This issue is not going to go away despite the best efforts of the bank and Accord. Accord have been fobbed off with some useless crumbs from the negotiating table. The bank knows full well that it won’t do anything to rock the boat.
Getting MaPAs to record all their telephone conversations with customers is about control, it’s that simple. The bank wants to control what MaPAs are doing and when they are doing it. It also wants to control what they are saying – not only from a customer service or regulatory perspective – but from a sales perspective.
The bank has said that it’s not a legal requirement for staff to tell customers that their calls are being recorded. In a Q&A document given to MaPAs, the bank said: “the customer will have previously had access to a Data Privacy Notice that fulfils our obligation to inform them how we collect, process and store their personal information. The Data Privacy Notice discloses to the customer that calls bay be recorded and further explains all of their Data Privacy rights”.
Recording telephone conversations with customers without explicitly telling them that’s what you are doing will be seen by most people as underhand. It’s just wrong, and the fact that the bank’s senior management team can’t see that is worrying.
For the bank to then rely on a Data Privacy Notice, which most customers will not have read, to justify its actions is being neither fair nor transparent. You would expect such an excuse to be used by claims management companies caught bombarding customers with nuisance marketing or text messages, not the largest retail bank in the UK. And like us members will question why, if the Data Privacy Notice allows the bank to record all customer calls, it tells some customers that’s what it’s doing but not others? There seems to be no good reason not to be open about recording and that leaves one curious as to what the motive is here. Either way people should be told that conversations with them are being recorded and their data stored.
We have written to Elizabeth Denham, Chief Executive Officer, Information Commissioner’s Office asking her to investigate the bank’s actions. A copy of that letter will be posted on the union’s website shortly.
Members with any questions on this should contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 262868 (choose Option 1).
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