Could you be compensated by cold-callers?
Mention PPI to the everyday person in the UK and you’ll generally receive a response which, when removing the expletives, makes reference to those annoying nuisance calls!
Most of us will have had them in the past and due to poor regulation it is likely we will continue to receive them until real deterrents are put in place.
Some of us will have registered our contact numbers with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), which is designed to stop such calls but the reality is these calls can continue.
So, how do we fight back and why is a PPI company telling you how?
Good guys v bad guys
Quite simply, we are encouraging the public to fight back against these cold calling companies as it is unfair that the good guys are being tarnished with the same brush as the businesses who use aggressive, and sometimes illegal, marketing tactics such as cold calling, SMS texts and emails.
The tactics used by banks and finance providers when handling PPI complaints and information requests, which have led in many instances to regulatory fines, mean genuine PPI companies out there do offer a valuable service.
The down side to the demand for the services of a Claims Management Company (CMC) is that many unscrupulous businesses have popped up, so I’ve completed a guide on how to choose a good CMC.
The SMS tactic
Many of us have received text messages purporting to know how much PPI compensation we are owed, with some even stating a figure, and all we have to do is respond to the text to make the claim.
These texts are simply scams and should be avoided at all costs.
I suspect many of us have also responded with ‘STOP’, or perhaps words of that description!
If you have responded in a manner which would encourage the process to begin however, it is likely a call will have followed shortly thereafter.
The cold call
Once a cowboy CMC has you on the telephone they have one aim and that is to get you to sign up for their service, and the tactics I have experienced when receiving such calls are scandalous.
It may or may not be a shock to you but in all the cold calls I have received I have NEVER received one that I consider to be compliant, and I know the industry.
The lies and tactics
When I first started receiving PPI cold calls I was curious to witness what tactics and sales pitches were being used, and I was frankly disgusted with what I heard.
From claiming to know how much I was owed, to implying they are part of the government or the bank, these cowboys used so many tactics in order to obtain business.
Below are some of the more common lies that I heard….
I couldn’t do the claim myself as my account was opened more than 6 years ago.
This is not true.
Whilst providers may attempt to fob customers off by claiming they do not hold records going back further than six years, we’ve seen archived records being retained going back to the early 1980’s.
The CMC would obtain a higher amount of compensation than if I did the claim independently.
This is also untrue.
Whilst providers may use various tactics which has included not looking into all accounts, when it comes to calculating offers of compensation they have strict guidelines they must abide by.
It is simply a case of reading a compensation offer letter properly to ensure you’re being offered a fair amount, and not a ‘partial’ offer.
The CMC had a better chance of success than if I did the claim independently.
Our regulator clearly states a CMC cannot claim this to be true.
This is because a CMC cannot possibly know the level of knowledge any individual may have regarding making claims, their ability to overcome tactics and/or objections raised by providers, or the time they may have available to build and manage the claim.
The fight back
I decided it was time to fight back against the cowboys who were clearly in breach of clear regulatory rules, and using such underhand tactics to try and obtain customers.
It was clear to me that the average UK consumer could quite easily be targeted and conned by the tactics used, so I decided to download a call recording app to my mobile and recorded all calls received.
Once the app was downloaded is was simply a waiting game, and it didn’t take long for the calls to start coming.
Firstly it is important to obtain details about the CMC that is calling as you need to have a place to send your complaint into should the call not be compliant.
Once I had the details of the company it was just a matter of asking questions that a potential customer may ask.
Questions such as “is this something I can do myself?”, “why should I use your company?”, would generally see the caller launch full speed into their tactical and misleading sales pitch.
With the call recorded it was simply a case of building a complaint and emailing it to the company along with the recording, who would then have up to eight weeks to respond.
One of the first points of complaint would be how and when did they obtain my details, as this can eventually lead to uncovering a potential breach of the Data Protection Act.
The remaining points of complaint would be surrounding the claims and statements made by the representative.
In the majority of instances I would receive a response to my complaint which would claim the person I spoke to was new to the business, which raised greater concerns as surely the training receive would be fresh in the mind of the representative.
If I was unsatisfied with the response I simply forwarded it, along with the call recording and complaint, to the Claims Management Regulator.
In a few instances I received an offer of compensation from the cowboy company, which has totaled over £1,000 to date.
In one instance I managed to trace the source of who sold my details to the CMC and found there to have been a clear breach of the Data Protection Act, given I had categorically stated I did not give permission for my details to be passed on. That compensation award ran into thousands of pounds.
It has now got to the stage these days where I actually look forward to receiving cold calls.
Who knows, maybe you will start looking forward to receiving such calls, let the fightback commence people!