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bh486

Eon - Sharing Information Without Signed Agreement?

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Good morning.

I was wondering if someone has the definitive answer to this one:

 

Is it still the case that a supplier has to have a consumer's signed agreement before they are allowed to share the consumer's information with a credit reference agency?

 

I have had an electricity and gas account with utilities supplier "Eon" since April 2011. It was arranged over the telephone. There is no signed agreement.

When the account was opened over the telephone they did not ask me to confirm that I agree to allow them to share my information with a credit reference agency, or indeed any other third party.

For the record, they also didn't state that they would be doing this at all.

 

From googling around they seem to be receiving quite a number of Injunctive Relief Orders from customers who believe that Eon has committed a breach of the Data Protection Act by sharing their info with Credit Reference Agencies, and appear to be being successful in having the account and all data removed from their file.

 

If they are actually legally allowed to share my information with credit reference agencies, I believe they have made some mistakes with my account and I am struggling to get them resolved.

 

1. My account began in April 2011 when we moved into the property. According to Experian it didn't begin until 6 months later in October 2011.

2. There are no payments, no information whatsoever recorded in the months between the incorrect start date of October 2011 and May 2012 inclusive.

3. There are 4 red "payment late" boxes recorded on the account between June and September 2012

4. There is no information recorded in the boxes between October and December 2012.

 

We were late for the payments between June and September 2012 - A combination of being outside UK and a regular problem with post not arriving.

This was resolved in December and we are no clearing the balance by direct debit. The first payment was made in December.

 

In a call to Eon this morning, I pointed out the incorrect account start date, and that in every other credit account that I have recorded on Equifax, both the positive and the negative information is recorded - So any payments that are made are shown in green and any payments that are late are shown in red.

 

I also pointed out that as this is not the case it looks to anyone checking my file that I have made absolutely no payments in the history of the account. Whilst all of my other credit history is excellent, this one misrepresented account it causing my credit score to be recored as "Very Poor".

 

I also pointed out that even if they had recorded all of the payments that I HAD made on the account, that because the account opening date was incorrectly reported by 6 months on my Equifax report, that ratio of payments made on time against those that weren't made on time over the incorrectly reported period of the account would also be inaccurate and look worse than it actually is.

 

The CSR I spoke with spoke a lady in Credit Reporting. The CSR came back to me and gave me the following answers via the lady in Credit Reporting:

 

1. Eon are aware that the start date of customers accounts are incorrect on Equifax. Apparently if they change the date at their end it reverts back to the incorrect date the following month.

 

2. As Eon didn't have a payment agreement with me at the time, they are unable to record the payments I made on my account.

I pointed out that if not having a payment agreement with them excludes them from being able to record the payments I have made in the months I have made them, then surely it also excludes them from recording the payments I haven't made in the months I haven't made them.........Apparently it doesn't work like that Sir, although no further explanation could be given.

 

3. I agreed in November 2012 to pay off the balance that was owed along with new usage monthly by direct debit beginning on December 3rd. Despite now having a payment agreement with them, Eon states that they do not display any information on any monthly payments that have been made by customers.....Only those payments that aren't made....So even with a payment agreement they're still only reporting the negative payment information and not the positive......Surely this isn't correct. No other organisation with whom I have a credit account reported on Equifax behaves like this....They record good and bad to give a fair and accurate picture of my credit worthiness.

Eon's behaviour just makes their customers look bad, even if they pay.

 

3. Eon reckons that the Data Protection Act allows them to share customers information with third parties including credit reference agencies without a signed contract or agreement with a customer because they point out that they will be doing so in their terms and conditions.

Even if that is the correct interpretation of the law and no signature or agreement by the customer is required, as far as I am aware Eon only started doing this in 2012 - They started supplying with gas and electricity long before this in April 2011 - I wonder if the fact that the account incorrectly shows that it begun 6 months later in October is something to do with the law changing?

 

Either way, I have never signed any contract or agreement with them of any kind. They never asked me if I wished to allow them to, or stated that they would share my information with any third party or credit reference agency when I started the account in April.

 

I have been advised by their CSR to write to the Ombudsman, or report anything I am unhappy with to Equifax who will report it back to the lady in Eon Credit Reporting.

Apparently it's pointless writing directly to Eon Credit Reporting - It smacks to me that Eon is chucking any old nonsense on Equifax reports, and relying upon Equifax to resolve their mistakes for them.

 

In the meantime, my credit rating is being seriously screwed up by one organisation's ineptitude.

 

Do I have grounds to threaten Eon with an Injunctive Relief Order? It seems to me that any other path could take a long, long time, and I would quite like to apply for a mortgage NOW!

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we have eon onboard here

 

i'm sure they can help

 

as for sharing data, it is std practice for util co's

to now reportd to cra's.

 

dx


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we have eon onboard here

 

i'm sure they can help

 

as for sharing data, it is std practice for util co's

to now reportd to cra's.

 

dx

 

It might be "standard practice" now, but is it legal, without a signed contract/agreement. The data protection act and cases won all suggest not.

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yes its in the T+C's you sign up too

 

dx


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Reclaim mis-sold PPI Read Here

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By taking the supply you agree to be bound by the terms and conditions which form the deemed contract as outlined in the Utilities Act 2000, so as DX mentions, it is legal and perfectly within the law

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Hi bh486

 

Just thought I'd pop on and give you a bit of background about our data sharing practices.

 

We've been sharing info with Credit Reference Agencies since 2011.

 

This is helps us assess credit risk more accurately so we can try to keep debt to a minimum.

 

The possibility of us sharing information with Credit Reference Agencies has been included in our customer's Terms and Conditions for some time now.

 

It does look, though, as if you've been given some poor advice. We don't just share payments information of customers who don't pay; we also share information on those who do. Consequently, customers who pay promptly receive monthly positive entries on their credit reports.

 

We also share how old the debt is at the time of sharing.

 

There's more info on our use of personal data on our website at the following link.

 

https://www.eonenergy.com/privacy/Use%20of%20your%20personal%20data

 

I'm sorry if we've given you some duff info in the past but hope this makes things a bit clearer.

 

Malc

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For Malc from EON,

Along with the price increases that take effect from 18th Jan 2014, the new terms and conditions insist that I agree to my data being used for 'research' purposes and that this will be with 'organisations' outside the European Economic Area.

 

What would a power supplier want to give personal data to anyone outside the EU. Perhaps you could elaborate on these 'organisations' and the sort of 'research' that my data will be used for?

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Hi Statch

 

Certain E.ON businesses are based outside of the EEA, hence the reference to this.

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The real reason that all of the utility companies are doing this is because so many people are in fuel poverty now they are afraid that no-one will pay their bills in the future so aretaking care to ensurwe they are chasing the right person when they call in the debt collectors. that is why they all ask for your telephone number ad date of birth when you contact them to complain about the shoddy customer ervice they provide.

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