At the Utility Warehouse, we look after all your personal information carefully. We adhere strictly to the requirements of the UK Data protection Act 1998 and, in accordance with this Act, we are registered on the public register of data controllers which is looked after by the Information Commissioner.
This privacy notice tells you what you can expect when we collect personal information about you. It explains the type of information that we collect about you, and how we use and look after it. Please do take a moment to read this privacy notice so that you will understand how we use your personal information. We may need to update this notice from time to time.
When we first obtain personal information from you, or when you take a new service or product from us, we will always ask you if you want to receive information from us about other services or products. You can normally do this by ticking a box on the application form, whether it is online or on paper. If you then change your mind please contact Customer Services.
Information we collect
When you become a member of the Utility Warehouse and request services from us, or request information about our services, we may need to collect certain information about you to process your request. Also, when you contact us, in any way, we may update your personal information or customer records. This will allow us to provide you with a higher level of customer care.
The information we will normally collect about you will be:
- Your name, address, email, telephone number(s), energy supply numbers, payment details and service details;
- Your transaction history and a record of all communications;
- Information about your use of our services, including usage amounts and call records;
- Information from your previous energy supplier that will allow us to take over your energy supply, such as information about meter readings and equipment that you may owe that supplier; and
- We may supplement the information that we collect from you and your use of services from information that we receive from third parties. This may include, for example, gathering your energy supply numbers from the Electricity Central Online Enquiry Service or the GB Address Group, or validating your credit/debit card details from a credit reference agency.
Using your information
We collect information about you to enable us to provide you with the services that you have requested, to manage your account and to provide you with great customer service.
We may also monitor and record any communications that we have with you, including telephone conversations, to make sure that we are providing you with a good service and meeting all our regulatory and legal responsibilities.
If you provide us with any personal data or sensitive information about yourself or an additional account holder (such as health details, or any criminal convictions) you agree (and confirm that the person the information is about has agreed) that we can use the information in the way set out in this privacy notice.
If you have given us your mobile phone number or email address (or both), we may use the information to send you service messages or other similar information (by text message or email). The aim is to help us manage your account. We will not use the information for marketing purposes unless you have agreed that we can. You must let us know if your mobile phone number or email address changes so that we can keep this information up to date.
The main uses of your personal information are:
- For credit and credit related services and to manage your account;
- To provide you with other services and updates;
- To provide access to privileged areas of the website;
- To identify other products or services that might be suitable for you;
- To create statistics, test computer systems, analyse customer information, create profiles and create marketing opportunities (including using information about what you buy from us and how you pay for it);
- To help train our members of staff;
- To recover debts;
- To prevent and detect fraud or money laundering;
- To update our records about you;
- To check your identity; and
- To improve and develop our services.
When we process your application we may use automated scoring methods to analyse your credit worthiness and verify your identity.
Disclosing your personal information
There are certain circumstances where we may need to disclose your personal information to a third party, these include:
- To verify your identity;
- To third party organisations who will help supply the services that you have requested. For example, if you are an energy customer this might include gas transporters, metering operators and our meter reading agency, and if you are a telephony customer, this might include network operators;
- To our Authorised Distributors, where they may choose to contact you to personalise your experience or give you information about our other services that could save you money, unless you have requested otherwise;
- To credit reference agencies. We may need to make credit checks on you to help us make decisions about your ability to pay for the services you have requested, to prevent fraud or to recover debt. When we search the files of a credit reference agency, a record will be kept of that search. Additionally, details of how you conduct your account may also be disclosed to the agency. This information may be used by other organisations in assessing applications from you and members of your household;
- To fraud prevention agencies, where we have reason to believe there may be fraudulent activity;
- To content partners or advertisers;
- To help manage any loyalty or reward schemes;
- In order to obtain professional advice, whether as part of current or future legal action;
- If you hold an insurance policy with us, to the relevant insurer, to manage that policy;
- If we need to investigate or prevent a crime;
- If the law permits or requires us to, or if any regulatory or governmental body (such as Ofgem and Ofcom, or any organisation that takes over their roles) requests or requires us to, even if you have not consented;
- If there is a duty to the public to reveal the information;
- If you have not paid any debt to us, we may use third party organisations to pursue such debt, which may mean providing them with relevant details about you and the debt;
- If we believe that you or a member of your household needs any extra care (perhaps because of age, health or disability) we may share this information with social services, healthcare and other support organisations if we believe that they will be able to help you by making sure that there is an energy supply to your home or to other energy suppliers, if you are considering changing, in line with the Energy Retail Association 'Safety Net Procedures';
- If requested by you, to the Telephone Preference Service; or
- To your new energy supplier, information such as your meter readings or equipment you may owe us, so that they can begin to supply your gas and electricity.
In accordance with the principles of the Data Protection Act, we will ot otherwise disclose any of your personal information to a third party, unless we have your consent.
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Protecting your information
We have strict security systems in place to protect your personal information. All our members of staff will follow a careful identification process before any personal data is disclosed and all the personal information we hold about you can only be accessed by authorised members of staff.
In meeting the data protection principles set out in the Data Protection Act, we aim to ensure the security of our systems through adopting best practice:
- Starting with security in mind when designing our systems including security layers;
- Implementing design principles within our infrastructure (e.g. use of DMZ and firewalls); and
- Adopting security safeguards against attacks (e.g. internal and external monitoring of network traffic use and carrying out regular penetration tests).
In order to protect our data we adopt security policies which provide working guidelines to our staff as well as enforce controls and procedures in line with the DPA security principles and other industry-specific compliance requirements.
These security policies do not permit the disclosure of how we implement our controls over the use and management of personal data as to do so would pose a threat to ourselves and to the personal information that we hold.
Accessing your information
We welcome your requests to provide you with copies of any personal information that we hold about you. If you would like to have access to your personal information, please write to us specifying what type of information you would like us to provide copies of. We will ask you for a £10 charge to cover the administration cost. If we are holding any information about you that is incorrect, let us know and we will update it as soon as we can.
For a personal information request please write into the Correspondence Department, Utility Warehouse, enclosing a cheque or postal order for £10 made payable to Telecom Plus PLC.
Links from this site to other sites
Please be aware that our site may provide access to other websites by linking to them. We are not responsible for the data policies (including data protection and cookies), content or security of these linked web sites.