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    • Outsider_83
    • By Outsider_83 10th Jan 18, 11:43 AM
    • 114Posts
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    Outsider_83
    Is a Verbal Apology Enough
    • #1
    • 10th Jan 18, 11:43 AM
    Is a Verbal Apology Enough 10th Jan 18 at 11:43 AM
    Hi All,

    I posted this within the bank section but as it's mortgage related it maybe more appropriate here.

    I had a data protection breach last year with a bank but this is a little more complex and I was hoping for some help.

    I setup and new mortgage with my bank in 2016 and I asked the mortgage advisor if all corresponding documents from the bank could be sent to my new address (the mortgage I was setting up), I was assured by the bank employee that this had been done.

    In 2017 I realised mail of mine was being forwarded onto me from my old address and it was clear it had been opened, some of the documents were very sensitive including mortgage balance items etc. I contacted the bank several times to get this issue resolved and it was around August at which time I lodged a complaint, from then onto now the bank have denied any wrongdoing and have said that I did not follow procedures by asking in branch for my address to be changed when I should have done this by calling a specialist number. I in turn argued that I could not be expected to know of the internal procedures and when I speak to a member of staff and when I am advised something is done I have to trust them.

    After some more toing and froing the bank called me to issue a verbal apology and ask what I am seeking, I suggested some compensation, they said this was unacceptable and that all they would be offering is an apology and if I wasn't happy I would have to go to the ombudsman.

    As the bank were very adamant on this topic, I am wondering if I have a case or is the verbal apology as much as I can expect?

    Thanks in advance.
Page 1
    • zx81
    • By zx81 10th Jan 18, 11:54 AM
    • 14,893 Posts
    • 15,716 Thanks
    zx81
    • #2
    • 10th Jan 18, 11:54 AM
    • #2
    • 10th Jan 18, 11:54 AM
    An apology sounds good.
    • Mortgage_Adviser
    • By Mortgage_Adviser 10th Jan 18, 11:55 AM
    • 76 Posts
    • 33 Thanks
    Mortgage_Adviser
    • #3
    • 10th Jan 18, 11:55 AM
    • #3
    • 10th Jan 18, 11:55 AM
    Has the bank admitted their wrongdoing formally?

    What do you want to be compensated for here? Have you suffered any financial loss as a resuklt of the breach?
    Compensation is normally to cover the costs and losses.

    They could offer you a gesture of good if they want to. But they are not oblidged to do so.

    Do you have any evidence saying that the mortgage adviser accepted your instruction to change the address?
    Or is it your word against his?

    If so, how would the bank know you are not lying about asking to change the address in order to get some easy money for nothing?
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 10th Jan 18, 12:18 PM
    • 90,373 Posts
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    dunstonh
    • #4
    • 10th Jan 18, 12:18 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Jan 18, 12:18 PM
    In reality, this is a minor breach. Mail forwarding should not involve the mail being opened. That is not the fault of the bank. Last time we used mail forwarding, it turned up in a bag and it was clear it had been forwarded. So, it was clear early on that the sender had the old address and allowed us to correct those we wanted correcting.

    Looking at compensation, you have to consider what you have lost? Have you lost out financially, have you lost an arm or a leg or been off work? You cant expect compensation for something unless you have lost something. Sometimes they will allow for time spent resolving an issue. However, it's not clear you have lost out on anything because of this error.

    Did the mortgage adviser send his/her documentation to the new address? how you have worded it, it could be interpreted that you only wanted their stuff to go the new address. It is a strange request to have mail sent on to the new address before the mortgage is completed. Especially if the property is not owned by you at that stage (its unclear what the chain was from your post). The point here is that there could be credible reasons why your address wasn't changed for everything or at all and that the error was understanding and miscommunication.

    This is the sort of error that sometimes gets you £10 or £25 if the bank is feeling generous (and they have an internal way of looking at the profitability of you and your standing within the bank). If they are offering you nothing it either means they don't really want you and/or you haven't made your case well enough.

