Thursday, June 18, 2009

Another reason I don't do direct debits

Bord Gais admitted last night that the banking details of 75,000 people were on a laptop that has been stolen. The information wasn't encrypted. Typical.

The customers affected are those who switched from ESB to Bord Gais for their electricity supply. That includes me. Oh yeah, as a by the way, the information has been in criminal hands since "last Friday week" (June 5? not sure). Hey, at least they only made us wait two weeks before telling us, right?

Customers should be entitled to sue BG for this sort of negligence. They should be compensated for the aggravation and, yes, the worry over something that has arisen because "it's not that big a deal" is the prevailing attitude at Bord Gais (and the banks too. Remember?). What price will BG pay for this? Not much to be honest. It's a bit of a PR headache right now, but that will pass quickly. Meanwhile all 75,000 customers now have to wonder if their bank details are in the hands of people who could use them for their own criminal ends.

Fortunately I didn't sign up for direct debit with BG so they don't have my bank details. And, now, fortunately, neither do the criminals. Just another reason why signing up for direct debit is a bad idea: you're giving important information to people who simply don't care enough to take care of it.