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Virgin, mystery extra line: 2 judgments for Data Protection breaches - so far!!


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Oh well, I suggest that you send them the reminder about the expiry date so that they have a paper trail and they have an opportunity to object if they want when they get the letter of claim

Do you send that latest SAR by email or by letter?

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Letter sent recorded delivery. Today I will be registering on Moneyclaim and start preparing- the last 2 days have been getting the shop shut down for lockdown so now that's dealt with I have plenty m

These are the two incidents from Virgin Chat where their Live chat has informed me of the 'only 3 months' decision.... 15 April was the date they acknowledged receipt of my SAR.   Apparently

Happy news! Cheque for Warrant 2 (£302) has arrived in the post today Now to put in the N445 form to switch addresses for Warrant 1 as well...

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So, have you applied for judgement?

 

I jumped the gun and changed the thread title

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  • BankFodder changed the title to Virgin, mystery extra line: 2 judgments for Data Protection breaches - so far!!

Applied for judgment on Saturday and Sunday and this morning-as before, it's saying I can't yet as the required number of days have not yet passed. I shall still keep trying until moneyclaim says it's good to go through.

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We now have a judgment gone through!

So the state of play is:

Claim 1-JUDGMENT ISSUED(£302)- being dealt with by Sunderland Crown Court bailiffs. According to moneyclaim, the 'final return result' (whatever that might be) went through today

 

Claim 2-JUDGMENT ISSUED(£225)- judgment issued today, warrant applied for.

 

 SAR request for mystery line-deadline expires on Thursday-if no reply I shall put in a further claim as they have still not complied with the request within the timeline specified by law.

 

I wonder how many CCJ's they are going to collect on this?

Is it going to be a perpetual cycle of submit SAR,no reply,submit claim,no reply,get judgment,no reply,send bailiffs in? 

 

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Well it won't be a perpetual cycle but if they don't make a disclosure in respect of the mystery phone number, and you obtain a judgement – and then the failure to disclose continues and I think that is the time that we will take a more serious measure either by bringing a part 8 claim or else by making a very much more substantial demand of, say, £750.

That should galvanise them into action – and if it doesn't and you haven't get judgement for that then that is sufficient to put the High Court enforcement officers in. That should be enough to get someone asking what is going on and then maybe we will be able to unravel the problem.

I expect that we will be able to bring this to a head within a reasonable short time – and in the meantime, the judgement sums are all money in the bank and have nothing to do with the money which you will eventually claim for the damage they caused you in respect of the mystery phone number

 

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So once again jumping the gun slightly, it looks as if you will be sending another letter of claim tomorrow.

Clearly this is getting very stressful and I'm sure you are very distressed – within the meaning of the Data Protection Act.

On that basis I would suggest that you send them a letter of claim without too much detail but pointing out that there mishandling of your account and your personal data and the repeated refusal to provide you with personal data is now causing extreme distress because their failure to provide you with the information you need to establish how the mismanagement of your account occurred are unable to resolve the problem to address the substantive damage which has been caused.
In particular you have both recently sent them a statutory quest for data disclosure dated XXX and despite a reminder from you they have failed to make the disclosure.
Therefore you require the disclosure and you require a payment of £620 by way of compensation for the increased distress they are causing you by their repeated breach of their data protection obligations.
By failing to comply once again with the statutory deadline, their breach of their statutory duty is complete but you are giving them a further 14 days to make the disclosure but also to pay the compensation and if your demands are not met in full then you will see them in the County Court and without any further notice.

It's important here that you only refer to the distress caused by the statutory disclosure breach. We don't want them later on to be able to say that compensation which they have paid you is also intended to address the mangling of your account and your data record caused by the opening of this mysterious account in your name. That has to be a completely separate issue.

It's important that your SAR legal actions are strictly limited to the failure to disclose.

Of course it would be extraordinary if this letter of claim is ignored and even more extraordinary if you manage to get a judgement for £620 – but if you do, then you should put the sheriffs in and that will certainly serve as the wake-up call which will help us to start moving forward on dealing with the substantive issue.

Even if you don't get the judgement – an action for this value should be enough to make somebody start asking what on earth is going on.

Of course bring action for this value will cost you slightly more and even if it comes to nothing, will make sure that these expenses are addressed in the final accounting.

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One last thing is that they may start leaping into action and offer to sort out your account for you. I would suggest that you absolutely insist on receiving all the data and written explanations of how it happened.

