Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.
Is the default correct please?
there was an option to take the service to a new residence and avoid the fees which were charged, but as we were not able to do this right away (we had to move twice) it was not clear whether the bill for the final agreement cancellation was due or not. Further, we did not receive the letter stating intent to default. we paid after we were able to establish that we would not be able to extend the broadband agreement. So from our view, we did not default. However virgin has changed their policies and no longer has this option for customers who move, and I am sure our case was not investigated thoroughly, they just decided not to remove the default.
But is the data accurate?
that we did not pay for 6 months, yes, except as I just described as the bill was not necessarily due.
isn't there something in law that a penalty should be proportionate?
Ok - you have several options:
1) Complain to the Information Commissioner
They can examine your complaint for free
They are independent and are based at: www.ico.gov.uk
2) Or you can take it to Court
Section 14 of the Data Protection Act states:
If a court is satisfied on the application of a data subject that personal data of which the applicant is the subject are inaccurate, the court may order the data controller to rectify, block, erase or destroy those data and any other personal data in respect of which he is the data controller and which contain an expression of opinion which appears to the court to be based on the inaccurate data.
Therefore you can apply to the Court to have it rectified, blocked or destoyed.
You would need to issue proceedings for this using form N1
The Court would then list the matter and decide whether to make the order
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
isn't that a very expensive way to proceed? What is the best way to threaten action without actually taking it, is there anything which can get the CEO's attention about this case? Doesn't the company have to issue a letter stating that they will be issuing a default before doing so? Is there no consumer body which can help with this?
The only thing you can do is go to the ICO
They are a consumer / government body
isn't there an ombudsman or someone who governs situations where there is a disputed bill? I am American and this extremely harsh situation is unheard of in the US.
also, what about the principle of proportionality of penalty?
The Data Protection Act does not cover that
The information is either accurate or it is not
Can I clarify anything else?
so it is accepted fact here that if you dont pay one diluted bill you can't get a mortgage for 6 years and no one has challenged the legality of that in court.
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