Local Legal Expert Urges Residents to Know their Rights
Following a recent decision by the Court of Appeal to uphold a ruling that a bank had committed unlawful harassment towards one of its customers, and had to pay £7,500 of compensation, Edmund Coxhead
, Partner at PCB Solicitors, is urging local residents to ensure they know their rights and to seek legal assistance should they have concerns.
“In this case, the bank’s staff made around 550 calls or attempted calls to their customer, over a period of just 12 months, despite the customer making it very clear that they didn’t wish to talk to them and wanted the calls to stop. Issues like this affect many people across the UK, and it’s not just banks and other financial organisations, for example there are known cases involving utility companies.
“The legal definition of harassment is quite broad, and it can therefore be difficult to establish what is deemed acceptable and what is deemed unlawful. In essence, however, a person mustn’t pursue a course of conduct which amounts to harassment of another person, and carry out activities that they themselves know is harassment.
According to Edmund, victims of harassment should follow some simple but crucial steps to help them build a case for seeking justice for the problems they have faced. These include recording the number of calls they receive or obtaining a fully-itemised phone bill, keeping any correspondence from the harasser such as letters or emails, and getting statements from any potential witnesses.
“Creditors are of course allowed to take reasonable steps to get something from you – whether that’s payments, loan agreements, or information – and they can do this by phoning you, calling at your home at an acceptable time of the day, or sending reminders through the post. Harassment, however, can be any action that makes a person feel distressed, humiliated or threatened, so if an individual is receiving several unwanted calls day and night, then it’s harassment and they should seek advice or legal assistance.