high speed internet connection?

Glendale, AZ

Hello - does all high speed internet connections require giving a social security number to get service? I thought it was strange that Cox requires it. I guess I'll just stick with dial up here. At my age I'm not in that big a hurry anyway - or maybe I should be? LOL. Can anyone recommend a good dial up connection besides AOL? Harold

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

Legally they are not allowed to ask for it. They probably want to do a credit check and if pressed will tell you this. Unfortunately, it's become pretty standard for businesses to use the SS# as a unique identifier for customers. As for a supervisor and hold your ground. High speed is incredible...We love it, especially being able to enjoy multimedia content like animations, music and videos. It opens an entire new world.

Glendale, AZ

Yes, I asked him and was told it was for a credit check. When I told him I wasn't going to give him a social security # over the phone, he said the charge would be $120 a month then. So I hung up. I think that is amusing - if they are afraid that I can't pay $24.95 a month, how do they expect me to pay $120? Arizona has the highest rate of identity theft in the country. This fellow had a terrible accent so hard telling where he was sitting physically - I did ask him early on where he was and he said Phoenix, but I don't believe that - I had to spell everything for him - including Harold, and my street, which goes from one end of the valley to the other and should be well known by anyone living here. I was just so astounded with the charge that it didn't occure to me to ask for a supervisor. So what exactly can I cite to tell anyone who asks that it is illegal to ask for a social security number? Arizona used to use our social security # as our drivers license #, but dropped that several years ago when so many objected. Thanks for your input. Harold

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

That's just ridiculous if they really would charge that rate. There are some other high-speed options for your area, such as DSL. Check out dslreports.com: http://www.dslreports.com/search2/85301 (not just DSL companies are rated). As you read reports there, keep in mind that in most forums like dslreports.com, disgruntled people are the ones likely to seek them out and post complaints, and rarely do people praise a company for doing a good job.

I went to the SSA website at http://ssa.gov and wouldn't you know the info is being updated? http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/ssn_1.html I'd call your local SSA office and ask them if companies can require the number.

Why not go in to Cox Cable's main office and ask to see a manager? Ask if this is their policy and if there is a provision for those who would prefer not to divulge this information. It is customary for credit checks to be done in many businesses. Technically, you are getting credit when you sign up with some ISP's, for some of them don't bill you until the next statements. Their $120/month fee seems outrageous if it's true.

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

Harold, I went to Cox Cable's website at http://support.cox.com and used their automated chat program just now:

"You: social security number required?

Instant Answers: Creating A Secure Cox.Com User Name And Password

Cox requires customers to provide their social security numbers as a prerequisite to online bill paying for the sole purpose of preserving customer security and ensuring that access to billing and account information is limited to the customer who holds the account. This information is used solely for Cox's identification purposes and is not provided to any third party.

While we are always evaluating ways to improve our online customer care processes, to date we have been unable to find an alternative option for setting up your online account that provides an adequate level of security. The most effective way for us to ensure your account's online security is by matching your social security number to the name on your Cox account. This practice is similar to those found on many major financial service Web sites, which also are subject to strict customer privacy laws.

We take the privacy of the individual's account information seriously. As a result Cox feels it is better to require customers to provide their social security numbers rather than risk permitting unauthorized access to our customers' accounts.

If you do not have a social security number or do not wish to provide it online, contact a Cox customer service representative for assistance with setting up your Cox.com account over the phone. "

NW Qtr, AR(Zone 6a)

It's been my observations (accompanied with vast numbers of others!) .. that our social security numbers are being easily and willfully abused, by just such practices. Seems that most companies, will simply inquire of the potential customer for such info .. and if 'said customer' willingly volunteers the information - it eliminates the problem of trying to inform 'said customer' of the 'company policy', etc. .. that may or may not be in writing/print .. and readily available for review ...

All that should be required... is perhaps a drivers license number! All/any thing else, that any 'creditor' shall need - will be readily available to them, after the DL# is 'run'. (And very likely, even the number of stains on each of your current vehicles' interior upholstery and the last time the litter box was cleaned!!)

Many folks are unaware that their rights to privacy are brazenly violated, by their States' motor vehicle departments .. by using and assigning your social security number .. as your drivers license number!!

Check around .. just as gardenwife has suggested .. and you just may find the ideal alternative .. (hopefully)for your desired DSL connection .. or, at least, to get yourself away from AOL.

Good luck and happy hi-speed pooterin' to you, soon ... or, sooner!!

- Magpye

PS .. It amazes me the number of folks that use and divulge such info .. via their cell/mobile phones!!!

Manhattan Beach, CA(Zone 11)

Many companies ask for just the last four digits. That's what Verizon does and that certainly should suffice for the others.

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