Mobile phone contract


N

NB

I applied for a new phone a couple of weeks back. The company selling the
deal eventually replied and asked for a copy of a utility bill or credit
card receipt.

I don't like sharing confidential details like this off so I grabbed the
nearest credit card bill and, using a marker pen, blocked out the credit
card number and the details of financial transactions.

I faxed this to them but received a phone call saying that the details must
be visible. Not only that but whatever I send them will be "held on file" by
the mobile phone company.

So far in my young life I've arranged a mortgage, several loans, received
several credit cards, but I've never had to supply a copy of a bill for any
of this. Nor do I think I shoudl have to - it's an invasion of privacy
(perhaps a dangerous one - there's a slight but real risk of identity theft
if the docs fall into the wrong hands).

So why do they want a utility bill? What's their reasoning behind this? Why
can't they just use a credit check like everybody else?
 
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J

JF

Matti Lamprhey said:
This is absolutely nothing to do with credit checking. The government
wants to be able to identify the ownership of mobile phones, so they've
adopted similar policies to the money-laundering ones which the banks
have to put us through. The advantage of a utility bill is that it ties
a person's name to an established address very effectively. I'd give
them that rather than a credit card bill every time.
Virgin supply ready registered work-from-the-box cellphones. A wonderful
aid for criminals.
 
N

news

To be fair the company, whoever they are, are allowed to ask for
anything they like - it is essentially a commercial decision. Of
course, you can make a similarly commercial decision to refuse to
comply and get your phone elsewhere.....
 
A

Alex

JF said:
Virgin supply ready registered work-from-the-box cellphones. A wonderful
aid for criminals.
Although it has to be said that criminals could just as easily get a
mobile phone abroad and roam in the UK.
 
K

kajr

Could you explain why a utility bill ties a person's name to an
address. My wife was having problems getting a bank account because
coming from overseas she had no credit history in the UK. I merely
wrote to a couple of the utility companies and transferred two bills
into her name, no checking, no verfication.
The banks take a full driving licence as id but not a provisional.
Surely the only id to get a full licence is a provisional and a pass
certificate.
A passport is taken as id but the only id needed is a birth certificate
but a birth certificate is not taken as id.
This whole business of id is a bit of a joke. When we get id cards what
id will I have to give to get my id card.

Kevin
 
N

Nowt

Matti said:
This is absolutely nothing to do with credit checking. The government
wants to be able to identify the ownership of mobile phones, so they've
adopted similar policies to the money-laundering ones which the banks
have to put us through. The advantage of a utility bill is that it ties
a person's name to an established address very effectively. I'd give
them that rather than a credit card bill every time.

Matti
Do you have any evidence to suggest that the government, rather than the
commerical company is behind such moves?

Why can one buy a pay as you go phone for cash if this is the case? And
also buy the credit for it with cash?
 
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M

Matti Lamprhey

Could you explain why a utility bill ties a person's name to an
address. My wife was having problems getting a bank account because
coming from overseas she had no credit history in the UK. I merely
wrote to a couple of the utility companies and transferred two bills
into her name, no checking, no verfication.
The banks take a full driving licence as id but not a provisional.
Surely the only id to get a full licence is a provisional and a pass
certificate.
A passport is taken as id but the only id needed is a birth
certificate but a birth certificate is not taken as id.
This whole business of id is a bit of a joke. When we get id cards
what id will I have to give to get my id card.
You are preaching to the thoroughly converted person who can suck eggs
like the best of them, Kevin; I'm not here to defend these iffy
practices for a single moment. The utility bill has some extra value
over most other documents bearing a person's name and address because
it's evidence that the person has some financial responsibility for the
property.

Matti
 
M

Matti Lamprhey

Nowt said:
Do you have any evidence to suggest that the government, rather than
the commerical company is behind such moves?
Why do ISPs keep records of the usage of particular IP addresses for
long periods of time? They don't do it for 'commerical' reasons but
because the Gubbmint tells them to.

Also -- tried buying TV equipment recently without your name & address
being required by the retailer?
Why can one buy a pay as you go phone for cash if this is the case?
And also buy the credit for it with cash?
I'm not aware that you can buy a PAYG phone from a regular retailer of
such things without some kind of ID, but no doubt you'll tell me it's
possible. I don't think the top-up source is relevant.

Matti
 
W

Wireless Reader

A passport is taken as id but the only id needed is a birth certificate
but a birth certificate is not taken as id.
That isn't strictly true - the Passport Office perform other checks to
confirm your identity - the birth certificate is one part of that
checking process.
This whole business of id is a bit of a joke. When we get id cards what
id will I have to give to get my id card.
Agreed - www.TheRegister.co.uk have run a number of articles on this
kind of issue - interesting reading if only to know where billions of
Pounds will be wasted.
 
R

rob.

Wireless said:
That isn't strictly true - the Passport Office perform other checks to
confirm your identity - the birth certificate is one part of that
checking process.


Agreed - www.TheRegister.co.uk have run a number of articles on this
kind of issue - interesting reading if only to know where billions of
Pounds will be wasted.
And what proof of address - to be re-proven each time you move?

It is implied that the new ID card would "make life easier" by being
complete proof of ID and address in itself. I suspect in reality we will
still need to supply two or more forms of ID and that proof of address will
still have to be separate.

--
 
N

Nowt

Matti said:
Why do ISPs keep records of the usage of particular IP addresses for
long periods of time? They don't do it for 'commerical' reasons but
because the Gubbmint tells them to.

Also -- tried buying TV equipment recently without your name & address
being required by the retailer?




I'm not aware that you can buy a PAYG phone from a regular retailer of
such things without some kind of ID, but no doubt you'll tell me it's
possible. I don't think the top-up source is relevant.

Matti
On a personal level, I have no idea if you can buy without ID - I assume
that since there is no credit checking, then there is no need for ID.
 
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J

Jim Ley

I'm not aware that you can buy a PAYG phone from a regular retailer of
such things without some kind of ID, but no doubt you'll tell me it's
possible.
Yep it's trivial, you can do it from anywhere...

Jim.
 

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