It is important to be vigilant (Image: Getty Images/fStop)
But the reality was very different for Theodore Joseph. When he received his policy document in March he was appalled to discover he had paid £199.98 for something he had never wanted: a service blocking nuisance calls to his phone. The irony was not lost on Theodore, who immediately cancelled in writing his contract with Bournemouth-based Community Call Prevention.
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But then there was no reply, he told Crusader a couple of weeks ago.
“After constant calling they did promise the money would be paid into my account but I have not seen it,” he said.
Verbal contracts are legal and Theodore gave his bank debit card information. But what actually went on during the conversation that persuaded him to do that? It is those crunch details that are crucial as they affect people’s rights and best chances of getting anything returned.
Theodore says he was reassured because his caller seemed to know a lot of his private details, including the fact that he had taken out appliance insurance before.
“He even had the password I had used prior to letting the old policy lapse,” he said.
“I didn’t ask them how they got all my details as I thought it was the same insurer or someone connected to them getting in touch again but with a better offer for five years.”
If you get a cold call and they know a lot about you already, never reveal bank details or proceed (Image: Westend61/Getty Images)
Community Call Prevention’s parent company is Point One Marketing Ltd. Previously it was called Conservo Digital Limited and traded as Stop These Calls. The Information Commissioner’s Office fined it £50,000 in 2015 for breaching privacy and electronic communication regulations that govern marketing calls.
This followed complaints by the public about pressure selling, and moves by Trading Standards in Bournemouth to curtail its activity.
Crusader did not hear from Community Call Prevention after asking it to explain its actions and return Theodore’s money. However he did receive a call saying the refund had already recently been put in his account.
Andy Sherriff, Trading Standards manager for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council, said: “It’s disappointing to hear of any incidents that suggest standards are slipping.
“We’d be happy to support any council taking action on behalf of their residents.”
Theodore could have asked his bank HSBC to try a chargeback on his debit card. Crusader alerted it and it had been poised to investigate before the happy resolution.
Remember: if you get a cold call and they know a lot about you already, never reveal bank details or proceed. Hang up and check them out independently.