T-Mobile Requires a Physical Address?

I just got off the phone with T-mobile, my cellphone carrier. I had a small problem with my phone and was calling for tips to resolve it (which they did). On the call, the customer service rep said that I had to provide T-mobile with a “physical address” not just a PO Box. She said that they would continue to send the bill to my PO Box, but that their policy now required a physical address.

I declined to give them one and the operator could not tell me why it was needed or what would happen if I didn’t provide one. She was a little insistent that I have one, but let on that she could still help me without one. It sounded like they have a quota of physical addresses to convert or something. I suggested that maybe it was an E911 issue, but that I would rather not have an address sent to 911 when I’m not at that address. It would be better not to send incorrect information to the emergency services because a fire truck or ambulance could get sent to the wrong location. She agreed.

We tried entering the street address of the Post Office, but it would not take it. That surprised me and makes me wonder what the deal is. It could be innocent, as in needing to have an overnight address for phone swaps, etc. Or it could be some Patriot Act, FCC requirement, or other conspiracy theory. Anyway, this was the first I ever heard of it.

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