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Can I record a phone conversation?


WhiteTruckMan

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I'm having trouble with a neighboring council (Burnley Borough Council) using baliffs to pursue a council tax debt of somebody with a similar name to me. The other person has an address in burnley, but the council has somehow found my address, stuck the other persons name on it, then passed it on to debt recovery agents i.e. baliffs to pursue. I've contacted the baliffs by phone, and in a recorded conversation which they agreed to, have notified them that this person does not and never has lived here, and that any further letters will be returned with a bill for £25 handling. They informend me that my address was provided by BBC.

Now here's where it gets interesting. I've contacted BBC debt recovery department by phone, and the first thing that you hear is a recorded message that calls my be recorded for monitoring and training purposes. However when I get through to an operator and I inform them that I am recording the call as well, they refuse to discuss anything. So do I have to disclose the fact that I am recording a call, as anything said may be a basis for a formal complaint?

WTM

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Forum Editor

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"....surely the court of public opinion would carry more weight with a commercial organisation than a local council department?"

Not necessarily - local authorities are very PR-aware these days - they have to be in the current climate of everyone contacting the press about almost anything at the drop of a hat.

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woodchip

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I had this problem many moons ago, I when to My Solicitors, about it Never had no more Problems after leaving it with them, though it cost me, i saved a lot of headache

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Aitchbee

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Can I record a phone conversation?

Do any of the smart phones ' out there ' have the capability to record ones incoming / outgoing personal voice communications in the same way text messages are stored for perusal at a later time /date?

The government / big brother will have access to everyone's phone records soon anyway, so why can't we (as individuals) track / record our own phone calls?

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morddwyd

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Can somebody please explain by what tortuous process of the law a reporter can secretly record someone asking for a bribe in an anonymous hotel room, and broadcast it t6o millions, bur they cannot do the same with a perfectly overt phone call of that person doing the same thing?

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BT

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This may be of help

Protection from Harassment Act 1997

The way I read it the 'Harassment' need only to have happened on two occasions.

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Forum Editor

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morddwyd

A reporter who secretly films someone asking for a bribe and subsequently publishes it on TV or on the radio does so in the public interest - it may be a public official asking to be bribed, or a foreign politician asking for a bribe from a British company, that kind of thing.

If you record a conversation between yourself and say, someone at a call centre without telling them, you are not acting in the public interest, you're acting in your own interest. In those circumstances you would not subsequently be permitted to enter the recording as evidence in a court. You would be allowed to put a question about the call - "did you say, in the course of a phone conversation, that I was a lying **&$^%?" But that's it.

On the one hand you have a public interest issue, and on the other you don't.

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WhiteTruckMan

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But who decides what public interest is?

Hypothetically, if I were to record a phone conversation with a council employee where i was told that for a few hundred pounds I could be bumped to the front of the council house queue, I think that would be public interest, yet I couldnt use such a recording.

I thought morddwyds point a good one, but that the relevant part was that his scenario didnt involve use of a public telephone network.

WTM

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Flak999

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How do the rules apply to recording a conversation using your mobile phones voice recording functions? (i.e. not during a call) I seem to recall occasions where members of the public have had interactions with police officers, during which the officer has either sworn at or racially abused the person in question and subsequently this voice recording has formed the basis of a prosecution or disciplinary action against the officer.

Do the same rules about anonymous recording not apply here?

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Flak999

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fourm member

I was not referring to voicemail, but to the facility most phones have for making a voice recording (much like a dictaphone) separate to an actual phone call. On the Iphone this facility is called voice memo.

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namtas

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So is it the law or not, and if it is the law is there a different law which relates to something because it is in the public interest and then who decides if it is or is not in the public interest. Confused I am.

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