A HARTLEPOOL advice agency says PPI claim firms should be banned from pestering people at home with calls and sending spam text messages.
Hartlepool Citizens Advice Bureau is urging people to put the phone down on cold callers and go straight to their bank if the think they have been mis-sold payment protection insurance.
A national survey carried by the CAB service found nine out of 10 people asked had been pestered by calls and spam texts from claims management companies firms in the last year.
Hartlepool Citizens Advice Bureau, in Park Road, is also calling for a ban on up-front fees as firms often fail to deliver on claims, and push some claimants into debt.
Joe Michna, bureau manager, said: “The national figures reflect our local experience.
“People in Hartlepool are sick and tired of being pestered by claims firms encouraging them to make a claim for mis-sold PPI.
“We’ve seen a lot of people who have ended up out of pocket because of the excessive fees they’ve had to pay to the claims firm and in some cases they never got a penny of a payout.
“Anyone who thinks they have been miss-sold PPI should contact their bank directly and make a claim for free.
“That way if their claim is successful they get to keep all of the compensation money instead of forking out 25 per cent in fees.”
The CAB’s report, The Claims Pests, includes evidence of 288 clients’ cases who encountered problems with claims management companies and PPI.
It also includes figures from calls to its consumer helpline.
Data from across the country found people were spending over £1,100 in fees when they can claim themselves for free.
One person paid over £4,000 in charges and some firms are charging up front costs of £600.
Hartlepool Citizens Advice Bureau is at 87, Park Road, and can help people make a claim.
Call in for more details.