Simon Read: At last, real powers to crack down on dodgy claims firms


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The Independent Online

The first time a claims management company rings or sends a text, it's a small annoyance. I never took out payment protection insurance or have had a car accident so I have absolutely no need of their questionable services. So I started out being polite to the annoying callers.

But my patience quickly ran out when the calls and texts kept on coming and started to increase. I must have had more than 100 so far this year. They've moved from being a small annoyance into becoming a right royal pain in the proverbial.

So I cheered the news this week that The Ministry of Justice has been given powers to fine claims management companies for the first time. Justice minister Shailesh Vara said: "We will not tolerate companies which waste hardworking people's time and money through their own laziness, incompetence or frankly dubious practices.

"We are already making sure rogue companies are shut down – and now we are ensuring those who are wasting everyone's time will pay for it."

Recent Citizens Advice research discovered that more than 30 million people have been contacted out of the blue about PPI and half have received unexpected calls or texts more than 10 times in the last 12 months. It wants the Government to ban claims firms from using cold calling altogether. That's certainly a move that would get my whole-hearted support.

Twitter: @simonnread

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