Chat Services Customer Service See everything you type whether or not you send it
In the last (or, really, the most recently discovered) example where the internet is scarier than most people realized, it came to our attention that the text box you use to communicate with service representatives client on most websites is not working as you would expect. In short: it would seem that many of companies that allow you to chat live with customer service representatives all use a service that allows these representatives to see everything you type in the text box, whether or not you press send.
We (I) always assumed that like when texting someone or using Facebook Messenger, the rep would see the traditional word bubble with ellipses. But no. Chances are they’ve seen you all of the changes you’ve made, as you write, correct typos, and possibly strategize on how best to convey your problem and get results. aid.
The problem was recently brought to light by Hmm every day, where the editor Tom Scocca wrote of an interaction in which a customer service rep responded to a coupon request in less than a second. This prompted him to dig a little deeper and find a service that advertises this feature, which looks like a serious breach of privacy and trust, as “added value”.
In the play, Scocca also mentions that while consumers can come up with the idea of a “Message preview” disgusting, customer service professionals see no problem with this, which is easily confirmed by browsing the forums where employees of retailers discuss this type of service.
While all of this is certainly troubling, in this case there is a easy enough way to protect yourself. If you are seriously concerned that a representative will see your drafted responses before submitting them, of by typing directly in the chat, compose your messages in a word processor–if you have a Mac, that’s what Notes is made for!–and paste your presumably blank answers into the text box. Does it take a second or two longer? Yes. Unfortunately, most companies are happy to charge you for time in exchange for the privacy at all times.