AT&T Won’t Deal With Customers Who Ask Not To Be Recorded

AT&T has brought down new Terms of Service for its network customers. From now on, AT&T can terminate your connection for conduct that “tends to damage the name or reputation of AT&T, or its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries.” So AT&T customers aren’t allowed to write/podcast/vlog critical things about AT&T, its billing-practices, or its cooperation with illegal NSA wiretapping, on pain of having their connections disconnected. (From Boing Boing)

AT&T also has another issue.

In California, at least, all parties must agree to have a telephone call recorded. Somehow, over the years, “notification” or “single party consent” has been substituted for voluntary consent. In many cases, if you object to having your transaction recorded, the company simply will not talk to you or do business with you.

So, while I waited on the line for almost an hour to AT&T, I was pleased to hear the recording notify me that if I did not wish to be recorded or monitored, I should tell the AT&T agent.

When the AT&T agent came on the line, I told her that I didn’t want to be recorded or monitored, she was very pleasant about it and said, she would “turn off” the recording/monitoring during our conversation.

My purpose for calling AT&T was to change to the “New AT&T” from the “Old AT&T” – what ever the hell that is supposed to mean – but when it came to the Third Party Verification process, I was told that the FCC law required my conversation with the Third Party Verification agent to be recorded.

When I told her I didn’t wish to be recorded, I was told that the my transaction couldn’t be completed, and I was told to call AT&T and tell them that I refused to be recorded, and therefore could not switch telephone companies.

I suggested that there were other ways to comply with the antislamming rules, such as a Letter of Agency. I was more or less politely hung up on by the Third Party Verification agent.

Federal Communications Commission § 64.1130

§ 64.1130 Letter of agency form and content.
(a) A telecommunications carrier may use a written or electronically signed letter of agency to obtain authorization and/or verification of a subscriber’s request to change his or her preferred carrier selection.

So, while AT&T should get some points for finally complying with the law about recording their customers, they have a way to go to fully comply. I believe that FCC rules hold AT&T responsible for the actions of their subcontractors, such as the company that they have hired to provide third party verification.

You’re Damn Right I’m Recording Your Ass

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