Dell's Data Protection Act Failure

  twoman 19:06 24 May 2003

I recently placed an order with Dell for their latest DT.Having completed the on-line questions and finance forms and recieving an e-mail a couple of days later (after chasing them as they promise to respond with in 24 hours) saying credit was approved they then promised to send the credit agreement forms via e-mail straight away.After a couple of days without any further e-mails from Dell with regard to the forms,i sent them an e-mail(to a rep!! of Dell's)stating that i had not recieved any forms.The rep responded by telling me that she'd sent them to an e-mail address that i had supplied which was nothing like my e-mail address but i had previously communicated with Dell using my mail address and had a response.She resent them to me via e-mail, and when i saw what was contained on the credit agreement forms,bank account number,agreement number and other private and confidential information i was fuming and as far as i am concerned this not only breachs Dell's privacy policy as stated on their web site but also contravines the DATA PROTECTION ACT 1998.I have unsuccessfully tried to contact Dell several times with regard to this without any luck and have sent an e-mail to their uk business team on 20th May 2003 and still no reponse, i am now seeking advice on what legal action if any is possible to prosecute Dell and it's rep!! as for the order they reckon they have no record yet i have an internet receipt number and credit agreement number from Dell.
Dell may have a quality product but their customer service / staff are diabollical.
Has any body had similar cause for action?

  kane_2002k 19:50 24 May 2003

But like you i would be extremely distressed to find myself in a similar situation, I can't believe any company would be sending sensitive bank details in an email. I don't quite understand about the first email sent - was it sent to one of our own email addresses or was it sent to a completly strange email address? First thing i would do is inform the bank and tell them that your security has been compromised and see what they suggest.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 20:47 24 May 2003

It was a simple mistake and nothing else. There is no need to start talking about security and suing etc. The Data protection Act allows for simple goof-ups.

Contact your bank to make them aware of the facts and they will sort it out quickly for you. You have lost no money and IF there is any attempt to get your cash from the account the bank will refund you, so there would be little that you could claim for if you tried to take the matter to court.

Send a registered letter, by snailmail, to customer service stating clearly and unemotionally the problem. In the letter ask them to comment on the events. There amy be a percentage reduction or free upgrade in the offing. ;-))


  twoman 20:58 24 May 2003

This i already have done by e-mail which contains all the e-mails and date of phone calls etc,and while all humans make mistakes,as we all do,but too continue to ignore e-mails of such a sensitive matter is totally unacceptable and these big corporations need to be brought to book to show that they cannot hide or ignore failures in their procedures it is Michael Dell who's says in their privacy statement that client information is safe.For thought,how about the person who had recieved bank details suddenly decided to use it to their advantage and cleared all your funds out it can happen.

  Nellie2 21:00 24 May 2003

The principles of the data protection act are listed here click here
As you can see, one of the main principles is that the data must be kept secure. If you really feel strongly about this then you can contact the Information commissioner but I would really thing long and hard about this. However careful we are in business and at home mistakes do happen. I would take Gandalfs advice and send a letter, by all means quote the DPA, as he said, it could work out nicely for you!!

  Forum Editor 01:31 25 May 2003

you do exactly what Gandalf suggests, and please put all ideas of prosecution etc. right out of your head.

As has been said, mistakes happen, and this is very obviously one of those occasions. I can well understand your irritation, but unless you have suffered some material loss as a result of the error, or can demonstrate that your status within the community has deteriorated, the Information Commissioner is very unlikely to want to know about it.

No bank will allow "all your funds" to be cleared out, simply because someone has your bank account details - it just can't happen. I supply those details to every client I have, on my invoices, in case they want to pay me by the BACS system directly into the account - and thousands of people do the same thing every day.

Send Dell that calm, non-threatening letter, and see if they offer you some sort of discount as a result. If they don't, you'll just have to put this down to experience I'm afraid. Dell sell thousands of computers every week, and the odd error is pretty well inevitable I'm afraid.

  twoman 11:42 25 May 2003

OK,so because who Dell are, are us mere mortals expected to put up and shut up.
Unless somebody brings it to the attention of the hierachy in Dell what will be done about it?.
As suggested,write Dell a letter,i've done this via e-mail to their business / sales dept last Tuesday detailing all the e-mail communication and telephone calls but have had no response.
Perhaps you could suggest an alternative dept / name where i'm likely to get a response,may be Michael Dell's!
I will not accept being ignored and neither should anybody else,i will not be brushed under the carpet.
If anybody can suggest an alternative route to get a response please advise,at the moment it's like trying to get blood out of a stone at Dell.

  Forum Editor 14:36 25 May 2003

you should "put up and shut up", or that you should be brushed under the carpet.

You asked for our reactions and you have had them. By all means write to Michael Dell, but be aware that he's based in America, and probably receives a fairly hefty amount of mail each day. You may not get the personal response you're hoping for.

Someone in the company made an error - it shouldn't have happened,and for all I know it hardly ever happens but in your case it did. At the very least you are due an apology, and in the interests of goodwill Dell may wish to express their regret in a more tangible way, but there's no guarantee of that.

As has been suggested - you should send a letter (by special delivery if you take my advice) to:-

The Sales Director

Dell Computer Corporation

Milbanke House

Bracknell, Berkshire RG12 1RD

State the facts clearly and concisely. Leave all mention of court action and/or The Information Commissioner etc. out of it - just ask the company to comment on the incident.

  H-J 17:45 25 May 2003

Is there any relation connection between Michael Dell and the Mr Dell whose name appears right at the bottom of this page?

  Forum Editor 18:48 28 May 2003

None whatsoever.

  twoman 18:14 05 Jun 2003

to the editor,
As you advised i sent a letter to the sales director at Dell and guess what, no response,it must be part of their training to ignore people,they do it very well.So while their product may be ok their service is s**t.Anybody else considering purchasing from Dell,GOODLUCK!!!!!!,cos' they just don't care.

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