Which? response to Ministry of Justice announcement that rogue PPI claims companies will be targeted with higher fines and toughened regulation

Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director 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.

“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.”

Notes to Editors:

1. Which? research found the most common types of unsolicited calls on landlines were from companies selling financial products or services (e.g. PPI claims or insurance) (53%); accident claim companies (33%); silent calls (27%); sales calls in non-financial sector  (27%) (e.g. double glazing, mobile phones and utilities); market research surveys (26%); and companies offering a change of service such as mobile phones or utilities (24%).  Between 6th and 10th February 2013, TNS on behalf of Which? conducted a face to face survey of 1,000 UK adults to ask their experiences of cold calling. Data were weighted to be representative of the UK population.

2. Separately we found that more than 8 in 10 people (83%) reported that they have received an unsolicited call on their home landline in a month. Eight in ten people say cold calls are an annoying interruption to their daily lives, while one third say they have felt intimidated by them.  More than half of people (56%) say they have been discouraged from picking up their landline phone when it rings owing to cold calls. Populus surveyed 2,065 UK adults online between 25-26 September 2013.  Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all UK adults.  Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

3. Consumers can join the 106,000 supporters of our Calling Time on nuisance calls and texts campaign at www.which.co.uk/callingtime, where people can also find our online complaints tool.

4. It’s easy to claim mis-sold PPI back for free at  www.which.co.uk/ppi by following our quick and easy guide to making a claim.

5. The Government should go further to make changes to the way consumers’ data is used by introducing:

  • 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.

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