Consumer Council chief criticises call centre discrimination

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The head of the National Consumer Council has accused organisations of consistently discriminating against customers on the basis of their income and postcode.

Dame Deidre Hutton, chairwoman of the UK’s most influential consumer group, said that most people were unaware that technology was used to extract and manipulate information about them or that it might be used against them.

“If your shopping patterns suggest you are an A/B person, then you are likely to receive personal service. If your shopping patterns suggest you are a C2, D or E person, then you are diverted to a call centre,” she said, adding that she was “not always happy with the way information about us is used”.

Hutton is about to step down from her current role to become head of the Food Standards Agency.

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