Ok, so that pun didn't really work.

I've already posted a lengthy rant about aqva bathrooms and their complete lack of customer service after supplying me with defective goods.

Well, today, after sending them the recording of the call in which they told me they were sending things out (lying about it) and lodging a chargeback with American Express and making a threat of legal action I got the following;

As a goodwill gesture, we will be sending out a set of replacement legs.

Now, whether something can be considered a goodwill gesture after weeks of arguing, threats of legal action, and a chargeback is a matter for debate perhaps...

The next line was;

Just to inform you it is illegal to record a conversation without permission and is a breach or data protection.

Or, as I read it, "Damn you for recording the one piece of evidence where we said we would do something and then tried to renege on that agreement"

I also have a personal hatred for misunderstanding of Data Protection and anything else for that matter. I also object to some sales person at a bathroom company giving me legal advice... far less legal advice on telecoms ;)

And they are, of course, entirely wrong.

Ofcom guidance

Sadly, this is no longer on the Ofcom website that I can see, but the law hasn't changed.

Previously they had the following FAQ though;

Q. Can I record telephone conversations on my home phone? Yes. The relevant law, RIPA, does not prohibit individuals from recording their own communications provided that the recording is for their own use. Recording or monitoring are only prohibited where some of the contents of the communication - which can be a phone conversation or an e-mail - are made available to a third party, i.e. someone who was neither the caller or sender nor the intended recipient of the original communication.

Q. Do I have to let people know that I intend to record their telephone conversations with me? No, provided you are not intending to make the contents of the communication available to a third party. If you are you will need the consent of the person you are recording.

Can a business or other organisation record or monitor my phone calls or e-mail correspondence with them? Yes they can, but only in a limited set of circumstances relevant for that business which have been defined by the LBP Regulations. The main ones are:

  • to provide evidence of a business transaction
  • to ensure that a business complies with regulatory procedures
  • to see that quality standards or targets are being met
  • in the interests of national security
  • to prevent or detect crime
  • to investigate the unauthorised use of a telecom system
  • to secure the effective operation of the telecom system.

This position is also supported by a number of high profile cases

Q. Do businesses have to tell me if they are going to record or monitor my phone calls or e-mails? No. As long as the recording or monitoring is done for one of the above purposes the only obligation on businesses is to inform their own employees. Businesses wanting to record for any other purpose, such as market research, will have to obtain your consent.

Q. What do I do if my calls have been recorded unlawfully? Under RIPA it is a tort to record or monitor a communication unlawfully. This means that if you think you have suffered from unlawful interception of your phone calls or e-mails you have the right to seek redress by taking civil action against the offender in the courts.

ergo, not illegal.

If anything, it's unlawful... and in this case it wasn't.

Still, to go to this much effort over a £20 part missing from an £800 order... what sort of company operates like that?!?