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Can I open mail delivered to my address? (custardy??)
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# 1
Tea3
Old 19-03-2010, 2:41 PM
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Default Can I open mail delivered to my address? (custardy??)

I bought my house 11 years ago and since them was inundated with mail for the previous owner - I had no idea where she moved to and could not locate her through solictor who arranged house purchase. I marked all mail as 'not at this address' an returned it to the senders. After 3-4 years some companies were still sending mail so I checked online and was told I could only open the mail if it is addressed to someone at my property who does not live there and I wanted to contact the sender to inform them or if I suspected fraud was being committed - I must of course not repeat any of the info in the letter to others nor must I show it to anyone other than the sender or the intended recipient (the wording was something along those lines). I then started opening the statements etc so I could contact the banks with the account info to get their information updated, and by 2007 all but one bank had stopped sending junk mail and statements. Today I recieved yet another statement from this bank and it was the final straw (after 11 years, 's in phone calls, letters, trying to trace prevoius owner etc) so I contacted the bank again to complain and got a woman telling me 'I can see you have contacted us before but you could be an angry spouse trying to remove someone from the account without their permission to be devious or to keep the money for yourself therefore we cannot remove the address until the account holder contacts us and you should not be opening her mail as its an offence under data protection' I tried to explain to her that (1) there was under 10 in the account so I was not willing to try and commit fraud for that (2) I had been trying for 11 years to get this resolved so I must be pretty angry with my 'spouse' if this was the case (3) My husband has an account with them so they can check we moved to this address in 1999 (4) That we could open the mail for the reasons stated above and we only did so as they had been sending tons of mail a month for 11 years (5) They are the ones in breach of Data Protection as I have letters from their bank in 2007 confirming this was resolved and would not happen again yet had continued to do so! (6) The account holder was unlikely to contact them if she had not done so in the past 11 years.

So I am sorry for the long post (part vent as you can see) but can anyone tell me if the info I was given about the mail is correct? I know most people say you cannot open mail in someone's elses name so please dont post if you are only saying you think that as I need to know for sure if its ok in these circumstances or if it is not allowed full stop, as I cannot find out where I saw it online that it was allowed - help please.

Added -as a note I should point out I only opened the mail for her when I could not see the name of the company on the envelope to contact them and also only after 3-4 years of marking monthly statements etc as 'not at this address' and only after I read online that it was allowed.

Found something similar on another thread that says as long as its not to the intended recipients detriment you are ok if its delivered to your house: http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/...5&postcount=19
Can anyone confirm or deny this?
Some People Live & Learn, Some People Just Live...

Last edited by Tea3; 19-03-2010 at 2:54 PM. Reason: added text
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# 2
magpiecottage
Old 19-03-2010, 2:58 PM
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"It's an offence under the Data Protection Act" is one of those great excuses that relies on the one being told it being as ignorant as the one telling it.

The Data Protection Act uses the word "post" three times all referring the the Information Commissioner sending notices to people and "mail" is not used at all (although "mailing" is used once in reference to mailing lists).

So next time somebody claims the Data Protection Act prevents them doing something, call their bluff and ask which section.
I run a consultancy to help Independent Financial Advisers to comply with their rules and resolve complaints. Although I am qualified to, I don't advise consumers for reward.
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# 3
st999
Old 19-03-2010, 2:59 PM
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Put it this way, a letter comes to your address, you open it, read it then throw it in the bin. Unless you tell anyone you did this who's to know?

I open all letters that come to my address and if they are not for me I throw them in the bin.

Does not matter what they are they go in the bin.

Don't stress yourself over it.

If you get any phone calls say they don't live here and hang up

One thing I would never do is spend my own money phoning up about letters sent to my address and not for me.

So you either bin them or send them back marked not at this address but do not under any circumstances spend any money doing it.

And no one has ever been prosecuted for opening a letter sent to their address with someone elses name on it.

Stan

p.s. we will probably get the links to stories about posties being prosecuted but that has nothing to do with opening a letter that has been delivered to your address.
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# 4
lady wolfs head
Old 19-03-2010, 3:01 PM
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We get phone calls, the lady we bought the house from was selling it as her mother had died.

We get phone calls and I tell them they will have to shout loud for her to hear!!!.
The letters stopped after returning to sender with deceased on the outside.

The calls are harder, we are registered with TPS but she is not!!. Still it is their phone bill!!.Mind you it does confuse people when I tell them to shout!!!

