How to beat nuisance texts and phone calls
"URGENT. You are owed £3,350 for the PPI you took out."
Sound familiar? Chances are that you have received a similar unsolicited text message or phone call at some point, if not on a regular basis. However, if you have not requested them there are ways you can make them stop.
If you receive texts from a company you are familiar with, simply reply 'STOP'. However, if you receive a text from a company you haven't heard of it's best not to reply at all as doing so would only confirm that the mobile number is in use and could encourage further spam texts to be sent. Instead, report the message to your network provider.
O2, 3 and Everything Everywhere (formerly T-Mobile and Orange) customers can do this by simply forwarding the text to 7726 (which spells 'spam' on a traditional phone keypad). Vodafone customers should forward the text to 87726.
If you get lots of unsolicited marketing calls, register your number with the telephone preference service (TPS). It's free and your details will be put on a list, which means certain companies are not allowed to make unsolicited calls to your phone. Its registration line is 0845 070 0707, or you can go to its website at tpsonline.org.uk.
Note that registrations take 28 days to come into effect. Unfortunately, however, the service does not cover texts.
Payment protection insurance is designed to cover you should you fall ill, have an accident or lose your job and can’t make repayments on loans or credit cards. However, research by consumer watchdogs found the cover to be overpriced, filled with exclusions (policies exclude self-employment, contract employees and pre-existing medical conditions) and were often mis-sold because the exclusions were never fully explained. In May 2011, the High Court ruled banks had knowingly mis-sold PPI and ordered them to compensate around two million consumers.