Don't forget that ultimately, there is the issue of mismanaging your account because to have opened this mystery account they must have used personal data which is in the possession in respect of the legitimate account and to do that they would have breached their contract to you.
Also, to have opened this mystery account they must have breached the data protection act in that they have failed to process your data accurately or lawfully.
So merely an offer to sort it out – probably with some derisory offer of compensation – would, in my view, be unacceptable.

Also, an offer from them to sort it out might simply include an offer to "correct the record". This also would be unacceptable. Every trace of this on any credit file relating to you must be completely faced. They must disclose the identities of any third parties to whom the inaccurate data has been disclosed and then we will have to examine what other damage might have been caused by this.
I think eventually a full letter of apology with a complete explanation as to how this has happened should be insist upon.

Finally, they have a duty to report all data protection breaches to the ICO. I expect they probably have never done that in their lives – but you can insist they will do this time.

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Well that last post was rather timely as I received an email today from the ICO about my complaint. 

 

According to them 

'If they have not done so already, we expect Virgin Media to fully address your complaint by telling you what they are going to do to put things right or if they believe they have met their data protection obligations by explaining how they have done so. We expect them to contact you within 30 days'

 

So the clock is ticking on that too for Virgin...

 

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Well they haven't met the deadline – so I suppose it's letter of claim tomorrow.

Let's know if you decide to claim for £620. I'm sure the amount of distress you have been suffering is quite severe and worth at least £620. Nothing to do with the fact that you can put the sheriffs in as well

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Letter of claim sent. However, it seems we have another hitch- I have received a rather badly typed note from the court stating that the warrant has not been executed as it is 'generally unenforceable-address does not exist'. This is the address that is given by Virgin on their site as their Complaints Department. 

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Is that the same address which was used for the issue of the claim papers?

Is there also the same address which was used for the issue of the first claim and for that warrant of execution?

Is it the same address as was used for the SARs?

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It is indeed the same address that I have used all the time for claim papers and SARs.

Just to confirm,this is the warrant for the first claim that has come back-issued on 18/1- it seems that this is the 'final return' that appeared on the Moneyclaim site for this warrant on 9/2.

 

 

Warrant2.png

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Well if it really turns out to be a wrong or out of date address, then it gives us a problem.

Although it might be the wrong address on their website and their fault for not keeping it up-to-date, it would mean that they have got the grounds were set aside although they would have to reimburse your costs.

This may well set us back completely.

What was the address that you used?

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The address I used for all complaints,letters of claim etc. was Complaints Department, Virgin Media, Sunderland SR43 4AA. That's the address quoted in their Consumer Complaints Code of Practice.

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I'm afraid that we probably have a problem.

The problem is that although this may be a valid postal address, it is not a physical address. It actually doesn't exist. Many big companies simply have various postcodes which really are simply nothing more than letterboxes – or the equivalent of box numbers. That means that although correspondence which is sent to those postcodes would arrive at the correct department, when there is then an attempt to enforce a judgement involving a physical visit, it is impossible to enforce.

Did you say at some point earlier in this thread that they had been reference to the claim which had started? This would be helpful if there had been because at least this would show that they were aware of the claim and that would block a set-aside application.

However, I'm afraid that in the case of bailiff enforcement – it's a nonstarter.

If it is there published address and they are receiving correspondence there then there is no doubt that they are in breach of the SAR. However, it may be that action will you have taken subsequently is wasted.

Let us know if they have referred to your original action. I have a sense that you did say something at some point

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I haven't read back through the whole thread but what is the full legal name of the virgin company your contract is with and which you have won judgement against? Is it Virgin Media Ltd, for example? If so look it up on Companies House and find the full street address of its Registered Office. It's a statutory requirement for UK that this is published at Companies House as the address for service of official documents.

 

If, for example, it is Virgin Media Ltd then Companies House gives this Registered Office address

 

https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/02591237

Edited by Ethel Street
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I'm not sure whether it is possible to present a new address for the execution of a warrant. Maybe my site team colleague @Andyorch can help on this point

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OK I've been in touch with Sunderland County Court and I'll have to get back in touch with them tomorrow to speak to the bailiff in person .

 

What I've been told is that it isn't simply a 'not known at this address' because they've moved or the address given was incorrect in which case it would have to be redone completely. Apparently, there's another company they deal with regularly where the SR43 postcode doesn't exist, it's just a maildrop, so any court business automatically gets reissued to a specific address where there is a physical building and they think that's what we might have to do here.

 

Apparently they can't just register a web of half a dozen different mailbox address for different departments so that the customer has to play roulette to find out which one is the 'correct' one, or that in fact none of them are. There has to be some location where papers can be filed, documents served etc. 

