Claims management companies should be banned from cold calling as new figures show three in five people surveyed were pestered by phone calls, emails and spam texts from these firms at some point each week.

Why not put the phone down, mark the email as spam and ignore the text messages? These are all spam and the companies bothering you have no way of knowing whether you are entitled to make a claim and how much you might be able to get.

You can make a claim for mis-sold PPI for free by contacting your bank directly. That way you get to keep all of your compensation instead of paying 25% in charges and up-front fees to a claims management company. You can find a template letter at which you can use to make a claim or go to your local Citizens Advice Bureau for help.

To take action against the text pests you can forward them to your mobile phone provider and they will stop that number from texting you again. You can also complain to the Information Commissioner – they have the power to fine these companies from sending you messages without your permission.

Register your phone number at the Telephone Preference Service ( and stop unsolicited mail via the Mail Preference Service (

Free, confidential advice and help is available from the Citizens Advice Bureau on any aspect of debt, benefits, housing, employment and any other problems. You can contact the Grange or Windermere Citizens Advice Bureau by phone or in person.

Call 015395 33100 / 015394 46464. If you don't need us for advice, how about helping us by becoming a volunteer or making a donation? Not many people realize that we are a charity - see our website for details