Pensions Banking Tax A-Z Financial Services Telegraph Investor
Telegraph Money Consumer affairs.
Martin Lewis, founder of moneysavingexpert.com
26 JUNE 2012 • 4:44PM
Tell friends, tell family, tell the man on the train you’ve never spoken to but know that he’s got a verruca and a wife called Hershey because he talks too loud on his mobile.
Tell everyone: “YOU DO NOT NEED TO PAY TO RECLAIM PPI”.
This is a crusade for all those fed up with being plagued by PPI (payment protection insurance) cold calls, spam texts and TV ad-breaks wallpapered with bland men in suits promising ”no win, no fee’’ reclaims.
It’s not that reclaiming mis-sold PPI is bad, far from it. I’ve been campaigning on it since before claims companies were an easy-money glint in their founders’ eyes. Anyone who’s had a loan, credit or store card in the past 10 years needs to sit up and take note.
Banks, building societies and card companies have already paid out around £3.5bn in PPI claims, and there is some £5bn put aside to pay more. I’m now swamped every day with stories of successful DIY claims. Take these recent tweets:
“Just got my parents’ £3,400 back in PPI for the price of a first class stamp!” “Just logged into my bank account. Thought there was a balance error. Then I saw my PPI refund of £14,234. Thanks.”
Yet peppered among them are still “Which company is best to reclaim with?” questions – meaning even after years of me ranting about how to reclaim for free, and even among those following me on Twitter, that message is being drowned out by huge claims-industry promotions.
Many people are giving money away, already wrongly taken from them once, for a second time. We’re in the peak period of pay-outs, but the claims industry remains poorly regulated, with no real system of redress.
That’s a problem in an industry with its share of cowboys. Some wrongly promise they can improve success rates, never mentioning charges, others tout ”Ministry of Justice regulated’’ as if it’s a badge of honour, not a minimum requirement; and of course, there’s the spam. I worry that the day is nearing when I end up launching a tongue-twisting reclaim PPI mis-selling claims company mis-selling campaign.
To help stop that, MoneySavingExpert.com has teamed up with Which? to campaign on DIY reclaiming and better claims industry regulation. Yet the frustration is, while politicians have been happy to make easy capital and column inches berating bank bosses’ bonus millions, they have been quiet and inactive on this scandal of ordinary people losing billions.
The top 10 questions for PPI reclaiming