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(The Consumerist)   If you won't give Comcast your social security number, the terrorists win   (consumerist.com) divider line 156
    More: Asinine  
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23308 clicks; posted to Main » on 23 Sep 2008 at 11:19 AM (6 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2008-09-23 10:58:08 AM
Then the terrorists win. It's either them, or the people who steal data in order to obtain your identity. Fark that.
 
2008-09-23 11:20:34 AM
Everybody and their dog wants your SSN. Cell phone companies, cable, power company. I figure eventually you'll need to provide it to pump your gas.
 
2008-09-23 11:22:59 AM
Whatever happened to the "secret question"?

Shenanigans, Comcast. We're calling shenanigans.
 
2008-09-23 11:23:49 AM
I fully agree that SS# should be held only for purposes of government identification and kept strictly confidential. Fark this.
 
2008-09-23 11:24:10 AM
Woooooow.

I'm so glad we don't have Comcast here.

They make Insight look like Gods of Telecom.

Seriously, GODS!
 
2008-09-23 11:24:19 AM
50mm: Everybody and their dog wants your SSN. Cell phone companies, cable, power company. I figure eventually you'll need to provide it to pump your gas.

Yup. Got a cold call from a consulting firm looking to place me (I've got my resume out, so that in itself wasn't unexpected), and one of the first things he wanted was my social. This is before interviews, before agreements to hire, etc.

I told him it wasn't happening. He emailed me some forms to fill out and fax back to him. Also requiring my social. I don't think I'll follow up on that job.
 
2008-09-23 11:24:43 AM
"Negative. A social security number is not required."

The guy was acting like a jackass, I wouldn't have gone out of my way to help him.
 
2008-09-23 11:24:45 AM
I must take a moment to laugh at Comcast subscribers - my DSL service is nigh-flawless. Tragically, I'm not immune to Comcast's ineptness - I've lost more than one raid because friends' cable went out for hours.

Yes, I know not all DSL is great. I'm very lucky, though - we're less than 1 mile from the CO and we're averaging a bigger and better DSLAM every 6 months or so as the area grows.
 
2008-09-23 11:25:01 AM
Comcast owns my soul/social# so i'm getting a kick..
 
2008-09-23 11:25:13 AM
Approves

i14.tinypic.com
 
2008-09-23 11:25:48 AM
Sounds to me like this is an idiot Comcast rep who didn't quite understand what the boss was saying last meeting.

Or a thief.

But I really don't have enough information to make any judgment, so I'll just go ahead and blame Bush/the Patriot Act/the corporate fat cats/etc. like the rest of this thread.
 
2008-09-23 11:26:13 AM
Comcast ARE the terrorists! They've been taking people wallets hostage for years! Thank GOD for WOW.
 
2008-09-23 11:26:18 AM
Namo: "Negative. A social security number is not required."

The guy was acting like a jackass, I wouldn't have gone out of my way to help him.


? yeah, what a jackass, not wanting to provide info he isn't required to.
 
2008-09-23 11:26:18 AM
I regularly give fake SSNs to non-financial corporate dumdums that supposedly require it. What exactly are they going to cross-check it with? I've never once been challenged. Even by the morons at Blockbuster that "required" it back in the 90s.
 
2008-09-23 11:26:36 AM
The Patriot Act is evil.
 
2008-09-23 11:26:43 AM
xanadian: Then the terrorists win. It's either them, or the people who steal data in order to obtain your identity. Fark that.

While this policy is retarded, I severely doubt comcast intends to steal hundreds of thousands of identities, and it'd be pretty easy to catch, and they have a shiatton to lose if they did. Stealing the 263.65 in your checking account may seem like a big deal, but a multimillion dollar company isn't going to risk everything for it, really.

/Still BS though, no one but the government/insurance/banks should need that shiat
 
2008-09-23 11:26:55 AM
ryan_ is a typical internet doucebag.

They didn't ignore his concern, they asked him to visit their office to show ID.

/Sorry you can't be inconvenienced to leave your basement.
 
2008-09-23 11:27:04 AM
Barney: I need your social security number.

Vinnie: 2... 7... 19... 33... 42... 2... 5.

Barney: That's... that's one too many numbers.

Vinnie: [shrugs] Take off the 5.
 
2008-09-23 11:27:05 AM
You can refuse to provide your social to anyone but the IRS.

So grow a pair and stop whining about how gullible you guys are.
 
2008-09-23 11:27:11 AM
FTFA: Ryan wanted to order new Comcast service but balked at their request for a Social Security number.

I'm not seeing the big deal here. You always have to supply your SSN when setting up new utilities. I've had Comcast for 9 years & had to give them my SSN when I first ordered the service. Same as for phone, gas, electric. It's so they can report you to the credit companies if you suddenly decide to stop paying your bill.
 
2008-09-23 11:28:09 AM
Carousel Beast: I must take a moment to laugh at Comcast subscribers - my DSL service is nigh-flawless. Tragically, I'm not immune to Comcast's ineptness - I've lost more than one raid because friends' cable went out for hours.

