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Pipex in customer data retention controversy
Wednesday 06 June 2007 11:14:04 by Sebastien Lahtinen

Pipex ( launched a new portal last week for its customers to manage their account information online prompting concern by users on our forums who have left Pipex over six months ago but are still able to login and see that their payment card details remain on file with the company.

Recently, high profile scandals involving stolen credit card details from the high street chain TK Maxx which is reported to handle over 47 million payment card details have been in the news prompting an increasing awareness of the need for personal data to be kept secure and only retained as long as necessary.

Comments on TheRegister's coverage of this suggest Pipex is not alone in maintaining customer accounts after the service has been terminated, indicating this is probably a general trend rather than a specific one.

What do you think? Tell us your views by clicking 'comments' below this article.


Posted by stephen_f2s over 9 years ago
AFAIK that's fairly normal, and I know a few companies that actually do it. It's often the same with credit card companies too. Even if you cancel your card, it might not be properly cancelled and people have been ID theft victims using cards that they thought were done and dusted.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
I think this..
I left them, I told them I do not wish them to store my details any longer, they ignored this request (ILLEGAL btw). It also appears even though ive left they will be billing my credit card for money I do NOT owe them (which i can PROVE). I also ask upon leaving anything i owe when i left should be invoiced to me and i withdraw permission for them to use my card(AGAIN IGNORED). If im still able to log in, use my details in any way through them and they bill my credit card for money i do NOT owe, then thats it, ill deal with them and their ILLEGAL activities properly, in COURT.
Posted by MrZippy over 9 years ago
I just tried to log into my old account and I get an "Account Deleted" message, although my webspace is still active and I can log into that via FTP also...

I left them 2 months ago.
Posted by MrZippy over 9 years ago
Forgot to say my account was with Nildram (owned by Pipex) so it might be off topic.
Posted by Justin over 9 years ago
I know at least two Pipex Companies who have data on record for longer than six months.
Posted by costich over 9 years ago
I found that OneTel had kept my website active (and google indexed) for nearly 2 years after I left their service. It took a written letter to head office to eventually get them to delete it. They seemed to be unaware of their responsibilites under the DPA.
Posted by Rebbo990 over 9 years ago
I left Pipex in May 2006, all details still there when I log in. Just tried my Eclipse account which was cancelled in December also still has all my details too. So not just Pipex then.
Posted by pgerrish over 9 years ago
Left Pipex 4 months ago and still details although fortunately never used credit/debit card so no details. I took the opportunity to "update the details" so if they are going to keep them at least they will have more difficulty locating me ( I have email confirming all payments were up to date when I left and they even sent me a refund for greater than I calculated I was owed!)
Posted by irrelevant over 9 years ago
I've still got a working email account and live webspace from a dial-up account I've not used for about ten years! This is from back when it cost £10/month for a dial-up (but it was on a local cable number I could call free..) I stopped the standing order, and it seems they never noticed..
Posted by Essex over 9 years ago
It would be better if this practice was raised with a legal entity to see if the many issues raised are allowed under Data Protection Act.
Then report any negative findings to Ofcom.

Personally I think that if a contract is ended all data should be deleted. After all payment details do actually form part of the original contract made with said supplier.?
Posted by thx1138 over 9 years ago
I contacted Eclipse to ask why I could still log in after leaving them a year ago and was told

"Customers can still log into their Eclipse account for their own records, e.g. billing."

They have now removed my account completely.
Posted by webwise over 9 years ago
I'm not really surprised (CARPETBURN). I switched to Pipex a couple of weeks ago and really regret it. Not only did I not get the free month offered if I did not want a free modem, but they have ignored all my emails until I requested a MAC because my speed was set at 2mbps on an up to 8mbps contract, they did not send a MAC but my speed suddenly went to 7mbps. (All my neighbours are at 8m with other companies). The only thing they have done VERY quickly is grab money from my bank before I had even completed migration.
Posted by RobLunt over 9 years ago
to carpetburn. I wish you all the luck in the world. i paid my sons final bill(who does not live with me)they took another 3 months. i rang them up they said they would refund me. g over a dozen phone calls and emails later i still nothing. i even contacted the bank who said "as i had given them permission to debit my switch card" there was nothing i or they could do about it another 5 months to get 2 months money back. they pipex are sh 1t when it comes to customer service
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
LOL well like cowards that they are, it seems after an extremely threatening letter from my solicitor they have deleted my personal details (I cant log in or even check email through the old account now). They have also wrote appologising for the billing balls up and say they wont be charging me LOL amazing what a letter from a solictor will do when you threaten to sue them with so many things it probably gave them a headache reading it lol
Posted by K3vst3r over 9 years ago
lol..think i should contact a solicitor also..keep getting letters through the post saying i owe them money even though i switched like 5 month ago..threatening to disconnect my like WTF! not even using your service anymore...anyone thinking of getting with pipex need to rethink things use someone else avoid them like the plague.
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