When did you last use your landline? A quick poll of a totally non-representative sample of friends and acquaintances suggests that we all stopped answering our landlines in around 2011, which was when the banks agreed to pay compensation to customers who had been missold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) and our phones started ringing off the hook with offers of assistance in claiming money we didn’t even know we were owed.
When the news first broke I took a look at the literature regarding compensation and quickly came to the conclusion that I probably wasn’t affected by the rulings. Having been self-employed since the turn of the century (the turn of the 21st century), I’d been aware for a long time that PPI was pretty much useless to me since when it came to claiming in case of unemployment, I would never satisfy the criteria the insurers set for being unemployed. So, every time I was offered PPI, I turned it down, smugly informing the salesperson that they should know it wasn’t suitable for freelancers.
Then earlier this year, my friend Ani had a payout. Like me, she’d been self-employed for years and had always, when offered, turned the insurance down. She was convinced she’d never had any. But on the insistence of her partner, she’d put herself in the hands of one of those companies that claimed they could track down a refund. “Not one of the companies that does all the cold calling,” she assured me. “This one will only phone you if you contact them first.”
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