Consumers are being encouraged to shun claims companies and make payment protection insurance (PPI) claims on their own.
Banks have set aside billions of pounds to pay back people who were mis-sold PPI insurance but much of the compensation is finding its way into the hands of claims management companies.
The firms typically take a 25% cut of any payout from the banks, plus VAT.
However, there is no evidence that using a claims company gives people a greater chance of winning a payout than if they made a claim themselves.
Figures from Which? show almost half (49%) of people were not aware that using a claims management company did nothing to improve the chances of winning back PPI funds from banks.
Indeed, over half of people (53%) who have used a claims firm to get back mis-sold PPI said they'd be unlikely to use one again. The biggest gripe is value for money, with 37% of consumers unhappy on this front.
The findings come ahead of a major PPI summit with all the major banks and credit card providers, regulators and the Financial Ombudsman Service.
The aim is to get all parties working together to help people get back the money they are owed and help to improve the PPI claims process. A radio campaign to raise public awareness is also to be launched.
"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," said Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd.
"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."
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