Data Governance Part 9 Data Quality Story

About a year and a half ago my wife took out a credit card from a major US department store to obtain a big discount on a major purchase.  Although there were a few wrinkles in paying the bill. it worked out fine.   She never used the card again but about two months ago we got a bill from them for a store we had never been in.  I called up to inquire and the customer service person looked things up and said it was clearly not her signature and she would refer it to the fraud department but it would take a while.

About a month later we got another bill with delinquency charges on the bill.  We called up again and was connected with the fraud group.  They said it was not fraud it was a mistake.  A person was at the store in this place and did not have the card so gave the last four digits of the social security number and an account popped up.  As background, we are from Canada and we have a Social Insurance Number and my wife had to give this to get her credit card.   The last four digits on my wife's card was the same as this person''s four digits on the social security number.   Eventually it was all cleared up but I am willing to bet this problem will affect my wife's credit rating.

So here we have a data quality issue which becomes a business issue because we will think twice about shopping in that store again.  How many of these customer service problem are causing people to go somewhere else to shop?  The most precious commodity of every business is their customers and how quickly they lose our trust.

Another data security issue is that, in Canada, a business cannot use our Social Insurance Number as a means of identifying us.  The only people who can use it are the tax people and the social security people.   Interesting how anybody can ask for your SSN in the United States.  

I wonder how often in all our businesses, data quality becomes a customer service issue.   

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