Ask The Consumerists: Who Owns Our CSR Records?

Question: when your call is recorded for “quality control”… who owns the call?

Do we as consumers, as owners of our own vocal cords, as speakers of words coming out of our mouths, have a legal right to those recordings?

Can you call up and request copies or request their destruction?

Find out and tell us!

Operators are standing by.


Edit Your Comment

  1. ExVee says:

    At the point the recording or other notification informs you that the call is being recorded, you have the recourse at that time to end the call before any record is created. If you continue your call after that point, that should constitute acceptance of the implied agreement that whatever recording or other copy of your conversation results is the property of the entity recording it and you give up your rights to it. In the strictest sense, you’re not being forced to converse while being recorded, so there’s not really a good backing for then demanding the record be destroyed. Whether a company would provide a copy or erase the recording upon request is soley dependant upon the company in question, but I’m pretty sure there’s no legal grounds to pursue when they refuse.

    Unless you’re recorded without your knowledge, in which case there’s a whole different range of legal issues to be worked out before the matter of ownership comes up.

  2. Plasmafire says:

    Where I worked, at a certain online store, The records were typed up by the customer service reps, and recorded, the records went back all the way to when the store was created. These records were quite useful, expecially when customers wanted to return what they bought 2 years after they bought it. (oh and apparently most customers don’t know what a scroll bar is)

  3. Godders says:

    Looks like you’re out of luck in the USA, but.. Here in the UK the Data Protection Act contains a clause whereby you can get copies of all data a company holds about you for a small administration fee. So theoretically you can claim copies of CCTV footage and recorded phone calls and other interesting stuff..

  4. Andrew W says:

    This also begs the question, is it possible to get customer service without being recorded?