I have had a subscription to LifeLock identity theft protection services for the past 10 to 15 years. In the four or five times that I have spoken to LifeLock representatives in the past, they had always been very professional and helpful, until now.
During this past week, I had a near miss with unintentionally allowing access to my computer usernames, passwords, and accounts that I use on the internet, due to a fraudulent computer screen message from Microsoft, and a fraudulent Microsoft technical support person in India. If you want to read the details of this scam, just scroll down past the blog post before this one.
I telephoned and complained to the computer remote access provider ConnectWise, for allowing their remote computer access service to be used by scammers to collect people’s online usernames, passwords, and account information. I telephoned and complained to Microsoft about the fake Microsoft Warning Alert message that I received, and the fake Microsoft technical support person. The legitimate Microsoft technical support, is also performed at a call center in India.
Today, Monday, I tried to telephone LifeLock identity theft protection services, which I pay for each month, in order to ask them if I had unintentionally allowed remote access to my computer, which scammers had tried to accomplish last week in order to collect my usernames, passwords, bank account, and credit card account information, does LifeLock provide any kind of assistance with fraudulent transactions on my accounts?
I dialed 1-800-543-3562, the LifeLock customer service number, and reached an automated answering service, which gave different number options to press in order to be connected to the appropriate department. I tried repeatedly pressing option #2 for existing customers, but this input would not register, and I had to call the 1-800 number about five times, and to try to get the option #2 input to register.
Then, the automated LifeLock answering service prompted me to say and spell my first name, last name, and then my billing zip code. Then the automated system prompted me for my security code, which I had no idea what they were talking about, I had never had to use a security code in the past.
After about the 8th call to the LifeLock customer service 1-800 number, and going through all of the prompts, and waiting for a representative to answer, I got an actual person, in the Philippines. I was aghast that LifeLock has now offshored the handling of identity theft customer support to the Philippines.
The customer service representative in the Philippines was a very low-level, low-skilled person. In order to verify my identity, he would read to me a series of questions with five possible answers to choose from, such as what town had I lived in, what phone number had I had, what were other people associated with this address. When the town that I had lived in was the second choice that he read, Tampa, I said Tampa, but he would keep reading the third, fourth, and fifth choices. When the first phone number that he read was my phone number, I said that’s it, but he kept reading a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th phone number, and didn’t have sense enough to accept my answer that I had given.
This guy was so inept, that I became so frustrated, that I cursed at him and hung up. Why, why would I ever want to share or discuss my personal information with someone that just got hired off the street in the Philippines to work at a call center? How would anyone like this be able to understand different kinds of bank fraud, or credit card scams, and give correct information?
I telephoned the 1-800 number LifeLock customer service, and I pressed option #1, new customer. At this number, the call center was in the United States, and they were using competent personnel, in order to give new prospective customers the impression that LifeLock had professional level employees. I was very angry, and I explained that I did not want to speak to anyone at a call center in the Philippines, could I please speak to someone in the fraud department in the United States.
I was transferred back to the call center in the Philippines, and I tried to go through the same bullshit again, but I couldn’t do it. The call center employee that I got in the Philippines was again, not a professional level or knowledgeable person, he was going through his script just like inner-city kids do that try to sell magazine subscriptions door to door. How in the world would someone like this know anything about financial transactions and bank fraud?
I called the 1-800 number again, pressed option #1 for new customers to get the call center in the United States, and asked to speak to a supervisor. Eventually a supervisor got on the line, and I explained that I was very angry, LifeLock used to be a very good company, what happened, did the company get sold? They said yes, to Symantec.
The only telephone number that this call center supervisor had to give to me, was the corporate office telephone phone number in Tempe, Arizona. I called this telephone number all day to try to speak to someone, but all I ever got was the reception desk voice mail box, no one would answer the telephone.
Can you imagine actually having an identity theft crises, where your bank accounts had just been emptied, or your credit had been ruined, and you had to go through what I went through? No one in the corporate office will even answer the telephone, you can’t get a hold of anyone.
As soon as I am able, I am going to cancel my LifeLock subscription, How could anyone ever expect a company like this, to be of any help at all?