My mother-inlaw did NOT give the Cingular representative my wife's
SSN. No one from Cingular even contacted us to get an authorization
Then how did your mother-in-law get the number ported? Unless I'm
gravely mistaken, only the "owner" of the number can port it. You
said your mother-in-law "deactivated" the AT&T phone THEN ported to
Cingular. I think you're misunderstanding the situation- you can't
port after you cancel service. The porting process cancels the
service for you. If you cancel first, your number is "lost" and can't
be ported anywhere.
My wild guess is that something like this happened- your Mother-in-law
goes to Cingular to port. Cingular says "but Mrs. Mother-in-law, this
isn't your account, it's your daughter's..." M-i-l gives copy of
daughter's bill to Cingular, Cingular gets vocal permission from your
wife to port (the permission to close the AT&T account that you
mentioned), ported your wife's AT&T account to Cingular (resulting in
the credit check you're complaining about) THEN, transferred the
contract from daughter's name to mother's, which is the only way I can
think of to accomplish this particular port.
So, frankly, instead of bashing Cingular for an "unauthorized" credit
inquiry, you should probably commend them for their creativity, since
they did the near-impossible- they ported your wife's number to her
Are you sure your wife didn't just misunderstand what she was giving
Cingular obtained my wife's SSN from ATTWS during the port from ATTWS
I don't think so. If I understand the porting proceedure, AT&T has no
direct contact with Cingular. After Cingular activates service, AT&T
is electronically notified by a third-party company (who handles the
porting requests) to cancel the prior service. Cingular gets no
information from AT&T, and AT&T gets none from Cingular (except the
electronic equivalent of "Sorry suckers, you lost another one. Cancel
this customer's service...") All information is supplied by the
consumer doing the port. The SSN, if obtained by Cingular, HAD to
come from your wife or her mother.
They then took it upon themselves to pull the credit
report of my wife.
If my theory is correct, they had to actually activate service in your
wife's name as well, even if only for a minute, prior to transferring
it into her mother's. They got permission to do THAT from someone-
perhaps from her mother (which would also be improper, but IMHO far
As much as you're complaining about this credit inquiry, imagine how
much you'd be complaining if people could port _other_ people's
numbers! Maybe I like your number so much I'll just port it in my
name to Cingular... ;-) Seriously- por ing can't be done by anyone
but the number's "owner", which in this case is your wife.
I am not barking up an empty tree.
Perhaps not, but I think you're missing a piece of this puzzle that
either your wife or her mother misunderstood or doesn't remember.
Regardless, (I almost wrote "irregardless" just to get a rise out of
John S.!), say Cingular "accidentally" ran the report. What are your
damages? If Cingular removes the inquiry, you are "safe" from any
Have you read the Fair Credit Reporting Act? Consumers do have
Yes, and companies sometimes make mistakes. No harm, no foul. If a
cell company had to run my credit to straighten out a problem with MY
mother's account I'd find that FAR less objectionable than any one of
the dozens of "routine" inquiries on my report for the "pre-approved"
credit card solicitations I receive daily in the mail.
Are you POSITIVE it was AT&T and not Cingular who spoke to your wife?
Again, if AT&T closed the account, there could be no port to Cingular
(or anyone else), and then the whole story doesn't make any sense.
Somebody's remembering the events incorrectly here, I'd wager...