Personal pitch

Published on September 10th, 2011 | by Pete

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Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) Diary – Day 1 – The Pitch

I received a call recently on my mobile. Unfortunately I was unable to pick it up as I was at work, and I don’t take my mobile into my place of work. They called back the next day, and I missed the call again for the same reason. Whilst I was enjoying this game of mobile cat and mouse I decided to take a bit more control. I noted the number and called them next day. When someone picked up on the other end my heart sank a little. I could hear the normal buzzing and office noise, and I had a sense that someone was going to be trying to sell me something.

The chap on the other end of the phone told me that he worked for a company who represented people who had been inappropriately sold PPI, and that his company had a team of solicitors who dealt with the cases. He asked if I had any credit cards or loans. Normally I would be getting fed up now and hanging up, but I had time, so thought I would hear the fella out, he was at least very friendly, and had a lovely Welsh tilt to his voice (although he did use the expression ‘There you go’ too much for my liking). After much discussion, he explained that his company could represent me and take my case in dealing with the companies who would have unfairly charged me for PPI in the past that I did not request. I explained that I could not be certain that I had been charged for this service, but this did not faze him.

I was beginning to feel a little anxious, so I asked for some assurances. He informed me that his company are registered with the Ministry of Justice as being approved to conduct this kind of work. He even gave me a registration number which I could check on the Ministry of Justice website (incidentally I checked this later, and the company is registered with the Ministry of Justice). He also explained that his company worked on a ‘no win no fee’ basis, so that if I continued, the worst that would happen is my financial position would remain the same. If I didn’t make any money, I wouldn’t have to part with any money. He however, was very confident that it would improve significantly. He was quoting some very high numbers at me, and after running through all of my various credit cards and loans I’ve had over the years, confidently told me that he predicted at least £2000 for each of my past credit cards  and loans, totalling a predicted £14,000. I know what your thinking – that’s ridiculous. That’s exactly what I thought.

I asked the nice Welsh chappy what was in this for him? He explained that after his company’s solicitors had done all the hard work and messing around, his company would take 30% of whatever compensation was awarded to me. What happens next I asked? He explained that if I was happy to go ahead I would receive an email recapping everything he had said to me. Also, a number of packs wold be sent to me to complete. These need to include all of the agreement numbers, so that they could start pursuing claims against the relevant lenders. It turned out I was going to have to do some of the work after all. I asked how I was going to find all of the agreement numbers from long closed credit card accounts; he informed me that I could sign up to Equifax online and get all of my past credit information.

Is this all free then? This was my next question. Well, he started, we do need a retainer to be able to give our solicitors the go ahead he replied. This is sounding less free every minute I observed. He explained that we could lay the cost at the feet of one of the lenders, by charging it to the credit card (it was £319). He also explained that there was a 14 day cooling off period, in which time I could ask for the cash to be refunded in full. However, if I paid up and my claim was successful, then I won’t have paid the retainer anyway.

I went through with it. I’m not entirely sure why yet, but I thought I should read all of the materials before I made my final decision.

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