Aviva is piling pressure on the Government to introduce a wholesale ban on cold calling for all financial services – including injury-related claims, pension, PPI and other insurance related matters – on the back of an analysis of Ofcom figures which the company insists shows there were 2.2 billion “nuisance calls and texts” last year.
The company says this figure translates to more than 6 million nuisance calls and texts made every day, or 4,200 calls and texts made every minute.
MPs are set to debate the Financial Guidance & Claims Bill which proposes the creation of a single financial guidance body. According to the draft legislation, the guidance body will consider the impact of cold-calling on consumers and can recommend a ban on cold calls to the Secretary of State, who will have the power to introduce such a ban.
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.”
However, contrary to the populist view, many legitimate companies use cold calling and they point to the tens of thousands of UK jobs which would be at risk if such a ban was introduced.
The Telephone Compliance Council – set up to represent the interests of all companies which use the phone to conduct business – is conducting a major probe into the impact of an opt-in regime for telephone marketing, which is also being proposed as part of the shake up of the ePrivacy Regulation.
The TCC insists that such a ban would not stop rogues and fraudsters.
A spokesman recently told Decision Marketing: “[A ban] is likely to have the opposite effect to what is intended because it will move compliant users of outbound calling out of the way to leave the field clear for rogues to expand activity into.
“Fraudsters are not going to be hindered by telemarketing regulation, and rogue companies fold and start under a new name, or if they are based overseas cannot be touched by UK authorities.”
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