What happens if the Data Protection Act isn't fulfilled

Topic Views - 81


Hi All :)

Guess I'm here seeking the advice of people who are much more experienced with customer service than I am.

About 4 months ago I started a job working as a Customer Service Advisor for a luxury clothing retailer in the UK.

Prior to now my experience in customer service is zilch, as is my call centre experience. As far as a call-centre goes, this one is fairly relaxed; we do not have a script, or timelimits on how long calls can take. We are expected to chat to the customers.

At the moment, I'd really like to know - what happens if the Data Protection Act isn't fulfilled (in some way)? Maybe once per month at work, we have an "incident" where an order ends up being placed on the wrong person's account (either by accident, which is sort of understandable but very unfortunate, or intentional... which is a real violation of DPA.) Aside from the obvious "annoyed customer" consequences, what happens?

Secondly... if a customer calls up to complain about something with regards to an order, and it turns out to be their error which caused the complaint (e.g customer places an online order for an incorrect item, then calls and complains when the incorrect item turns up) - would you ever specifically tell the customer "this is your error/this is not our error" ?

Thirdly... Theoretically, if a customer were to place an order to be sent to another person, with a gift message on the order... If the gift message were to contain offensive language or insults, would you still process the message?

Forthly... (really stupid question). When you get a customer who is obviously calling from a hand-held phone whilst driving, is there any obligation on the CSA to suggest it might be safer to pull over at a convenient spot/call back when they're not driving? Moreover, if a customer were to have a vehicle accident whilst on the phone to us, are we liable for anything?


Call Centre Helper

Hi Wanda

I think that a lot of these answers are just common sense. In reply to your questions.

1. The two consequences of DPA not being right are an annoyed customer who may leave. Being reported to the Information Commissioners Office, who may then fine the company.

2. Use a common sense approach. Even if the customer is wrong does it do any harm to send the item they want. Obviously if they repeatedly do this then they may be trying it on to save postal charges.

3. Use a common sense approach. Personally no I would not. It could also tarnish the reputation of your company. We need to be nice to each other. There should be a company policy against this, if not escalate to your manager.

4. Use a common sense approach. If you are worried ask them if they are safe and legal to make the call. They may be calling from the passenger's seat.

Managing Director/Lead Consultant

Real Results Training Consultancy

I concur with Jonty. I would add that managers need to be aware of intentional DPA breaches by advisors and tackle them with performance management processes.

In this day and age ethics and integrity are hugely important and I believe the truth will always out, so it's great you are consciously aware and checking these details!

Hi Wonda, i manage a account of simular nature, with the same remit one thing i ask my agents on a customer service call is, when going in to a clients personal details ask them for there name and address this is really easy to added it to a conversation. we have very little to no DPA issues.

Want to add a comment?

Not found what you were looking for?

1. Try searching through our site.
2. Still not got an answer?

Why not ask the Call Centre Helper Community? Click here to ask your question