I just got off the phone with my bank. It’s not a local bank, and I’d called just to get envelopes in which to send deposits. That’s all I needed, just envelopes, which they gladly send to their customers. They are postage paid and have the bank’s name and address imprinted on them. They contain no personal information about me. My name does not appear on them, nor does my account number, my return address, or anything else.
A pleasant young man came on the line, greeted me, and asked me how I was doing. I told him. Then he asked me what he could do for me. I said I needed envelopes in which to mail deposits. Fine, no problem, he assured me. And what is your account number? I gave him the account number. And what is your name? I told him. Thank you, he said, and what is your date of birth? I asked why he needed that information just to send envelopes. We have to have your account information to get your address, he said. But I can tell you my address, I told him. No, we have to do it this way. It’s the way the system is set up.Oh, okay, I said, yielding. I gave him my birth date. And what is your mother’s maiden name, he asked. I told him. And the last four digits of your social security number? All this just for envelopes??? But I gave him the information, all of which he seemed to need just to bring up my account to get the address I could have given him to start out with.
And then he asked, And would you please verify your address for me?
I was laughing so hard I could hardly get it out, but I did, and he proudly informed me that he could now send the envelopes and how many would I like. We settled on a number, he told me the envelopes would arrive in 7 to 10 business days and wished me a good day.
I know we live in the information age, but isn’t this carrying it just a bit too far?