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Author Topic: GDPR and British Gas  (Read 270 times)

Bowdon

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GDPR and British Gas
« on: September 27, 2018, 11:30:24 PM »

Ok, after a few days of mysterious phone automated messages I finally answered the phone to a human. It turns out that it was a debt recovery company working on behalf of British Gas for a debt I apparently owed them. The call I answered was at 8am so I was still waking up and only operating at 50%. So I said put it in writing.

When I was fully awake I thought, "Why is British Gas chasing me for a debt? I've never been a customer of theirs!

So at some point I'm going to challenge the validity of the debt. But I was wondering what the implications for GDPR is in this case? I've never been a customer of British Gas yet they are holding details on me to the point of mistakenly issuing a debt recovery company to come after me. So they not only have obtained my details in a non-direct way, but they are also abusing them.

So what could be the GDPR consequences on what they have done?

I'm asking here as I remember the GDPR talk a while back.
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banger

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Re: GDPR and British Gas
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2018, 11:42:37 PM »

Sure it is not a scam? I had SSE billing me for someone elses gas at another house, had to contact Ofgem and raise a complaint before it escalated. Hopefully it is now solved.
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Tim
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renluop

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Re: GDPR and British Gas
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2018, 11:44:27 PM »

Did the caller actually use your name? Being simple minded, I'm thinking misinput number!
I'll leave GDPR to others.
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burakkucat

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Re: GDPR and British Gas
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2018, 12:16:37 AM »

I would suspect it to be a scam.

Did you take a note of the number from which the call originated? Was it a valid number? Or just something that had been made up?
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banger

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Re: GDPR and British Gas
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2018, 01:11:39 AM »

I have been getting BT automated messages the last few days, "your internet line is compromised!" in an American accent. I just hang up when I hear that but it is annoying.
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Tim
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Weaver

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Re: GDPR and British Gas
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2018, 03:05:17 AM »

@banger - can you block that nuisance number, or is it different every time?
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banger

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Re: GDPR and British Gas
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2018, 03:12:16 AM »

It's a spoofed number and different every time. I have BT Call Protect but it is not an international number.
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Tim
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jelv

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Re: GDPR and British Gas
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2018, 07:45:40 AM »

I'm always struck by what a wonderful caring company BT are - even to users who are not one of their customers.

Four times in the last week I've been rung by their technical department to tell me there is a problem with my broadband.
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burakkucat

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Re: GDPR and British Gas
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2018, 03:35:57 PM »

Once I get the opportunity to speak, I tell the caller that --
  • All calls are automatically recorded
  • I was not born yesterday
  • I'm not interested in their latest scam
  • Goodbye
and then keep the call held until they clear it down. All the time I keep them occupied then it is less time that they have to try it on with someone else, possibly gullible and elderly.
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Bowdon

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Re: GDPR and British Gas
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2018, 04:32:55 PM »

renluop - yes the automated call asked for me. It sounded a bit like when I have a hospital appointment sometimes an automated call will happen a few days before, a reminder, and it will say my name in a computerised voice.

I did the 1471 to get the number and when I typed it in to google it came up on one of these who called me sites and people were leaving comments saying they were a debt company. The company is Moorcroft Debt Recovery and apparently they work with some of the big companies, including British Gas.

I suspect one of two things might have happened.

1. They have the details wrong and sent it to Moorcroft.
2. The details might be might dad, though he always ends up being in credit with these energy companies, and he hasn't been with them in over 6 years (which apparently is the legal time limit on debts).

I noticed both the calls came from the same number (I'm not sure if I can write the number on a public forum?). After me telling them to write to me I have now blocked their number. The second call woke me up at 8am so I was still groggy and being woke up like that sets a bad health tone for the rest of the day.

I've heard a lot of people say that I should ignore communicating with Moorcroft and just deal with British Gas. I'm awaiting this letter from Moorcroft, so I have the details of this alleged debt, then I'm going to write to British Gas asking them 1. Why do they have my information, enough for Moorcroft to identify me, when I've never been a customer, and 2. Why haven't they attempted to contact me directly about the fictious debt?

So far no call today, and no letter so far.
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j0hn

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Re: GDPR and British Gas
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2018, 04:45:18 PM »

Check your credit file for any mention of debt to British Gas or the debt company in question.
They can either buy the debt from the company or earn a commission for collecting it on their behalf.

When you leave a property always remember to cancel the utilities and give them a final reading from the meters.
If you don't do this then the next resident can just quote a higher figure as the starting meter reading, meaning the previous tenant would be charged for the unaccounted usage.

I've also never had to verify my identity when registering with gas/electric if it is a prepay meter.
That leaves utility identity theft a very easy avenue for those looking to save a quick buck.
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: GDPR and British Gas
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2018, 08:31:17 PM »

Tread carefully with British Gas, they are very spectacularly incompetent, when it comes to legal agreements,    Some (many) years time ago, I had a very bizarre encounter with British Gas’s “privacy” policy....

I sold the home I owned, notified them, and billing was all sorted and finalised.  All well and good.  I was actually moving in with current better half, who already owned another home.

British gas however, transfered the new home account to my name.   They said they’d been notified it should be done, but would not say (for “privacy reasons”) who told them to do the transfer.   But it could only have been the people who bough my house, a miss understanding,  simply notifying them of the change.

Amazingly, they were unable to undo the transfer, despite having no evidence that I ever agreed to it.   Took umpteen hours of grumpy phone calls and eventually a written statement by better half, that she was the legitimate account holder, and wanted to remain so.

Emphasise, they are not competent people, and are not nice people.

All of above is of course just my own opinion.
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