Data protection and privacy policy

© Copyright 2012 United Utilities Group PLC

Please read the following privacy policy carefully before continuing to use this site. In particular, we ask that you read it before providing us with any personal information.

This notice applies to personal information we hold about individuals, sole traders and partnerships. It does not apply to information we hold about companies and other large organisations. It explains how we may collect information about you and then use it. It also explains some of the security measures we take to protect your privacy, and tells you certain things we will not do. We also tell you what your rights are, and how you can get in touch with us, and give links to other policies which you might find helpful.

This site is operated by United Utilities PLC, a company which provides both water and waste water services in the North West. The company’s registered office is Haweswater House, Lingley Mere Business Park, Lingley Green Avenue, Great Sankey, Warrington WA5 3LP. In this privacy policy, 'we' means United Utilities.

United Utilities is a group of companies which includes United Utilities Group. Further details of these companies can be found in the subsidiaries section of this website. We, United Utilities, will process any personal information that you or third parties provide to us and have the relevant registrations in the United Kingdom under the Data Protection Act 1998. We will comply with the provisions of this Act, including in relation to the security of any personal information which is supplied to us and/or which we ask you to provide to us. We endeavour to take all reasonable steps to protect your personal information.

You understand that we may use your personal details if you are registered as a user of the services provided by United Utilities or use the United Utilities web site generally for the purposes which we describe in this policy. The purpose of this statement is to set out how your personal information will be used by companies within United Utilities.

  1. When you use this site, you may supply and/or be asked to provide certain information such as your contact details, bank details, or other information relating to services you have with us. We will store this data and hold it, for instance, on computer systems. We will use this data to provide you with the services or information you have requested and for other purposes which we set out in this policy.
  2. Information (including information on the services we provide you such as water usage and about any monies you owe us) that you provide or that is obtained by United Utilities or kept in its customer records, will be shared within United Utilities to help us understand your relationship across the whole of United Utilities, and to effectively administer your overall relationship with us. We will also use this information for assessment and analysis (e.g. customer satisfaction, customer and product analysis, marketing, fraud prevention ) to enable us to review, develop and improve the services which we offer and to understand and select products and services which we think, from the information we have about you, will interest you or be of benefit to you.

We may also give information about you as follows:

  • to employees and agents of the group to administer any accounts, products and services provided to your by the group now or in the future;
  • to collection agencies, credit reference agencies, fraud prevention agencies, lawyers, and local authorities to help us manage, administer, trace and collect debts on your accounts;
  • to anyone to whom we transfer or may transfer our rights and duties under our agreement with you;
  • if we have a duty to do so or if the law allows or requires us to do so; to the police and other law enforcement agencies investigating criminal offences if we are satisfied of the circumstances surrounding the request.

Email - You should be aware that information conveyed by e-mail could be deliberately or accidentally intercepted or corrupted. The company does not accept any responsibility for any changes or breaches of confidence which may arise through use of this medium. The content of e-mails sent and received by company employees may be intercepted or monitored by the company for security and training purposes. Whilst we make every effort to ensure that e-mails we send to you are free from viruses this cannot be guaranteed. We recommend that you scan all e-mail for viruses with appropriate and frequently updated virus checking software.

You are advised not to use e-mail to send us credit/debit card information, bank account details, billing or other personally identifiable information as e-mail may travel unencrypted and can be read by anyone who receives or intercepts it. Once your information reaches us, we store it behind a secure firewall that blocks access to the information from outside of our network. Only United Utilities authorised individuals and, where necessary, those of our third party partners, are allowed to access the information.

We take reasonable precautions to protect your information, however you should understand that "perfect security" does not exist on the internet or on email networks and that use of these mediums involves some level of risk to you.

Method of response - You acknowledge and agree that we may treat specific actions by you, such as sending us an email, or supplying us with an email address for customer services to respond to you, as a request that we may, where necessary, communicate in our response personal and/or account information by email. We also reserve the right to select an alternative method to communicate with you. We may update your account with the email address you contact us with.

If you have given us your mobile phone number we may update your account with it and use it to contact you. Please let us know if your details such as your address, mobile phone number and/or email address change so that we can keep your records up to date.

Where you communicate with United Utilities electronically (including by email, telephone or fax) this communication will be recorded and randomly monitored for training, quality and security purposes.

When one of our customer advisors/employees needs to contact you to discuss your account or the services and products we supply you with, they will ask you security questions in order to validate your identity and protect the information we hold about you.

Marketing - In addition, from time to time, we may tell you about offers that we think may be of interest or benefit to you. These might come from us or a carefully selected third party. Each time you are contacted about such offers, you are given the opportunity not to hear about any more. However, if you don’t want to be contacted about any offers at all, please let us know by writing to us at the address set out in the ‘Your Rights’ section of this privacy policy. Please note though, that every year when we send bills to you we are required by our regulators to supply you with certain information and this information will be included with your bill. If you have agreed to received products and services from another company and later decide not to, you will need to contact that company yourself to let them know. You can of course ask us not to continue to provide your personal information to any more companies, for the purposes of marketing, in the future by writing to us at the address found in the ‘Your Rights’ section.

In order that we can monitor and improve the site, we may gather certain information about your use, including details of your domain name and IP address, operating system and browser type, for system administration. New technologies are emerging on the internet that help us to deliver customised visitor experiences. In particular, there is a technology called "cookies" which may be used by us to provide you with customised information from our web site. A cookie is an element of data that a web site can send to your browser, which may then store it on your system. Find out more about cookies.

We will populate your account and supplement the information you have supplied to us or which has been supplied to us by a third party with information from other third parties such as 192.com, local authorities, credit reference agencies and/or debt collection agencies. We may also share your data with third parties for the purpose of investigating fraud. You should be aware that credit reference agencies may keep a record of our enquiry, which could then be revealed to other organisations searching your credit file. Where we use third parties to act on our behalf, we ensure that they have appropriate privacy systems.

Your Rights -

  • You have the right to see information about personal data (as defined in the Data Protection Act) we keep about you upon written request, identification and payment of a fee.
  • If you wish to make a request to access your information please contact:

Data Protection and Fraud Manager, United Utilities, Grasmere House, Lingley Mere Business Park, Lingley Green Avenue, Warrington WA5 3LP

If you are concerned that any of the information we hold about you is incorrect, or have any queries about our privacy policy, please contact us at the above address or contact our Data Protection and Fraud Manager at caroline.bishop@uuplc.co.uk

In the course of undertaking the activities specified in this privacy policy we may transfer data outside the European Economic Area. If this is the case, we will ensure that your personal data is given a similar level of protection to that which you have within the United Kingdom.

 

If you would like to send us a comment about this report, please email our Head of Sustainability, Chris Matthews