Victory For Man Who Took Cold Caller To Court
A businessman plagued by nuisance phone calls offering compensation for Payment Protection Insurance has secured £220 in an out-of-court settlement.
Richard Herman, 53, was so fed up with the unwanted calls arriving from India, he decided to take matters into his own hands.
He warned the company that, in future, he would invoice them £10 for every minute of his time they used.
When the calls continued he began recording them before finally invoicing the company £195 for their use of his "time, telephone and electricity".
Upon receipt of the invoice the marketing firm acting on behalf of UK-based PPI Claimline Ltd, denied making the calls. When Mr Herman revealed he had recorded evidence, they still refused to pay.
But when Mr Herman filed a claim in the small claims court for the unpaid invoice - plus £25 in costs - the company offered to settle the debt out of court and transferred £220 into his bank account.
Mr Herman said: "I kept being called, as we all do, and I thought the only way for them to stop would be for me to speak to them and say, 'For goodness sake, take me off your list!'
"Then it occurred to me to tell them that if they call again I'll charge for my time. When they continued calling I sent them an invoice for 19.5 minutes."
To encourage others to do the same Mr Herman has set up a website with examples of covering letters and invoices to send to nuisance callers.
Even though the validity of Mr Herman's original invoice was not tested in court, he believes anyone who warns cold-calling companies they will be charged if they call, have a right to invoice them.
"I did business studies at 17 and studied 'offer-and-acceptance' so I knew a verbal contract is just as valid as a written one but harder to prove.
"The recorded calls proved I did tell them I would charge for my time if they called again".
Mr Herman, who works in the telephone industry selling call-recording equipment, said his action was a last resort after asking the Information Commissioner and the Telephone Preference Service for help.
In a statment, PPI Claimline said: "We would like to stress that all our supplier relationships are subject to strict contractual provisions requiring full compliance with all relevant regulations, including those which relate to data protection and the telephone preference service.
"We would like to draw a clear line between the two calls to Mr Herman made on behalf of PPI Claimline and any other calls he received, which were nothing to do with PPI Claimline or its suppliers."
what do you think?
Nice one. It also works with debt collectors who persistently contact the wrong person trying to trace a missing debtor.
Way to go dude. They are a pest I know.
Sorry, should have been thumbs up
Yes they are, they come up on our phone as unavailable but so does our local hospital as my dad is in and out od there u answer it so it's a pain
I get so many cold calls that I use my answerphone and all my family and friends know that I wont pick up unless I hear them speak.
I'm over the moon about this but also apprehensive also, this leaves all wide open fir the new one......... Our records show you haven't taken action against the PPI harrasment companys we specialise in small claims for telephone harrasement we have 1500 waiting for you lol
It's already here, Adj, I've had a marketing call from a company offering to end all marketing calls to my number. They only wanted four pounds a month !!! after which they would have had my bank details and would probably achieve nothing if I were stupid enough to agree. My concern is that there may be elderly people, while not being stupid, are from a trusting generation, and may have felt threatened by these nuisance calls at all hours. They would want to believe anyone offering a ''solution''.
This is a good idea...Problem is how do you find them when they don`t leave a number to call back !!
Exactly Mukky, these TV consumer experts tell you to register with the Telephone Preference Service, they can't do anything ! a. Because the offenders withhold their number b. Because the TPS has no jurisdiction over calls made from outside the UK c. Because when you ask Asian call agents what company they represent, you can't understand them ! Martin Lewis babbles on every morning, he's no help, he's just making money like the rest !
I use called ID - I do not answer any call from outside the uk The only problem is one of my credit card companies operate out of India Just means they end up writing to me when they wish to contact me
Having caller ID doesn't stop them from waking you when you're on nights !
Well done that man. I too have had these calls. I cant honesty say that they have amounted to anything like 19 minutes though as **** off is understood the world wide. :-D
That's what I say, Tim. My wife says I'll be in flipping trouble for using foul language on the telephone, I say bring it on if that's what it takes to get rid of these blooming nuisances.
I understand the sentiment Tim and Stew but Its a shame that the phrase you talk about isn't heard by the ones responsible. The people who do hear it are probably very poor workers trying to make a few quid to survive on. It's the firms in this country that take advantage of them that should be told to .... off. I always try to be polite to the person on the other end and ask them not to call again. usually after a few efforts they get the message.
Windows Live User
so does -- I am not in at the moment. If you would care to leave your nam......... normally gone by this point
WLU, t.bulgin, of course politeness and patience is a virtue, but try applying it when you've been woken from your sleep after doing ''the hard ten'' all night !
