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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Can my gas company just call up my my employee and discuss

Resolved Question:

Can my gas company just call up my my employee and discuss arrears with them?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Did the employee state they are able to discuss this with them?

Customer:

No the employee couldn't understand why she was talking to her about it and told me worried as she knows nothing about the account

Customer:

to make matters worse the company shouldnt have been calling the ombudsman have ordered them to send someone out to ensure the meters are correct on the 1st of July, all parties agreed to this. The staff member went against this and told my employee that they were going to obtain a warrant and remove the meter when this shoudlnt be the case and this is now going to likely affect this persons views on me and the business and the agency is from could be told!

Ben Jones :

Is this a business account with the provider?

Customer:

Yes a business account with an enerhy provider, apologies only now seeing this had a 12pm deadline to submit educational docs

Ben Jones :

Hi, not a problem, thanks for getting back to me. If this was a business account and the conversation only contained information about the business rather than an individual (i.e., it was not a personal account), then there would be no data protection breach by the provider because this would only concern information about a living individual, not a corporate body. As such the provider has not breached data protection regulations by discussing the account with the employee.


 


However, you could argue that they still breached general confidentiality if they did not discuss the issues with the account with the account holder, that being someone from the business with the authority to discuss the account. This is a matter that you can only really raise with the provider at first, by following their formal complaints procedure to full completion.


 


If the final outcome is still unsatisfactory then you are able to consider taking this issue to the Energy Ombudsman – a free service which can issue a binding decision on the company. Details of the full complaints process, including that to the provider first, can be found here:


 


http://www.ombudsman-services.org/complaining-to-the-company-energy.html


 


The final step is the courts, although it should only be used as a last resort. You would also need to show that you had suffered actual losses as a result of the company’s actions, something you would have to prove with evidence.


 


Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

Customer:

Thanks, ***** ***** account wasn't registered in a limited business name it was registered in my personal name as a sole trader so the arrears are against my personal name

Ben Jones :

ok if that was the case then a potential breach of personal data exists as well - the complaints proicess would be the same and again you can only claim for losses incurred as a result, although another route to complain would also be to the Informaiton Commissioner's Office, which deals with data protection breaches

Customer:

Thanks very much Ben, I will get onto those details!!

Ben Jones :

you are most welcome, all the best

Customer:

Have a great weekend, Stacey :)

Ben Jones :

And you too, thanks

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