Claims management companies using information gathered by unsolicited calls and texts are to be the subject of a Ministry of Justice crack down on rogue firms.
The new rules are being introduced as part of tougher measures to curb rogue firms responsible for misleading advertising, and flooding banks with unsubstantiated claims for compensation – at a cost to other customers.
Which? research of 1,000 UK adults earlier this year found the most common types of unsolicited calls were from companies selling financial products or services, such as PPI or insurance claims, with 53% having received calls.
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: ‘It’s right to bring in bigger fines and tougher enforcement for rogue claims companies who are bombarding consumers with nuisance calls and exploiting people who can easily claim PPI and other compensation for free themselves.’
If you’ve been mis-sold PPI (Payment Protection Insurance), you don’t need to use a claims management company. Use our free claims tool to get your money back.
Unsolicited phone calls
According to another Which? survey of 2,065 UK adults in September, more than eight in 10 people reported having received an unsolicited call on their home landline within the previous month.
Eight in ten people said cold calls are an annoying interruption to their daily lives, while one third said they have been intimidated by them.
If you’re fed up with nuisance calls and texts, you can join the 106,000 supporters of our Calling Time campaign on nuisance calls and texts.
And if you want to reduce the number of nuisance calls you receive, read our guide on how to stop nuisance calls.
In order to curb nuisance calls, we believe the government needs to go further to make changes to the way consumers’ data is gathered and used.
Changes we’d like to see include:
• An expiry date when a person consents to being contacted by ‘selected third parties’
• A requirement for businesses to demonstrate that they have consent to carry out marketing rather than the ICO having to ‘prove a negative’ by showing the business didn’t have consent
• The rules to be extended to include firms selling on personal data, not just those that conduct direct marketing
Richard Lloyd added: ‘The government must now go further and strengthen the law so all regulators have more powers to crack down on unscrupulous firms making nuisance calls and giving people greater control over their personal data.’