Posts Tagged PPI

New release by Ofcom: PPI most common unwanted call type

Mid May brought a new study published by Ofcom getting down to the nitty gritty extent of these nuisance calls. This study involved 926 participants who kept a diary to record all unwanted calls received on just their land-line over a 4 week period between 13th of January and the 9th of February 2014. Critical findings were accumulated such as the number, type of number, whether the number was identifiable or not, frequency and type of organisation making the phone call.

Here is what the survey revealed..
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Time To Draw The Line? UK Muses Bill Prohibiting ‘Non-Consensual’ Cold Calling

It’s a time of flux in the telemarketing world: laws are changing internationally and indeed, some countries are forging long-distance alliances to crack down on tele-tormenters. The UK government is currently considering following other countries’ lead and introducing radical consumer protection measures with regard to cold calling.

Since 2010, for example, German citizens have had to specifically opt in to receive marketing calls and telemarketing companies are now legally obliged to display their caller ID. Meanwhile in the US, October 16th saw revisions to the Federal Communication Commission’s Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) come into force, forbidding telemarketers to solicit using autodiallers or prerecorded messages without the express written consent of the phone-owner. This ‘express written consent’ is, albeit, something of a misnomer, covering anything from

permission obtained via an email, Web site form, text message, telephone keypress, or voice recording.

Nonetheless, it is a bold and effective motion in the fight against cold call harassment and the tough financial punitive measures ($500-$1500 penalties per call or text) are proving a strong deterrent.

The UK, meanwhile, is yet to see such a measure come into effect. With those who have signed up to the TPS (about 75% of UK landlines) often reporting receiving double the amount of sales calls received by those who aren’t, British phone owners are starting to lose faith in regulators’ capacity to keep ‘direct marketers’ in line.

User Jay the Kay, for example, says of 01904530013:

Called – very annoying as ring off when you answer – no idea how they got my (very private) number as only 4 people have it!!

‘Not happy’ is also somewhat irked about relentless and untimely calls from 01209219844:

Very annoying automated calls about pension, repeatedly calling at between 1am – 2am, leaving messages etc, cannot get it to stop, has broken my sleep so very grumpy

PhonePestReporter reported 01905744557 as ‘aggressive advertising’:

The PEST is: Domestic & General :(
They are a cold-calling pest phishing for new Loft Insulation contracts. 
I have automated calls on a daily basis for 2 months now – 3 rings and they hang up – never leaving a message. 

He (or she) goes on to voice the agonies of all those keen to see cold calling condemned to the past:

I wish the government would provide the regulators with some teeth to prosecute all these highly persistent phone pests making MULTIPLE nuisance calls. I changed my number relatively recently to avoid this, and I’m ex-directory and I’ve “opted out” so they should check before they call. I give my number out rarely to only be used by the individual companies I have to deal with. Therefore I know they have somehow acquired my number via some list processed illegally.

However, there is a ray of hope; the House of Lords are currently backing a bill which would see the UK go one step further than the USA and outlaw unsolicited calls and texts altogether. The Unsolicited Telephone Communications Bill has been provisionally passed and is to be submitted for a second reading. This strict set of regulations would mean that all telemarketers would have to gain the consent of their ‘marketees’ before calling; no mean feat when you consider the percentile of the population who’d voluntarily give the time of day to a PPI-pusher.

The regulation itself would be centralised and overseen by Ofcom, a gargantuan task necessitaing much closer surveillance than is currently, by all accounts, in effect. Moreover, such a drastic measure, as Lord Gardiner of Kimble notes, could be disastrous for the direct marketing industry. These are significant considerations which may regrettably cause the bill to stutter.

The APPG (All Party Parliamentary Group) on Nuisance Calls are nonetheless bravely pushing for change; be it a wholesale ban on unsolicited calls, or a much-needed enforcement of the current regulations, the winds of change may yet be whistling through the realms of coldcalling.

In the meantime, be sure to arm yourself by looking up unknown numbers on www.tellows.co.uk, reporting rogue or pest callers to the ICO or TPS and second-guessing any implausible claims an opportunist scam caller may make. Your phone line is your own! May others respect it.

Have a wonderful week!

Your tellows team

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When a Stranger Calls: The Top 5 Most Annoying Numbers of the Week

Dear friends of tellows,

as autumn settles in and leaves start to change their color, unfortunately, some things remain the same. Not a day passes by without users reporting unwanted nuisance calls on tellows. The most searched numbers this week include the following:

1. 01143072406 with 5 comments and 4717 search requests. tellows Score: 7
2. 02075363554 with 3 comments and 3514 search requests. tellows Score: 5
3. 01614867770 with 16 comments and 10225 search requests. tellows Score: 7
4. 01753441520 with 5 comments and 7394 search requests. tellows Score: 7
5. 01415676218 with 11 comments and 4543 search requests. tellows Score: 7

Rated by our users as rather untrustworthy with a tellows score of 7, our first number, 01143072406, has been a frequent guest on our top 5 list. Most of our users that reported the number have complained about unsolicited telemarketing calls by a well-known British energy and home services provider.

