It felt like a fairly open and shut case. A major national financial organisation is running procedures that blatantly discriminate against trans men and women. That breaches the Equality Act. Sorted.
A shot across their bows – and Bob’s your uncle? Not quite.
I seem to have entered a legal maze and am wary that I am about to be given a very clever and ultimately fruitless run-around.
Here’s the problem. When you go to a big retailer – in this case BHS – and apply for a “storecard” with credit facilities attached, the card comes eventually from a card provider (Barclaycard).
Before they issue a card, the latter must “score” your application, which they do using a third party – Equifax. It is the procedures of the last company that are in question.
But. If you apply for a card to BHS, you have no direct relationship with the end company. Rather, they pass your application on to Barclaycard, who process it using the services of Equifax – and they then decide whether or not to issue a card.
So who do you complain to and, more to the point, who can you seek legal redress from? The answer, this afternoon, from BHS was “not us, guv!”. They say: we pass the app on. Barclaycard score it. Barclaycard issue the card. Barclaycard process the data. So nothing to do with us.
Against which I have two thoughts: if a BHS toaster blew up and wrecked my kitchen, I would not sue the manufacturer. I’d sue the retailer (BHS). They, in turn, MIGHT take the matter up with their own supplier – but I would have no legal redress in respect of that second party in the chain.
Same here. I was invited to apply for a card by a BHS staff member. I filled out a form with BHS in the branding. Response and all subsequent dealings have been handled by a BHS call centre.
So, it seems to me, it ought to be BHS who are in the frame.
But if they’re right, there is absolutely no point in doing anything to them cause…they’re not responsible.
I will take full legal advice before proceeding. But anyone reading this with a legal background…your thoughts would be much appreciated.
Equifax are POSSIBLY beng discriminatory. Barclaycard use Equifax. BHS use Barclaycard. MY own innocent point of view is that BHS must answer for that.