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In another question, here, I had called into my phone company's customer service number in regards to trying to resolve an issue. Part of that back-and-forth discussion ended with me requesting the account notes they had for me on file. I was told by the representative, who claimed to have 7 years of experience in customer service management, that it was illegal for them to give out proprietary account notes like those.

I was intrigued because about 2 months prior I was gathering information to write a formal letter to their correspondence team. In a single night, I made a similar request for account notes and was told they couldn't provide them. Within an hour, I got in touch again with the same request and the lady had provided me with what seemed to be a direct copy/paste of the account notes for more than half of the days that involved my issue. Sometimes you have to ask twice, I suppose.

Question:

  • What would make providing those account notes illegal when it would seem like the company would be the one "owns" them?

My limited research seemed to suggest that it might involve the Law of Proprietary Information. However, wouldn't that require someone else (third party?) to be the actual owner of those notes, thus limiting the public availability.

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Customer service could have been contracted out to a third party with contractual obligations to the company you are ostensibly dealing with.

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