Our second place this week, the number 02075363554 has been reported by our users for unsolicited telemarketing calls as well. In spite of a neutral tellows score of 7, the majority felt bothered by the persistent calls from the number. User Jill reported:

Unsolicited have asked not to call previously

Calling from Manchester, our third number, 01614867770, has been ranking on our list for nearly a year and with a rating of 7 has been considered to be rather untrustworthy. Most of our users felt harassed by frequent calls regarding insurance issues. User Stirling32 commented:

As stated previously, calling on behalf of an insurance company to discuss an accident (very minor bump) had in 2012. Asked for personal details – including that of my family – before they’d continue with the call, which I refused until they confirmed some details to me. Of course, I was told that due to data protection, they wouldn’t divulge anything to me until I had to them!! […] Recommend ignoring unless you have five minutes to waste having a little fun with them….

The fourth place this week goes to number 01753441520, a new entry on our list and yet another number that earned a tellows score of 7 due to unwanted calls that our users perceived as harassment. Many of our users stated to have received calls in spite of being registered with TPS. User Johnny even wondered:

I’m registered with TPS and ex-directory as well. however, i still recieve unsolicited calls. what use is TPS if it doesn’t work.

Ranking on our final place is number 01415676218 with calls originating from Glasgow. According to the comments of our users, the number calls both on the land line as well as the mobile phone, all throughout the day and at unsociable hours without leaving a message. User Samantha decided to take action against the unwanted calls:

I started answering, they still call every day and I swear at them. I have put in a report to TPS, I advise everyone else to as well.

If you have received unsolicited or dubious calls or have any other information on a certain telephone number, do not hesitate to share it with our tellows community. Other than that, we hope you stay scam and nusicance call-free.

Your tellows team

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Unsolicited Telephone Calls: The Top 5 Nuisance Callers of the Week

Dear friends of tellows,

with another week coming to an end, we have another set of spam and scam numbers that have kept you and your phone lines busy throughout the past seven days. With a few new entries, this week’s list is composed of a mix of the usual suspects and newcomers. Let’s have a look:

1. 08000641087 with 9 comments and 9774 search requests. tellows Score: 6
2. 01143072000 with 15 comments and 8300 search requests. tellows Score: 7
3. 01482489200 with 4 comments and 1153 search requests. tellows Score: 8
4. 02392386688 with 3 comments and 1731 search requests. tellows Score: 6
5. 01625538490 with 8 comments and 6595 search requests. tellows Score: 8

Our first place this week, number 08000641087, is known to users on our Polish and German sites as well and has become a frequent guest on our list. Most of our users complained about having received several missed calls without any voicemessage left from the number. Additionally, user EVE reported that you can’t return the calls:

This number has rung my mother several times over the past few days,no ideas who its from because theres no message and you cant ring it back.

The second number today is 01143072000 calling from Sheffield. In spite of numerous comments and search requests on tellows, this week’s entry marks only its second appearance on our list. Even though the number with a tellows score of 7 is deemed rather untrustworthy by our users, its authenticity is highly debated. Whereas some reported a telephone provider behind the calls, others questioned the legitimacy of the calls due to the fact that they were also contacted abroad in the US and Turkey, for instance. User Buck commented:

The number called me.. No message left for me. Previous calls from same number that I won’t answer. Calls day and night. Good number search shows me where the call is made from, the location to the nearest 25 metres. Guess what, I am in Sheffield next week on business. Will be nice to meet the person won’t it.

Calling from Hull, the number 01482489200 ranks on our third place this week and is a newcomer to the list. Often allocated to a well-known telecommunications service provider in the UK, most have reported calls from the number as telemarketing and aggressive advertising. Additionally, most users questioned the authenticity of the calls like Petunia 70:

I said i didn’t know whether he was really from Talk Talk and asked his name. He asked for my name,address and birth-date. I said I would check with Talk Talk and ring him back.He rang off.

Another newcomer to our list, number four 02392386688 makes calls from Southhampton – the nature of which are rather disputed among users. While some regarded continuous calls from this number as nuisance, user L Scard rated the number as trustworthy, commenting:

got call from this number it was from spectrum housing group telling me when my job would be done,nothing horrible no sales talk just spectrum.

Finally, number 01625538490 from Macclesfield ranks as yet another newcomer on our fifth place this week. According to our users, the caller offers services to reclaim PPI for loans and credit cards. Most users have doubts regarding the legitimacy of the calls.

If you have recently received any calls from an unknown number that seem untrustworthy or dubious, do not hesitate to share your experiences on tellows.co.uk and help raise awareness about telephone spam and scam numbers. Have a nice weekend!

