Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Beware the small print on Telecoms Agreements

At Merlin, we’re in a position to see many telecoms contracts. While most are explicit and unambiguous to the client; some are using the trick, of a little tick in a box.

Below, is an extract from one of our favourite culprits. For clients with an existing installation, they rather sneakily achieve a long term contract or renewal by getting sales agents to tick one of these boxes below, and in the opinion of those who we are undertaking an audit for, without bringing it to your attention. We’re talking about a subtle tick - very easy to miss. However, their commission depends upon it, so they have a vested interest in being discreet in bringing this tick you your attention.

So if you see this on a document, ask why there is a need for a minimum term, as there’s no commercially justifiable reason for long-length contracts where you are an existing client or thinking of changing supplier, there is no additional cost associated to delivering the service.

Telecoms service providers have a wholesale rate and a retail rate and the difference keeps them in business. What the above tick in a box does is to create a value of their business should they wish to sell it, nothing at all to do with delivering value to the end user, so beware - this is all about supplier gain at the customer’s expense.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Half of firms with BYOD policies have suffered a security breach, Dell claims

In a recent new article released by Out-Law.com the headline  - "Half of firms with BYOD policies have suffered a security breach, Dell claims" -  gives us a stark warning of the dangers that are inherent in the use of personal technology being brought into the work place without proper security controls and policies being in place.

 Data security and employment law specialist at Pinsent Masons have been been warning of the dangers of the growing use of personal mobile devices for work purposes demanded by employees. In a recent article they warned that businesses should develop comprehensive policies for using personal technology BYOD (bring your own device) and avoid drifting into permitting staff to use their own equipment.

The dangers of allowing the unfettered use of insecure equipment in the workplace is huge. It is time to act and protect your business before a major incident occurs and you leave yourself exposed.

For the full article "Half of firms with BYOD policies have suffered a security breach, Dell claims" please visit Out-law.com

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Glasgow company fined £90,000 as ICO tackles nuisance calls

News release from the Information Commissioners Office

The ICO has served a monetary penalty of £90000 to a company that has made 1000's of unwanted marketing calls to the public.

Nearly 2,000 complaints had been made to the ICO and the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and it was found that the company had consistently failed to check whether individuals had opted out of receiving calls - a breach of the law and had responded to just a handful of complaints.

The monetary penalty is the first the ICO has issued for a serious breach of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) relating to live marketing calls. This latest penalty comes after the joint owners of a company, which was responsible for sending hundreds of thousands of spam texts, received penalties totalling £440,000 in November last year.

Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, said:
  • “Today’s action sends out a clear message to the marketing industry that this menace will not be tolerated. This company showed a clear disregard for the law and a lamentable attitude toward the people whose day they were disturbing. This is not good enough.
  • “This fine will not be an isolated penalty. We know other companies are showing a similar disregard for the law and we’ve every intention of taking further enforcement action against companies that continue to bombard people with unlawful marketing texts and calls.
  • “All of this work has been made possible thanks to the information we are receiving from the public, which has assisted our investigation team in identifying the companies making these calls.”
Click here to read the full release from the ICO.