Yes, I know not all DSL is great. I'm very lucky, though - we're less than 1 mile from the CO and we're averaging a bigger and better DSLAM every 6 months or so as the area grows.


who is your isp?
 
2008-09-23 11:28:46 AM
Barakku: xanadian: Then the terrorists win. It's either them, or the people who steal data in order to obtain your identity. Fark that.

While this policy is retarded, I severely doubt comcast intends to steal hundreds of thousands of identities, and it'd be pretty easy to catch, and they have a shiatton to lose if they did. Stealing the 263.65 in your checking account may seem like a big deal, but a multimillion dollar company isn't going to risk everything for it, really.

/Still BS though, no one but the government/insurance/banks should need that shiat


It's not that Comcast would steal from its customers. It's that it would no doubt leave entire lists of SSNs lying around unencrypted and unsecured.

That's when identity theft happens.
 
2008-09-23 11:28:51 AM
If you don't give them your farking SS# how will they come after you once you start committing crimes online???
 
2008-09-23 11:29:13 AM
FTFA: "Ryan wanted to order new Comcast service.."


I call bullshiat right there.


/currently battling their comcastic drain upon my bank account
//canceled months ago...
 
2008-09-23 11:29:45 AM
They can blackmail you into giving your SSN by threatening to reveal which questionable TV shows and movies you want anyway, so you might as well.
 
2008-09-23 11:29:52 AM
Oh no you di'nt: Barney: I need your social security number.

Vinnie: 2... 7... 19... 33... 42... 2... 5.

Barney: That's... that's one too many numbers.

Vinnie: [shrugs] Take off the 5.


Wow, man. Let's hear it for the somewhat obscure Steve Martin movie reference.
 
2008-09-23 11:30:58 AM
I have an amazing ISP. It's this little local company in Indiana, but it rocks really hard. Only covers about four counties though.

Comcast is pretty ridiculous.
 
2008-09-23 11:31:03 AM
Because terrorists don't know about unsecured wireless....yet.
 
2008-09-23 11:31:10 AM
brigid_fitch: I'm not seeing the big deal here. You always have to supply your SSN when setting up new utilities. I've had Comcast for 9 years & had to give them my SSN when I first ordered the service. Same as for phone, gas, electric. It's so they can report you to the credit companies if you suddenly decide to stop paying your bill.

You're just gullible, sorry. Here's a list of people who can request your SSN. (new window)
 
2008-09-23 11:31:24 AM
Tacoby Bellisbury: Namo: "Negative. A social security number is not required."

The guy was acting like a jackass, I wouldn't have gone out of my way to help him.

? yeah, what a jackass, not wanting to provide info he isn't required to.


It was his unnecessary attitude. I'm not saying he should blindly trust a random Comcast rep, only that he should show as much respect as he hopes to receive. I was in customer service until recently, as soon as a customer gave me attitude after I was trying to help them, I immediately lost all interest in seeing the customer's problem get resolved. I had plenty of very upset customers who were still able to treat me with some respect. Those were the customers who I spent the most time helping.
 
2008-09-23 11:32:30 AM
Barakku: /Still BS though, no one but the government/insurance/banks should need that shiat

Is there REALLY any reason that banks and insurance carriers need my Social Security number? Really?

I thought it was for, you know... SOCIAL SECURITY?
 
2008-09-23 11:32:38 AM
I get this guy's problem, but really, everyone and their mother needs a SS# for anything these days (and in past days as well). How can you fight it when everything you sign up for requires one?
 
2008-09-23 11:33:43 AM
joegekko: Is there REALLY any reason that banks and insurance carriers need my Social Security number? Really?

It's your national identification number, citizen. I hope you have your papers.
 
2008-09-23 11:33:47 AM
brigid_fitch: FTFA: Ryan wanted to order new Comcast service but balked at their request for a Social Security number.

I'm not seeing the big deal here. You always have to supply your SSN when setting up new utilities. I've had Comcast for 9 years & had to give them my SSN when I first ordered the service. Same as for phone, gas, electric. It's so they can report you to the credit companies if you suddenly decide to stop paying your bill.


A SS# isn't required for adding things to credit reports.
 
2008-09-23 11:34:07 AM
I alway thought this was bull, every time I was setting up utilities or something and the asked me for my SSN I always said no. Usually they were fine with it, or asked for my drivers license number, which I don't like to give either.

Then again I am slightly paranoid.
 
2008-09-23 11:34:32 AM
Ha! I see what you are doing.

We all know the terrorists are Comcast.
 
2008-09-23 11:34:50 AM
Comcast = BASTARDS!
 
2008-09-23 11:35:09 AM
Namo: "Negative. A social security number is not required."

The guy was acting like a jackass, I wouldn't have gone out of my way to help him.


He's completely right it is not required, the rep even told him so. He could have gone to the service center with a picture ID and not given them his SS#. So I'm not really sure where the big deal is?
 