Your tellows team

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PPI Nuisance Calls: An Ongoing and Prevalent Problem in the UK

As demonstrated by numerous comments on tellows worldwide, nuisance calls have become a frequent and extensive problem around the globe. For an increasing number of users from the UK, PPI calls pose a particularly persistent and common issue and have been an often discussed topic on our tellows blog. The fact that – not without reason – most consumers have grown increasingly suspicious of telephone calls by unknown numbers is illustrated by comments such as those of Fifalde, who wrote about the number 01494590777:

This number tried calling my mobile several times yesterday – I don’t answer any numbers that I don’t recognise or have stored in my phone so I left it – no voicemail left which is a dead giveaway that its either PPI or something else. I just added it to my reject list. Hope this helps

PPI Calls as Cost Trap and Disturbance of Everyday Life
According to a new survey conducted by Citizens Advice, two thirds of British adults have received messages related to claims for mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) – 98% of which were unsolicited and without permission. More than half also said they were contacted more than 10 times within the past year often considered a disturbance of everyday life for the recipients: whereas nearly a quarter received calls during dinner with family, 14% were interrupted at work.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizen Advice, noted that those who fall victim to a PPI claims scam suffer twice the damage – once with the bank and a second time when the claims firm doesn’t provide the full compensation the victim deserves. Reporting number 02086148283 as PPI claims scam, user SiM warned about possible costs as well:

PPI company that cons you into signing up with them and then takes 30% of whatever they find for you, as payment. They also use a computer dialer that calls numbers and then hangs up on you if an operator is not available to talk at you

Furthermore, Guy stressed that nuisance calls “are often a sign that the service on offer is not very good or is actually a scam” and demands a ban for financial services firms from cold-calling to help consumers detect untrustworthy companies and scams.

PPI Claims Scam Approach and Target
More than 90% of the participants of the latest Citizen Advice survey stated that they were contacted by telphone regarding PPI claims with 40% receiving automated messages on their landline whereas 35% were contacted via text message on their mobile phone. According to previous research of the organisation, nuisance calls were not restricted to claims management companies alone: cold calls accounted for 35% of complaints concerning financial services.

As with most scams, the main aim is to gain access to the victim’s money. In the case of this particular scam, the victim is often persuaded to pay fees in advance for fake loans and sometimes, a person’s bank details have been passed on to other companies. With at least half of 30,000 complaints between April 2012 and March 2013 related to PPI and other financial services, users like Nikki who commented on the number 01625665142, are not alone with their grievances:

Ppi credit agent, told not interested 5 times, still continue to ask if I have had any texts or voicemails when asked what’s it to do with them they get angry an then say well have you checked your credit file, when told one last time I’m not interested the woman said fine an hung up. Don’t waste time answering to them

Numbers Related to PPI Claims Calls
Among the most recently reported and commented on telephone numbers connected to PPI claims on tellows are the following numbers:

 

To stay on the safe side, don’t provide any personal or financial information about yourself (and especially your bank account) on the telephone. Also don’t forget that you have the right to end the conversation by simply putting down the phone – especially if the person on the other end of the line seems to have a dubious agenda. If you have any information on a phone number that might be untrustworthy – PPI related or not – don’t hesistate to report it on tellows.

Sources:
telegraph.co.uk

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Ofcom Study – Ban on Cold Calling is claimed

A research initiated by the Office of Communications (Ofcom) reveals the truth about unsolicited nuisance calls in the UK and thus calls for action to solve to problem of far too many cold calls.

The Ofcom Study
Within a period of four weeks 850 consumers were asked to keep a diary of all cold calls they receive. The Ofcom research revealed that 80 percent of the participants received unwanted calls regularly, on an average even more than twice a week. Especially calls on PPI reclaim (Payment Protection Insurance) were the most annoying and yet also the most often ones. While at least one out of four people got called more than 10 times, most calls came from PPI claim companies as well as from market research firms.

What is next?
In terms of the survey findings the Citizens Advice called for a complete ban on cold calling. Not only because more than one third of all complaints from companies are related to cold calls. Mostly firms dealing with financial services use cold and silent calls and thereby demanding upfront fees or trying to sell unprofitable offers, cheating people out of their pension. Furthermore the companies get personal data through the nuisance calls, mostly unbeknown and unauthorised by the individuals. A ban would help to make cold calls clearly identifiable as illegal. Citizens Advice recommends the banning of credit brokers and claims management companies as well as of pension unlocking services.

Ofcom follows a different strategy though. Not the banning but a wide investigation into claims management companies making the cold calls is needed. Thereby not only the big companies will be in the focus of enforcement actions, also smaller companies are responsible for the nuisance calls to a large extent and should be overseen. Ofcom is now promoting wider investigation and action regarding cold calls, especially dealing with claims. Thereby they focus on silent calls as well, which are done by the company’s telephone systems automatically without even having a staff member conducting the calls.

Taking Action
The government as well as other regulators and institutions are called upon to take action more effectively. Ofcom already imposed penalties for silent and abandoned calls done by major firms as TalkTalk. Furthermore the ICO supports the attempts of Ofcom by pointing out the regulations and industry rules to over 170 marketing companies. Nevertheless householders can get active themselves. By signing up for the free Telephone Preference Service (TPS) individuals can stop nuisance calls on the purpose of marketing and sales. However, as we already mentioned in our last article, it is extremely hard to block most of the calls, as they often come from overseas call centres. Not more than one third of all abandoned calls can be cut out. For further improvement Ofcom is currently collaborating with the ICO and the Ministry of Justice for more effective actions.

We will keep you informed about upcoming achievements in the struggle against nuisance calls in our blog on tellows UK.

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2013/may/17/ofcom-urged-ban-cold-calling

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