Consumers have admitted feeling ‘angry' and ‘powerless' due to frequent communications from Claims Management Companies and are calling for them to be banned; research has found.
The poll by AXA UK of over 2,000 consumers found one in five individuals (19%) have been contacted by a CMC in the last 24 hours and a further quarter of respondents (23%) could recall being contacted in the last week.
Nearly two thirds (63%) reported feeling "angry" on receiving them and the same number expressing the view that it is an "invasion of their privacy".
Just under half (45%), stated that they are worried about how CMCs have their details. Only 2% welcomed this type of communication, which often is through unsolicited calls or texts.
AXA's report highlighted the extent to which people feel powerless to stop these communications. While two-fifths (44%) had proactively tried to stop unwanted contact, just 6% had been successful.
In addition, 16 % said they do not reply to text messages or answer calls because they fear that interaction with CMC communications will confirm their personal details and lead to greater volumes of communications.
Respondents said regulatory changes implemented by the government had not clamped down on the practice, with 58% saying they had seen no change in the number of communications they receive as a result of regulatory changes, and 13% saying they have actually seen an increase.
Respondents to the survey made it clear that they want tighter regulation by governing bodies; two thirds (64%) called for CMC communications to be made illegal and 82% want to see telemarketing companies which send communications on behalf of CMCs more closely regulated and fined if they are found to be abusing distribution laws.
David Fisher, AXA UK's claims expert said: "This research shows that not only do the vast majority react negatively to contact with CMCs, but of the 12 per cent that pursued a claim, only half were successful, suggesting the CMC route is not particularly effective.
"CMCs are on the lookout for new claims pools, so as whiplash claims gradually fall as a result of the ban on referral fees, and PPI mis-selling claims eventually subside, we can expect them to move into fresh compensation pastures.
"It is time for the Ministry of Justice's Claims Management Regulation Unit to address these spamming tactics so that the CMCs' endless search for growth does not continue to significantly impact consumers and unnecessarily invade the privacy of thousands of people every day."
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