Wicked arn't I
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# 5
Tea3
Old 19-03-2010, 3:03 PM
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Thank you for your reply.

I think I have solved the mail issue and its not illegal to open it once its been delivered to your address (so long as its not to the detriment of the recipient)
http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/...n+mail+address
(post 12 particularly relates to this)

Sorry for posting and then solving my own issue - I did search on the forums before posting but have only found this answer after changing my search workds abit.

On a side note if the bank STILL keep sending this mail out is there anything I can do as 11 years is a long time to receive someone else's statements!
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# 6
Mupette
Old 19-03-2010, 3:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tea3 View Post
I bought my house 11 years ago and since them was inundated with mail for the previous owner - I had no idea where she moved to and could not locate her through solictor who arranged house purchase. I marked all mail as 'not at this address' an returned it to the senders. After 3-4 years some companies were still sending mail so I checked online and was told I could only open the mail if it is addressed to someone at my property who does not live there and I wanted to contact the sender to inform them or if I suspected fraud was being committed - I must of course not repeat any of the info in the letter to others nor must I show it to anyone other than the sender or the intended recipient (the wording was something along those lines). I then started opening the statements etc so I could contact the banks with the account info to get their information updated, and by 2007 all but one bank had stopped sending junk mail and statements. Today I recieved yet another statement from this bank and it was the final straw (after 11 years, 's in phone calls, letters, trying to trace prevoius owner etc) so I contacted the bank again to complain and got a woman telling me 'I can see you have contacted us before but you could be an angry spouse trying to remove someone from the account without their permission to be devious or to keep the money for yourself therefore we cannot remove the address until the account holder contacts us and you should not be opening her mail as its an offence under data protection' I tried to explain to her that (1) there was under 10 in the account so I was not willing to try and commit fraud for that (2) I had been trying for 11 years to get this resolved so I must be pretty angry with my 'spouse' if this was the case (3) My husband has an account with them so they can check we moved to this address in 1999 (4) That we could open the mail for the reasons stated above and we only did so as they had been sending tons of mail a month for 11 years (5) They are the ones in breach of Data Protection as I have letters from their bank in 2007 confirming this was resolved and would not happen again yet had continued to do so! (6) The account holder was unlikely to contact them if she had not done so in the past 11 years.

So I am sorry for the long post (part vent as you can see) but can anyone tell me if the info I was given about the mail is correct? I know most people say you cannot open mail in someone's elses name so please dont post if you are only saying you think that as I need to know for sure if its ok in these circumstances or if it is not allowed full stop, as I cannot find out where I saw it online that it was allowed - help please.

Added -as a note I should point out I only opened the mail for her when I could not see the name of the company on the envelope to contact them and also only after 3-4 years of marking monthly statements etc as 'not at this address' and only after I read online that it was allowed.

Found something similar on another thread that says as long as its not to the intended recipients detriment you are ok if its delivered to your house: http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/...5&postcount=19
Can anyone confirm or deny this?
Yet you've told us how much was in their account

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# 7
Tea3
Old 19-03-2010, 3:16 PM
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haha - I thought about that so only said under 10 instead of the actual amount (had typed real amount but had to change it when I realised). I see where you are coming from but even by saying she had less than a million in her bank would be the same, eeks and by saying she instead of him/her i've revealed more - i'm in a minefield here
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# 8
eco
Old 19-03-2010, 3:22 PM
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[QUOTE=lady wolfs head;31008325]We get phone calls, the lady we bought the house from was selling it as her mother had died.

We get phone calls and I tell them they will have to shout loud for her to hear!!!.
The letters stopped after returning to sender with deceased on the outside.


I used to get a lot of calls asking for Mrs eco, since my mums died and didn't live at my address I tell them no they can't speak to her cos she's dead, they never ring back.
best call I had was when the caller said Hiya it's grandma, and I said it can't be she's been dead for 10 years, the poor woman was mortified, I did apologise but i did laugh.
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# 9
fluffnutter
Old 19-03-2010, 3:25 PM
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I eventually had a sneak at some mail for the guy who lived in my house before me.

Turns out he was a member of a local swingers' club and I'd inadvertently opened his monthly newsletter.

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# 10
KeithP
Old 19-03-2010, 6:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tea3 View Post
On a side note if the bank STILL keep sending this mail out is there anything I can do as 11 years is a long time to receive someone else's statements!
Yes.

St999 has already told you exactly what to do in post #3... throw it away.
Just because I've written it doesn't mean that
either you or I have to believe it.
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