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How to aquire proof from business?


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Hi,

 

I phoned a shop sometime ago and had a series of conversations with their staff. They failed to honour their part of an agreement and now they have asked that I prove what was said during these conversations. Now as I don't routinely record my phone conversations, how would I go about acquiring any proof that they have as they provide the usual warning when phoning that 'this call maybe recorded for training purposes'.

 

So assuming that they did indeed record those calls, how would I go about acquiring copies of them?

 

Many thanks.

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If they did record the calls then you could send them an SAR

 

Don't expect too much though.

 

You should recod your calls as a metter of routine. Otherwise you will be a victim to this kind of thing all your life

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IF they recorded the calls, they remain their property and whilst you may ask for a transcript, they are not obliged to provide them. If the matter goes to court, then any evidence has to be disclosed to you, but if they choose not to use them, then you hare effectively stuffed. Always record your calls.

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IF they recorded the calls, they remain their property and whilst you may ask for a transcript, they are not obliged to provide them.
How so? I would have thought that recorded calls were classified as personal data, in that they are it "relates to a living individual who can be identified from the data, or from the data and other information which is in the possession of, or is likely to come into the possession of, the data controller".

 

As such, it falls under the auspices of the DPA, and the most that could be charged for a copy (or transcript) is £10.

 

If they have recorded the calls (for which consent would be required, per Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, among others), the data controlled should also have a data policy, which would included details on how long recordings are held for, and to ensure that the information is accessible customer on request.

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There is no requirement for actual recordings to be provided - transcripts are acceptable, however the DPA issue requires clarification. There can be a 1" logging tape that contains the voices of 10,000 callers over a month. THis would not be deemed 'personal' data as it is not specific to any particular subject unless the data is extracted. Since the cost of doing so (logging, finding, extracting and transcribing) if all this is to benefit the data subject, logic tells you it won't be done - or if it puts the company in a bad light, as 'no recording/transcript' identified. It probably does, but what you gonna do?

 

It's all very well stating what mightr happen - but these recordings are for the firms protection, not the OP's, and this should be borne in mind at all times.

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The actual recordings do not need to be provided, but a copy, or transcript as you point out, does. It does not matter that there are 10,000 callers recorded on the tape - it's enough that the OP has been recorded, and that it is possible for the data recorder to identify the OP on the basis of that recording, and on the basis of other information available to the data controller.

 

You're correct that it might cost them more than £10 to provide the info. Legislation, however, provides them with a maximum chargeable fee of £10.

 

They might choose not to provide the information, but that would put them in breach of the Act.

 

They might claim that they do not have the recording. If that was contrary to their retention policy, they would be in breach of the Act.

 

If they had no retention policy, that would put them in breach of the Act.

 

It might be the case that the company has a short term tape rotation policy, in which case it could be reasonable to say that they no longer had the recording. But, again, that might put them in breach of the Act, as their retention policy was too short for purpose.

 

The recording may be for the firm's protection, but they do seem to be putting themselves up for a heap of trouble.

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You have a simplistic view of how legislation will somehow come to the rescue of the OP, when experience shows that is doesn't.

 

They have to admit to having the information, in order for them to refuse to suply it. Do you think they will?

 

Their 'retention policy' is not legally binding - it is an aspiration, as such no breach of the Act - only if they have and refuse to provide.

 

A retention policy pays lip service to actuality. Unless the call is to an organisation that has a legal requireent placed upon them (and this doesn;t appear to be the case), mecanical or electronic breakdown or inadvertent deletion or non recording remains not only a possibility but allowerd (as one of thise things).

 

Since they've not admitted to even having a recording - they'll not be having difficulties in maintaining their position.

 

Bottom line, if you want to rely on recordings. Make your own. Don't expect by right a gift of a defence - in the bulk of cases, it just won't happen.

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You're misrepresenting my posts somewhat. I'm merely correcting a couple of assertions. I have consciously refrained from commenting on the likelihood of being able to use any DPA legislation in obtaining recordings which we, as you point out, aren't even certain might exist.

 

If they recorded the calls, they are obliged to provide them, for a maximum charge of £10. If they didn't it's an entirely moot point.

 

Enforcing compliance, on the other hand - That would mean the ICO, and years of waiting for, most probably, nothing much to happen.

 

I don't disagree with the suggestion to record your own calls.

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(1) Not 'assertions' - trueisms, more like.

 

Pat - You or I may well expect digital recordings, but I can assure you analog call recorders are alive and well, so it is not 'all' digital. Of those organisations recording to tape (possibly in addition to a digital file) included BT's emergency call handling centre in Glasgow, and my local Council's switchboard. I very much doubt they are alone in doing so.

