Lasting power of attorney
Accessing and sharing customers’ information – guidance on the power of attorney
Here is some practical advice if a customer in a vulnerable condition needs your help to manage their affairs.
Our duty to keep our customers’ information safe
Our legal rights to give access to and share information we hold regarding a customer in a vulnerable condition depend on the circumstances. In particular, this depends on whether the cared-for customer is able to make decisions for themselves.
If a customer lacks the mental capacity, or has the capacity but still wants you to make a decision on their behalf, you’ll need to be appointed as their attorney. In all cases you must do what the person wants, or what’s in their best interests.
Your legal powers
There are many different types of legal power that allow you to help someone in a vulnerable condition to manage their affairs, or to access information and make decisions on their behalf.
If the customer in a vulnerable condition has the mental capacity, you can talk to them about creating a lasting power of attorney (LPA, in England, Wales or Scotland) or an enduring power of attorney (in Northern Ireland). This allows you to make decisions on a vulnerable customer’s behalf, including accessing their Vodafone account.
Alternatively, you may wish to apply for an ordinary or general power of attorney for when the person in vulnerable circumstances is still able to make decisions for themselves.
You may also wish to seek support from independent bodies and organisations. For example, the Office of the Public Guardian supports and promotes decision-making for those who lack capacity or would like to plan for their future, within the framework of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (contact details are available at the end of this page).
If the person in a vulnerable condition lacks the mental capacity to be able to legally nominate you as their attorney, you may wish to consider applying for a court order to become the person’s deputy (in England and Wales) or controller (in Northern Ireland). In Scotland, if the customer lacks the mental capacity to nominate you as their attorney then an incapacity statement would be needed.
Information about these options is available from:
How can we help you to exercise your legal rights?
Making a subject access request
As an attorney, you have the right to make a subject access request (SAR) in order to access the information we hold about the person you represent, in order to help you carry out your role as an attorney.
To make an SAR on behalf of the person you represent, you should complete the SAR form
We will respond to Subject Access Requests within 30 days or 60 days if the request is particularly complex. An agent will keep you updated if an extension passed the 30 days is required.
We’ll work as quickly as possible, but the easiest way to ensure a rapid response is to provide an appropriate date range for your request – this way we can send you only the information which you need.
If you’re acting as an attorney on behalf of a customer, you should email your declaration along with proof of your identity and a certified copy of the legal document stating you’ve been granted lasting power of attorney to
Within 40 calendar days from the date of your request, you’ll be contacted by our Accessibility team. An adviser specifically trained in dealing with the needs of customers in vulnerable conditions will help you make decisions on behalf of the person you’re representing.
Your right to complain
If you feel we’ve acted wrongly – for example, you may have shown us the document and we still didn’t allow you to access the account of the person you’re representing – you can complain under the terms of our complaints code of practice. A link to this page is also available on our homepage.
Information Commissioner’s Office England
Information Commissioner’s Office Wales
Information Commissioner’s Office Scotland
Information Commissioner’s Office Northern Ireland
3rd Floor 14 Cromac Place
Tel: 028 9027 8757