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(Boing Boing)   Remind me again why Comcast needs social security numbers in the first place   ( boingboing.net) divider line
    More: Asinine, social security numbers, Internet, IP address, internet service provider, Social Security number, Comcast spokesapologist David, Internet Protocol, Wi-Fi  
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2127 clicks; posted to Business » on 09 Aug 2018 at 1:50 PM (11 days ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



22 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2018-08-09 01:08:40 PM  
So they can report your ass to the credit bureaus if you don't pay, like God intended.
 
2018-08-09 01:13:40 PM  
They'll need to run credit checks when they up the monthly fee to $10,000.
 
2018-08-09 01:53:36 PM  
"Oh we lost your personal information by being cheap with security and you still can't get rid of us as your only TV and Internet provider? That's so sad."

encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.comView Full Size
 
2018-08-09 01:53:44 PM  
And here I was just about to switch back to Comcast.

It's pretty bad when I can honestly say Comcast has better customer service and lower prices than their competition.
 
2018-08-09 02:32:52 PM  

SecretAgentWoman: So they can report your ass to the credit bureaus if you don't pay, like God intended.


You don't need SSN to report to credit bureaus. It helps, but other personal details are usually sufficient to get it on the consumer's report. It may be required for them to pull credit reports, which has always been absurd for a utility provider like comcast. Especially if you're not even taking possession of any of their overpriced hardware - it's a monthly, intangilble service, they're out virtually nothing if you stop paying. A hard credit inquiry is excessive given their minimal risk.

However, I just signed up for Comcast internet today. I've got a reasonably competitive DSL provider, so I bounce between them for promo periods, and it's comcast's turn. And they had something new to me - they say they won't pull credit if you sign up for autopayment by credit card. Sounds good to me - I manage credit inquiries carefully just to exploit credit card signup deals.

Billing has had bureaucratic farkups with both providers, but service quality and reliability has been good for both. Comcast is a little better on performance, but most of the time, that's only noticeable in artificial benchmarking tests.
 
2018-08-09 02:47:03 PM  
The irony here is that Comcast actually DOES security...yeah it's home security..but still.

They are seriously inept at the upper levels of that organization. Here's hoping they finally piss off the wrong group and get blasted to ashes.
 
2018-08-09 02:51:02 PM  
Always provide a fake one.
 
2018-08-09 02:59:36 PM  

asmodeus224: Always provide a fake one.


I already tried that. The told me that 867-5309 is not a valid number, something about either numbers or mathematics.
 
2018-08-09 03:04:44 PM  

King Something: asmodeus224: Always provide a fake one.

I already tried that. The told me that 867-5309 is not a valid number, something about either numbers or mathematics.


Well silly that is because that is Jenny's number...EVERyONE has that one.

On a related note, Fark has a filter that prevents social security numbers from displaying...it just stars it out, watch:

***-**-****

Neat, huh?

You should try this!

/dont' really try this
 
2018-08-09 03:06:19 PM  

asmodeus224: Always provide a fake one.


A lot of companies just use it as another way to specify people (there might be another John Smith, and it's even possible there's one with the same birthday, but are they also going to have the same last 4 SSN digits?) - so you may even be able to say "I'm uncomfortable giving out such sensitive information, can I use another 4-digit number as a PIN?"

In my experience, they'll either say yes or you'll need to speak with a supervisor (who will say yes). Unless they're checking against the SSN they already have (which is insecure for oh so many reasons) or they specifically need your SSN (for credit checks and such), most companies won't know or care if you just use 9090 instead.
 
2018-08-09 03:12:55 PM  

asmodeus224: King Something: asmodeus224: Always provide a fake one.

I already tried that. The told me that 867-5309 is not a valid number, something about either numbers or mathematics.

Well silly that is because that is Jenny's number...EVERyONE has that one.

On a related note, Fark has a filter that prevents social security numbers from displaying...it just stars it out, watch:

***-**-****

Neat, huh?

