Data Protection Act

eFGee

Active Member
Is it just me, or does the way companies implement the Data Protection Act drive everyone else up the wall too.

Every officious company you ring nowadays insists on a combination of name, address, post code, telephone number, dob, mothers maiden name, password etc before they'll talk to you.

That's fine on sensative and confidential issues but on enquiring why the sky engineer hasn't rung before 9.00 as stated? And there's been numerous, numerous (NUMEROUS) other ridiculous instances.

These companies just drive me mad.

Edit: Oh, and when Sky tell you they're going to be there between 2.00 and 5.00, don't you just know they're not going to turn up.

Second edit: I take it all back, they did turn up. Now can anyone tell me how Anytime comes on / works? Doh.
 

Mep

Well-known Member
I had the same thing with Sky yesterday...got through to broadband instead of HD dept.....the guy asked me all those questions before transferring me to the HD dept who went through it all again!
 

dannius

Well-known Member
What drives me nuts is that companies will never speak to my wife without first asking me to say it is ok every time. Obvisously I realise they have to do that the first time to make sure she is genuinely my wife, but after that she should be able to ring them whenever she needs to. But no, they constantly tell her they can't speak to her, even when she's not asking for any information as such.

Since most companies only work office hours I find this a right pain in the **se!
 
D

Deleted member 13294

Guest
I'm quite tempted sometimes when I speak to those people to say that I am Mrs Squiffy (as obviously I know her DOB, maiden name, mothers maiden name, etc).

I wonder if they would do?

On the flip side now, if a company rings me I ask them to prove who they are before I will reveal any details.
 

dng007

Active Member
On the flip side now, if a company rings me I ask them to prove who they are before I will reveal any details.

..Just what I was about to suggest - we should demand all their particulars before agreeing to speak with them!! Actually I'm tempted to play them a nice recorded message first warning I'm recording the conversation 'for training purposes.'!! :)
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
Reminds me of when I phoned NTL to cancel my contract as I was moving house. Phoned - gave person all personal details, said I wanted to cancel - so I got transferred to person #2 - he asked for all my details then said I had to talk to someone else, got tranferred, asked for all my details 'oh, you want to cancel - that's another department' so I got transferred *again* (this is now 40 minutes into the call). The fourth guy sounded promising, then he asked for my new address - I said 'is that for my final bill' and he said 'no, if you're moving to another area that has NTL, you'll need to be transferred to another department'. I lost it at this point and said either he could cancel my contract or I would just hang up and cancel the direct-debit. That finally got it sorted.
 

almightygoodgod

Well-known Member
from my uni days spend in call centres I can guarantee that it really is the law that they have to ask all the questions before proceeding even for the simplest of questions.

at the end of the day, ask yourself this question, would you risk a £5000 fine (thats for the telephone agent not the company) to save this person you have never met on the other end of the phone 30-60 seconds of their time?
 

Pat_C

Well-known Member
It's not to do with the data protection act, it's so they can look you up on their CRM system.

Otherwise how would they know anything about your case?
When you call O2 customer services they ask you to key in your mobile phone number, after navigating the first 50 menu options. Then, when a human comes on the line the first thing they ask you is your mobile phone number.
 

Pat_C

Well-known Member
from my uni days spend in call centres I can guarantee that it really is the law that they have to ask all the questions before proceeding even for the simplest of questions.
Which law would require that for the example originally quoted, enquiring why a Sky engineer hasn't rung when he should have? Last time I was involved with the DPA it only related to personal data.
 

almightygoodgod

Well-known Member
Which law would require that for the example originally quoted, enquiring why a Sky engineer hasn't rung when he should have? Last time I was involved with the DPA it only related to personal data.

to you that might be something that doesn't constitute a breach of the data protection, however, anything to do with the account can be seen as personal data, it is all down to the customer.

To quote a case that occured at my workplace. Woman booked an engineer to come round and fix her phoneline. Guys rings up tells a colleague that he is her husband and wants to know when the engineer is coming round. My colleague dutifily agreed, what harm could it do? Turns out the guy was her ex-husband and had been wanting to know when he could go round and find her there, beat seven shades out of her. My colleague was my colleague no longer and got a hefty fine to boot after the woman made a complaint.

