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Experian's Fundamental Breach of Data Protection Act 1998 - Page 11

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Experian's Fundamental Breach of Data Protection Act 1998

edited 29 December 2013 at 4:09PM in Credit File & Ratings
102 replies 14.6K views


  • edited 11 February 2014 at 2:08PM
    VictimOfImpersonationVictimOfImpersonation Forumite
    334 posts
    edited 11 February 2014 at 2:08PM


    Thank you for your email, which we received on XX/01/2014. Your query has been brought to my attention in the Customer Relations team to investigate.

    I can confirm that we are dealing with this matter as an official complaint in accordance with our complaint handling process.

    Please find attached a copy of our complaint handling procedure. This tells you what we will do with your complaint, the time scale we work to and what you can do if you are unhappy with the conclusion.

    In summary, my understanding of your complaint at this time is;

    -A fraudulent online application was made in your name with Barclaycard on XX/10/13, you are unhappy Experian did not alert Barclaycard or anyone regarding this application. As a result this has caused you a great deal of inconvenience of which you are holding Experian jointly responsible for. You believe Experian is in breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 due to failure of checking the consistency of information provided by Barclaycard.

    -You are paying for the CreditExpert service to check your credit report almost daily since you discovered the fraudulent entry and would like a refund of subscription charges until further notice.

    I would begin by explaining that it is my role to investigate the details of your complaint and find an appropriate resolution to the problem you have highlighted. As such I appreciate your patience whilst I have considered all the information available including details you have provided.

    I am very sorry to hear of the circumstances that have led to your complaint; I fully appreciate your aim to ensure that the information recorded on your credit report is a wholly accurate representation of your credit history. I would assure you that the quality of data provided to us by every client is rigorously tested prior to being loaded to our records.

    All of our clients sign up to strict terms and conditions within their contract that require them to make sure that all the data they submit is accurate prior to providing it to us. Our regulator, the Information Commissioner, considers that this is having taken 'reasonable steps'.

    We also have over 400 generic checks in place to check the overall consistency of the data that we receive and a specialist department dedicated to running these necessary checks prior to loading the data to our records. This is because it is not possible for us to individually check each item of the data. This would involve going back to the company and asking them to check information that, as far as we are concerned, they have already confirmed to be accurate by sending that data to us.

    However, we do actively encourage people to check their own credit reports regularly and to tell us if they have any concerns about the information we hold. If any mistakes are brought to our attention, we contact the information provider (in your case Barclaycard) immediately to correct any mistakes as soon as possible.

    I am contacting the Barclaycard for you because I cannot amend the information without their consent. I'll let you know what they say as soon as they get back to me.

    *I'm also adding our standard dispute statement to this information, which will appear shortly:

    "The consumer has disputed the accuracy of this entry and we have therefore asked the provider to investigate it. Given that this data is disputed, please take care if making an assessment of any kind that may include this data."

    As a result, anyone viewing this information will be aware that it's being disputed.

    The Information Commissioner, who regulates the Data Protection Act 1998, views this as us having taken reasonable steps to ensure the accuracy of the data we receive, as per our obligation under this Act. All of the companies who supply us with information are obliged to provide data that is accurate and up to date, in accordance with the 4th Data Protection Principle.

    You may wish to add extra security by registering your details with CIFAS - the UK?s fraud prevention service

    Signing up to their ?Protective Registration Service? places a warning flag against your name and personal details to indicate that you are at risk of identity fraud.

    If a CIFAS registered lender receives an application in your name and runs a credit check with any of the UK credit agencies, they will be alerted to this warning and will undertake additional checks to verify that the application is genuine.

    Adding this warning is an important step towards protecting your identity and will impact any potential insurance claim that you make in the future. Failure to take further steps to protect your identity may result in your claim being rejected.

    If you would like us to consider adding this warning to your details, please complete and return the attached registration form. We can apply this warning to the addresses you have lived at over the last 6 years, as this is the address history that lenders take in to consideration when viewing your credit report.

    As an additional security measure it is also possible to add a password to your credit report. If you are interested in doing so, please complete and return the attached form.

    Adding a password to your Experian credit report will act as a warning to any lender who uses Experian for credit checking to take further steps to confirm your identity before proceeding with the application.

    Whilst this will not stop fraudulent applications being made it will make it much less likely that any applications made fraudulently will be successful.

    I have attached a form for you to complete and return to me detailing the password you would like to use should you take this approach.

    In the meantime I am keeping your complaint open as I am still looking into your concerns. I will contact you as soon as I hear back from Barclays.

    Kind regards

    Customer Relations Consultant
    Customer Support Centre

    You may wish to visit the FAQ section of our website where you can find instant advice and answers about information held on your credit report. This service is available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    Credit Expert is provided by Experian Limited. Experian Limited is an Appointed Representative of Motorfile Limited. Motorfile Limited, Landmark House, Experian Way, NG2 Business Park, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG80 1ZZ is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

    *So they are now planning to add a note to my file saying that I dispute my date of birth on one record out of about 100 they have collected over the years ... Sheesh !
  • edited 27 March 2014 at 10:48PM
    VictimOfImpersonationVictimOfImpersonation Forumite
    334 posts
    edited 27 March 2014 at 10:48PM
    Just a brief update to say that Experian have finally through gritted teeth agreed to refund my subscription fees incurred since Christmas so I could monitor the identity fraud problem they so helpfully got me into, but minus the latest monthly fee for some completely unfathomable reason??

    They have also offered a years free subscription as a "goodwill gesture" but again unfathomably they want me to cancel the existing subscription and start a new one in order to get it. Some bloody goodwill gesture, especially since the tone of their email was actually less a gritting of teeth than a "spitting of blood".

    Must have been my combining of my complaints here on MSE (those with the puerile and indifferent responses their James Jones, Head of Consumer Affairs gave me in this forum) and a complaint via their normal channels, and then not taking FO as the answer...
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