Premium rate telephone calls for PPI complaint customers
It has been revealed that many people phoning their banks to make Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) complaints are being charged premium call charges. Which? found that even though new banking customers had access to a free-phone line, the majority of banks charged high rates for existing customers who were trying to complain.
The missold PPI scandal continues to be well reported in Britain, and many consumers have been advised to call their banks and make direct claims. However, when Which? carried out a survey on free 0800 numbers, it was found that only six companies out of the 34 offered free lines for existing customers. This was in stark contrast to the 27 out of 34 who provided new customers with no change telephone lines.
A variety of costs also applied in the surveyed banks, which included NatWest, HSBC, and Churchill Insurers. Richard Lloyd, executive director at Which?, said: “It is unbelievable that companies would add insult to injury by charging their customers a premium to make a complaint. It’s even worse when they offer new customers access to 0800 numbers while leaving loyal customers to pay more.” He added that he wants companies to make their call charges clearer and offer existing customers fairer complaints procedures.
With many people contacting their banks regarding missold PPI, financial institutions could be gaining a lot of money from call charges. In addition, for those who do not want to put more money into the banker’s pockets, contacting customer services by email or letter could prove the better option.