2008-09-23 11:35:40 AM
I had DirectTV in my other apartment. When I moved into my new apartment, I wanted to get DirectTV again, but since my apt faced the north and the complex had restrictions to putting a dish somewhere else besides the balcony, I couldn't get it. Now I'm stuck with Comcast.

/conspiracy
//It's Comcastic
 
2008-09-23 11:36:37 AM
Barakku: xanadian: Then the terrorists win. It's either them, or the people who steal data in order to obtain your identity. Fark that.

While this policy is retarded, I severely doubt comcast intends to steal hundreds of thousands of identities, and it'd be pretty easy to catch, and they have a shiatton to lose if they did. Stealing the 263.65 in your checking account may seem like a big deal, but a multimillion dollar company isn't going to risk everything for it, really.

/Still BS though, no one but the government/insurance/banks should need that sh

They themselves may not steal it, but some employee will "lose a laptop containing 3 million subscribers' information" or something stupid along those lines.

They don't need your SSN. They aren't paying you benefits, they aren't hiring your for a job (background check) or anything. They're billing you for a service.

Heck, they bill you for the month in advance as it is. You can't exactly skip out on the bill, they'll cut you off quickly.
 
2008-09-23 11:36:56 AM
This just happened to me. I too asked what the reason was and was not told it was a Patriot Act. I decided that I would show my ID at the service desk. Instead, I went to their website and signed up. It did not require a SSN. If a company asks for my SSN, and won't sign me up otherwise, I thank them and take my business elsewhere.

/farkin Comcast
//farkin Patriot Act
///I worry more about my own government than I do terrorists.
 
2008-09-23 11:38:05 AM
Comcast has a complete monopoly where I live. The choice was between ordering their terrible service or not having internet access for the entire year. It was a difficult decision, but I finally had to hold my nose and dial. Every day, I expect to come back to a broken down door and police combing through my personal belongings for hard drives containing unlicensed episodes of Battlestar Galactica.
 
2008-09-23 11:38:16 AM
50mm: Everybody and their dog wants your SSN. Cell phone companies, cable, power company. I figure eventually you'll need to provide it to pump your gas.

Because everyone does a credit check; and as soon you need to take a loan to pump your gas they'll need to check for a deposit.


Really, I actually understand cable companies doing checks, HD converts and DVRs are fairly expensive and tend to walk away fairly often. Even the gas company wanted a credit check before turning on service for the first time.
 
2008-09-23 11:38:34 AM
All in favor of forcing cable companies to lease their lines to third party ISPs say aye.
 
2008-09-23 11:38:47 AM
brigid_fitch: I'm not seeing the big deal here. You always have to supply your SSN when setting up new utilities. I've had Comcast for 9 years & had to give them my SSN when I first ordered the service. Same as for phone, gas, electric. It's so they can report you to the credit companies if you suddenly decide to stop paying your bill.

No you don't. I just set up Con Edision [electric] and Cablevision [Internet and Cable] at the end of July and did not need to give them that. I did it all over the phone, didn't have to go show ID or anything. All they wanted was address, phone number, and the date/time to set things up.

*shrug*
 
2008-09-23 11:39:35 AM
Sarah Connor's Left Bicep: Carousel Beast: I must take a moment to laugh at Comcast subscribers - my DSL service is nigh-flawless. Tragically, I'm not immune to Comcast's ineptness - I've lost more than one raid because friends' cable went out for hours.

Yes, I know not all DSL is great. I'm very lucky, though - we're less than 1 mile from the CO and we're averaging a bigger and better DSLAM every 6 months or so as the area grows.

who is your isp?


AT&T, formerly BellSouth. I'm also fortunate that AT&T has been content to just let the BellSouth divisions keep doing their thing rather than trying to "fix" a company that has been a perennial money maker.
 
2008-09-23 11:39:38 AM
At least you guys don't have to show your alien registration card to rent a farking movie, or do anything. It's enough to make me want to dust off that anal probe and mete out some justice.
 
2008-09-23 11:39:53 AM
joegekko: Is there REALLY any reason that banks and insurance carriers need my Social Security number? Really?

I thought it was for, you know... SOCIAL SECURITY?


Maybe originally. Now it's so intrinsically linked to your identity and taxes that pretty much any financial institution (and plenty of non-financials) are going to request it.

As for needing it... it seems like Comcast at least had a work-around. The bank may need it for tax purposes. Healthcare/insurance would use it because it's a convenient distinct identifier, a primary key in the big member information tables.
 
2008-09-23 11:40:07 AM
Just lie about it. They are just using it as a unique ID number.

/lies about SSN alla time.
 
2008-09-23 11:41:06 AM
Barakku: While this policy is retarded, I severely doubt comcast intends to steal hundreds of thousands of identities

Not talking about Comcast. I'm talking about (a) Comcast employees that may (or may not) leave the data lying around in a laptop somewhere for someone to walk away with and/or (b) script-kiddies breaking into Comcast's databases to steal the data.

absoluteparanoia: It's not that Comcast would steal from its customers. It's that it would no doubt leave entire lists of SSNs lying around unencrypted and unsecured.

That's when identity theft happens.


Exactly. You beat me to it.
 
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