92% don't trust companies that cold-call them
A whopping 92% of people don't trust companies whose sales teams get in touch by cold calling, says Citizens Advice.
As a back bench debate on the issue takes place in the House of Commons today, Gillian Guy, chief executive of the consumer help group, reiterated the findings that show most people see cold calls as "nothing more than a nuisance".
Citizens Advice wants financial services companies such as claims management firms to be banned from cold calling "to protect people from unscrupulous firms".
Guy said: "Citizens Advice is helping people who have been left seriously out of pocket after signing up to a service over the phone only to find it doesn't deliver what was promised. A ban on these firms would help people know a call out of the blue is one not to be trusted."
In September, it emerged that about 40% of calls received by older and vulnerable consumers are nuisance calls, according to a Scottish Trading Standards Institute (TSI) investigation.
It found that almost four in five (78%) nuisance calls are made between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday, when the general working population are not at home, but the elderly and vulnerable are most likely to be at home.
Last year Citizens Advice revealed that 30 million Brits had been cold-called or contacted in other ways about claiming for mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI).
It also found that the most common unexpected sales calls, texts and emails made to households were:
- Personal injury and accident claims (42% of adults had been contacted)
- Gas and electricity suppliers (40%)
- Double glazing firms (29%)
- Firms selling debt relief services (23%)
- Offers for extended warranty on products (14%)
- Firms selling pension unlocking services (10%).
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.