Common WhatDoTheyKnow support responses

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This page lists common support responses for the WhatDoTheyKnow website.

Spam arrives on request

1. set response to no longer receive emails 2. delete spam message 3. reply back to user:

Dear xxx Thanks for letting us know! This occasionally happens if the email addresses leak out. I've removed the spam and marked your request to no longer receive emails, so it shouldn't reoccur. If you need to send a follow-up to this FOI request, please do so via a new request.

Regards,
[first name] - WhatDoTheyKnow volunteer

Setting up a new public authority

1. search the site for it by various spellings / acronyms, including via google 2. add the new authority 3. reply back to user if they requested it:

Dear xxx Thanks for the feedback and for letting us know about [name of public authority] - I've added it to the site: <<http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/body/link-to-pub-auth>>

Regards,
[first name] - WhatDoTheyKnow volunteer

Change of authority email address

Check their FOI page to see if it needs updating too!

Dear xxx Many thanks for bringing this to our attention, I have updated the address in the database.

Please let us know if you'd like me to resend any requests to the new address

I have also resent the following request to the new address:
I would be very grateful if you could also check with your IT department to ensure that mails from @whatdotheyknow.com are :"whitelisted" by any anti-spam software.
Regards,
[first name] - WhatDoTheyKnow volunteer

User wants to to contact another user

Dear XXXXX
You can contact XXXX by signing up for an account on our site and then using the "Send message to XXXX" link on <<XXXXXX>>
We don't give out email addresses directly for privacy reasons, but your message will be sent to this user by email and if they choose to respond that would put you directly in touch.
Regards,
Regards,
[first name] - WhatDoTheyKnow volunteer

Defamatory

Dear XXX
You recently used our site to send a complaint to XXXX:
<<>>
Your message does not contain any request for information, and it is potentially defamatory, which is against our policy (<<http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/requesting#focused>>); I have therefore hidden the request from public view, although you will still be able to see it when logged in.
We would ask that you avoid using the site for messages of this nature in future.
Regards,
[first name] - WhatDoTheyKnow volunteer

Border agency

Dear XXXXX
You have written to the team responsible for the freedom of information website WhatDoTheyKnow. We only run that website and are not part of the UK government.
As we do not have any experience in immigration matters, we are unfortunately unable to help with individual cases such as yours, and we can only suggest that you use the following links to seek professional advice:
UK Border Agency contact information is available at:
<<http://www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk/contact/contactspage/contactcentres/>>
This website has helpful advice on immigration matters:
<<http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/index/your_rights/immigration/help_with_immigration_problems.htm>>
You could also try contacting your local Member of Parliament, they may be able to help you find out what's going on with your case.
<<http://www.theyworkforyou.com/>>
Regards,
[first name] - WhatDoTheyKnow volunteer

concerns about hospital care

Dear XXXXX
We are not specialists in the area of hospital care. We would recommend that you contact the PALS (Patient Advisory & Liaison Service) at the hospital. Their contact details are usually available on hospital websites.
Your local GP should also be able to offer advice, and the NHS 111 service may be available in your area:

<<http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/AboutNHSservices/Emergencyandurgentcareservices/Pages/NHS-111.aspx>>

Regards,
[first name] - WhatDoTheyKnow volunteer

Respond by post / unhide email address

Dear xxxx
The email address provided is: <email>
Alternatively, if you choose the "They are going to reply by post" classification option you'll be able to view an email address to privately send your postal address to.
Regards,
[first name] - WhatDoTheyKnow volunteer

Data Protection Act SAR request

Dear xxxx
A "subject access request" under the Data Protection Act allows you access to all information an organisation hold about you; such requests need to be made directly to the organisation and not via our service.
The Information Commissioner has a page on their website about making such requests at:
<<http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_the_public/personal_information/how_manage/access_info.aspx>>
They also have a telephone Helpline if you need further assistance: 0303 123 1113, open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
<<https://www.ico.gov.uk/Global/contact_us.aspx>>
<XXX public authority> should may also have a webpage giving further details about how to make your request to them.
Regards,
[first name] - WhatDoTheyKnow volunteer

DPA request hide

Dear XXXXXX
I'm writing to let you know that I've hidden your request to XXXXXXXX. We don't allow requests for personal information to be made on WhatDoTheyKnow, they should be made direct to the public authorty. This is to protect your privacy as all requests and responses arepublic on the internet & search engines such as Google.
Our policy:
<<http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/requesting#data_protection>>
You can still access your request and any responses here:
<<XXXX>>
Data Protection Act requests should be made directly to the body involved so that they can have confidence they are corresponding with you in private. XXXXXXXXX has a web page on making subject access requests:
<<DPA URL>>
Regards,
[first name] - WhatDoTheyKnow volunteer

Recategorised

Dear XXXX
Many thanks for getting in touch. The site relies on the requesters to categorise the information based on their best judgement. If a request doesn't get categorised by the requester, we then allow other users of the site to do this after 30 days.
We are happy to review and recategorise a request if an authority feels it has been unfairly done. Having reviewed the request, I have classified it as "xxxx"
Regards,
[first name] - WhatDoTheyKnow volunteer

spam / blacklist

Dear xxxx
WhatDoTheyKnow's email logs confirm that the <XXXX date> email was received by the <xxx public authority>. A response from the the target email server was received saying:
"250 2.0.0 Message received OK" <XXX message>
The full lines from the server logs are copied below - they may be of use to your IT staff if you decide to ask them to look into this.
If the message was accidentally flagged as spam I suggest adding WhatDoTheyKnow to your council's "whitelist" so this does not happen in future.
I have also resent the request.
Regards,
[first name] - WhatDoTheyKnow volunteer

written to team in error - refer to another public body

Dear xxx
You have written to the team responsible for the WhatDoTheKnow.com website and not to XXXXXXX. If you want to make a public freedom of information request to them, then please click on "Make a new Freedom of Information request" on their page at:
<<xxxxxx>>
Regards,
[first name] - WhatDoTheyKnow volunteer

written to team in error - general response

Dear xxx
We are not part of the Government. For more details about the charity behind the WhatDoTheyKnow website please see:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/about#who
Regards,
[first name] - WhatDoTheyKnow volunteer

change of email address

Dear xxx
Many thanks for letting us know, I have now updated our records to reflect the new contact email address for <XXX>.
Regards,
[first name] - WhatDoTheyKnow volunteer

General email tips

1. always reply back from your xxx [at] whatdotheyknow.com address

2. always copy back in the team [at] whatdotheyknow.com address