Phones 4U offer a window into their customer details

You’d be shocked and appalled if I told you that every time I browsed the Phones 4U website they showed me the personal details of the customer currently placing an order wouldn’t you?

Well at least twice a day I walk past what would appear to be the flagship Phones 4U store on Tottenham Court Road and most days I’m treated to an unobstructed view of some poor normob’s personal details. Name, address, phone number; it’s all there in plain sight as they cross their fingers and hope they pass the credit check for that shiny new device perched on the desk in front of them.

(For the non-Londoners: Tottenham Court Road, or TCR is traditionally where people go to buy high-tech goods although in recent years it’s popularity has dwindled somewhat.)

When I strolled past the other day and took some snaps with my N95 at lunchtime nobody was actually buying a handset, which is fortunate really as I couldn’t in good conscience post a photo of some poor unwitting sap’s home address on the Internet.

So yes, that photo you see on the left is one of at least five points of sale desks with the salesman’s monitor facing out into one of the busiest streets in London just a few strides away from the exit of one of London’s busiest tube stations (the prime real estate directly outside the exit is actually taken up with a very well designed and stylish Carphone Warehouse).

Now, as you’ll notice the N95 didn’t do a great job of capturing the text on the salesman’s screen.  But a 1080p high-definition camera such as the one we use for the MIR Show would easily pick up all the information on the screen.

I’m sure the Information Commissioner’s Office would have something to say about this.

In the meantime, if you really must purchase a phone from a high street store, I recommend going into the operator’s own shop or buying online… speaking of which, I always buy from the operator’s website but does anyone have any experiences to share from using a third party website to order their contract handsets?

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