireless, wired, FIOS, TV coming soon.
i have t-mobile also...but

i am wondering how all the companies compare to giving out your personal info?

thanks owuld be a nice grid to see

thanks for the great blog!!
John, I hear you man, but the thing is I really like T-Mobile when I'm travelling overseas--no changing phones, no funky charges (other than the per minute, but they're very reasonable), and it works freakin' everywhere.

Azgoddess...first welcome and thanks. As to the privacy policies, ah my dear goddess, that would involve work, serious amounts of it! :-)

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