    The FOS is an independent arbiter of complaints. It is not a consumer champion. If you were to refer it to them. what evidence do you think they would look at and decide to change the decision and award you £10-£25?
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
    • Outsider_83
    • By Outsider_83 10th Jan 18, 12:42 PM
    • 114 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    Outsider_83
    • #5
    • 10th Jan 18, 12:42 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Jan 18, 12:42 PM
    Has the bank admitted their wrongdoing formally?

    What do you want to be compensated for here? Have you suffered any financial loss as a resuklt of the breach?
    Compensation is normally to cover the costs and losses.

    They could offer you a gesture of good if they want to. But they are not oblidged to do so.

    Do you have any evidence saying that the mortgage adviser accepted your instruction to change the address?
    Or is it your word against his?

    If so, how would the bank know you are not lying about asking to change the address in order to get some easy money for nothing?
    Originally posted by Mortgage_Adviser

    The only thing is that half my documents went to the wrong address and half to the correct. The bank have advised in this instance that a change was made but not done correctly, the bank are also unable to advise how much mail went to the wrong address.
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 10th Jan 18, 1:17 PM
    • 90,373 Posts
    • 57,157 Thanks
    dunstonh
    • #6
    • 10th Jan 18, 1:17 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Jan 18, 1:17 PM
    The only thing is that half my documents went to the wrong address and half to the correct. The bank have advised in this instance that a change was made but not done correctly, the bank are also unable to advise how much mail went to the wrong address.
    What documents went to the new address? was it the new mortgage-related stuff only?

    Banks often have to change the address in multiple places. So, if the mortage clerk did only change the area related to the mortgage then this would make sense with the mail being split.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
    • bigstevex
    • By bigstevex 10th Jan 18, 2:17 PM
    • 691 Posts
    • 340 Thanks
    bigstevex
    • #7
    • 10th Jan 18, 2:17 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Jan 18, 2:17 PM
    The person receiving your mail and opening it committed the fraud as most envelopes say 'to be opened by addressee' or private on them.

    Bank owe you £0 for the £0 loss of time or money you've had
    • ytfcmad
    • By ytfcmad 10th Jan 18, 2:35 PM
    • 248 Posts
    • 108 Thanks
    ytfcmad
    • #8
    • 10th Jan 18, 2:35 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Jan 18, 2:35 PM
    The same/similar thing happened to me twice (over 5 years) each time i complained i was compensated via a cheque for £250 each time.

    This was with HSBC, the only way they learn is to hit them financially even in a small way as they will have to audit each case where they payed out.

    I never incurred any financial loss on either occasion.
    • ValiantSon
    • By ValiantSon 10th Jan 18, 5:55 PM
    • 187 Posts
    • 178 Thanks
    ValiantSon
    • #9
    • 10th Jan 18, 5:55 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Jan 18, 5:55 PM
    The same/similar thing happened to me twice (over 5 years) each time i complained i was compensated via a cheque for £250 each time.

    This was with HSBC, the only way they learn is to hit them financially even in a small way as they will have to audit each case where they payed out.

    I never incurred any financial loss on either occasion.
    Originally posted by ytfcmad
    In which case you were not compensated, but rather were given a goodwill payment. You cannot be compensated if you have suffered no loss.
    • -taff
    • By -taff 10th Jan 18, 6:01 PM
    • 7,315 Posts
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    -taff
    The person receiving your mail and opening it committed the fraud
    Originally posted by bigstevex

