Solicitor Calls For Action Against Nuisance Phone CallsMarch 29, 2016
A solicitor says the time has come for the government to take serious action against rogue claims management companies who make nuisance phone calls.
The demand comes after a new survey revealed that previous efforts to clamp down on bad practices within the industry have been largely ineffective. Just over half of those asked said such calls have remained a problem for them since new regulatory procedures were brought in.
A quarter of those polled feel stressed by such calls, while 44 per cent expressed concern about how their details had ended up in the callers’ hands. One in five respondents had received a cold call in the previous 24 hours.
Anthony McCarthy, a director of Macks Solicitors in Middlesbrough, says the research underlines the need for a new drive to stop the offenders.
“These nuisance phone calls are a menace that most of us have been forced to put up with in recent years,” he said. “They ring up and claim to have information that you’ve been involved in an accident when in fact the chances are they’re just casting their net as far and wide as they can.
“But while it’s annoying and frustrating to have your daily life interrupted by such calls, it can also be costly if you are persuaded to engage their services. Instead of having your compensation claim being handled by an experienced professional, you will become just a number on a conveyor belt.
“A clerk in a call centre will often go through a checklist before forwarding a claim that could fail to include heads of loss that only a specialist can really get to grips with.
“I would strongly recommend that anyone who is involved in an accident and wishes to pursue a compensation claim should seek expert advice from a qualified solicitor, preferably one with a good reputation in this field.
“You can be sure they will try to get the best possible outcome for your case in terms of compensation, as they are obliged to do under the codes of practice of their profession and the customer charter.
“I would also urge the government to take further steps to address this issue by getting tough with those claims management companies responsible for this epidemic of cold calling.”
While the survey indicates that the number of nuisance phone calls appears to be unchanged from previous years, the volume of emails and texts seems to have fallen.
The research was carried out by insurance giant AXA for its third annual report on claims management companies. The company is calling for a raft of measures including compulsory caller ID, the banning of automated voicemail calls and possibly the restriction of calls to business hours to prevent early morning and late night disturbance.