The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has launched a new social media campaign in a bid to bring an end to cold calling and nuisance calls that continue to plague our profession.
Under the name, ‘Can the Spam’, APIL underlines how the practice exploits the vulnerable and it is hoped that their new cartoon (which you can watch above), can encourage those who have been the victim of these unwanted calls and texts, to report them and help bring an end to cold calling altogether.
The campaign follows the release of figures from the Information Commissioners Office (ICO), which showed an increase in reported cold calling completes, by almost half the previous number between 2014-15.
In response to this, the Justice Minister, Lord Faulks, insisted at the APIL annual conference in May, that there is a ‘cost to society’ from this practice and even linked cold calling as a cause of fraudulent claims, which is another area the Ministry of Justice are currently looking to tackle.
APIL President, Neil Sugarman, has been quick to condemn the practice, saying: “Cold calling for personal injury claims is exploitative, tasteless and intrusive. Solicitors are not allowed to do it, for these very good reasons. But some claims management companies continue to hound people in this way and we want the government to put a total ban on the practice.”
Scott Rees and Co are very much in support of banning cold calling. Speaking on their behalf, the firm’s Compliance Officer for Legal Practice (COLP), Timothy Allen (pictured left) said: “Cold calling has for a long time given personal injury claims a bad reputation and it is time for the practice to be brought to a halt. As a firm we have been wholeheartedly supportive of the effort to enforce this ban and are one of the founder firm’s of the Ethical Marketing Charter that was introduced by National Accident Helpline in 2015.”
“We have been frustrated in the past by cold calling claims management companies, who have claimed to be linked with us and therefore have attempted to damage our reputation by their bad behaviour. The sooner the Government ban the practice completely and introduce tough sanctions for those companies that do break the rules, the better it is for everyone involved.”
“It is completely unacceptable that any person, injured or not, should be pressured into making a claim by a company or person who has no permission or authorisation to contact them. We fully support APIL with their new campaign.”
APIL are now actively encouraging the public to report all instances of nuisance calls and texts to a special Facebook page and Twitter account, which will see the information passed on to the industry regulator. There are however, concerns that the government have been too quick to link cold calling and spam texting to recent proposals by the MoJ to remove the right to claim compensation for whiplash injuries.
Mr Sugarman said: “The government has clearly got the wrong target in its sights. If the problem is nuisance calls, why target people with genuine injuries by removing their right to compensation for their pain and suffering? The answer, surely, is to stop the problem at its source. Ban the cold calling, it’s that simple.”
“We’re all fed up to the back teeth with it. As far as personal injury cold calling and spam texting is concerned, it has to stop.”
The Ministry of Justice have fought a long battle against cold calling. In 2010, they revoked the licence of over a thousand claims management companies and issued fines accumulative of over £1.7million who were carrying out the practice.
It is hoped that a new law will soon be introduced to outlaw the practice for good.