Who are we?
We (Plusnet plc) are a telecoms company based in Sheffield and Leeds, serving residential and business customers across the UK with top notch broadband, phone and associated services at a great price.
Why do we have this policy?
We know that privacy is very important to our customers. As a straight talking provider we want you to understand why we need to collect personal information, how we use that information and to feel confident we’ll protect it. We’ve tried to set this out as simply as possible below.
When we refer to 'personal information' in this policy we mean information that identifies you (or could do so), such as your name and address and also online identifiers like IP address. Where you’re a business customer, ‘personal information’ also includes information that you may provide that identifies your customers, employees or people you act on behalf of. It’s a good idea to make them aware of this policy so they know how we use their data too.
What information do we collect about you and why?
In the below we’ve detailed what personal information we’ll collect when you interact with us and the reasons why we collect it. We’ll then use your personal information for these reasons.
When you browse the Plusnet website:
What we collect: we record how you use our website (for example, where you accessed it from, where you go on our website and how long you stay on each page). We also collect information on the browsers and operating system you use.
Why we collect it: we do this so we can see whether there are problems in how people navigate around our website and work to improve the experience of using our website. When we collect this information we may associate it with a unique identifier so we can link together all the ways you interact with us and our site (for example so we can tell if a particular part of our website isn't helpful, as people who visit it tend to call us afterwards).
When you call us:
What we collect: when you call us we'll ask you for your name, address, phone number and email address. If you’re already a customer, we’ll also ask you some security questions (e.g. what is your username and password), and if you call about a fault we might also collect information on your router or service settings (or something similar). We’ll keep a record of the call.
Why we collect it: we ask for your name so we can speak to you in a friendly way and we ask you security questions to ensure we’re talking to the right person. Keeping a record of the call allows us to meet our legal obligations and carry out staff training and performance monitoring. We only collect information on your router or service settings (or something similar) where we’re trying to fix a fault with your service.
When you chat with us online:
What we collect: we’ll keep a record of our conversation and we’ll collect information on the length of the chat, the name you provide us and any information that you choose to disclose.
Why we collect it: we do this for training and monitoring purposes. We also may carry out some analytics on an anonymised basis to identity key trends and improve the functionality and experience of chatting with us online.
When you sign up for our service(s):
What we collect: when you sign up for a service or services with us we'll ask you for your name, address, phone number, email address, mobile number, payment information and some other general information about how you want to use the service(s) and what other services you have. We’ll ask you to create a username and a password and we’ll also create a unique identifier for you. For some services we’ll also collect some extra information, such as your date of birth and previous addresses.
Why we collect it: we ask you for this information so we’re able to place your order, contact you about your order’s progress, process your payment and provide you with the service(s). We may also use it to check or confirm your identity. Your address and phone number, and the general information you provide on how you want to use our services, allow us to check what services we can provide you and to discuss the best service option for you. If you sign up for Plusnet Mobile we may also do a credit or fraud prevention check.
When you use any of our services:
What we collect: our network records information on how much you use our services (for example, the number of texts you send, how long you connect to the Internet, how long you speak on the phone, and what numbers you call). We also collect information on the websites you visit. We’ll also use some of the information you provide when you sign up when you use our services.
Why we collect it: we collect this information so we can provide our services, manage demand across our network, manage faults and bill you for the service. We may also use some of this usage information (including IP addresses and other traffic data) to look at how we can make our services better or to decide what marketing or products you might be interested in.
We’re legally required to keep this information. Sometimes court orders and agreements also mean we have to collect this information. The information might also be necessary if we need to contact you if you are using our service to access third party content in an unlawful way, or if we need to notify you about changes to our services (for example, to tell you that we have upgraded the service on your line, or to tell you when new technologies, such as fibre broadband, are available).
When you use Plusnet Safeguard:
What we collect: we capture and store information about whether you’ve activated Plusnet Safeguard and the settings that you’ve selected. Plusnet SafeGuard doesn’t record details of your individual Internet activity or any specific websites that might be blocked by this service. We may record anonymous and aggregated information about the websites that are blocked by Plusnet SafeGuard for the purpose of monitoring any problems or faults with the service.
Why we collect it: it is essential to collect this information for Plusnet SafeGuard to work properly and for it to be able to block unsuitable websites.