 

Like MP3 players, HD recording isn't rocket science but it most certainly is more ephemeral. I'll agree that CCTV recordings to VHS have disappeared, but good ol' audio loves it. As for me, I use a Minidisc recorder for all my calls, but I still have a cassette machine in the drawer on case of a malfunction.

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Hi thanks for everyone's input on this, the issue is that people within the organisation said things but now those statements I'm told are simply 'untrue', so I'm asked to prove they exist. Persoally, I would ask they prove they weren't said, afterall they're the ones that record their calls aren't they :p

 

Obviously, if I knew things were going to go so badly, I would have recorded things, but alas it's too late now.

 

However, I can ask for transcripts providing dates\times of the calls and the correct way to do this is a simple Subject Access Request and a £10 postal order? If that's true, I'll get straight onto it.

 

Many thanks.

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Have you an established relationship with this company? And do they routinely advise that they record their calls? If the answer is no to both, you'll be wasting your money, as they probably won;t have the info you want, and a SAR does not bring up telephone calls unless the conversation was noted on your file at the time o the call.

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It is still worth doing the DSAR, if only to see what's there. You can be sure that the inconvenience of having to comply will make the business you're dealing with think about just giving you what you want.

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  • 2 months later...

Hello again,

 

Sorry to resurrect this old topic but for various reasons the 'DSAR' never got undertaken.

 

I am now about to go through the Small Claims Court in order to achieve my aims. This whole situation is about a broken TV. The company concerned essentially kept moving the goal posts regarding how much repairing the TV would cost ie: £300 Sir, at which point I threatened to take them to court, then they advised me 'did we say that oh no really we meant to say £200' then once they had the TV it was you must have spoken to a non-techie person but what's important is that we're waiting for payment of £575 and you can have your TV back.

 

They say that what I was told wasn't what I was told, so the only way I can go is to take them to court. What I wanted of course was to prove they gave me several prices and each time they have gone back on each in turn.

 

In answer to: My Real Name; Yes the company is listed as one of those who process such data. It's a national chain.

 

I would like help with the DSAR if at all possible? Specifically is there a template on the site somewhere?

 

If not, is there any particular information that I should include so as to get as much information as possible? I would like for instance a list of people who accessed my account because they've also told me that I've not called when I said I have called etc but seeing as I didn't keep any records of such things as when I was calling, I need to get such details from them.

 

Thank you for your time and any input you can offer.

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There is no such thing as DSAR. Do you mean SAR (a Subject Access Request)? As I mentioned last year, if they do not routinely update their files with the telephone conversations (only call centres do), you may be wasting your money.

 

Also even if they DO, there is every reason to assume that anything that will directly assist you may well be missing. By keeping your own records, you protect yourself and provide the information required to pursue them. It would be unrealistic to expect them to provide you with the ammunition to win in court (although anything is possible).

 

I'd ask first whether they record calls. If they don't - save your money.

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There is no such thing as DSAR. Do you mean SAR (a Subject Access Request)? As I mentioned last year, if they do not routinely update their files with the telephone conversations (only call centres do), you may be wasting your money.

 

Also even if they DO, there is every reason to assume that anything that will directly assist you may well be missing. By keeping your own records, you protect yourself and provide the information required to pursue them. It would be unrealistic to expect them to provide you with the ammunition to win in court (although anything is possible).

 

I'd ask first whether they record calls. If they don't - save your money.

 

They record their calls, they issue the warning everytime you call them that incase there is a problem later then they have a recording. I thought a 'DSAR' was a 'data subject action request'?

 

Is there some kind of template for this, as I can't seem to find anything other than a google search for such which leads me to warickshire council. Oh yes and as regards recording my calls from now on, not a problem as I purchased one of those TrueCall devices, it's just a shame we can't go back in time :(

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Do they record ALL calls, some calls, or just aay "we may record calls". Similarly, even if they do record ALL calls, they can wipe them weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

 

Although you are the 'data subject', it is called an SAR.

 

No template - are some firms have their own, you make known you wish to exercise your rights under the DPA and wish all material held concerning your interractions. They'll send a form and advise their fee. You need to write to their Data Controller usually at the head office address.

 

Good luck!

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one here, you'll need to alter to fit.

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/debt-collection-industry/190251-subject-access-request-template.html

 

also, who is suing who? if there is no evidence that a price was agreed then they might have trouble proving the terms of the contract, and the work would just be assessed on a reasonable basis.

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