For every person who has ever been irritated by cold-calling companies, there will be a sense of intense satisfaction from the fact that one irritated homeowner has successfully claimed a payment from the firm that was bothering him.
He received £195 from the firm in question. And the result could pave the way for us all to start making claims.
The caseWe've all had those moments when we're settling down to dinner, or stepping into a warm bath, and the phone goes. We drop everything to answer it, only to discover it's a cold call from a firm offering to reclaim mis-sold PPI - in return for a hefty cut of it.
Richard Herman, a 53-year-old business owner from Sunbury on Thames, was sick of one particular firm calling. He was particularly irritated because he was registered with the Telephone Preference Service, which should have stopped anyone from making these calls.
He told the representative that from that moment onwards he would be charging the company £10 a minute for his wasted time, and recording the calls as proof.
The company called again - for 19 and a half minutes - so he issued an invoice for £195. After it remained unpaid after 30 days, he took the company to the small claims court. His application stated: "Invoice is for the use of time, phone and electricity for receiving telemarketing communications from PPI Claimline Ltd. I told them on the phone that I would charge at £10 per minute if I was called (harassed) by them again, and yet they still chose to call me again."
The company AAC - which makes the cold calls to try to get hold of details of individuals and their loans in order to sell them onto claims management companies - agreed to pay the outstanding amount and the £25 court fee. However, it made a statement that their records show that Herman had opted into receiving calls.
Can you claim?Herman has set up a website at www.saynotocoldcalls.com offering advice to people plagued by calls. He offers six steps to a peaceful life on the site:
1. Play along to find out their UK company name
2. Say "Call again & I will charge my time at £10/min
3. Record the call so that you have proof
4. If called again, play along to see who it is
5. Send them an invoice
6. Sue them in the small claims court
Of course, the fact that he runs a phone recording firm shouldn't go unmentioned, as the more people who follow his example, the more money he could potentially make.
However, his approach clearly yielded results for him, and could be a lifeline if you are plagued by calls and are willing to invest a bit of time and money into getting recompense.