This policy applies to personal information we hold about individuals, sole traders and partnerships. It does not apply to information we hold about companies and other organisations.
Britishgas.co.uk is brought to you by British Gas Business, which is owned by Centrica plc. Centrica plc and its subsidiary companies believe it is important to protect your privacy, and so we are committed to giving you a personalised service that meets your needs in a way that also protects that privacy.
This policy explains how we may collect information about you and then use it to meet your needs. It also explains some of the security measures we take to protect your privacy, and tells you certain things we will not do.
When we first obtain personal information from you, or when you take a new service or product from us, we will give you the opportunity to tell us if you do or do not want to receive information from us about other services or products. You can normally do this by ticking a box on an application form or contract. You may change your mind at any time by emailing us at the address below.
1. Using your personal information
1.1 We and our agents may use your information to:
- Provide you with the services you have asked for (which may include loyalty, discount and rewards schemes we may run from time to time).
- Offer you accounts, services and products from time to time (we may do this using an automated scoring system, which also uses information from other agencies, including credit reference agencies).
- Help run, and contact you about improving the way we run, any accounts, services and products we have provided before, now or in the future (we may contact you by e-mail or text message, if you have given us these contact details).
- Create statistics, test computer systems, analyse customer information, create profiles and create marketing opportunities (including using information about what you buy from us and how you pay for it, for example, the amount of gas you use and any discounts we have offered you).
- Help prevent and detect debt, fraud and loss.
- Help train our staff.
- Contact you in any way (including by email, phone, text or multimedia message or other forms of electronic communications, such as a message through your smart meters) about products and services we and our partners offer.
1.2 We may also monitor and record any communications we have with you, including phone conversations and emails, to make sure we are providing a good service and meeting our regulatory and legal duties.
2. Sources of Information
When we contact you, we may use any information we hold about you to do so. So we may contact you by email, phone, text message or other forms of electronic communications, such as using smart meters, or by visiting you. If we are contacting you to tell you about any offers, as far as possible, do so in line with how you have told us you would prefer to receive marketing information (your recorded marketing preferences). You can ask us not to send you any information on our offers at any time by contacting us and giving us your account details.
3. Disclosing information
3.1 We may allow other people and organisations to use information we hold about you (including other Centrica Group companies such as those using the British Gas, Scottish Gas and Dyno Group brands):
- To provide services you have asked for, which may include providing information to anyone acting on your behalf or other people who may be interested (such as landlords or letting agents).
- As part of the process of selling one or more of our businesses.
- To help to prevent and detect debt, fraud, or loss (if you do not pay your debts, we may transfer your debt to another organisation and give them details about you and that debt).
- If we have been asked (for example by Ofgem or a lawyer) to provide information for legal or regulatory reasons.
- As part of current or future legal proceedings.
- As part of government data-sharing initiatives, for example, those designed to help stop fuel poverty (where people cannot afford to pay for heating and electricity).
- To help manage any loyalty, discount or rewards schemes.
- If you hold an insurance policy with us, to pass information to an insurer to manage your insurance policy (including underwriting and claims, to help develop new services and to assess financial and insurance risk).
3.2 From time to time these other people or organisations may be outside the European Economic Area (EEA), in countries that do not have the same standards or protection for personal information as the UK.
3.3 If we suspect someone has committed fraud or stolen energy by tampering or with the meter or diverting the energy supply, we will record these details on your account record and may share this information with Ofgem and other people who are interested (such as other energy suppliers, landlords and housing associations). We may use this information to make decisions about you, your character, how likely we think you are to pay for your gas or electricity (or both) and future energy services. This may include recording sensitive personal information such as criminal offences you have been accused of. Also if the gas or electricity supply to your property has previously been tampered with or if gas or electricity has been stolen, or we suspect it has been stolen, we may take this into account when we decide what products or services we can offer you and the terms and conditions we give you.
3.4 You agree that we can ask your previous supplier for information that will allow us to take over your supply, such as information about meter readings and equipment or charges you owe your previous supplier. You agree that we can provide information we hold about you (such as information about meter readings, equipment or money you owe us) to your new supplier so they can begin supplying your gas and electricity.