When you take Plusnet Mobile:
What we collect: we’ll capture and collect certain location information. Normally it’s only an approximate location, which is based on where you are relative to the nearest mobile phone masts. So we can’t tell if you’re in a particular house or shop. We’ll also collect details about the mobile phone you’re using, such as your hardware model, operating system version, unique device identifier and advertising identifiers on your device. And we’ll collect the setting you’re using on your phone, for example if you’ve got roaming on or off. We might collect some information about your broadband account with us as well.
Why we collect it: we use the information you give us when you sign up, the information we collect when you use our services, some location information and the device information to be able to provide our mobile service. We’ll also use location information to make sure you’re getting the most from your network coverage, to manage our network, and for reporting of network issues in particular areas. We may collect some information about your broadband account to see if you’re eligible for any special offers.
When you install some apps, they might ask that your mobile phone collects location, calling and other personal information. We aren’t responsible for how these apps use your personal information so we’d recommend you look at these apps privacy policies before installing them.
Location information might be shared with the emergency services if you make an emergency call so they can respond more quickly to the call. Sometimes public authorities will use location data to get in touch with you in the event of a public emergency. For example, the Environment Agency might send a warning about very severe flooding in your area.
When you take YouView TV from Plusnet:
What we collect: when you subscribe to YouView TV from Plusnet we may take details of the devices you use to connect to the service, the channels and programmes you watch, and adverts and services you access (for example, how you view, record or fast forward them).
Why we collect it: we do this so we can provide you with a personalised service, like viewing recommendations and tailored advertising. You can turn this off but you’ll get general content recommendations and adverts.
When you use the Plusnet Community:
What we collect: we capture the information you provide when you register to be a Plusnet Community user, and any information you provide in your contributions. We also compile statistics on the usage of the Community (for example, how many visitors there are to the Community, when they visited, for how long and which areas of the Community were visited). In respect of any personal information you may upload or post on the Community, it is your decision to do so and we don’t determine the purposes for which (and manner in which) you’ve uploaded or posted the information.
Why we collect it: we capture the registration information to be able to create your Plusnet Community account. We use information on Community usage for trend analysis purposes and to help us make improvements to the Community and to the services we make available. We don’t use this information to identify individuals visiting the Community forums.
As the Community is publically available, we're not responsible for the security of any personal information you upload or post within the public section of the Community, or any further use of that information by third parties.
When you are taking advantage of our referrals scheme:
What we collect: where you have referred a customer to us, we’ll collect information about your account (normally the username of the broadband account and maybe the post code) from the person you’ve referred.
Why we collect it: we do this so you can receive your referral bonus.
If you’re a customer who has been referred to us, we have to let the person who referred you know whether they are still eligible to receive a referral bonus. As this eligibility depends on a number of things you do (for example remaining a customer and making payments on time), this may involve indirectly letting the person who referred you know certain limited information about you. However, we’ll never provide the exact reason why they are no longer eligible to receive a referral bonus.
When someone in your family is taking advantage of discounts or benefits because you already take a Plusnet service:
What we collect: where a family member or someone in your household gets a discount or benefit because you’ve got broadband or another service with us, we’ll collect information about your account (normally your username and post code).
Why we collect it: we do this to check if the customer is eligible to receive the discounts or benefits.
If you’ve given your details out so a family member, or someone in your household, gets a discount or benefit, you need to make sure they are someone you can trust with these details. In addition, we have to let people with these discounts or benefits know when they aren’t eligible to receive them anymore. As this eligibility depends on things you do (for example remaining a customer), this may involve indirectly letting them know certain limited information about you.
Where you use comparison or cashback service providers:
What we collect: we may collect information via cookies (see below) and other tracking devices. We may also create unique identifiers that match our records with these providers’ records. Where you sign up for service(s), either online or via the phone, through one of these providers, these providers may collect the information to sign you up for the service(s) on our behalf, rather than us collecting the information from you directly.
Why we collect it: we use the tracking information and unique identifiers to see whether you’ve been referred to us by a comparison website or cashback provider and to be able to process payments that are due. The information collected to sign you up for service(s) is collected for the same reasons as when you sign up with us directly and the When you sign up for our service(s) section provides full details on this.
