Just when we hoped we'd seen the last of the mis-selling scandals, in which un-necessary financial products had been foisted on an exploited public, new research indicates that mis-selling may be rife across the United Kingdom. I will today, with the full support of the Consumer Association, be calling upon government to act immediately and to introduce new measures to expose and address the latest symptoms of what appears to be a pandemic of mis-selling. The horrifying cases that have come to light include:
A man who was systematically exploited over a sustained period, being sold in total 23 pairs of cufflinks at various retail outlets between 1998 and 2012. When questioned it became clear that the man had the text-book two arms, and only ever needed to wear one pair of cufflinks; the remaining 22 pairs were entirely redundant.
A woman now in her thirties who had been duped into paying for no fewer than 13 mobile phones over 15 years. The provider of the phones admits that the woman has only one 'SIM card', and moreover they transferred the SIM card from each phone to its successor every time they sold her a new one. Tests have proved that each of the old phones (all of which were in a drawer in the woman's bedroom) is still capable of making and receiving calls with the SIM inserted. Even allowing for the remote possibility that the woman might have occasion to use two phones simultaneously (one for each ear), she has been sold at least 11 mobile phones more than she is capable of using.
Estimates made by researches at the EDSRF suggest that the mis-selling could have amounted to £6.8 trillion over the last 10 years, or around one third of GDP. Ed Balls, the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, has supported my call for government action, explaining that he is sickened by Tory fat cats earning huge bonuses while the public is systematically exploited. The Chancellor, George Osborne, has yet to comment on the scandal.