Andy Slaughter pushing for more cold calling restrictions
Andy Slaughter MP for Hammersmith
Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter has accused the Government of ‘pulling punches’ on the issue of cold calling while calling for a ban on injury compensation calls and texts.
Six out of every 10 adults in London received a call or text about making a personal injury claim in the last year, new research has revealed amid nationwide calls for a ban.
With 37.5 million calls and texts received, Londoners are being inundated the most when compared to other areas of the UK.
“I remember trying to persuade the Coalition Government to ban cold calling during the passage of the LASPO Act ten years ago, and many times since,” said Mr Slaughter.
“I did not understand then, and do not now, why the Conservatives always pull their punches on this issue. Cold calling is severely irritating at best, but to many elderly and vulnerable people it is worrying and intimidating. Successive Tory-led governments have been more enamoured of pleasing the insurance industry by reining in claimants, however meritorious, than dealing with the parasitic cold-call industry. A total ban on cold calling is long overdue,” he said.
“It’s now been three years since the Government’s introduction of measures to curb the practice, which we warned at the time would not work,” said Mike Benner, chief executive of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) which commissioned the research by YouGov*.
“Injury calls and texts have still been the biggest cause of complaints to the Information Commissioner’s Office in the last three years – and each year by a considerable margin,” he said.
Ninety-three per cent of UK adults think there should be a total ban on calls and texts about personal injury compensation claims. The figure rises to 97 per cent among the 29 million UK adults who received such a call or text in the last year.
Mr Benner for APIL went on: “Nine out of ten people feel annoyed, angry, anxious, disgusted, or upset when they receive a call or text about making a claim for compensation for an injury. It is no surprise with such strong emotional responses, that the people of this country want this practice to end.
“It generates the false perception that obtaining compensation is easy, even when there is no injury. It brings an often very serious issue – needless injury and the need for redress - into disrepute,” Mr Benner explained.
“Solicitors are banned from cold calling for personal injury claims and we fully support this. Unfortunately, claims management companies are still free to contact people provided they have given consent. Both plain common sense and this research tell us that no-one will agree to be called about a personal injury claim.
“An opportunity was missed to impose a proper ban on these tasteless and intrusive calls and texts, but it still could be put right”.
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September 24, 2021