Author Lauren Howells
UK consumers received what equates to more than 6 million nuisance calls and texts every day in 2017, relating to an injury-related claim, pension, PPI or other insurance-related matters.
Consumers bombarded with 2.2 billion nuisance calls and texts relating to an injury-related claim, pension, PPI or other insurance related matters in 2017
A study of Ofcom data commissioned by insurance firm Aviva found that consumers were bombarded with a total of 2.2 billion of these nuisance calls during the last year, with the over 65s being the worst hit, receiving approximately 30% of all nuisance calls and texts.
Nearly 900 million nuisance calls and texts were made chasing an injury claim for an accident that may or may not have happened, or other insurance-related matters said, Aviva.
57% of consumers said the nuisance calls were “the most annoying thing about owning a phone”
Research revealed that while 57% of consumers said the nuisance calls were “the most annoying thing about owning a phone”, 18% said the calls were “intimidating” and 13% said they made them feel “anxious”.
Aviva calling for ban on cold calls relating to pension, PPI, and insurance claims
With MPs set to debate the Financial Guidance and Claims Bill, which proposes the creation of a single financial guidance body, which could consider the impact of cold-calling on consumers and could ultimately recommend a ban on cold calls to the Secretary of State, Aviva is urging the government to ban cold calls relating to a pension, PPI, insurance claim or similar issue “where there is no established relationship with the consumer”.
85% of consumers in support of ban on all nuisance calls
According to a survey of 2,000 adults, conducted on behalf of Aviva in December 2017, 85% of consumers said they would be in support of a ban on all nuisance calls.
Aviva wants to see cap on fees claims management companies can charge for handling injury claims
Aviva also wants to see a cap on the fees that claims management companies (CMCs) can charge for handling injury claims, as it believes the “large fees” CMCs receive in exchange for passing the claimant to an organisation which can help them pursue their claim, is driving the “aggressive” calling and texting of consumers.
Pensions-related nuisance calls estimated to have increased by 2.7 million
Aviva also said that pensions-related nuisance calls are estimated to have increased by around 2.7 million, since the government introduced new pension freedoms in April 2015. These freedoms enable anyone aged 55 and over, with a defined contribution pension, to take some or all of their retirement savings as a lump sum.
“Enough is enough”
Rob Townend, UK Claims Director at Aviva, said: “Enough is enough. Nuisance calls are a national epidemic which must be stopped. Whether it is a call chasing an injury you may or may not have sustained in an accident, or a pension scammer attempting to con unsuspecting individuals out of their hard-earned retirement savings, there is no place in our society for them.
“Aviva is urging the Government to put a swift end to these cold calls. The Financial Guidance and Claims Bill currently before Parliament is a terrific opportunity to ban unsolicited calls once and for all. If the Government is serious about protecting all members of our society, including the most vulnerable, then it should take decisive action and ban them.”
Those who want to opt out of unsolicited sales and marketing calls can sign up to the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).