CEL Solicitors provided expert commentary to The Times for its Troubleshooter column which was investigating a customer’s data dispute with Eon.
The customer in question, Robert, had lost his brother earlier this year from Covid-19. Following the family tragedy, Robert was bombarded by the energy company Eon and a Manchester-based debt collection company with demands to settle his brother’s debts.
While, Robert is the executor of his brother’s will, probate — the official confirmation that a will is legally accepted and the estate’s assets can be distributed — has not yet been granted.
Robert contacted his brother’s service providers to say that he had been appointed executor and that he would be back in touch when he was granted probate.
Following this, however, Eon contacted Robert to say that the company outsourced the management of deceased customers’ debts to its “probate partner” Phillips & Cohen and had passed on Robert’s personal information. Robert did not give permission for his details to be shared, and suspected it breached GDPR data protection rules.
Our director, Mark Montaldo, who specialises in data breach claims, clarified Robert’s position: “Eon has argued that it was in its terms and conditions — that when people sign up as customers, their information might be passed on.
“But this is likely to be immaterial, because at no stage was Robert Eon’s client, so his information ought not to have been passed on full stop.”
The column concluded that Robert had no legal responsibility to pay his brother’s energy bills out of his own finances before probate is granted.
For the full article, visit: The Times