Besides, where do you draw the line anyway? Why take the risk of a £5000 by going through every piece of data and labelling it as safe to speak about or not?
 

Knyght_byte

Distinguished Member
having worked in a call centre myself i can say the Data Protection act also works both ways......sounds daft but they are not really that worried about protecting you (other than their legal requirements to), they are more worried about other companies trying to poach their business......you'd be surprised what goes on in some contact centres that isnt approved by management but isnt exactly stopped...lol...(no, i never did anything dodgy, i was one of three in my contact centre who was morally decent, much to the annoyance of our managers :D)

as for asking them details when they phone you....you should do.....you should always make sure who is phoning you is who they say they are.....heres the problem though, they shouldnt give you information first because they dont know that their customer has answered the phone, you could be someone else who lives in the house or in the case of a mobile it could have just been stolen etc.........hence why when Egg once phoned me up saying there was a problem on my account and it needed sorting, i said ok, she then said first she needs to confirm who i am (makes sense in one respect but...) and asked me to provide my DOB....to which i said 'uh, can you prove you are from egg first by giving me my full address and password? she said no, she couldnt do that as i might not be Mr etc, so i came back well then how can i trust you? she said not to worry she is from egg and this needs sorting.....so i said i'd go online and check my details and sort it out there...she persevered for a moment at which point i said quite clearly that my Egg account is an online one, therefore i will deal with it online....

turned out there was a problem so she most likely was genuine......but why on earth would i trust someone phoning ME up?......bit like believing that nice Mr Ombowale that his nephew will indeed be a boon to my household and the £1.2m in his trust fund will indeed mature in to my bank account eventually if i look after him :/
 

eFGee

Active Member
to you that might be something that doesn't constitute a breach of the data protection, however, anything to do with the account can be seen as personal data, it is all down to the customer.

To quote a case that occured at my workplace. Woman booked an engineer to come round and fix her phoneline. Guys rings up tells a colleague that he is her husband and wants to know when the engineer is coming round. My colleague dutifily agreed, what harm could it do? Turns out the guy was her ex-husband and had been wanting to know when he could go round and find her there, beat seven shades out of her. My colleague was my colleague no longer and got a hefty fine to boot after the woman made a complaint.

Besides, where do you draw the line anyway? Why take the risk of a £5000 by going through every piece of data and labelling it as safe to speak about or not?

I DON'T FRIGGING CARE. IT'S ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THE NANNY STATE GONE MAD!!!!
 

Knyght_byte

Distinguished Member
so you wouldnt have a problem with someone you once had an arguement with coming round to beat seven shades out of you having learned you'll definitely be in as the sky mans coming round?

its a few questions......heavens...a whole 10-20 seconds of your life.......let me guess, when you see someone looking like they might cross the road up ahead you speed up to make sure you get past them before they slow you down by 5mph?
 

almightygoodgod

Well-known Member
I DON'T FRIGGING CARE. IT'S ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THE NANNY STATE GONE MAD!!!!

mate, you obviously do care otherwise you wouldn't have posted in the first place.

in an ideal world everyone would be trustworthy and there would not be a problem and thus no need for data protection. however, if it was an ideal world there would be no war and no disease. sounds great.
 

Pat_C

Well-known Member
to you that might be something that doesn't constitute a breach of the data protection, however, anything to do with the account can be seen as personal data, it is all down to the customer.
There is a definition of personal data as defined in the DPA, and it has nothing to do with the opinions of customers. It's very difficult to see how any such defined personal data can be exchanged in the example given by the OP. I believe that most companies take an over cautious approach despite the fact that customers get annoyed by it.
 

the whistler

Active Member
One of my elderley neighbours was rushed into hospital the other day. They kept her in overnight to run some diagnostics tests.

The following day her husband rang the hospital to enquire if the tests had diagnosed the problem.

The reply he got .... "Sorry but because of the Data Protection Act we can't tell you. You will have to come in so that we can verify that you are her husband".
 

almightygoodgod

Well-known Member
One of my elderley neighbours was rushed into hospital the other day. They kept her in overnight to run some diagnostics tests.

The following day her husband rang the hospital to enquire if the tests had diagnosed the problem.