You should try this!

/dont' really try this


If it doesn't work you can always hit Alt-F4 to trigger the filter
 
2018-08-09 03:19:00 PM  
Can't we all just use the one that guy had painted in the side of the truck?
 
2018-08-09 03:54:25 PM  
They wouldn't do it if people didn't try to cheat the system at every turn.
We only have ourselves to blame.
 
2018-08-09 04:00:45 PM  

mrsleep: They wouldn't do it if people didn't try to cheat the system at every turn.
We only have ourselves to blame.


You pay in advance for cable, how can you cheat?
 
2018-08-09 04:03:44 PM  
mcompublishing.comView Full Size


Here you go, Comcast. I'm the CEO of a company and I'd internet access with my totally valid social security number
 
2018-08-09 04:10:39 PM  

mrsleep: They wouldn't do it if people didn't try to cheat the system at every turn.
We only have ourselves to blame.


The cable company - list most companies - are incredibly efficient in turning off services when you are 3 second late with the bill.  The most someone could cheat out of them is maybe a months worth of service.  Credit checks are unnecessary.
 
2018-08-09 04:15:51 PM  

mrsleep: They wouldn't do it if people didn't try to cheat the system at every turn.
We only have ourselves to blame.


Cop-like typing detected.
 
2018-08-09 04:48:33 PM  

gingerjet: mrsleep: They wouldn't do it if people didn't try to cheat the system at every turn.
We only have ourselves to blame.

The cable company - list most companies - are incredibly efficient in turning off services when you are 3 second late with the bill.  The most someone could cheat out of them is maybe a months worth of service.  Credit checks are unnecessary.


I imagine the main reason is equipment recovery vs lost revenue on the subscription.  It is just worse now because everything requires a cable box vs the old days where you likely didn't have a box at all.
 
2018-08-09 05:12:25 PM  

NutSack: gingerjet: mrsleep: They wouldn't do it if people didn't try to cheat the system at every turn.
We only have ourselves to blame.

The cable company - list most companies - are incredibly efficient in turning off services when you are 3 second late with the bill.  The most someone could cheat out of them is maybe a months worth of service.  Credit checks are unnecessary.

I imagine the main reason is equipment recovery vs lost revenue on the subscription.  It is just worse now because everything requires a cable box vs the old days where you likely didn't have a box at all.


When I finally ditched cable I'd had the same cable box for 9 years.  They made that $100 back in spades.
 
2018-08-09 05:29:52 PM  

SecretAgentWoman: So they can report your ass to the credit bureaus if you don't pay, like God intended.


Which doesn't get them their money, but it does ruin your life disproportionately to what was owed. How nice of them.
 
2018-08-09 06:00:38 PM  

NutSack: gingerjet: mrsleep: They wouldn't do it if people didn't try to cheat the system at every turn.
We only have ourselves to blame.

The cable company - list most companies - are incredibly efficient in turning off services when you are 3 second late with the bill.  The most someone could cheat out of them is maybe a months worth of service.  Credit checks are unnecessary.

I imagine the main reason is equipment recovery vs lost revenue on the subscription.  It is just worse now because everything requires a cable box vs the old days where you likely didn't have a box at all.


I've never used a modem from Comcast. I bring my own. But even if you do rent theirs, it is at most a $100 value, brand new. And that gets quickly covered by monthly rental fees. There's a very small window with a finite and insignificant value at risk.

But like I said, something's changed - they didn't do a credit check on me today because I gave CC info for automatic bill payment. They really shouldn't even require that, but it's a big move in the right direction and quibbilng aside, solves the hard inquiry problem for me just fine.
 
2018-08-09 06:23:54 PM  
So you have to call your roommate from 10 years ago when you are moving out of the apartment because the cable has been in this name all this time and you need to impersonate him to cancel your cable subscription because they wouldn't let you just do that over the internet?
 
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