Intrusive medical questions TalkTalk

I am experiencing repeated service issues with Talktalk. After all the usual lengthy checks we finally got to the point where they agreed to send out an Openreach engineer. They asked me to disclose any medical conditions. I asked them to explain why they needed this information as I was not happy disclosing sensitive and personal information. The lady told me it is because the engineer needs to bring equipment. I assured her he could have unobstructed access to a clean area to work in and that none of us had any contagious illness. She didn't seem satisfied and we had an impasse for quite some time before she agreed to proceed. 

I am assuming there is a valid reason for these questions which was not well explained. Does anyone know?


  • JJ_EganJJ_Egan Forumite
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    Are you listed with them as vulnerable or with a medical problem .
  • southsidergssouthsidergs Forumite
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    We are in the middle of a massive global pandemic as well remember. The engineer visits multiple addresses weekly so they were maybe just asking to see if any precautions were needed for the visit too
  • MalMonroeMalMonroe Forumite
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    I understand your frustration. If only the lady had said it was connected to the pandemic. I had to book for a BT engineer (same company as TalkTalk) to come next week but was told - not asked about me or anyone else living here - in a friendly manner that the engineer would be wearing preventative clothing, mask, gloves, etc. and I was asked if we would be able wear masks too (we always do if anyone comes here, as one of us is extremely vulnerable). I was also asked if a window in the relevant room could be opened for extra safety. I know the government insists that we don't need to take extra precautions now but rising coronavirus figures indicate that we do. So any and all precautions are welcome.

    I was happy to reveal only the details pertaining to coronavirus and the person I spoke to on the phone was satisfied with that. There's no need to reveal your whole medical history.

    Sounds like the person you spoke to needs a bit more training but I'm sure that they would feel awful if one of their engineers passed covid along to customers. After all, they are going in and out of different homes most of the time, stands to reason they are going to come across someone who has covid - even if it's just a carrier.

    When the engineer comes here we plan to leave him/her in the room with window wide open to do the work (simple socket replacement) while we are elsewhere. 

    Some telephone reception staff seem to have a superior attitude for no reason. The person you spoke to really didn't have any authority to ask about any other medical conditions than coronavirus.
    Please note - taken from the Forum Rules and amended for my own personal use (with thanks) : It is up to you to investigate, check, double-check and check yet again before you make any decisions or take any action based on any information you glean from any of my posts. Although I do carry out careful research before posting and never intend to mislead or supply out-of-date or incorrect information, please do not rely 100% on what you are reading. Verify everything in order to protect yourself as you are responsible for any action you consequently take.
  • PrudentPrudent Forumite
    11.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts
    Thank you, everyone.

    I don't think the question was Covid related as we had already dealt with covid pre- cautions which I was only too happy to take to keep everyone safe.

    When the engineer arrived he was equally baffled. He said the fix he put in place might not work and it didn't. The internet has been down again all morning until now. I had to do the live chat process again to re-book the engineer as he recommended. This experience was totally different with no intrusive questions. 

    JJeagan  I am not listed with them as having a medical problem. I do have a complex medical condition and I am on the Priority service register for gas and electricity, but I have never requested being placed on it with Talktalk.
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