20. February 2008 · Comments Off on Rachel Lucas Was Wrong…But It’s Not Her Fault · Categories: Technology

First, go read this post.  I’ll wait. I need a fresh lemonade anyway.

Done? Cool.

First of all let me say that for someone who doesn’t work in the telecom industry that it’s very easy to think badly of T-Mobile after reading that story. Hell, if I didn’t know what was really behind what happened there, I’d be just as peeved. But the whole story isn’t there and I think it needs some clarification.

Okay, so the events that took place happened in January of 2008. Let me double check, yep, by the information that’s provided, that seems correct.

What most people don’t know is that back in December of 2007 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed stricter Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) regulations that all U.S. Telecoms have to abide by. Before those new regulations it was pretty easy for anyone to call in, give their name, confirm the name on the account, confirm some personal information, and they’d get full access to that other person’s account. Since the new CPNI standards went into effect, that’s no longer the case. The FCC decided that only the account owner (the person who’s name is on the acount), or the people that the account owner had designated as Authorized Users on the account, may have access to the account information…which would include access to buying a phone in that person’s name. Apparently in the past, unauthorized folks just called up, ordered a phone, charged it to someone else’s account, mom’s, dad’s, daughter’s, and off they went with a new phone and no one was the wiser until the bill showed up.

If any of those T-Mobile employees had allowed that girl’s dad to buy a phone for her on her dead husband’s account when the dad wasn’t an authorized user they would have been guilty of a federal crime.

I don’t know about the T-Mobile employees, but I wouldn’t be willing to go to jail for anyone, no matter how bad their situation.

I realize that it’s easy to hate cell phone companies, trust me, I work for one and I think it’s absolutely scandalous that they just don’t give away cell phones and forgive every bit of overage that customers accrue through ignorance or apathy. It’s like they’re in business to make a profit or something. (sarcasm…in case you missed it) In this case though, they did exactly what your government told them to do.

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