@Davc - Careful Dave, your loyalties are showing :-)
Seriously though, data protection is a bigger and more serious issue than just whether your gas company tells a third party your address so they can read your meter, yet that firm DOESN'T come read it. You only have to look at the number of data breaches reported this year alone to see identity theft is on the rise, so a step as simple as minimising the number of sources of your personal details is a sensible measure to consider.
When you add to that the fact that some companies cannot - CANNOT - give valid reasons why they hold customers' data yet DO NOT USE IT for the reasons stipulated in their contract with you and you start to get the feeling maybe your data is not being collected for the reasons you think - ask Zuckerberg about Cambridge Analytica.
I think people are right to challenge big business. Naivety never kept anyone safe.
Hi Jonnel, Can't resist replying, I respect your opinions but personally I don't think I am important enough to be snooped on by Morrisons and sorry to say you are showing a bit of an over reaction. In principle we have to take care of our security, but we have to use judgement about how important the threat is.
I work for Morrison Data services.To answer all the conspiracy theories regarding scams and data protection.
1/We read for most of the other meter reading companies including British Gas,EDF,Utiity Warehouse as well as other smaller suppliers.
We were originally British Gas then Accuread,G4S then from March last year Morrison Data Services.
All these utility companies send us a file of gas and electric meters they require readings for.
As a company we are required to access at least 75per cent of reads issued to us so the reason Meter Readers return for your readings.You will find on the call back card which is labelled Scottish Power the option to leave your reading in a suitable place the following day which saves people waiting in for us to call.
The Meter Readers are only paid for the reads they get reads for so try to achieve as many reds as possible from call backs and cards
The files may have been issued before you have submitted your readings online as we have a long read window to obtain these readings.
We also visibly check your meter for any dangerous wiring on electric meters and leaks or corrosion on your gas meter.
We also get frustrated when Scottish Power send us jobs that they have received reads for before we read them but still have to attempt to get a reading to hit our targets.
They also send out single gas or electric jobs despite both meters being with the supplier.
We also are sent jobs for smart meters which the customer has been told don’t need a physical reading or the customer has changed supplier and the new supplier can’t read them.
Just registering my strong dislike of this.
I received a letter through the post asking for me to provide meter reading direct to them. I googled them to see who they were and found this thread after a bit of searching.
Whilst, I accept in this case they are legit (although wasting SP's money all the same), this is exactly the sort of way an unsolicited company would harvest data.
The letter contained no reference to my account number or even provider name. You'd be barking mad to respond.
It's like when your bank phones up and asks you to verify your own security details! Never do it.
How stupid are these companies to think any IT savvy person is going to allow this.
I will ignore the letter and only deal with SP directly. Which luckily seems to be the advice on this thread anyway!
Morrison Data services only contact customers when requested by Scottish Power.
It does seem strange that they require readings when you supply your own readings but obviously Scottish Power pay for Morrison’s to read your meter and the company is only following up this request.
If Scottish Power require a reading Morrison’s are obliged to attempt to obtain a reading under the terms of their contract with Scottish Power.Just to confirm that Scottish Power do not have their own Meter Readers so use Morrison Data Services to carry out this job.
Morrisons also read meters for most of the main suppliers like British Gas,EDF,Utility Warehouse and Coop Energy so are the largest meter reading company in the UK.
I agree gazza, MD seem to upset a lot of people with their demanding letters, but they are not stealing your data. Meters need to be physically inspected at intervals, and if Morrison want entry to your property to inspect (not read) a meter then people should allow them access because SP have a duty to get inspections done (to check safety and avoid fraud by meter interference ) If MD only want a meter reading you can ignore them and send the reading to SP .
I think the problem is, as far as I'm aware, that SP has never bothered to inform customers that they are using Morrison.
It does make you question SP's grasp of basic security. Are they really expecting customers to let strangers into their house without verifying their credentials?
My issue wasn't with Scottish power using Morrison data, but with Morrison data sending a letter wanting me to read my own meter when I do that for Scottish power. I thought morrison data were actually meant to physically read the meters themselves, I didn't respond to the letter I just put my readings online with Scottish power as I would normally do and cut out the middle man who couldn't be bothered to come and read my meter .