Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Is COMCAST Selling Customer Marketing Data?

comcast logo (aka, xfinity)
The other day a few months back I was "convinced" to add Comcast's phone services to my cable package.

They have a strange but seemingly compelling force behind their sales pitch to get folks to sign up for the added phone services. It felt like the rep on the phone was almost rabid about having me add it, once I let on I was considering it.

So after some banter, and brokering a deal between us, where I got to save money off my monthly package rates, we added it.

It's funny because even though I said I'd never, ever, ever use the phone, they are REQUIRED to come out and install the equipment for the phone.

No matter what I said.  (I've not used a land line in almost 10 years.)  But IT HAD TO BE DONE.

"Fine, whatever" I told them.

They came out and added a new box with a phone jack added.  And then the fun observations began.

= = =

As soon as the phone was "installed" with my service, it didn't take more than a week before I started getting spam solicitor calls to that number. (Mind you, I have no clue what the number is, so I could not have given it out to anyone accidentally.)

Sure, I did not have a phone hooked up to the phone jack.  But my cable service was adjusted to show me a pop up on my TV every time we got a call, with the option to answer.

Gads... seriously?

I had to look it up, but I found out how to turn those stupid messages off.  (There are options in your cable box that suddenly made sense!)

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Sure, that seemed pretty irksome, but I was able to stop it.

But what did piss me off was the junk mail that started showing up at my door.

You see, I've been able to keep junk mail away from my physical address for quite some time.  I use a "PO" box for all things, including my CABLE BILL!

That way, I can filter and toss out unwanted crap at my mailing service location.

But my cable company needs to know where the bat cave really is, to provide their services to us.

As soon as I got that phone service, I started receiving junk mail from ATT (congratulating me on my recent move.  (If you can count seven years as recent!)), United Dental and other bulls*t!

The timing was impeccable, and the only thing I can surmise from the empirical evidence, is that Comcast, via their sub-contractor phone service, sells your marketing data for the extra buck.

Sure, it might not be Comcast itself directly.  But since they allow their third-party phone company to sell the data, by association, so do they.

Or Xfinity Voice, as they seem to like to call themselves.

Total fail on Comcast!  And that's my rant for the consumer minded privacy advocate today!

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Hi - sorry for the confirmation but I need to weed out the noise from the well intended comments. Thanks for leaving a note... - Bruce