Claims management companies (CMCs) are the ones that make most of the cold calls – PPI, accident claims etc.
The insurance company AXA surveyed people to ask about the cold calls they receive.
The biggest subjects for cold calls are PPI, accidents in public places, accidents in the workplace and motor insurance claims. Between them, these account for most of the cold calls.
An estimated 12 million Britons are cold called per day – despite stricter rules and the recent Government crackdown.
These companies are ‘bombarding people with cold calls, emails, letters and text messages’ and ‘clearly contributing to be the bane of many people’s lives,’ according to the new report from AXA.
Around half of the 2,131 consumers asked by AXA said they think the regulations around CMCs need to be significantly tightened up.
Possible changes with significant support include:-
Cold calls from CMCs to be made illegal
A cap of between six and 10 per cent on the fees that CMCs can make, compared with about 30% that they currently charge.
Make it mandatory for calling companies to show the numbers they are calling from
A time limit on when consumers can claim back compensation after an event (most people think this should be 12 months).
A ban on automated calling
A quarter of people surveyed said they felt stressed by these calls from CMCs and 44 per cent were concerned about how the companies had got their details.
The Department of Culture, Media and Sport, is looking into how these regulations can be tightened.
Between April 2014 and December 2015, the Claims Management Regulator issued 459 warnings, carried out 685 audits, started more than 150 investigations into specific firms and suspended 159 company licences.
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I don’t intend to be rude to cold callers but they do have scripts to work to and I disrupt that by giving unexpected answers or questions.
If they claim to be doing a survey, then I might say
“What’s in it for me?”
Probably, they’ll tell me there isn’t anything or the slow witted ones just keep asking questions.
I might say “I cannot believe you are asking for information without giving me anything.”
If they say I am going to be entered into a draw or be given £100 voucher off double glazing for example then I might say “Send me the cash or draw coupon or whatever first then I’ll answer questions”
A lot of the cold callers are from call centres in India and I have visited India several times so I might ask them whereabouts they are and ask about the weather or is my favourite hotel still there or something similar.
They don’t like talking about these things as it’s not on their script.
Other times, I might try to make the cold caller feel guilty.
I could tell them I have come down from the top of a ladder where I am painting the roof or been dragged in from the garden where I am cutting down trees to answer the phone.
Sometimes that works and other times they just stick to the script.
If they ring at lunchtime I always tell them I am hosting an important lunch party and cannot discuss my power suppliers or whatever it is they want at that time.
Of course that can lead to them suggesting they call again which obviously I don’t want.
If they are calling from England at lunch time then I might say
“Why are you calling at lunch time – are you not allowed lunch? I should have a word with my boss about that”
It can be entertaining dealing with cold callers but can just be an annoyance.
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Richard Herman was plagued by calls from a PPI cold calling company. He asked them to stop calling him but the calls continued. So, next call he warned them that if they called again he would bill them for his time at £10 per minute.
The Nuisance Calls continued and he kept a log and recordings of all Nuisance Calls about PPI received. He informed them that would base his bill for the use of his telephone electricity and time dealing with their calls.
He submitted a bill top the company (PPI Claim line Limited) for £195 which was 19.5 minutes of his time answering and dealing with the unwanted calls.
Even when the company denied making the PPI Nuisance Calls to him it didn’t deter him. He took them to court, but the case didn’t continue.
The Telephone Preference Service is provided by the government and lets you register your phone number. Once registered it is illegal for cold callers to call your number (legally, telemarketers must not to call a TPS subscribed number after 28 days, but you should start noticing a gradual decline from registration).
Registration is free and only takes 2 minutes. The service was setup because there so many cold callers from companies about PPI, Accident Claims, Overseas Scams, Spam SMS and Other Nuisance Calls.
The original legislation was introduced in May 1999. It has subsequently been updated and now the relevant legislation is the Privacy and Electronic (EC Directive) Regulations 2003.
Q. Who can register?
TPS is for consumers at their residential address, sole traders and, except in Scotland, partnerships, but not businesses. There is also a separate corporate telephone preference service for companies to register their phone numbers to prevent cold callers.
Q. Who pays for TPS?
No money is received from the Government to run the Service, the direct marketing industry pays for it. They will also take complaints against cold calling companies but they don’t do enforcement – that’s down to the Information Commissioners Office.
If you are plagued by cold callers – then register with TPS online, but beware of callers pretending to offer this service – they are usually scammers.