Are you like me? Does it annoy the -shit- out of you to pick up your phone and hear some snotty voice berating you with this warning?
Yes? Then GOOD NEWS! Announced today, May 14, 2009 :
FTC Files Suit to Stop Illegal Robocalls Pushing Vehicle “Warranty” Extensions
Companies Charged With Making Hundreds of Millions of Deceptive Calls to Consumers
The Federal Trade Commission is asking a federal court to shut down a telemarketing campaign that has been bombarding U.S. consumers with hundreds of millions of allegedly deceptive “robocalls” in an effort to sell them vehicle service contracts under the guise that they are extensions of original vehicle warranties.
In two related complaints filed in federal court, the Commission took action against both the promoter of the phony extended auto warranties, as well as the telemarketing company that it hired to carry out its illegal, deceptive campaign. In its complaints, the agency contends that the companies are operating a massive telemarketing scheme that uses random, pre-recorded phone calls to deceive consumers into thinking that their vehicle’s warranty is about to expire. Consumers who respond to the robocalls are pressured to purchase extended service contracts for their vehicles, which the telemarketers falsely portray as an extension of the manufacturer’s original warranty.
“This is one of the most aggressive telemarketing schemes the FTC has ever encountered,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. “I’m not sure which is worse, the abusive telemarketing tactics of these companies, or the way they try to deceive people once they get them on the phone. Either way, we intend to shut them down.”
Additionally, I read somewhere the FTC is outlawing all recorded sales pitches on September 1, 2009, but I cannot find the information now. If anyone knows, please comment.
You can further protect yourself by submitting your phone numbers to the National Do Not Call Registry.
The National Do Not Call Registry is open for business, putting consumers in charge of the telemarketing calls they get at home. The Federal government created the national registry to make it easier and more efficient for you to stop getting telemarketing calls you don’t want. You can register online at WWW.DONOTCALL.GOV or call toll-free, 1-888-382-1222 (TTY 1-866-290-4236), from the number you wish to register. Registration is free.
Alas, you must be calling FROM the phone for which number you wish to register. Not a problem for most, but Pious Phone Girl receives forwarded calls from the company’s old phone number, and therefore cannot get it removed. 😦