Previous 1 2 3 Next 43 Replies Latest reply: Dec 28, 2008 12:38 AM by Richard Davis6 Go to original post
  • Macmann Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)
    What's crazy is that when I was doing my grad work in the late 80's I had my SS number on my checks. I was constantly being asked for it due to school stuff. Never had a problem.
  • Tamara Level 6 Level 6 (13,730 points)
    Your only other option is to go get copies of all 3 credit reports and see if ATT will accept them in lieu of your SSN. If someone wants to steal your identity, there are plenty of other ways to do it without even knowing the SSN.
  • Linwood_Ferguson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    People are paranoid about this with good reason.

    I worked at a company that used CNA for health claims. One of their employees started skimming SSN's and other information off of health claim forms, and set up dozens if not hundreds of bogus accounts from employees at the company.

    CNA themselves (as your example AT&T) didn't use the SSN's, but just having them on paperwork readily accessible by many humans led to identity theft of LOTS of our employees.

    I confess I have given up in cases of utilities (and AT&T is basically a utility). It is not worth the battle, so I give it to them. VERY reluctantly. But I fight the good fight with most commercial concerns.
  • Daiya Level 4 Level 4 (1,655 points)
    My electric company offered to accept a letter from my old electric company saying I had paid the bill regularly for a year, or a deposit, in lieu of checking my credit. Perhaps the OP can offer AT&T a big deposit to avoid sharing the SSN.
  • Tamara Level 6 Level 6 (13,730 points)
    I've read the deposit can be around $500 for ATT.
  • Richard Davis6 Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)
    Paranoia is a good thing.

    However, and I don't mean this as an insult, I'd suggest you take off your rose-colored glasses.

    I used to buy stocks and did give my social security number to the stock broker banking service. I thought a bank would be a safe place to put my information. Years after I quit that broker and closed my account I received a letter from yet another stock broker banking company saying their computers had been compromised and information, including my social security number, had been hacked. I followed up because I couldn't believe this company, who I had never dealt with, had my personal information including my social security number. It turns out the banker that I had used to hold my account money had been bought out by the other company. Although my account had been closed years earlier, part of what the new company bought was my old private information that they were still holding on me.

    Fortunately, as far as I know, the hacker must have been after other information because he (or she) apparently never used the information to harm me.

  • Richard Davis6 Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)
    You guys seem to be making my point for me. Yes, AT&T can do business in some other way rather than by requiring my social security number. It is just a matter of inconvenience for them to do so. They probably won't do it the other way.

    I'll have to do without an iPhone. They'll have to do without my business. Okay. But I think they may be underestimating the amount of business they are losing - and Apple, too, indirectly, may be underestimating the amount of business lost. I'd bet 1 in 10 people are like me in this regard. Anyway, I'm pretty sure that is the case of my neighbors in small town America (about 60,000 population in my North Carolina home town).

  • Richard Davis6 Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)
    I once did the same with my personal checks.
  • Richard Davis6 Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)
    Note it says, that while it's not required, they have no obligation for them to provide services.

    That would have to be decided in a legal case - which I personally would not undertake. However, people used to believe if you owned a business you could serve or reserve the right not to serve, anyone. In civil rights court that was shown not to be the case.

  • Richard Davis6 Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)
    "an implanted chip... when that happens we won't need a social security number anymore."

    Wow, times they are a'changing.

    When the social security law was passed, the law itself stated it could never be used for such purposes of identification. That part of the law is unchanged but now simply ignored. The reason these stipulations were included in the original law was governmental sensitivity for the preservation of integrity and esteem for the individual. It was a symbol of the American way, specifically our belief in the rights and privacy of the individual - versus the collective impersonalization. That was a main thrust of why America was always opposed to communist way of doing things.

    When Americans went to the movies post WWII, they were repulsed by the Nazi's demand "Let me see your papers!" In 1964 in the movie Dr. Zhivago, Lara was lost, "a nameless number that simply disappeared in one of Stalin's concentration camps." Now we're talking about GPS numbers imbedded in American citizens's skin like the impersonal numbers tatooed on concentration camp victims.

    No we won't need social security numbers when we're issued GPS tags.

    Excuse me for being the one throwing the cold water wake-up call.

  • Richard Davis6 Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)
    You wrote "But hey, there is like a %0.05 of the paranoid population who can't get an iPhone, it's ok. P.S. And yeah, keep telling Alltel that you got service without a SSN, get someone fired, someone who helped you out before, that's nice..."

    I'm sure %0.05 is an accurate statistic. Where did you come up with that? Secondly, remember, paranoia is a good thing. Third, why would you helping me would get anyone fired? They didn't do anything wrong. They just researched deeper into their job and learned what was really possible.

    Finally, remember company policy is not the same as "LAW". Company policy is just a prescribed way (let me parse that for you- prescribed = "written out ahead of time" so the person at the lowest level has a guideline). It is not the "only" way.

  • Tamara Level 6 Level 6 (13,730 points)
    With 10 million iPhones sold so far, it's unlikely that Apple is worried about the small percentage of people unwilling to submit to a credit check or pay a deposit.
  • Randy Fast Level 4 Level 4 (1,415 points)
    AT&T needs your SS# only for a credit check, that is the only purpose. They do not store it anywhere. The rep that sold me my iPhone even let me type it into their computer.
  • Richard Davis6 Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)
    You wrote: "With 10 million iPhones sold (paraphrase, I doubt they care)

    I wonder if that 10 million is in the U.S. or worldwide? If it is just the U.S. that means 29 out of 30 people in the U.S. do NOT own an iPhone (population 2006, 300 million).

    If it is world wide then the concentration is absolutely pathetic.

    In any event you've described in your reply an attitude that is the Achilles Hill of any corporation that becomes too large - lack of concern about the individual customer. I hope Apple has not become that large, yet.

  • cevtv Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Daiya wrote:
    Perhaps the OP can offer AT&T a big deposit to avoid sharing the SSN.

    Exactly......just pay them the huge $500 to $1000 security deposit and enjoy your new phone.

    Message was edited by: cevtv