Figures from Which? and MoneySavingExpert.com reveal that consumers are turning to CMCs because they do not know how to claim back mis-sold payment protection insurance themselves for free.
The news comes as Which? and MoneySavingExpert.com launch a new campaign to increase awareness of how easy it is for consumers to reclaim mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance for free and to tackle head on claims management companies.
In a survey of over 2000 people:
* Worryingly, a quarter of people (25%) did not know that claims management companies take a fee – usually 25% plus VAT, and only half of people (49%) knew that using a CMC would be no more successful than making the claim themselves;
* Just over a quarter of people said that the main reason that they would use a CMC, if they were to make a claim in the future, is that they would not know how to make a claim themselves;
* Over half of people (53%) who have used a CMC to get back mis-sold PPI said they'd be unlikely to use one again. The biggest complaint was about value for money, with 37% of consumers unhappy on this front;
* A huge 93% had seen or heard adverts about claiming back PPI, with 88% of people seeing television adverts;
* 65% of people said they'd received phone calls from CMCs about PPI, 55% had received text messages, 54% had received letters;
* One in ten (12%) of those surveyed were themselves, or knew someone, still waiting to get back their mis-sold PPI.
Survey respondents said free online claims forms, letter templates and helplines would encourage people to make a claim themselves.
Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said: "This new research shows that many people don't realise there are simple, easy to follow steps to reclaim their money for free and so they're turning to claims management companies, too often unaware they charge a fee.
"It's encouraging that the banks are going to work with us to help put this situation right and help their consumers reclaim mis-sold PPI. It needs to be as easy as possible for people to get back their money. Many people have told us that free online claims forms, letter templates and helplines would help them to make a claim themselves, so we want to see action."