More than 30 million people have received unwanted messages about claiming for mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI), figures suggest.
Two-thirds of British adults, equivalent to 32 million people, say they have received an unwanted phone call, text, email or letter about PPI, according to the figures from Citizens Advice Bureau.
Of these, 98 per cent did not feel that they had given their permission to be contacted in this way, and more than half estimated that they were contacted more than 10 times in the past 12 months. The organisation found people’s work, family time and household chores are being put on hold to answer calls about reclaiming PPI.
One in four people received their most recent call during a family meal, while around one in seven received the call at work. Around one-in-eight were contacted when they were watching a film or television.
The new figures are from a national survey of 5,682 people aged 18 and over in Britain, carried out by Ipsos Mori between June and July this year. Citizens Advice research found that 56 per cent of complaints about PPI claims management stemmed from cold calls.
The figures, released in May this year, come from a detailed analysis of a sample of complaints about financial services to the Citizens Advice consumer service between January and February 2013.
Gillian Guy, chief executive at Citizens Advice, is calling on financial services firms to be banned from cold calling and said it is “completely unacceptable” for PPI cold calls to disrupt family time and work meetings.
She said: “Nuisance calls aren’t just irritating, they’re often a sign that the service on offer isn’t very good or is actually a scam. Over a third of the complaints Citizens Advice handles about financial services stem from a cold call.
“There is a particular problem with claims management companies. People are finding that sometimes the promises made over an unexpected phone call aren’t delivered.
“This means people who have been mis-sold PPI lose out twice: first at the hands of the bank and secondly from the claims firms because they don’t get the full compensation they deserve.
“I want financial services firms to be banned from cold calling. That will help consumers identify good firms from the bad. Then if you get a cold call you’ll know it is either a bogus firm or company not to be trusted.”
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