Magdalen man takes on broadband company in ‘breach of contract’ case

TalkTalk. EMN-151023-092108001
TalkTalk. EMN-151023-092108001

A man from Magdalen has taken a broadband giant to court for a “breach of contract” allegation following a cyber hack last year.

David Capon, a retired Metropolitan Police officer, claimed that TalkTalk did not take customers’ security seriously, after the cyber attack which affected 157,000 customers in October.

Mr Capon, of Stow Road, had his case heard at Lynn’s County Court where district judge Philip Rogers said “the case must fail” on the basis of no breach.

Prior to the hearing, Mr Capon, 56, said: “After the cyber attack on TalkTalk in 2015, I cancelled my contract as I no longer felt my data was safe with them.”

The court heard that TalkTalk kept its four million customers informed after the attack, and Mr Capon was told by the company that his information had not been compromised.

Mr Capon went on to say, during the hearing, that he felt the company were not fulfilling their side of the agreement in order to “protect and preserve” their customers’ personal information.

He was looking to receive damages to the tune of £400 for the alleged breach, for what he described as “malicious” correspondence with him, and for stress caused by the situation.

After the complainant took the decision to leave TalkTalk, he was asked to pay a £233 breakage fee, which he took issue with and refused to pay it.

Mr Capon said that this was the start of a six-month correspondence by letter with the company. The complainant maintained that the way in which this was conducted was malicious as he said they “threatened to ruin” his credit rating if he did not pay up.

Tim Morris, general counsel for TalkTalk admitted that the company had been “tardy” in their replies to Mr Capon, including registering his complaint.

Judge Rogers, concluding, dismissed the case and said: “I cannot see that there was a breach of contract on the part of TalkTalk at all. There was a cyber attack on the company by a third party, which could only result in a breach if the company let them do it and there is no evidence to suggest that they let the criminal party do it.

“TalkTalk have taken the case seriously and have sent their legal team here today. They have not trivialised it.”

In response to the outcome, Mr Capon said: “Naturally I am a bit disappointed. On the one hand, I think it unfair that anyone with TalkTalk who has concerns over the security of their personal data cannot legally leave without breaking their contract and incurring the charge.

“Seems quite unfair to the common man to me.”