The recent TalkTalk data hack and the very negative publicity that has lingered on during the month of October and November has reduced the number of booked pension appointments made during this period by 20%.
The last month has seen an increase in the ratio of calls to appointments made up from the past years average of 1 in 64 to 1 in 81 (appointment made that meets criteria versus calls made that are not interested).
The same period last year saw a ratio is 1 in 67, making it 20% more difficult. However, it has been higher than 1 in 81 in the past year. March broke the record at 1 in 95!
Strangely in March it was a record month for IFA Direct where it booked in excess of 200 appointments – perhaps a strange mixture of the anticipated pension reforms that were due to take place in April and the news that the ICO were to impose huge fines on firms who flout rules on direct marketing,
The reason it went to 1 in 95 was the action by the UK government to fine cold callers. This news was announced on the 25 February 2015. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-31616523
You can search on Google for trending words such as nuisance calls or cold call to gauge consumer sentiment . You can see in March and October that the number of searches for nuisance calls or cold calls spiked in response to the news.
In October the TalkTalk data hack news led to a spike on the 25-31 October 2015 at 100 (100 is the max during that period) for the term nuisance calls. However, a week later 1-7 November 2015 it was down to 55 a huge drop of 45%, looking like the news was already fading and past its peak.