The reply he got .... "Sorry but because of the Data Protection Act we can't tell you. You will have to come in so that we can verify that you are her husband".

that sounds bad because you know the guy IS her husband. now imagine you are the nurse, how do you know the guy is her husband?
 

eFGee

Active Member
so you wouldnt have a problem with someone you once had an arguement with coming round to beat seven shades out of you having learned you'll definitely be in as the sky mans coming round?

its a few questions......heavens...a whole 10-20 seconds of your life.......let me guess, when you see someone looking like they might cross the road up ahead you speed up to make sure you get past them before they slow you down by 5mph?

As opposed to this brute wasting their very valuable time waiting for you to turn up before doling out the hiding so richly deserved? How about them waiting until "going to work" time. Or how about "returning from work" time? Do you think they'll catch you in then?

This is just utter rubbish and you've been sucked into a mindset of nanny state knows best.

If you're going to get beaten up, you are going to get beaten up. If somebody wants you that much, they WILL find a way (bearing in mind they apparently know enough to ring Sky pretending to be you in the first place)

And it may only be a few questions but its by every officious company.

About every subject matter, no matter how trivial.

And if it so crucial, why don't all other companies do it before speaking to you on the phone? And do you really think before it's introduction, the majority of us were lying on street corners with black eyes after the brute had caught us because Sky had told them where we were?

But hey, if it doesn't bother you, then I'm pleased for you.

BTW What has you little driving scenario got to do with officiousness?
 

eFGee

Active Member
that sounds bad because you know the guy IS her husband. now imagine you are the nurse, how do you know the guy is her husband?


What does it matter if it isn't? Lets say its her brother. Or her son. Or her friend. Or her best friends son who's ringing for his mum who hasn't got a phone? Or just somebody who who knew her as that nice lady at the bus stop. So what? Why shouldn't any of those be told how she is? And why would anybody who doesn't know her ring in the first place or care about her health.

Parania gone mad.
 

w3dal

Distinguished Member
When you call O2 customer services they ask you to key in your mobile phone number, after navigating the first 50 menu options. Then, when a human comes on the line the first thing they ask you is your mobile phone number.

Same with British Gas. But your account number in and then a voice on the phone asks you for it again..

*** - :devil:

Dal
 

unique

Moderator
What does it matter if it isn't? Lets say its her brother. Or her son. Or her friend. Or her best friends son who's ringing for his mum who hasn't got a phone? Or just somebody who who knew her as that nice lady at the bus stop. So what? Why shouldn't any of those be told how she is? And why would anybody who doesn't know her ring in the first place or care about her health.

Parania gone mad.

well someone's employer might want to know the health status of an employee, and if that person was on a fixed term contract, or due a pay rise for example, depending on the reply, it could have bad consequences on the person. if the people you mention were so concerned about someones health, surely they would want to visit them, particularly if they were family members (ie. the people most likely to be concerned or call up)

or someone could know the person lives alone, and wants to know how long they are going to be kept in, so they could burgle the house in peace

someone could have aids, cancer or some other disease or illness that they don't want people to know about. the state of someones health can be a very personal topic at times

there are a large number of reasons why hospitals and doctors should be careful what information is passed on, and to whom

the data protection act is there to protect people. and as pointed out in other posts, it's not just to protect the individual who's data is held, but to protect those who are responsible for looking after the data

partly the reason why you have to give data over when calling is because operators have to key in that data to gain access to records at times, to prevent staff from snooping on peoples private records. there have been a number of cases in the past where staff have been fired from banks or mobile phone companies for looking into peoples private details, such as finding out how much money famous people have, or the telephone numbers they've been ringing. by requiring data to be keyed in at the intial stage it helps prevent all that.
 

Pat_C

Well-known Member
or someone could know the person lives alone, and wants to know how long they are going to be kept in, so they could burgle the house in peace
So they request the husband attends the hospital, leaving the house empty :rolleyes:
 

Pat_C

Well-known Member
Same with British Gas. But your account number in and then a voice on the phone asks you for it again..
They must send their staff on the same Advanced Time Wasting courses :)
 

The latest video from AVForums

Movies Podcast: Star Trek in 4K. Is the new boxset worth it?
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Latest News

T+A announces high end 200 Series audio components
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Trinnov Altitude update adds new features
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Panasonic TVs welcome Disney+
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Audio Research announces I/50 integrated valve amp
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Loewe confirms return to luxury TV market
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom