Since 2010, water companies have been permitted by the Information Commissioners Office and OFWAT to share data with Credit Reference Agencies, such as Experian, Callcredit and Equifax.
What is a Credit Reference Agency?
Credit reference agencies (CRAs) collect and maintain information on consumers’ and businesses’ credit behaviour, on behalf of organisations in the UK.
Why do you share data with Credit Reference Agencies?
We will share data about you with Credit Reference Agencies and Fraud Prevention Agencies to better understand our customers and help:
- manage your account
- better tailor the services and products we provide to you
- identify early signs of financial hardship so that appropriate support can be offered
- assist in the prevention of over indebtedness
- verify your identity to help prevent fraud.
How will data sharing affect me?
Where payments are made on time, sharing information about regular payment of water bills should contribute positively towards building a good credit history. This may help some customers access more favourable credit and financial services and products.
Where payments are not made on time, this is likely to impact your credit score and could result in you being refused credit.
If you are having difficulties paying your bill, we may be able to help, either by reducing your future bills, or through a payment plan. It is important that you call and talk to us on 02920 740255.
Does this comply with Data Protection law?
Welsh Water and Experian comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 at all times. The sharing of your information with Credit Reference Agencies does not require your consent. Data is shared to help Welsh Water to collect debt. It also helps other organisations in the scheme to prevent bad or unpaid debt, prevent fraud and money laundering and to promote responsible lending.
Who can access or view my personal data?
Your financial information will only be available to members of the sharing scheme administered by Experian. The information sharing scheme is carefully regulated by law and by strict rules drawn up by the organisations who share information.
I have received a Notice of Intention to Default, what should I do?
It’s not too late to act, but you need to do so now.
Contact us today on 02920 740255. We are here to help, and we have a number of schemes that may help you reduce future bills. More details can be found at Help Paying my Bill. We may also be able to agree a payment plan going forward.
If you are having difficulties paying bills or are struggling with debt there are many excellent FREE Independent Debt advice organizations that can help you. They can make sure that you are claiming the benefits you are entitled to help you to manage your outgoings and help you negotiate with the people you owe money to. Examples are:
Phone on 0808 808 4000
Phone on 0800 138 1111
Visit Citizens Advice Bureau
Money Service Advice
Phone 0300 500 5000
How can I see my credit report?
Experian can provide you with a copy of your statutory copy report which costs £2. Either visit www.experian.co.uk or request one by post:
Customer Support Centre
PO Box 8000
Telephone: 0844 481 8000
(please refer to Experian's website for call charge details)
What do I do if I find a mistake on my credit report?
You can raise a dispute by visiting Experian’s website and completing their online enquiry form. If you think Welsh Water has made a mistake that is affecting your credit report, contact us on 0303 313 0022 or send an email using our online enquiry form.
Where can I get more information?
More information can be found in our leaflets Welsh Water For You and Welsh Water For You - For Metered Customers.