T-Mobile and Experian CEOs Address Data Breach

T-Mobile on Data BreachA data breach at credit card processor Experian has exposed information about millions of T-Mobile customers, and the CEO is "incredibly angry" about it. Although credit card and banking account numbers weren't stolen, names, addresses, emails, and social security numbers were.

In a "Letter to Consumers" on the company's website, John Legere wrote, "I've always said that part of being the Un-carrier means telling it like it is. Whether it's good news or bad, I'm going to be direct, transparent and honest."  

Experian also published a statement on its website. In a bulleted list, the company explained what happened and then offered several FAQ's under simple headings: "About the Incident," "What Does This Mean for Me?" "I'm Still Confused," and "What We're Doing to Make It Right." 

Although Legere offered two years of free credit monitoring, customers are no longer trusting the company's service. The CEO responded on Twitter: "I hear you. I am moving as fast as possible to get an alternate option in place by tomorrow."

Discussion Starters: 

  • Legere uses a conversational style in his Letter to Consumers. Do you consider this appropriate for the situation, unprofessional for a CEO, or something else?
  • Analyze the organization of Experian's web statement. What works well, and what could be improved? 
  • What principles of bad-news messages from Chapter 8 do these examples follow?