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BT Data Protection Failure - Need views for court action!!.

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If anyone has any suggestions or thoughts it would be a great help, as I am about to start court proceedings for breach of DPA

End of last year, I moved house and advised BT of my move and new address for the final bill to be sent there. I did not need to transfer my BT line as my new place had virgin (believe it or not but the service I have received has been excellent). My previous landlord wanted to keep the land line number as it was a very easy number. I moved due to personal reasons with the landlord and lets say we did not leave on the best of terms. I spoke to BT told them of the situation that the number had to be released, and my account closed down and for me to get a final bill. After a month I was still getting hassle from my landlord that the number had not been released. So I contacted BT numerous times explained the situation that I had not had a final bill etc.. BT could not release this number until the bill had been paid. Each time I contacted BT I explained I had moved and gave my new address on a couple of occasions.

Then in Jan, I ended up visiting my old address and picked up some post from BT. It was a letter explaining that my final bill had not been paid and that debt collectors were going to be appointed. This letter was already a couple of weeks old. I contacted BT again, explained the situation, new address and explained they had failed DPA for not keeping my records up to date. I requested again a final bill and that I wanted a call before the situation went any further. I advised them if this was not done, I would take legal action against them.

About 4 weeks later, I visited my old address (This was very distressing). I had post, this time from BT debt collection agency demanding money before court action! I contacted them and explained the situation, gave them my new address. They have been helpful in putting it on hold so I could log a formal complaint with BT. So I wrote BT a formal letter outlining the situation and what had happen. I asked them to sort this in adult manner (borrowed some of the wordings from the Bank template letters) and asked them that I was seeking compensation for distress for failure to meet DPA by keeping my details up to date. On the letter, I explained that if I had not heard back within 28 days I would start court proceedings and would claim the maximum compensation of £5000. I also requested a Subject Access Release. I sent letter by email and received a confirmation they had received it. 14 days later I had heard nothing so I sent a follow up letter and attached the original. Last Friday was when the 28 days were up. I am now waiting till Friday as this is when their 40 days are up on Subject Access Request is up.

As I have not heard anything, I am starting to put together my case; 1-failure to keep my details up to date, 2-failure to release the information requested by me.

The information request will be my evidence in court as to when I contacted them and the discussions I had showing me updating them of my address on numerous occasions.

My view is BT have failed in 3 areas of DPA. The second area is prohibiting me in proving the first to the court. If they do somehow provide the info I will then have evidence they have failed in keeping my details up to date.

The 3rd which I have not mentioned is passing on incorrect details to a third party.

Any suggestions or thoughts??

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I am thinking of contacting BT in the next day or so and saying I am about to/have start court action.

Would they like to offer a settlement before it goes any further.


Does anyone think this will be worth it?

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What you fail to realise is that is not within your gift to 'prosecute' BT for DPA failings. Only the ICO can do this, so your action would be fairly pointless. It would appear it boils down to incompetence on their part - and that is allowed (providing it is not endemic).


Quite what you could take them to court for eludes me. You would need to raise an action for money, but prove some financial loss, which there doesn't appear to have been any. If they've been that bad, then clearly moving to VM has released you from their clutches, but apart from them (possibly) getting their corporate hand hit with a ruler, this isn't going to do much in the scale of things.

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The Courts do have powers to order compensation,but as Raymond rightly says you would need to demonstrate and show that BTs actions had caused you stress damage harm etc etc.

Its highly likely that a court would also want to see that you had served a section 10 notice and that such notice was served in compliance of ICO guidelines.


If there is supporting evidence in your SAR then of course that will be a good start.

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

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I have sent BT a letter today, advising they have failed to supply my information under SAR, and that they now have 7 days to provide it before I go to the courts, this would have then given them 47 days to comply and they have had 3 requests!!


I am currently working out costs of distress and damage (time spent trying to sort this all out)

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