1 - Who we are

Wessex Searches is a trading name of Wessex Water Enterprises Limited, a company owned by Wessex Water Limited. Our registered office is at Wessex Water Operations Centre, Claverton Down Road, Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7WW. Wessex Water Enterprises Limited as the company responsible for your personal information is the Data Controller. We are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office under registration ZA043152.

This Notice applies to customers, contractors, employees of contractors, prospective employees, referees and other third parties.

2 - Why we need you to give us information

This Privacy Notice lets you know how and why we collect and use your personal information. This includes what you tell us about yourself and what we might learn about you from others. This Privacy Notice explains how we do this and tells you about your rights.

We are required to have legal bases for the various reasons we may process personal information we hold about you that we explain in more detail in the rest of this Notice which we hope you’ll read carefully.

3 – What personal data do we collect about you

Information you give us.

You give us personal information when you fill in forms on our website: www.wessexsearches.co.uk (our site) or by contacting us by phone, email or otherwise. This might be information you give us when you register to use our site, sign up as a client, pay us (through our site or otherwise), sign-up to or use a service, get involved in discussion boards and other social media areas of our site or enter a competition, promotion, survey or request a product or information from us. The information you give us may include your name, company name, company address, email address, phone number, your financial payment information, your client’s name, your client’s property name and address or the property name and address you or your client is interested in.

Information we collect about you.

As well as you giving us information, we may gather it when we are providing a service to you. This might include details about the property you or your client is intending to purchase and details about your financial standing as obtained from a credit checking service. We also collect information about you from publicly available sources that includes, but not limited to your website, social media platforms, or professional or public press or events. Our offices (including car parks) may be monitored by CCTV and your image may be recorded for security purposes if you visit us. We use signs to confirm where a CCTV system is used. Images are retained for 28 days and then deleted.

Information we collect about you when you use our website.

Whenever you visit our site we may automatically collect the following information: technical information, including the internet protocol (IP) address used to connect your computer to the internet, your login information, browser type and version, time zone setting, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system and platform; information about your visit, including the full uniform resource locators (URL) clickstream to, through and from our site (including date and time); products you viewed or searched for; page response times, download errors, length of visits to certain pages, page interaction information (such as scrolling, clicks, and mouse-overs), and methods used to browse away from the page and any phone number used to call our client service number.

Information we receive from other sources

We work closely with several people or organisations we trust (including business partners, companies we use to provide technical, payment and delivery services, advertising networks, analytics providers, search information providers, credit reference agencies, debt recovery agencies) and may receive information about you from them. As part of our due diligence process we may also be required to confirm your identify through valid business checks.


Our website uses cookies to distinguish you from other users of our website. These data files which hold small amounts of data that are transmitted from our website to your browser to record information that allows us to distinguish you from other users of our website. This helps us to provide you with a good experience when you browse our website and helps us to improve our site.

You can decide to accept or reject our cookies by amending the cookies setting in your browser, but please be aware that doing this could hinder your user experience on our website.

For detailed information on the cookies we use and the purposes for which we use them see our ‘Cookie notice’.

4 - How do we use your personal data?

We may use your personal data in the following ways:

  • to process and respond to requests, enquiries and complaints we receive from you
  • to provide products and services requested by you
  • to manage and administer your account
  • to carry out credit checks where appropriate (for more information please see the credit check section below)
  • to communicate with you about services provided to you
  • to process payments
  • to make sure our records are correct and up-to-date
  • to analyse trends and profiles
  • to carry out market analysis (on a non-personal basis)
  • for audit purposes
  • to carry out customer satisfaction research
  • to improve our products and services
  • to stop someone committing fraud or to help authorities investigate fraud
  • to help us establish or defend legal claims
  • to comply with law and regulations
  • 5 - Legal bases for processing your data

    The law requires that whenever we process your personal data, we need to have at least one legal basis for doing so. The legal bases on which we process your personal data are:


    We will process your data after receiving consent from you, to inform you of offers, new products any other information we believe may be of interest to you if you have given us permission to do so.

