Example of Data Quality Problem with Identity Resolution

November 8, 2010 by
Filed under: Business Intelligence, Call Center, Data Quality 

After some thought I decided to eliminate one of my long-time internet services – a basic account with a dial up service I signed on with about 15 (or more!) years ago. I had let the service ego on for a while because there had been some references to the associated email address, but in the past year it appears that it only attracted spam emails, so I decided to close the account. However, since I had the account invoiced directly to a credit card, I no longer had access to direct knowledge of accessing my profile account , so I called the customer service number.

I explained to the individual that I wanted to close the account but did not have much information. He asked for my name – David Loshin – but he was unable to find the information. I hesitated to provide my credit card number to him, and ultimately, after a bit (actually a *lot*) of frustration, I finally asked if he could find the account associated with the email address. He searched and finally found the account, under the name “David.Loshin” (note the period separating my names).

It is incredible to me that they did not have the tools on hand to enable approximate name matching, and I wonder how many companies are missing this capability?

By the way: when I canceled the account, I was told that as one of their best long-term customers, could they entice me to remain as a customer? Laughable, since they could not even find my customer record under my own name.

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