When you contact us about a post office - our privacy policy

Citizens Advice is the statutory watchdog for postal services. This means we have a legal duty to monitor postal services to make sure consumers are getting a fair deal.

We collect and process your personal information using a lawful basis called ‘public task’. This means it lets us carry out a task which is in the public interest or part of our official functions, and which has a clear basis in law.

If you contact us with your concerns with a post office service, we'll collect personal information from you through email, phone or letter - depending on how you get in touch. This information might include:

  • your name and contact details

  • where you live

  • what you're concerned about in relation to your post office

  • whether you're making the complaint as a consumer, or as a local representative on behalf of your constituents or community

You can withdraw your permission for us to store your personal information at any time - known legally as withdrawing consent. Tell us what personal information you don't want us to store and we'll delete it.

How we use your information

As the consumer watchdog for postal services, the main way we use your information is to:

  • monitor changes in the post office network

  • follow up your complaint with the post office, if relevant

We'll only access your information for other reasons if we really need to - for example:

  • for training and quality purposes

  • to get more feedback on our service or the post office

  • to include anonymised statistics in internal or external reports

All staff accessing data have done data protection training to make sure your information is handled sensitively and securely.

When we share your data

We might share your personal information with Post Office Ltd so we can deal with your complaint. We'll only do this with your permission.

Post Office Ltd must store and use your data in line with data protection law - they can't pass it on or sell it without your permission.

If you get advice in person

NHS Test and Trace or local public health organisations might ask us to share your name, contact details and the date of your visit. This is to help track cases of coronavirus.

We have a ‘legitimate interest’ to share this information under data protection law - it helps us keep you and the public safe.

We won’t:

  • share information about the reason for your visit

  • share your contact details with anyone other than Test and Trace or a local public health organisation

Unlike most situations, we won't ask for your consent before we share your contact details. If you don't want us to share this information you can tell your local office you want to opt out. If you don’t want to give us your contact details at all, we’ll still be able to give you advice in person.

NHS Test and Trace might contact you if you visited at the same time as someone who tested positive for coronavirus. You can:

If you have the NHS Test and Trace app on your phone you can ‘check in’ at some of our local Citizens Advice offices. You can still get advice even if you don’t check in on the app. You can: 

Storing your information

We'll store your information securely on our internal systems.

We keep your data for 6 years. If your complaint is serious or involves an insurance claim or other dispute we keep the data for 16 years.

Contact us about your data

You can contact us at any time and ask us:

  • what information we've stored about you

  • to change or update your details

  • to delete your information

Send us a message at feedback@citizensadvice.org.uk.

If you want to make a complaint

If you're not happy with how we've handled your data, you can make a complaint.