A colleague told me about a long-standing problem with misdirected post and data protection she had with a well known pensions and life insurance provider which features a female grim reaper in its adverts. Can you guess the brand that I am referring to?

She was continually receiving misdirected post for a Doctor with a foreign sounding name and no action was taken despite numerous requests. However, she was able to get an outstanding result within minutes after we discussed the misuse of data and the GDPR Act 2018.



She rang Customer Services at 8am and explained yet again that she was continually receiving misdirected post for an individual who has never lived there for many years. She has requested the records be updated on numerous occasions without success and takes exception to her private address being used for other people’s post. Her closing question was to sarcastically ask, “I take it you have heard of GDPR?”

Quoting the correct legislation that is a hot topic in financial services elicited an initial offer of £25, and was asked if she would be happy with that?


She saw that as a starting point and asked if they could increase it to take in to account the amount of phone calls she has made to try and resolve this, which saw another £5 added to the offer.

One final push by asking if they could increase it further because she was going to be late for work in making this call saw another £5 added, resulting in a £35 pay-out for less than 15 minutes work.

That equates to an annual salary of about £255,000 for a 35 hour week, and it’s fair to say that she doesn’t earn anywhere near that!


The key to successfully resolving complaints is to be polite, persistent, quote the correct legislation, remain calm and add a hint of sarcasm along the way to get the right outcome.

We have all had problems with misdirected post, although most people wouldn’t think about the data protection breaches and using it to get this result.

She did buy my book, although I doubt she needs any advice from me!

This is a textbook result that I was impressed with and one that we can all learn from.

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