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Message 1 of 7

Customer service call and GDPR

Hi, I can't find anywhere to fit this post as it relates to a customer service call.

The call was to help a friend get their BroadBand sorted but that got lost in the debacle that ensued.  I initially made the call and before I could get the account number from my friend I was cut off 15mins of my life wasted waiting. Second call waited 20mins and was asked for my name, I told her my first name then she went on to ask for my surname, contact details and my address, she cited GDPR as the reason for this info and I told her I would not give my details other than my first name for privacy reasons, how ironic that they were using GDPR as the reason to try and obtain my private info, the next ten minutes were probably worst experience of a service call I have ever had the misfortune to make.

My friend is 85 and poorly but these people were not giving in. 

I gave the phone to him and he gave them permission to talk to me to sort his BB out but again they refused to accept this and in the end I had to relay info to him and he relayed it to them. We didn't get the issue sorted because the issue is with BT, the Manager refused to give her full name so that my friend could make a complaint.

The reason for the post is, in order to make a call to your customer service will I be asked for this info again and how the hell is this legal and law (their words). I value my privacy and defend it fiercely, I can see absolutely no reason to be asked this info in order to make a service call to fix a problem on behalf of my friend. I expect to be asked my firsat name out of courtesy, I do the same back so that I can refer to the customer service rep by name everything else is a no-go area.


Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
Message 2 of 7

Re: Customer service call and GDPR

You are wanting to act on behalf of somebody and possibly get access to information regarding their account but you are not prepared to identify yourself except by your first name!  If I was the Customer Service rep I would not have entered into a debate with you, I would just have terminated the call.

Can you not see that any Joe could phone up and do as you did in order to make changes to some ones acount or services and there would be no recourse for BT except to say "it was some one called Joe who called but I have no other information about them".

If you are not prepared to identify your self, don't make the calls for others.

Message 3 of 7

Re: Customer service call and GDPR

I didn't need nor require any information from the customer service representative, all I called for was to request service "to" the customer (my friend)
The customer was in front of me could have given any details they required from him to identify him as the account holder and once that was confirmed (which is a simple process that I have gone through countless times) could have accepted his permission for me to act on his behalf.
This issue does not lie with me, I am protecting my personal data and have a right to do so. The customer service representatives had an avenue for validation but did not take it, even after it was offered, neither did they verify that the customer was who he said he was, they just didn't like the fact that I would not give them my personal info and they became fixated on that issue instead of validating my friend as the customer in need of help.

I wasn't any Joe and they had the opportunity to validate the customers ID but were just being bloody-minded, they lost control of the situation and could not see the opportunity to move forward when it was presented to them.

There were no changes required on the users account and no change to his service plan, I neither requested nor needed any personal information from BT.

This issue was about an extremely slow broadband (0.21 down and 0.50 up  - mean average over 10 tests), this was done via a Samsung tablet because the test would not complete and ookla kept bringing up an latency error. 

As far as I could tell, it was either a router issue which I considered unlikely or a line issue, I have extensive experience in this field and I know what I'm talking about, all I wanted was for BT to test the line (which they did not do)

I had moved the router to the main socket, tested the ethernet cable and swapped it out, checked the PC and required hardware to facilitate an internet connection and pretty much did everything a script tech would have asked prior to testing from their end. 

I was asked by my friend to help but that doesn't require me to give out my personal details. I had actually identified myself by giving my first name, nothing more was required, I seriously don't get why you are so against privacy considering this post is actually about the very law that is supposed to protect it. 

Back to the question, is this a legal and lawful requirement given that the customer was present and willing to let me assist him in troubleshooting this issue.

Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
Message 4 of 7

Re: Customer service call and GDPR

It is entirely up to BT or any other company to seek details of any person wishing to do business with them, and that includes "speaking" on behalf of another. 

It was entirely up to you whether or not you supply your details. You chose not to.

BT  are under no obligation to deal with you as you are not their customer.

As regards GDPR it is legislation about how companies treat and use the information  after it has been supplied to and held by the company. As you chose not to supply your personal information it does not come into effect for you.



Message 5 of 7

Re: Customer service call and GDPR

Interesting, I have other posts asking about this and if I find more details I will post here for others to read. So for now the workaround is to speak through the customer indirectly and for them to relay any information I think is necessary for the resolution of issues when dealling with BT.

I will also see how other companies deal with the scenario and relate that info here too so that people can gain a comparison.

Message 6 of 7

Re: Customer service call and GDPR

It would seem that the consensus is I was in the wrong, I absolutely disagree with this assumption, for several reasons.

  1. After supplying my first name and after refusing to give anymore details about myself which I have a right to do, I offered to hand over the phone to the BT customer who was sat in front of me, this was the initial offer and it was ignored.
  2. They did not take up any of my offers; accepting any one of those offers would have clarified the ID and moved the discussion on to the actual issue.
  3. I did not NEED to know any details about the BT customers account nor did I ask for any, so the BT customers account was secure. The only way it could have been unsecure was if the CSO offered any details about his account without his consent and in breach of your own data protection policies, this never happened so again the account was still secure. Bleating on about data breach is a poor argument considering the situation and is a lame attempt to justify really bad CS.
  4. I had the BT customer in front of me and I informed the CSO and her Manager of this fact several times during the conversation, on several occasions when I did this I was talked over.
  5. In the end the BT customer took over the conversation and on several occasions gave his permission to them for me to help him, it was only after he got very annoyed at their attitude did they even try to identify him and start to move on.
  6. They would not give their full names when the customer asked for them because he wanted to make a complaint against them. They treated him as poorly as I was treated which is utterly unacceptable.

I fulfilled all criteria to get a resolution for the BT customer, giving out all of my personal information was not necessary to reslove this issue.

I think what happened was they didn't expect anyone to say no to them and that screwed up the script, they both lost control of the situtaion and made unjustified threats both at me and the BT customer, they couldn't move on from No answer. I would love to speak to someone higher but in order to have that discussion I have to call customer service, so I'm pretty much stymied in that regard.

Message 7 of 7

Re: Customer service call and GDPR

Just a quick update...

The technical issue was resolved after I suspected and told them I thought he'd been disconnected and, after further investigation by a technician this turned out to be the case. How they missed this I have no idea but anyway the issue regarding the tech has been resolved.