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Credit checks, fraud prevention and debt recovery

When you order or buy something from us, we might have to do a credit check. That means looking into any records we hold about you and your records with credit reference agencies (CRAs) (like Experian or Equifax), the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) security alert, or fraud prevention agencies (FPAs). When they get a search from us, a 'footprint' goes on your file which other organisations might see.

We may keep personal information we find out about you – but we have a strict policy for how we look after it and keep it safe. We also keep the results of the searches we do with credit agencies so we don't have to do another search, if you buy something new from us in the future. But we only keep your credit data for a reasonable amount of time.

We may also do checks to confirm your identity when you order new products or services from us. That’s to help protect you from identity theft and other types of fraud, and to prevent and detect crime or money laundering. Once in a while we might run more checks with CRAs and FPAs to keep your information and your account up to date.

If false or inaccurate information is provided and identified as fraud, the details will be passed to FPAs like Cifas. This information may also be shared with law enforcement agencies.

We may also share the information with other organisations. This information may be used to prevent fraud and money laundering, for example, when:

  • Checking applications for credit and credit related and other facilities.
  • Managing credit and credit related accounts or facilities.
  • Recovering debt.
  • Checking insurance proposals and claims
  • Checking job applications and employees

If you tell us you've got a spouse or financial associate, we'll link your records together – so you must make sure you have their agreement to disclose information about them. CRAs also link your records together and these links will stay on your and their files – unless you or your partner successfully files for a disassociation with the CRAs to break that link.

We send CRAs information on applications, and they hold onto that. We may also give them details of your accounts and bills, including how you manage them. That includes telling them about your account balances, what you pay us and when you miss a payment (going back in the past, too). If you don't pay your bills on time, CRAs will record that. They, or a fraud prevention agency, might tell others doing similar checks – including organisations trying to trace you or recover money you owe them.

If you’re in the UK, there are a few different CRAs, and each one might have different information on you. If you want to find out what information they have on you, they'll charge you a small statutory fee.

  • Callcredit, Consumer Services Team, PO Box 491, Leeds, LS3 1WZ or 0870 0601414 or callcredit.co.uk
  • Equifax, Credit File Advice Centre, PO Box1140, Bradford, BD1 5US or 0844 3350550 or equifax.co.uk
  • Experian, Consumer Help Service, PO Box 8000, Nottingham NG80 7WF or 0844 4818000 or experian.co.uk

If we are chasing unpaid bills and you continue to not pay, we may sell the unpaid debt to debt recovery agencies, such as the Lowell Group. To enable the agency to recover the debt, we will provide them with information about you (such as your name, address and contact information) and your account (such as the amount of the debt).

If you want to receive details of the relevant FPAs, please write to us at:

British Telecommunications plc
Londonderry Telephone Exchange
2 Queens Quay
BT48 7AY