 

I'll see tomorrow what the bailiffs are able to do-if it's simply a matter of a different address in the same location, they may be able to amend it given that it was the company itself that supplied the incorrect information.

 

Meanwhile, they are living up to their usual high standards. This morning I received an email stating that my SAR had been received on 25/1. Which is not only two weeks after it was actually received, but contradicts their email of 4/2 stating it had been received on 1/2....

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Thanks. I have to say I was wondering what to do about it.

I think the next claim you issue should be against a street address.

I suppose that there will be a reaction to that – it will be interesting to see.
As you say, nice to see that they are up to their usual high standards. Just digging themselves further into a hole – I hope.

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I suggest that your next claim should be something like this:

Quote

The claimant seeks £X X X damages for distress caused by the defendant's continuing breach of their statutory duty in failing to disclose personal data within 30 days in response to a subject access request which was sent to them on X X X date.
The defendant's breach is continuing because they have already failed to respond to to previous SARs and in respect of which judgements were obtained on X X X day and X X X date and which remain unsatisfied.
The claimant's distress has been exacerbated by the continuing lack of cooperation by the defendant and the inability by the claimant to obtain copies of his personal data and which the claimant believes have been inaccurately and unlawfully processed.

 

I think that in particular with the difficulties of the address, it would be helpful to put this third claim in context so that virgin realises that things have been going badly wrong.

I suspect that by the time this gets sorted out, the second claim would have done it 30 days and will be registered against them as well.

 

 

 

 

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According to a thread on Virgin Media Community (dated May 2020) the Virgin Media premises in Sunderland are located at

 

Virgin Media

Unit 4, Pennywell Industrial Estate

Pennywell

Sunderland

SR4 9EN

 

This is the page https://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Managing-Your-Account-Cable/Cancelling-service/td-p/4251247

 

SR43 4AA is a large user non-geographic postcode but the premises of large users also have a normal street postcode for where their premises are physically located, SR4 9EN in this case. If you put SR4 9EN into the Royal Mail address finder it confirms that there is a Virgin Media premises on the Pennywell Industrial Estate with this postcode  https://www.royalmail.com/find-a-postcode

 

And if you put that address into Google Maps streetview there's a nice picture of the main entrance to it 😀

 

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Virgin+Media/@54.8944061,-1.4537378,3a,90y,22.36h,102.56t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1smmlWgrL4Ly2UAN0c8MSDSw!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo0.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DmmlWgrL4Ly2UAN0c8MSDSw%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D268.63086%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656!4m8!1m2!2m1!1sVirgin+Media++Unit+4,+Pennywell+Industrial+Estate++Pennywell++Sunderland++SR4+9EN!3m4!1s0x487e64f635e58f1b:0x9bdd71f7cad6a28e!8m2!3d54.8944066!4d-1.4534116 

 

Hope that's of some help.

Edited by Ethel Street
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Maybe you could send a picture of the entrance to the bailiffs and tell them that – X – marks the spot.

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So apparently the nice big building at Sunderland has no-one there at the moment-it's just being used as a storage for their vans.Although they have many different departments all over the place registered at Companies House,the bailiffs have recommended going with their address at 500 Brook Drive Reading as that's listed as their head office and where their finance department is so there will be someone who is physically present and has (supposedly) access and authority to get to some sort of money or goods when they turn up-it can be reissued for free but I'm not quite sure how to do that-apparently it needs a Form N445?

Meanwhile Virgin have sent more files which appear to be incomplete-certainly some are showing as not updated since 17/12/2020 but there is no way of seeing what has been added or amended to those that been have changed in January since once more they haven't sent the password and I'm being told since the number is no longer on their network they cannot send it...

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https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-n445-request-for-re-issue-of-warrant

 

Do you know which SAR these "more files" are in response to?

Your most recent SAR was directed at the mystery phone number

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In the reasons for re-issuing the warrant, I suggest that you put something like:

 

Quote

The address used for the pre-action protocol and for the issue of the claim is a correct address and subsequent exchanges with the defendant show that the defendant was aware of the claim which have been brought against them.
However, the address used in the claim – X X X address – is simply a postcode address and not the location of a physical building. Therefore although the defendants were fully aware of the proceedings which had been filed against them, there was no physical building for the bailiffs to visit in order to execute the warrant.
The new address which has been proposed for the reissue of the warrant is a proper physical trading address of the defendant.

 

I have suggested this wording because it is important to make sure that the court knows that the defendants are fully aware of the claim. If the court believed that the defendants had not been aware of the claim then they will probably refuse to reissue the warrant.

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