    We will also process your information where you have entered your email address to receive our newsletter which details information about our products, services and offers.

    Should you wish not to receive marketing communication, you can let us know by clicking the unsubscribe button in any of our emails or contact us at contactus@wessexsearches.co.uk

    We will also require your consent to carry out any credit checks through credit reference agencies if we offer a credit facility to you and need to assess if debt risk applies to you and/or where we must verify your identity.

    Legitimate interest

    To continue to provide you with information on similar products or services we have provided to you or you have requested from us in the past.

    We will use your contact details to let you know of our product and service offering if you are a business and not currently a customer of ours.

    To administer your account, respond to your enquiries and messages and ensure we can contact you if we have enquiries with your order.

    To carry out customer satisfaction research that enables us to provide you with a better service and customer experience.

    To conduct market and trend analysis in a non-personal way that allows us to improve our product offering to you.

    To facilitate the effective operating of our business following internal policies, legislation and regulatory requirements.

    Ensure legislative and regulatory compliance with records management and retention requirements. We may also obtain information about from third parties (e.g. credit reference agencies) when you enter into a contract with us. This is to ascertain if debt risk applies to you.

    We may also obtain information about from third parties (e.g. credit reference agencies) when you enter into a contract with us. This is to ascertain if debt risk applies to you.

    Performance of a contract

    Collecting and processing your information to provide you with details of the search(es) you order and ensuring payments for the orders are collected.

    Providing you with search reports from our third-party partners.

    Processing your information (and that of clients represented by you) and payment in accordance with our Terms and Conditions.

    Conducting specialist search reports through one of our third-party partners in accordance with our Terms and Conditions.

    Legal obligation

    We are required by law to process and retain payment information to ensure tax and other regulatory compliance.

    6 – How we share your personal data

    We will not share your personal data unless we have a legitimate interest or lawful reason to so. If we do have to share your information then we’ll keep it to a minimum to let the person or organisation do what we’ve asked or as the law requires. We may need to share your information with other organisations as follows.

    We sometimes use agents and service providers to process personal information on our behalf. For instance, we may use different companies to process all or part of your order.

    We may use other companies or companies within Wessex Water Limited to send out letters, to process credit and debit card payments, recover debts and to maintain our IT systems. Where we use other organisations to process your personal information, we will ensure that they have adequate security measures in place to safeguard it.

    We will release your personal information when we’re required to do so for legal or regulatory purposes or as part of legal proceedings. This may include sharing your information with regulators or authorities.

    We may give information we hold about you to a third-party as part of the process of selling one or more of our businesses, in which case we may provide your information to a prospective buyer.

    When we carry out credit and identity checks, we may pass your information to credit reference and specialist agencies. This information may be held by those agencies to form part of their records which may also be accessed by third parties who carry out credit or identity checks on you. Please see the section below on credit checks for more information.

    We may pass your information to debt recovery companies for the collection of unpaid charges on our behalf.

    We will disclose your personal data if we’re under a duty to share your personal data so we can comply with any legal obligation, or to enforce our contractual rights and other agreements; or to protect the rights, property, or safety of our customers, or others. This includes exchanging information with other companies and organisations for the purposes of fraud protection and credit risk reduction.

    We may share information with advertisers and advertising networks or other carefully selected partners that require the data to select and serve relevant adverts to you and others. We do not disclose information about identifiable individuals to our advertisers, but we may provide them with aggregate information about our users. We may also use such aggregate information to help advertisers reach the kind of audience they want to target. We may make use of the personal data we have collected from you to enable us to comply with our advertisers' wishes by displaying their advertisement to that target audience.

    We share information with analytics and search engine providers that assist us in the improvement and optimisation of our site.

    We may transfer or share your information with other companies in the Wessex Water group for the purposes we’ve explained but if we’re going to use it for something other than supplying our products and/or services or for a reason you wouldn’t normally expect then we will explain why by letting you know about the changes and, if we need your agreement, then we’ll check you are happy with this before we share it.

