Thursday, April 28, 2011

Yankees Season Ticket Department Screws Up Again, This Time, Worse

Who the heck is running the show inside the Yankees Season Ticket Office?

For the second time in two years, an email was sent to hundreds of Yankees season ticket holders, revealing personal information to strangers. The first time the Yankees revealed personal information, it was only email addresses... someone used CC (not Sabathia) instead of BCC, a major mass-email no-no that exposed the personal email addresses of hundreds of people (and potential spammers). This time, the Yankees employee went even further, attaching a handy dandy spreadsheet of names, addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers and email addresses-- and the seats they have in Yankee Stadium.

Deadspin first reported the details on the Yankees season ticket holders privacy breach yesterday afternoon. More than 20,000 people were affected, all in non-premium seating-- which means that once again, the Yankees management has screwed the true, blue collar fans and pampered the wealthy people who never show up to games and keep the seats around the infield empty for the majority of the year.

A call to Ken Cleary, Account Executive of Season Ticket Sales & Services, went unanswered Thursday morning. But his email to those affected (including me) indicated that "immediately upon learning of the accidental attachment of the internal spreadsheet, remedial measures were undertaken so as to assure that a similar incident could not happen again."

I assume that would mean the idiot who did this was fired? Maybe not. The original email came from Ken, the same person who later blamed "an employee."

Of course, the personal information was revealed on Monday. It took until Wednesday for the Yankees to send an apology and acknowledgment of the mistake. This is actually better response time than the last time... where they never apologized at all.

Also disturbing, the "recall message" we received shows that whoever sent the email has a huge gap of understanding when it comes to using email. Once an email is sent, you ain't getting it back, buddy. Perhaps the Yankees should use Google's "Mail Goggles."

The things one could do with this list is troubling. It goes beyond spam. Let's say you were wondering who the hot blonde was in Seat 24, Row 11, Section 235. The list could tell you that. Already, my cousin and I are joking about greeting all the people in our row by name next time we go to the stadium.

It's not inconceivable that an enterprising person who wanted to upgrade their seats for the following season could call up the people who held their desired seats, and find out whether they're re-upping for next season. If they're not, they could circumvent the Yankees and arrange to transfer the tickets.

And that's not even getting into other potential abuses. Con artists looking to scam people out of their credit cards could pretend to be Yankees reps, calling people on the list. After all, they know their seat numbers, account codes... it would sound legit to an unwary ticket holder.

Thanks a lot Yankees. It was bad enough you stuck us with a package involving multiple Royals and Orioles games, including two weekday 1:00 games. Now this.

UPDATE (May 2): Got a call back from Mario Oliveri, Yankees Season Ticket account executive. He assured me that the Yankees take this seriously, but repeated the company line that "no information was released that can't be found on Google." Except, you know, unlisted telephone numbers, those seat numbers, and the Yankees account number. He said that they've updated their security procedures, securing spreadsheet files, and making sure they ask additional information from those calling in, like "what credit card did you use to make your purchase?" When I pointed out that a scammer could ask the same thing, Mario said that everybody is aware of the situation, so they're less likely to fall for a scam.

I was hoping they'd offer something, anything, to make up for their sloppy security and revealing information that people would rather not have distributed to thousands of others. A Yankees seat cushion? A free pen? But it seems the Yanks are content to ride this one out, and if they lose a customer or two, they're not too worried about it.

1 comment:

Hot Mama said...

Send this post to KEN and his bosses!!!

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