Friday, May 15, 2009

FTC cracking down on those annoying car-warranty calls

Sometimes, I'll get two or three of those calls a day: This is the _________ notice that your vehicle's factory warranty is about to expire!

I just hang up on them because I know that my vehicle's factory warranty is nowhere near about to expire. But I have grown to hate that woman's voice, and I have been wondering if there is anything that can be done about the calls.

Well, the FTC is taking action.

The Federal Trade Commission filed complaints on Thursday against two companies that were behind an automated telemarketing campaign that enraged Senator Charles E. Schumer and, authorities say, deceived thousands of people across the country.

Mr. Schumer, Democrat of New York, was in a meeting on Capitol Hill last week when he picked up his cellphone, triggering a phony, prerecorded sales pitch, ostensibly for an extended vehicle warranty.

Irate, Mr. Schumer became one of an estimated 30,000 Americans to make complaints about the robocalls with consumer protection authorities. He held a press conference to rail against the “robo-dialed harassment.”

The Federal Trade Commission said the telemarketing campaign was one of the most aggressive it had ever encountered, with as many as 1.8 million calls placed daily. The companies evidently dialed every number in a given area code, including many numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry.
It's about time. I hope the owners go to jail, in addition to having to make full restitution to the people they defrauded.

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