    We may share your information with:

    a. Water companies in the United Kingdom

    Reason: To provide additional information for your search request. We only provide water companies with details of the search property and your contact details

    Where it is processed: United Kingdom

    Protection in place: all processing is carried out through our secure servers based in the European Economic Area (EEA)

    b. Credit reporting agencies

    Reason: to assess if debt risk applies to you, where we must verify your identity and manage our debt collection process.

    Where it is processed: United Kingdom.

    Protection in place: all processing is carried out through our secure servers based in the European Economic Area (EEA)

    c. Wessex Water Services Limited

    Reason: To provide additional information and assistance for your search request. To assist with the testing and quality assurance of our IT systems.

    Where it is processed: United Kingdom and Malaysia.

    Additional protection in place: UK activities carried out within the EEA. GDPR compliant contract in place for work carried outside the EEA.

    d. PR and marketing companies

    Reasons: To send you details of our offers, news and other information that may be of interest to you. We only provide them with your email addresses and contact name to carry out customer satisfaction surveys on our behalf.

    Where it is processed: United Kingdom.

    Protection in place: all processing is carried out through our secure servers based in the European Economic Area (EEA)

    e. Debt recovery companies

    Reason: To check if debt risks apply to you and manage our debt collection process.

    Where it is processed: United Kingdom.

    Protection in place: all processing is carried out through our secure servers based in the European Economic Area (EEA)

    7 - Credit and identity checks

    We share your personal information with credit reference and other specialist agencies to verify your identity so we can keep your records up-to-date, check if debt risks apply to you and manage our debt collection process.

    Information that we give to these agencies includes information held in our records, such as your name, address, date of birth or other relevant information.

    8 - Where we store your personal data

    All the information you give us is stored on our secure servers and if you chose to pay us by card then the transactions are encrypted. If we have given you a password (or you have chosen one) then you need to keep this password confidential. Please don’t share your password with anyone.

    Sometimes, so we can get the best value for money for, say, making our computer systems and websites better, we may need to transfer your personal information to countries outside of the European Economic Area, where data protection laws may not be treated with as high a priority as they are in the UK. If we need to do this we will make sure that we take extreme precautions to keep your information safe and only let companies which form part of Wessex Water Limited group companies use it.

    Unfortunately, sending information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data and will make sure our site webpages are secured, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to us by email; any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and

    9 - How long we need to keep your information

    We will retain your personal data for as long as it is necessary for the purpose(s) for which it was provided. The period of retention will vary according to whether you are our customer or by laws and regulations that we must comply with. As a customer, we will keep your personal data as long as you are our customer and then for 6 years after that as we may need to refer to it to resolve any differences or issues that may arise after our relationship ends.

    10 - If you are applying for a job with us

    We will normally ask you to apply for a vacancy via our online recruitment system. During the recruitment process, the information you give us may include your name, age, contact details, details of your education, your employment history, emergency contact details, immigration status, financial information (if we need to carry out financial background checks), documentary evidence of your identity and national insurance number. You may decide to share other information with us if you think it is relevant to your application. Where appropriate and in accordance with UK laws, we may also collect information related to your health, diversity information or details of any criminal convictions.

    If we ask to collect information which we need your consent to gather and use then we’ll tell you why we need this and ask for your agreement to use it and tell you about how you can withdraw your agreement but we’ll let you know more about this if we need to ask you to give us this information.

    If we have been given your details to provide a reference or as an emergency contact we will hold basic information such as your name, address and telephone number so we can contact you for this purpose.

    Information we collect about you. As well as you giving us information, we may gather it from other organisations connected with your previous employment which hold it.

    Information we receive from other sources about you and which we may share with them. We may ask for a reference from a person you have given as a referee. We may obtain details about you from other third party sources like ‘Linked-In’ and other job-related websites. We also have accounts on sites like Facebook and Twitter that you could use to give us personal information and through other on-line channels that become available to us. We may also receive information about you from past employers, educational establishments, examining bodies and employment and recruitment consultants who contact us or we contact.

