Thursday, September 06, 2007

BarclayCard Bungles Again

BarclayCard must have been having a bad hair day. In response to my previous post about their illegal activities, they further bungled and got their information wrong AGAIN.
Their response is quite interesting, because it displays a complete lack of concern about the privacy of their customers, and effectively admits that they have broken the law in a number of ways. To quote, in part:
This organization has sourced consumer data from many sources over many years; some examples of sources:
  • Historical Voters Rolls
  • Deeds Office property ownership databases
  • Company ownership databases from the registrar of companies
  • Home Affairs
It is a violation of the Electoral Act to use the voters rolls for anything other than the conduct of elections and/or election campaigns. I was told this by an IEC official. So they are either lying or breaking the law.
The Deeds Office information was never intended for marketing purposes, and in any case my deeds processing hasn't been completed yet. If this practice is not illegal it is certainly unethical.
Since when does Home Affairs make the residential addresses of all South African citizens available for public scrutiny and use? How do they justify this in terms of the Right to Privacy enshrined in the constitution? The mind boggles. I wonder if any bribes were paid?
Then the bank changes feet: "The information provided regarding ETL was not correct. Your information was sourced from Effective Intelligence." Actually it wasn't. I spoke to David van der Merwe from Effective Intelligence on 084-875-4201. He confirmed that EI already has my name and my wife's names on their Do Not Contact database, and he stated that they did not supply the information to BarclayCard. He blamed "P-Cubed".
So not only does BarclayCard admit to supplying me with the wrong information, they do it AGAIN. The mind boggles once more. To what level of incompetence and confusion does this organisation stoop? Have they no idea about the ECT Act and what it means for their organisation? Finally they refer to, which is another marketing database maintained by "P-Cubed". I have written to them to find out if they were responsible for supplying my name, and where they obtained it from.

It turns out that "P-Cubed" is a database subsidiary of the Experian credit bureau. This becomes even more unethical, because credit bureaus are not supposed to be involved in direct marketing because of the obvious conflict of interest, and because it violates the Credit Bureau Association Code of Conduct, especially with regard to privacy of data.

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