Please note that these comparison websites and cashback providers have their own privacy policies and may use your personal information for wider purposes. We’d recommend you check these policies before you submit any personal information to them.
Where you are entitled to cashback or similar rewards:
What we collect: sometimes we may also ask you to provide or confirm certain information about your account (e.g. your address or username), either to us or our third party providers who are providing the cashback or reward services.
Why we collect it: we may ask you to provide this information so we or our third party providers can validate if you’re entitled to receive the cashback or rewards as part of one of our offers or deals.
There are couple of other circumstances where we might collect or use your personal information not covered by the above:
We generally carry out market research and analysis on our products and services, customer base and generally to see what we can improve in the future. To do this we, or our third party market research providers, may contact you by text or email so you can provide feedback on our customer service or our services generally, if you want to. This market research and analysis may also involve us sharing or obtaining personal information with companies that pull together information from multiple sources. When we can, we'll make sure that you can't be identified after your participation in the research has ended.
We try to use dummy information to test our software but sometimes we have to use personal information. We’ll only do this where strictly necessary and in secure pre-production environments.
Sometimes court orders and legal and regulatory obligations change, which mean we have to use your personal information in different ways to comply with these requirements.
If you fail to pay us, and still don’t do so after we remind you, your details may be passed onto a third party debt collection agency. This agency may conduct certain searches with credit reference agencies (like Experian or Equifax) and of other public data sources. They do this to better understand your circumstances (such as if the details we provided are up to date or to assess your ability to make payment). These searches may be visible to you if you check your credit record (but not to third parties, although they may be used by the credit reference agencies to inform your credit scores).
If we provide you with an email address or a static IP address we’ll use the username you use to access your account within this address, so any personal information within your username may be visible to third parties. If you ask us, we can change your static IP address so that the rDNS does not display your username.
When is information used for marketing purposes?
We may use your personal Information to market and advertise our products and services, BT group products and services and occasionally third party products and services that may be of interest to you by telephone, post, SMS, email or online or via apps.
If you want to stop or change how we use your information for marketing purposes, you can do this via the Member Centre if you’re a broadband, phone or TV customer. If you’re a Plusnet Mobile customer you can change your marketing preferences via My Account.
We subscribe to email and direct mail lists provided by third parties and use the information for our marketing campaigns, but only where this complies with applicable laws.
As we are part of the BT group, we will share information with other BT group companies, including EE, so they can let you know about other products and services you may be interested in (but they’ll only do this where it complies with applicable laws) and to stop us all contacting you about the same things. If you would like these BT group companies to not to call or mail you with details of products, services and special offers, please call 0800 800 150 (residential customers) or 0800 400 400 (business customers).
We may also use your personal information to provide you with targeted or tailored advertising both on our and selected partner’s websites or apps. This may involve providing personal information to our partners but we always try to make sure these partners allow you to opt out of this targeted or tailored advertising.
You have the right to ask us not to process your personal information for marketing purposes. You can do this by opting out of receiving information about products and services from us when you first sign up with us, or at any other time by updating your communication preferences on the Member Centre. Also, when we carry out a marketing campaign by text or email, we’ll give you the option to ask us to not contact you again.
How, when and why do we do credit or fraud checks or provide information to credit or fraud checking agencies?
When you sign up with Plusnet Mobile, or change or update your Plusnet Mobile plan, we might use your name, address and other personal information you give us to carry out credit and/or fraud prevention checks.
Once in a while, we might run more checks with credit reference and fraud prevention agencies to keep your account with us up to date. If you fail to pay us, we or the debt recovery agencies we use, might carry out further checks.
In some cases, we’ll also ask for information on people you’ve got a financial link with, such as family members, partners and household members. You should get their agreement before giving us their information.
Our credit checking process will involve checking your details with credit reference agencies and/or fraud and theft prevention agencies. We do that to help us verify your identity and make decisions about the services and mobile phone plans we can offer you. These agencies will also use the records for statistical analysis about credit, insurance and fraud.
These checks will involve both credit scoring and/or automated decision making which you consent to.
If you give us false or inaccurate information which leads us to suspect fraud, we’ll also record this and details will be passed to the appropriate credit reference or fraud prevention agencies.
