Monday, November 19, 2012

Ros in the Lords: Oral Question - Claims Management Companies: Unwanted Text Messages

This is a subject that has caused Ros much annoyance is recent times, and she isn't alone in that regard. So, when the chance came to add her voice to calls for action, and to gentle tweak the beard of the Minister, she wasn't going to miss out...

Lord Kennedy of Southwark (Labour)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking to ensure that people do not receive unwanted text messages from claims management companies.

Baroness Butler-Sloss (Crossbench)

My Lords, would the Minister add e-mails? I get an enormous number of e-mails every day, generally about PPI but about a whole lot of other things, too. They all seem to be done at about three in the morning. E-mails are just as serious; I spend such a lot of time just deleting all these e-mails on a daily basis. Would the Minister add e-mails to texts and phone calls? I also get the texts and the phone calls.

Lord McNally (Minister of State, Justice; Liberal Democrat)

I agree; I know what absolute anger this matter causes. It sometimes raises a groan when Ministers announce the following, but a cross-industry working group has been set up led by the Direct Marketing Association and including the MoJ's claims management regulator, the ICO, Ofcom, the Telephone Preference Service, the OFT and the Advertising Standards Authority. They are looking across the piece at what is undoubtedly a nuisance.

Baroness Scott of Needham Market (Liberal Democrat)

My Lords, I am sure the House is reassured to know that it takes so many people not to be able to do anything about this problem. Does my noble friend agree with me that the real problem here is the routine selling on of our personal data-our mobile phone numbers and our e-mail addresses-and that we might avoid this problem if we dealt with that and had severe punishments for breach of data protection?

Lord McNally (Minister of State, Justice; Liberal Democrat)

I thank my noble friend for that question. She is right. However, from April 2013, claims management companies will be banned from receiving referral fees in personal injury cases and from offering financial rewards or similar benefits as an inducement to make a claim. We are trying to make sure that we do not block legitimate activity but that we comb out and stop those who are causing a nuisance and the rogue traders. I am afraid that a number of regulators need to come together in this area to get effective action.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Mark,

Do refer Ross to my report on this which could provide a good platform for a full lords debate on this..

Many Thanks,

James S.