Police Response Follows BocaNewsNow.com Report Of Techs Demanding Access To “Map WiFi”
UPDATE: 7:35p Tuesday, November 12: AT&T technicians contacting BocaNewsNow.com state that AT&T claiming that WiFi mapping is “optional” is a “lie.” Techs say they are mandated to gain entry into customer homes. Read one quote following this article.
DELRAY BEACH, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office is reminding area residents that neither AT&T techs — nor representatives of any company — can require you to provide access to your home.
AT&T UVerse technicians throughout Palm Beach County are routinely demanding inside access following service calls that only require outdoor work. They claim they are required to “map the strength of WiFi signals” in every room inside your home.
“If anyone does not want a service worker in their home,” said Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Spokesperson Therese Barbera, “don’t open the door and/or let them in. Not even law enforcement can go into a home without a proper warrant/exigent circumstances.”
AT&T Spokeswoman Kelly Starling told BocaNewsNow.com that the WiFi mapping is “optional,” but multiple technicians have told BocaNewsNow.com that they are mandated as part of corporate policy to demand access. A homeowner refusing to grant access is told that the tech will have to seek permission to leave the residence from a supervisor.
To be clear: the interior WiFi mapping demands follow service calls that have nothing to do with WiFi signal strength issues. BocaNewsNow.com has learned that outdoor cable splices, AT&T signal issues and other outdoor technical issues are all leading AT&T technicians to tell homeowners that they must provide inside access to their home.
‘I am required to map every room in your home,” said a tech to an AT&T UVerse customer last week. When the the homeowner said “no,” the tech stated he would have to call a supervisor to obtain permission to leave. The supervisor — in a call documented by BocaNewsNow.com — told the technician that he could only leave after taking one WiFi reading in one room in the house.
“Call law enforcement or 9-1-1 if anyone unwanted is trying to get in your home or refuses to leave,” said PBSO’s Barbera. “It will be the decision of the homeowner if they want a worker to remain.”
WHAT IS AT&T DOING WITH A MAP OF YOUR HOME?
The tablet app used by AT&T Technicians mapping WiFi signals lists every room in your house. AT&T techs are required to list the signal strength documented in each room.
Kelly Starling, the AT&T spokeswoman, said AT&T is only using the data internally, but it’s unclear why room names — on a device that geo-tracks (pinpoints locations) would be needed by AT&T.
Additionally, it is unclear why an AT&T tech would need unfettered access to every room in a customer’s home.
Residents contacting BocaNewsNow.com fear that AT&T techs are determining the location of valuables and pinpointing their locations on a tablet that could show them where to cut internet-based alarm systems during a burglary.
The AT&T policy is being enforced just weeks after a Boca Raton woman was murdered by a Best Buy delivery person, prompting area police departments to warn residents about letting service workers in your home.
UPDATE FROM AT&T TECH @7:30p November 12, 2019: “AT&T Requires a wifi map of every job dispatched on by technicians. By every job they mean 100%. This metric must be obtained by every technician, their managers, and the second level managers, ect. Technicians are issued reminders in weekly meetings and throughout the week in company emails. If a technician misses a wifi map, for example if the customer is not home and they cannot gain access inside, they are often questioned as to the reason the wifi map was not done and leave a narrative to the reason.”