3.5 If we believe that you (or a member of your household) need extra care (for example, because of your age, health, disability or financial circumstances), we may record this in the information we hold about you. We will use this information so that we do not stop your supply. We may share your information with:
- Social services, charities and other support organisations, if we believe at any time that you cannot look after yourself or other people using or visiting the site by making sure there is an energy supply to the site.
- Other energy suppliers if we believe you are thinking of changing supplier.
- The relevant gas transporter or network operator.
3.6 This clause applies to individuals, sole traders and partnerships and to directors of corporate organisations as well as limited companies and other corporate organisations. We will check your details with one or more credit-reference and fraud-prevention agencies to help us make decisions about your ability to make payments and the goods and services we can offer you. If you would like more information about this, go to www.britishgas.co.uk/business or, phone us on 0330 100 0222 and we will send you a leaflet.
a. We will search at credit-reference and fraud-prevention agencies for information about you and all the people you are applying with - if you are providing information about other people on a joint application, you must make sure they agree that we can use their information to do this. If you provide us false or inaccurate information and we suspect fraud, we will pass your details to credit-reference and fraud-prevention agencies. Law-enforcement agencies (such as the police and HM Revenue & Customs) may receive and use this information.
b. We and will use the information credit-reference and fraud-prevention agencies give us to:
- Help make decisions about credit and credit-related services for you and anyone applying with you.
- Check your identity.
- Prevent and detect fraud and money laundering.
- Manage your account.
c. When we ask credit-reference agencies to carry out a search, they will record this on your credit file whether your application is successful or not.
d. We and other organisations may also use information to prevent fraud and money laundering, for example when:
- Checking details on applications for credit and credit-related services.
- Managing credit and credit-related accounts and services.
- Recovering debt.
- Checking details on applications and claims for insurance.
- Checking details of employees and people applying for jobs.
e. Organisations from other countries may use the information recorded by fraud-prevention agencies.
f. If you want to see what information credit-reference and fraud-prevention agencies hold about you, you can contact the following agencies currently working in the UK. The information they hold may not be the same, so it is worth contacting them all. They will charge you a small fee.
|Call Credit||Equifax||Experian||Dunn and Bradstreet|
|Consumer Services Team||Credit File Advice Centre||Consumer Help Service||Marlow International|
|PO Box 491||PO Box 1140||PO Box 8000||Parkway|
|LS3 1WZ||BD1 5US||NG80 7WF||SL7 1AJ|
|Phone: 0870 060 1414||Phone: 0845 603 3000||Phone: 0844 481 8000||Phone:0870 243 2344|
|Website: www.callcredit.co.uk||Website: www.myequifax.co.uk||Website: www.experian.co.uk||Website: www.dnb.co.uk|
3.7 If you give us information on behalf of someone else, you confirm you have given them the information set out in this document, and that they have given permission for us to use their personal information in the way we have described in this policy. If you give us sensitive information about yourself or other people (such as health details or details of any criminal convictions of members of your household), you agree (and confirm that the person the information is about has agreed) that we can use this information in the way set out in this document.
3.8 You are entitled to have a copy of the information we hold on you and to have any inaccurate information corrected. We may charge a small fee for providing a copy of any information we hold about you. For more information about this please contact our Privacy Unit at Lakeside West, 30 The Causeway, Staines, TW18 3BY. Or you can email CentricaDataProtection@Centrica.com.
4. Protecting information
We have strict security measures to protect personal information. This includes following certain procedures (for example, checking your identity when you phone us) and encrypting (encoding) data on our websites.
5. The internet
If you communicate with us using the internet, we may occasionally e-mail you about our services and products. When you first give us personal information through our website, we will normally give you the opportunity to say whether you would prefer us not to contact you by e-mail. However, you can always send us an e-mail (at the address set out below) at any time if you change your mind.
Please remember that communications over the internet, such as e-mails and webmails (messages sent through a website), are not secure unless they have been encrypted. Your communications may go through a number of countries before they are delivered - this is the nature of the internet. We cannot accept responsibility for any unauthorised access or loss of personal information that is beyond our control.
6. Turning off cookies in different browsers
You can find information on disabling cookies at www.allaboutcookies.org
8. Further information
We may amend this policy from time to time, in which case we will publish the amended version on our website, and you can ask us for a copy by writing to the above address or by e-mailing us at CentricaDataProtection@centrica.com.
Version 13 March 2010
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