T-Mobile Forbids You From Recording Customer Service Calls

We can record you but you can’t record us, T-mobile told reader Jeff today.

When the T-mobile robot said, “This call is being recorded for quality assurance purposes,” Jeff said, “Ditto.” The T-mobile rep told him to turn off the recorder or the rep would hang up. Jeff asked why. The rep said, “company policy.” The rep’s supervisor said, “company policy.”

Jeff says, “He informed me tmobile and ALL wireless providers have the policy and have had it for years and that if I choose to continue to record the call, they could not help me.”

“So the question is: why can they record me, but I can’t record them?”

We don’t know. We need to find out.

UPDATE: It’s totally legal. And you don’t need to tell them you’re doing it, for the most part. Read more.

Comments

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  1. AcidReign says:

    …..Agree to our terms, or go find another provider, you! *Intimidate, intimidate…*

  2. georgeh says:

    I’ve always thought that when they say “this call may be recorded to ensure quality service” that they were giving you permission to record the call and send it to Consumerist if, for example, they prevented me from quitting their ISP.

    How else am I supposed to ensure quality service?

  3. billhelm says:

    Because they don’t want to be the next AOL?

  4. funkright says:

    You are part of the borg, you must be assimulated, you will be part of a better world, a more highly evolved world, one that does not accept or have options…

    Prepare to be assimulated..

    This biological and technological synthesis is carried out to achieve the self expressed goal of “perfection.” Only we can offer you this higher path.. you are to be connected through the networks to the hive mind..

    Prepare to be assimulated..

    “resistance is futile”

  5. homerjay says:

    You CAN record the call. Just don’t say “Ditto”

  6. Timbojones says:

    Or instead of “Ditto” say “Excellent”, since as georgeh interprets the statement, they just said you may record the call.

  7. Amy Alkon000 says:

    I read the law in California recently, and it says that if people don’t have the presumption of privacy, you can record them. If they’ve said they’re recording you, it seems they wouldn’t have the presumption of privacy. Am I right?

    Also, do any lawyers out there know the law, which I coudn’t find, as to whether you can post recordings on the web? Say, recordings made in a public place, where a person doesn’t have that presumption of privacy (given California law – the specifics of which may vary in other areas)

  8. Tiger says:

    AOL has the same policy. It is common practice at any call center. Just a liabilty issue. If you don’t have proof, it didn’t happen.

  9. Vinny says:

    Screw ‘em. In NY you don’t need to ask their stupid permission anyway. That goes for 37 other states as well, and in most of the two party states, if you’re told the call is being recorded, then you don’t have to tell ‘em either.

    Bite me drones.

  10. gte910h says:
  11. tkdga says:

    It is perfectly ok to record calls if you call into customer service. I worked as a rep in 4 different call centers and they all said that the customer could record us so that made courtesy that much more important. And with websites such as these, reps need to be more conscience of how they sound to the customer.

  12. Baciaa says:

    I work for T-Mobile. I answer your calls. That is funny. Just respect company policy as it is very important that our customer information does not get released to the public. We really do value our customers security!! Think of it, if someone is trying to call in to make changs on your acocunt or do whatever and you do not know who it is and they are recording call!! Who knows what information of yours they could release. Sersiouly.. think twice. Thanks, Mihaela

  13. n3glv says:

    Call recording, This is a can of worms.
    I operate a cosulting and technical service business that is
    related to an open source project call “Asterisk” and a system
    called Freepbx that is to manage the very cryptic * configs.

    Our pbx’s can be set up to start record by pressing *1 or to
    record all into or out of a particular extension etc.
    So we have had great discussions of this specific secenerio.
    Call to (for example) T-Mobile. Their system plays a file just
    like my system, “Thank you for calling, calls may be recorded
    for quality control and training purposes” It can be presumed
    that the employees know that they may be recorded, even that
    they probably have that as part of their employment contract.
    This makes sense, aka common sense. Not to be confused with
    common law.
    In the end, there are local laws and some federal laws that can
    either help of hang you.
    There are some good web links for various laws. By state there
    are 4 types.
    A:All parties state (Pennsylvania etc, most of the original 13
    colonial states (commonwealths). This means that all parties
    need to consent.
    B:One party state. Akin to the “33 states” I saw quoted above.
    Where it has been deemed that only one party needs to know.
    C:A beep every x seconds. Only one state, afaik, California.
    D:No party, just the system owner state. Nevada. The owner of
    system (Casino Hotel etc) may record any phone traffic.

    HOWEVER.

    I am informed by persons in the security industry that this is
    all pertaining to getting your recording entered into evidence
    in a legal proceeding. And that there is some precedent for a
    person to record any call for his own personal notes. What a
    person could do is record the call, and then transcribe notes
    on paper (pc?) as to the content of the call. When asked to
    substantiate the notes in court as other than hearsay, you can
    ask that the judge review (and perhaps the parties involved)
    the recording that you used as a source for your notes. While
    the recording itself will not be able to be accepted, your own
    notes then become acceptable and ta-da!

    Ps:As for posting anything or even playing anything for a 3rd
    party, I’d expect you would need consent. at the bare minimum
    verbally by all parties. And if you wanna CYA, Get it on paper.

    Pps:When a call is intersate, the most restrictive law applies.

    PPPS:Not a lawyer, just a voip-geek
    http://www.voipcoop.org (communications Co-Op of North America, NPO)

  14. n3glv says:

    Call recording, This is a can of worms.
    I operate a cosulting and technical service business that is
    related to an open source project call “Asterisk” and a system
    called Freepbx that is to manage the very cryptic * configs.
    Our pbx’s can be set up to start record by pressing *1 or to
    record all into or out of a particular extension etc.
    So we have had great discussions of this specific secenerio.
    Call to (for example) T-Mobile. Their system plays a file just
    like my system, “Thank you for calling, calls may be recorded
    for quality control and training purposes” It can be presumed
    that the employees know that they may be recorded, even that
    they probably have that as part of their employment contract.
    This makes sense, aka common sense. Not to be confused with
    common law.
    In the end, there are local laws and some federal laws that can
    either help of hang you.
    There are some good web links for various laws. By state there
    are 4 types.
    A:All parties state (Pennsylvania etc, most of the original 13
    colonial states (commonwealths). This means that all parties
    need to consent.
    B:One party state. Akin to the “33 states” I saw quoted above.
    Where it has been deemed that only one party needs to know.
    C:A beep every x seconds. Only one state, afaik, California.
    D:No party, just the system owner state. Nevada. The owner of
    system (Casino Hotel etc) may record any phone traffic.

    HOWEVER.

    I am informed by persons in the security industry that this is
    all pertaining to getting your recording entered into evidence
    in a legal proceeding. And that there is some precedent for a
    person to record any call for his own personal notes. What a
    person could do is record the call, and then transcribe notes
    on paper (pc?) as to the content of the call. When asked to
    substantiate the notes in court as other than hearsay, you can
    ask that the judge review (and perhaps the parties involved)
    the recording that you used as a source for your notes. While
    the recording itself will not be able to be accepted, your own
    notes then become acceptable and ta-da!
    Ps:As for posting anything or even playing anything for a 3rd party, I’d expect you would need consent. at the bare minimum verbally by all parties. And if you wanna cya, Get it on paper.
    Pps:When a call is intersate, the most restrictive law applies.