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Having sent a SAR to FU, I have received a pile of documents and a disc with 3 calls on it (All left on voicemail) I am checking paperwork just now but the audio files are very scant compared to what I remember.

These were all received within the 40 day deadline but are definitely incomplete.

Don\'t let the B**tards grind you down

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Having sent a SAR to FU, I have received a pile of documents and a disc with 3 calls on it (All left on voicemail) I am checking paperwork just now but the audio files are very scant compared to what I remember.

These were all received within the 40 day deadline but are definitely incomplete.

 

When I got my SAR back from First Utility, it included screen prints/notes from all the telephone calls I had with them, so even if they didn't record all the conversations (it would have been good practice for them to have done so), you should at least have some sort of record of all your telephone calls. Check these notes with what's on the audio files, does it match up?

 

If you find any calls that are missing - or indeed anything else that it missing - you will need to be very clear with them about what is missing. Dates/times/who dealt with it etc. They are likely to either ignore you or say you have everything, though I would hope they've learnt their lessons from my story. Keep pressing with them if they are like this, and don't be afraid to take things further.

Any pearls of wisdom that I give on the CAG forums is based on previous experiences and knowledge I have gained from being on these forums.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I reminded FU that they had not given me recordings/dialogues of all the phone conversations, particularly a call made at the start of 2012 and although the call is entered on my account log (3 days later) with the name of the agent, and I supplied them with the date and duration of the call, they say there is no recording.

This call is very important as it dealt with the "loyalty offer" that FU were using to attract customers, an offer they deny existed and has also been dismissed by the Energy Ombudsman.

 

Where to now? ICO or a letter before action?

Don\'t let the B**tards grind you down

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If you were to send a letter before action, where are you planning on taking it if First Utility don't respond? ICO? County Court?

 

My personal feeling is if you are aiming to catch them by claiming a Data Protection Act breach, then unless you are 100% confident they have a recording of that call that they are choosing not to hand over or you have some other evidence where they say they record all calls, you are going to find it hard to say this is a DPA breach. While it's in their best interests to record all calls, they don't have to, and a judge nor the DPA can ask them to 'magic up' a recording.

 

If you were to go down the county court route and claimed a small amount, First Utility might decide to settle in the hope that you will go away, but they will probably be adamant that they have given you everything. Alternatively, they might call your bluff and go the whole way. Would you be prepared to do this?

 

Your case may not be hopeless, there may be a different angle to persue instead of data protection, but I'll need to re-read your thread to work that one out.

 

If you still wanted to go ahead, a letter before action is best. If it went to court, a judge will want to see that you exhausted all other avenues. Give them 14 days notice and send it recorded delivery (or even better, special delivery - costs you more but that's guaranteed next day delivery).

 

In my view, the ICO can be a bit hit-and-miss. No harm in getting them involved at this stage if you want to claim a DPA breach, but let First Utility know you are involving them (if you are using county court as your way forward if they don't respond). I would use them as a back-up rather than as your main way of dealing with potential DPA breaches.

Any pearls of wisdom that I give on the CAG forums is based on previous experiences and knowledge I have gained from being on these forums.

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Having re-read your thread, this is the first time that you mention a "loyalty offer".

 

What did this entail? Did you actually take them up on it? Did this lead to some of the problems you've had with them? What did you previously complain to First Utility and the Energy Ombudsman about?

 

Just trying to understand now what exactly has happened.

Any pearls of wisdom that I give on the CAG forums is based on previous experiences and knowledge I have gained from being on these forums.

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I was originally with Scottish Power for approx 5 years, decided to try U-Switch for a cheaper provider and FU came up as the cheapest.

 

I informed Scottish Power I would be moving providers and set the wheels in motion, I was contacted by Scottish Power and they basically matched the FU offer, I decided I would stay with Scottish Power and they tried to reverse the transfer.

 

Scottish Power wrote to me and said they could not get me back, so I contacted FU, who asked about my quotes and stated that I would also be entitled to a loyalty bonus of 10% of my usage up to £300, this of course swung the deal to FU and we arranged Direct Debit amounts and the day of paying the DD, this they did not carry out, putting me on a much lower repayment, I then cancelled the DD as it was not correct, FU were unable to resurrect the DD and are still unable to do so.

 

In my complaint to the Ombudsman, FU said such a deal never existed and was not on my account, although I have since found out that several customers had written to The Guardian regarding non payment of this bonus, martin Lewis site covers these cases, some customers are getting this bonus year upon year.

 

The phone call I am looking for covers the bonus offer, that it is why it so important.

Don\'t let the B**tards grind you down

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So it's not in writing then? That's a shame.

 

As I stated in post #29, whilst it's a good idea for them to record all their calls, they don't have to and you are going to struggle to prove that a recording does exist. If they have a screen note for this call (which you say they have but dated three days late if I am understanding you correctly), this may be all they have and are relying on their screen notes (which will tend to be brief and missing key info).

 

Going down the letter before action or ICO route is probably going to result in you going round in circles at best because this doesn't seem to be a DPA issue, though I did give some suggestions on how best to do it if you were still determined.

 

Believe me, I dislike First Utility as much as you do, and I was appalled at the way they record things and keep data when I got my SAR, but I think you are going to be onto a loser if you base any potential claim on a DPA issue.

Any pearls of wisdom that I give on the CAG forums is based on previous experiences and knowledge I have gained from being on these forums.

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Having worked in a SKY call centre and been involved in call monitoring, every call is recorded, and as the operators name is on the log it should be quite easy to trace.

 

They have acknowledged my complaint regarding the missing call (first of three) and are going to search again, as you say it may not be found (LOL)

Don\'t let the B**tards grind you down

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Well, it's great you've worked in a call centre where all calls are monitored and recorded and know how it should work, sadly they're not all like this.

 

My understanding on the laws regarding businesses recording calls was that it actually falls under several different laws, but ultimately it is a 'may record' and not a 'must record'. Happy to be proved wrong though.

 

It's good that they are going to look into the missing call for you, hope you get the outcome you want.

Any pearls of wisdom that I give on the CAG forums is based on previous experiences and knowledge I have gained from being on these forums.

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  • 1 year later...

Well we are now a further 2 years on,

 

 

despite telling them that all communication should now be in writing,

I have had no bills,

no requests for meter readings and no reminders.

 

 

I paid 2K to them May 2015 and have heard nothing since,

apart from a reminder from a debt company December 2016,

 

 

I raised an "account in dispute" letter and so the correspondence started flowing,

the letter was acknowledged and their reply was actually sent to the wrong address!!!!

 

I have sent them a photograph of the meters and an updated bill has arrived,

i am now due them £7,200.00 approx,

 

 

along with the £2K I have paid them my usage is in the region of £9K for the 5 years, a figure I was expecting.

 

I can pay this debt,

but should I do it and move to Small Claims for compensation for them being a crap company?

 

 

Energy Ombudsman is just a waste of time.

 

Any thoughts from anyone?

Don\'t let the B**tards grind you down

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  • 9 months later...
  • 1 month later...

ofgem stats q3 2017 'Complaints received by medium-sized suppliers per 100,000 customer accounts' - 'first utility '1,837'. more than the others in category apart from utilita

IMO

:-):rant:

 

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