We may also give credit reference agencies details of your accounts and bills and how you manage them. That includes telling them about changes of address, your account balances, what you pay us and if you miss a payment. The agencies will keep this information for six years. They, or a fraud prevention agency, might tell other organisations doing similar checks. They include organisations trying to prevent or detect fraud or money laundering, or trying to trace you or recover money you owe them.
If you don’t become a Plusnet Mobile customer, we’ll continue to hold the result of our credits checks and some other limited credit information about you for customer enquiries and for legal purposes. It also helps us prevent or detect fraud.
To request a copy of your credit reference file, write directly to the agencies listed below. You’ll need to pay a small fee for this service and the information held by each might not be the same.
Callcredit, Consumer Services Team, PO Box 491, Leeds, LS3 1WZ or 0870 0601414 or callcredit.co.uk
Equifax, Credit File Advice Centre, PO Box 1140, Bradford, BD1 5US or 0844 3350550 or equifax.co.uk
Experian, Consumer Help Service, PO Box 8000, Nottingham, NG80 7WF or 0844 4818000 or experian.co.uk
How do we store your personal information?
We want you to feel confident about using our services, so we take our legal obligations to safely store and protect your personal information very seriously. We're constantly reviewing our processes and procedures to protect your personal information from unauthorised access and use, loss and/or destruction.
All the information we hold about you is stored on our secure servers and is encrypted using industry standard technology, adhering strictly to all relevant UK legislation. We use encrypted transmission links for any communication which may contain personal information.
The information that we collect from you may be transferred to, and stored at, a destination outside the European Economic Area ("EEA"). It may also be processed by staff based outside the EEA, who work for us, or for one of our suppliers. If this is the case we seek to ensure that similar strict security standards apply and that personal information is transferred to and stored in accordance with UK and applicable laws. By submitting your personal information, you agree to this transfer, storing or processing of your personal information.
Where we've given you (or where you've chosen) a password which enables you to access certain services, you're responsible for keeping this password secure and confidential. We ask you not to share your password with anyone.
Who do we share your personal information with?
We sometimes use other companies to provide some of our services or to provide services to us. So that they can do this, we may need to let them process your personal information. We might also pass information to fraud and credit reference agencies from time to time. The full details on this are above. When we do so, these companies must keep the information secure in accordance with our instructions, and must comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 and other UK privacy legislation.
Where you ask us, we'll pass your details to other companies who provide a directory service that is available to the public. If you prefer to remain ex-directory we won't give your number to these companies.
We may also share personal information with other members of the BT group, including EE, so as to be able to provide our services and diagnose faults where we use the BT network, for general group administration purposes such as to compile group reports and where we share support services or systems. As part of the BT group, we adhere to some group wide data handling rules approved by the Information Commissioner's Office, known as Binding Corporate Rules, when we share personal information like this.
We may provide information to the relevant authorities (in response to properly made requests) to prevent and detect crime, to prosecute offenders, and to protect national security. In all cases, we'll do this in line with the Data Protection Act 1998. We also provide information when we have to do so by law (for example, under a court order) or in response to demands that have been made lawfully under legal powers.
In the event that we sell or buy any business or assets, we may disclose your personal information to the prospective seller or buyer of such business or assets.
How long do we keep your personal information for?
How long we keep personal information depends on how we use that information. In some cases the law requires that we keep information for a minimum period. Unless the law says otherwise, we'll keep information no longer than we need to for the purposes we collected it.
What are your rights?
You have the right to know what personal information we hold about you but we can charge a fee for providing this information. If you would like a copy of some or all of your personal information, please write to us at the following address:
Subject Access Request, Plusnet, The Balance, 2 Pinfold Street, Sheffield, S1 2GU
We want to make sure that your personal information is up to date. You may ask us to correct or remove information that you think is inaccurate, subject to our legal obligations in this respect.
What about third party websites?
Our website may contain links to and from the websites of our partner networks, advertisers and affiliates. These third parties may use your information in different ways to us (which we aren’t responsible for) so you should read their privacy policies before you give any personal information to these websites.
When was this policy last updated?
How can you contact us?
If you’ve any questions about this policy or the personal information we hold about you, please write to us at:
Plusnet, The Balance, 2 Pinfold Street, Sheffield, S1 2GU
We’re registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office under number: Z9901036.