CPNI Training for Telcos in the United States

Customer Call-Ins: What Security Information Do They Need to Provide?

As part of protecting consumers from harm, all telecommunications employees who can access consumer data must have yearly training dealing with Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) in interactions and sales transactions. The CPNI training course provides a level of insight that employees may not have otherwise, in order to ensure that these employees can interact with customers in safe and legal ways.

One common question from telecommunications employees, either before or during the CPNI training course, is whether they need to ask for a security question on the account when a customer calls in, or if the last four digits of the customer’s social security number is enough. While many companies can have their own rules and guidelines about what information they’ll accept, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is very particular about how CPNI information is handled.

One of their rules is that customers can’t use their SSN (or any part of it) for a CPNI password. So customers calling in and wanting to provide their SSN to get access to their account wouldn’t work. Even if they know the SSN of the person on the account, and/or that person’s security question, there is a subscriber password for the account that has to be provided by customers who call in for information on their account or services.

Proprietary information can’t be displayed or provided to customers who don’t who the CPNI password, regardless of the other information they might be able to offer over the phone. While this password requirement can cause some frustration for clients, it’s a part of the CPNI training course and the information provided by the FCC. These rules have been in place since 2007, and are designed to protect subscribers from the risk of having their information compromised.

It’s important to be able to help customers and keep them happy with their service, but it’s also important to follow FCC rules. Remember, when a customer calls in and wants information on their account, they cannot provide their SSN or the answer to a security question to gain that access. Instead, they must provide their subscriber password to gain the access they’re looking for.

If you’re ready to get your team up to speed on CPNI dos and don’ts, reach out to our team today!


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