    No they didn't. They would only have acted illegally if they were going to use the contents to the detriment of the adressee.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 10th Jan 18, 6:07 PM
    • 6,520 Posts
    • 6,419 Thanks
    davidmcn
    No they didn't. They would only have acted illegally if they were going to use the contents to the detriment of the adressee.
    Originally posted by -taff
    Not even that - they're only acting illegally if they actually commit fraud (or, say, steal the contents). It's not illegal merely to open mail after the postie has put it through the correct letterbox.
    • -taff
    • By -taff 10th Jan 18, 8:34 PM
    • 7,315 Posts
    • 5,369 Thanks
    -taff
    Not even that - they're only acting illegally if they actually commit fraud (or, say, steal the contents). It's not illegal merely to open mail after the postie has put it through the correct letterbox.
    Originally posted by davidmcn
    That is what 'to the detriment of' covers.....
    • ytfcmad
    • By ytfcmad 10th Jan 18, 8:59 PM
    • 248 Posts
    • 108 Thanks
    ytfcmad
    In which case you were not compensated, but rather were given a goodwill payment. You cannot be compensated if you have suffered no loss.
    Originally posted by ValiantSon

    And your point is
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 10th Jan 18, 9:15 PM
    • 6,520 Posts
    • 6,419 Thanks
    davidmcn
    That is what 'to the detriment of' covers.....
    Originally posted by -taff
    No, it's referring to a separate offence (where you've opened mail which hasn't been delivered to the correct address and intend to act to the detriment of the addressee). The point is that it's the address which is relevant rather than the name.
    • ValiantSon
    • By ValiantSon 10th Jan 18, 10:26 PM
    • 187 Posts
    • 178 Thanks
    ValiantSon
    And your point is
    Originally posted by ytfcmad
    My point is that this is not compensation and is entirely at the discretion of the company concerned. (I would have thought that was fairly obvious from what I wrote).
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 10th Jan 18, 11:03 PM
    • 90,373 Posts
    • 57,157 Thanks
    dunstonh
    A bit of information from a duplicate thread running is that this is not the first complaint that the OP has made to the bank about data protection breaches and had previously received a goodwill offer.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
    • Cotta
    • By Cotta 10th Jan 18, 11:04 PM
    • 2,546 Posts
    • 995 Thanks
    Cotta
    For the mistake and the fact they've issued an apology surely it would have made sense to pay a small amount to close this off.
    • -taff
    • By -taff 10th Jan 18, 11:05 PM
    • 7,315 Posts
    • 5,369 Thanks
    -taff
    No, it's referring to a separate offence (where you've opened mail which hasn't been delivered to the correct address and intend to act to the detriment of the addressee). The point is that it's the address which is relevant rather than the name.
    Originally posted by davidmcn
    Nope.

    128. Subsection (3) makes it an offence for a person, intending to act to a person's detriment and without reasonable excuse, to open a postal packet which he knows or suspects has been incorrectly delivered to him.

    Doesn't mention has not been delivered to the correct address....
    Anyway, it's all by the by since I can't remember the last time the mail prosecuted anyone for opening anything that wasn't addressed to them or had their name on with the wrong address.
    If it was a bit clearer, we wouldn't be sinking in a world of supposition.
    Three cheers for deliberately obfuscated language.....
    • ValiantSon
    • By ValiantSon 10th Jan 18, 11:07 PM
    • 187 Posts
    • 178 Thanks
    ValiantSon
    A bit of information from a duplicate thread running is that this is not the first complaint that the OP has made to the bank about data protection breaches and had previously received a goodwill offer.
    Originally posted by dunstonh
    Thanks, dunstonh. It's sad that some people try to exploit these issues. If someone has genuinely suffered as a result of a company's incompetence, including significant time spent trying to sort the problem out, then I support the view that they should try to make amends. I do not, however, support the vexatious and opportunistic attempts made by some people (some of whom brag about it on here) to extract money from companies as if it is some sort of great game or alternative way of funding their lifestyle.
    • bigstevex
    • By bigstevex 10th Jan 18, 11:35 PM
    • 691 Posts
    • 340 Thanks
    bigstevex
    No they didn't. They would only have acted illegally if they were going to use the contents to the detriment of the adressee.
    Originally posted by -taff
    Sorry, true, you have me on a technicality
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