Do the compensation scales need balancing?

Interesting points on a recent Facebook post about whether we should call an end to the ‘compensation culture’ that has grown up around the various ‘misselling’ scandals. Omar Mohammed makes the point that many people will have benefited from PPI polices that they claimed on and that many others may have knowingly bought these policies but still be ‘chancing it’ by making a claim for misselling anyway.
Alan MacKenzie suggests that hot on the heels of PPI misselling has come Identity Theft Insurance and soon to follow will be Packaged Current Accounts. He goes on to suggest that we should perhaps be more concerned about the companies who are trying to make money on the back of these ‘scandals’ by getting us all to make even more compensation claims.
It’s certainly the case that daytime TV advertising is full of companies advertising their services in this arena, unnecessarily since most of us are perfectly capable of dealing with these claims ourselves with no cost other than our time and a couple of stamps.
Having said all of that, Martha MacKenzie reckons there should be no statute of limitation on unscrupulous salesmanship and that, presumably, we should all be free to claim for as long as we think we have been sold something that we shouldn’t have been sold.
And Jim Anderson reckons that it’s the spending of all of the compensation money from misselling that is keeping the economy afloat at the moment.
What a mess!
There is no question that consumers need protection from unscrupulous sales tactics, and from the sale of unsuitable and unnecessary products. There needs to be legislation in place to ensure that happens.
But it is also the case that what seems useful or necessary today, and worth paying for, may not seem the same in a few years’ time when circumstances have changed. Companies should not be penalised for selling something that may have been needed but which wasn’t used. That is what insurance is all about.
We need to find a way to ensure that those who have been sold something inappropriate, or in an inappropriate manner, can be compensated without opening the floodgates for every Tom Dick and Harry who might just have changed their minds.
This process should start with a curb on advertising by expensive and greedy ‘claims management companies’ but should also include Government taking action to force Banks and others responsible to make sure that they deal with these issues swiftly and openly, and don’t put obstacles in the way of consumers with genuine grievances.

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