Brits bombarded with 468 nuisance calls and texts each year
The great British public are being bombarded with 468 nuisance calls and text messages per person each year.
In total, more than 60 million of the annoying calls and texts are sent every day - or 43,000 a minute.
Almost half (46%) are from lawyers or claims management companies trying to find new personal injury claimants. Yet 81% of the people contacted have never been involved in an accident.
A third of individuals hear more from the culprits than they do their friends and family and the nuisance causes us to waste six and a half hours a year answering or dodging calls and deleting messages.
The research from insurer LV= found that Brits find nuisance calls and texts more annoying than noisy eaters, delayed trains, slow walkers and selfies.
The Information Commissioner's Office recently reported it received 180,000 complaints about unwanted calls and text messages over the past year – a record high and 12% more than the previous year.
The government has announced plans to fine the culprits up to £500,000 but LV='s research suggested the public is unconvinced that the move goes far enough.
Some 30% of the people the insurer surveyed said the fine should be much higher and 44% said they believe the government and regulators will struggle to identify the villains.
At present, individuals can make a personal injury claim up to three years after an accident. It is widely believed claims management companies and lawyers take advantage of this and some encourage people to make claims that are exaggerated or fraudulent.
LV= wants a reduction in the three-year time period to clamp down on such claims, which add £90 to the average motor premium.
Martin Milliner, claims director of LV= car insurance, said: "Not only are these unwarranted calls and messages annoying millions of us, but they also lead to people attempting to make fraudulent claims. Insurance is there to pay out for people who have actually been injured, not for people hoping to make some money illegally. We take a hard line on fraud and will push for the toughest sentence.
"We hope that amending the current rules to make them stricter – together with the fines being imposed by regulators – will help to tackle the problem."
Claims management companies
Regulated by the Claims Management Services Regulator since 2006, claims management companies offer advice and legal services in respect of claims for compensation, restitution, repayment for loss, damage or negligence. To many, the term is merely a polite euphemism for “no win, no fee” law companies. If you feel they offer services you need, approach with care.