    How we use your information. We will use your personal data:

    to store your details to contact you to process applications for roles and positions we advertise as current vacancies;

    to contact referees for references about you;

    to process, with your agreement, information about your health or details about criminal convictions if they are required for the role you have applied for.

    How long we will keep your information as a candidate. If you accept an offer of employment with us, we will keep your information for as long as you are employed by us and for six years after that. If your application is unsuccessful or you do not accept an offer of employment then we will keep only your application and assessment information.  We will keep this for six months and will then destroy it.

    11 - If you are a referee or contact

    How we use your information if you are a referee or contact. We will use your personal data:

    to contact you if a candidate has given us your name as a referee so we can take up a reference; or

    to contact you if we have been provided with your details by a candidate as a contact in the event of an accident or emergency affecting them.

    12 - Your rights

    As a customer you have the following rights. These are:

    • Your right to be informed – this Notice is an example of this. We may need to update this Notice if we need to do something different with your information and so we may change it on our site. If you’ve given us your email address we may use it to let you know we’ve changed the Notice.
    • Your right to rectification - it is important that the information we are holding is accurate and up to date so if you think any of your information is incorrect or needs updating then let us know and we will update it.
    • If you are a business customer who is a sole-trader or part of a small partnership then you have further rights regarding the information we hold about you.
    • Your right of access - you have the right to request a copy of the personal information that we hold about you. Please email requests to contactus@wessexsearches.co.uk or contact the Data Protection Officer whose details appear at the end of this Notice.
    • We have a calendar month to respond to your request for information. If we need more information to process your request, we will contact you to let you know.
    • Your right to erasure – customers who are individuals have the right to request that their personal information be deleted where there is no longer a legitimate purpose for it being processed.
    • Your right to information about automated decision making - if a human being isn’t involved in making a decision using your information and it’s done automatically, then you can ask us about how the decision is made. We don’t make decisions like this at the moment but if we start then we’ll let you know and tell you about why we’re doing it.
    • Your right to data portability – you have the right to ask us to give you a copy of the personal information you have provided to us in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable form.
    • Your right to restrict processing – you have the right to ask us to restrict or suppress our use of your personal data. If we agree that we should stop processing it, we will still hold it but will not use it.
    • Your right to object – if you don’t want us to use your personal information any more then you can ask us to stop what we’re doing with it. Please bear in mind though that we need it to provide services to you and we may need to keep your data for a certain amount of time as we’ve explained above. You can also ask us not to use your personal data for marketing purposes. You can exercise this right at any time by contacting us at contactus@wessexsearches.co.uk or by contacting our Data Protection Officer whose details are at the end of this Notice. If you ask to stop using your personal information then we will contact you to confirm the position as there may be some circumstances where we will have to continue using it.

    With respect to certain rights, we may ask for a copy of your passport or driving licence and for a copy of a document that shows your address before we can respond to a request.

    13 - Links to other websites

    Our site may, from time to time, contain links to and from the websites of our partner networks, advertisers and affiliates. If you follow a link to any of these websites, please note that these websites have their own privacy notices and that we do not accept any responsibility or liability for these notices. Please check these notices before you submit any personal data to these websites.

    14 - Changes to our Privacy Notice

    We will update this privacy notice from time to time to keep you informed of any changes to the ways in which we use your personal data. Any changes we may make to our privacy notice in the future will be posted on our site and, where appropriate, notified to you by email. Please check back frequently to see any updates or changes to our privacy notice.

    15 - Complaints

    If you’re not happy and have issues with the way we’ve dealt with your information or your rights then please let us know by contacting us as below. If you remain unhappy with our response then you can ask the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to look into what we’ve done. They can be reached at ico.org.uk, by phone on 0303 123 1113 or by writing to the ICO, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

    16 - Contact

    Questions, comments and requests regarding this privacy notice are welcomed and should be emailed to dpo@wessexwater.co.uk, or please write to:

    The Data Protection Officer
    Wessex Water Operations Centre
    Claverton Down Road
    Claverton Down
    BA2 7WW