We're getting caught in the ''poor foreign workers trying to earn a living'' arguement. Obviously I have been labouring under the misapprehension for the last few years that these are the ''economic miracle'' nations that have taken most of our manufacturing industries. Sorry, I'm still with Tim on this one !
Mr Herman's website address would be helpful! Still, easily found. Brilliant idea.
cold calling should be made illegal
I always thought it was. Especially the bloody door cold calling energy companies
As someone who was longterm unemployed before getting a fulltime job in telesales I have to say at least it provides work for people,it is easy enough to hang up if you don't want to listen.
Completely agree. Ban it. I tend to use four letter words. They never call back. I don't care a monkeys if they are foreign, British or whatever, poor or rich. They are a pain in the rear. They irritate the hell out of me. Hopefully they tire of the abuse and find a proper job.
Tim The people you swear at are only workers doing a job to make a living Your vulgarity does not in any way affect the company that is calling you, just and individual On the rare occasion I get caught as I use caller ID I simple say "not Interested" and put the phone down Many companies use automatic dialing systems so what ever you do or say is unlikely to stop the calls
So you still haven't got a proper job, Lorna , you spend your time bothering shift workers, those caring for the sick or otherwise busy.
Michael, let's just get them banned, it's 2012 for heavens sake ! There shouldn't be any calls to answer, whether politely or otherwise ! We have the technology, try getting a comment posted if someone takes exception to the content !
Genius. Think al give it a bash
Best news of the week.
Just like the supermarkets offering two for one. All a load of toot. They jacked the price up by 100 per cent then offer you twenty five per cent of. Must think we are all stupid.
Well said Peter. I tackled Sainsbury's about their two for the price of one by saying I only want one. They said "well only have one then" when I said "Then I'll have the free one" they said "no no no no !!!!!!"
Peter Supermarkets offers of 2 for 1 usually comes via the manufacture, not the store It is to get shot of over production due to bad weather etc. when a product is not selling in its anticipated quantities
Windows Live User
Well done You have now given me the same idea and courage to see it through. Cold callers beware! I also get a flood of calls from India advising me that according to their records my pc has a virus. I reply I dont have a pc and po . of they are gone. still come back tho ha ha
Windows Live User
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d and d Phillips
I've started invoicing my wife every time she talks to me about the jobs I need to do. I've had a nice quiet month.
£250 doesn't sound anywhere near enough for all the trouble they cause. People expect to answer an important phone call then it's just advertising all the time. It isn't easy for a lot of people to even get to a telephone just to answer it, due to illness and disability. How many people have they been causing a nuisance to and for how many years?
This man is going to be one hell of a popular man in the uk and hopefully unpopular in india.
When they ask for me by name, I say that this is the name of the people who used to have this number. We have just moved in and taken over the line. Alternative suggestion (also works): Simply put the phone down (not on the rest) and walk away. The pests will end up paying for the call for no result whatsoever.
That's evil!......I like it! Lol! ;-)
Oh yes! Brilliant! Well done that man!:-)
How do you spell Parasite !!!!
I've got caller display and when international flashes up I just keep saying hello hello hello whilst they are asking to speak to me.I then shout out there's no one there darling to my wife say hello hello a couple of times then hang up. The other method I use is give the phone to my 2 year old and say its nanny after he's said GaGa goooo nanny a few times they soon hang up
I've said it before, caller ID isn't going to stop night workers and sick people from being disturbed. We're avoiding the issue here, if the powers that be can be bothered this nonsense can be stopped once and for all. Playing silly ''goo-goo gaga'' games is no answer, this is a serious issue !
I just say, excuse me for a second then just put the phone in a drawer and go back to what I was doing before. Let them waste their money for a few minutes.
I don't see why I should get out of bed after working all night to do that !
i hate these cold callers also being a night worker..., i got my own back on a double glazing sale company tho, after WEEKS (whilst trying to breast feed twins and getting harassed at all hours) of phone calls and me begging in the end, for them to leave me alone and stop harassing me, as i already had triple glazing,(yes double glazing then secondary double glazing)and live in local authority housing. I arranged for them to travel the 35 miles to my house for a "consultation" funnily enough when the seller arrived and saw i had not only a council house at the time but triple glazing too,i never received another call from that company. unfortunately that never stopped the others. so our home phone to this day is "outgoing calls only"(i switch off the ringer) as the TPS which im a member of doesn't work.All my friends and family call my mobile which for now is coldcall free...