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Nice Idea

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The cold call victim who fought back

Complaints about unsolicited calls and texts from sales and marketing companies have reached an all-time high.

But now one man has successfully claimed back the cost of his time from a firm which called him when he had specifically asked them not to.

Richard Herman from Middlesex felt like he was being hounded by calls and texts from companies telling him they could help him claim compensation after an accident or claim back money spent on mis-sold payment protection insurance, or PPI as it's known.

He hasn't had an accident; he's never taken out PPI.

And he's registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), which should stop unwanted sales calls.

So he decided to take action.

Time and electricity When he took a call from an overseas call centre inviting him to make a PPI claim, in July, he stayed on the line. He answered their questions, until he was eventually passed through to a UK operation, called PPI Claimline, and told them he wanted to be taken off their sales lists

"I said to them, you need to stop calling me and, I said, if you keep calling me, I'll charge you £10 a minute for my time to be talking to you," Mr Herman said.

"I presumed that would be the end of it, but to my astonishment they called me again."

During the second call - which had come only two days later - it took Mr Herman 19.5 minutes to get put through to the UK operation, to confirm that it was the same company as before, and to explain that he was now charging for his time.

So when he got off the phone, he sent an invoice for £195 to PPI Claimline

At first, he got no response. So Mr Herman sent the invoice again, this time by recorded delivery. PPI Claimline then wrote to him.

It said it itself did not cold call, but it purchased introductions from other marketing companies including AAC, a UK company based in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, which uses the overseas call centre that had first called Mr Herman and passed him on to PPI Claimline.

The company said there was no record of Mr Herman's number in its database or that of any of its partner companies.

But Mr Herman had recorded the phone calls. So, stepping up his consumer assertiveness another gear, he filed a case in the small claims court.

And that seemed to do the trick. The case was settled before it went to court.

AAC, the company which had called Richard on behalf of PPI Claimline, paid him £195 for his time and electricity, as well as his £25 court costs.........

got lucky that they got shook and paid up

but still a nice idea


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Bet if it had gone to court he would have lost though


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