Epidemic of Sales Calls to Cell Phones

February 26, 2010
The Better Business Bureau is receiving dozens of calls each day from consumers and business people who are receiving "robo calls" to their cell phone numbers, primarily from companies trying to sell extended service contracts for automobiles.  These companies appear to be playing on consumer concerns about manufacturer warranties due to financial difficulties facing some automobile manufacturers.

The "good news" is that these telemarketing appear to have called the wrong people -- Senator Chuck Schumer of New York and Senator Mark Warner of Virginia both report calls to their cell phones, and both Senators have called on the Federal Trade Commission to crack down on these calls.  Earlier this week, the Federal Trade Commission announced that lawsuits will be filed shortly against several companies.

The use of automatic dialers and recorded messages to cell phones is illegal under existing Federal Communication Commission regulations, so the BBB recommends that consumers receiving such calls file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov whether or not their cell phone number is registered on the federal Do Not Call Registry.

To further deter future calls of this nature, the BBB is also recommending that consumers register their cell telephone numbers on the Do Not Call Registry.  This can be done online at www.donotcall.gov or by calling toll-free 1-888-382-1222.  Complaints about violations of the Do Not Call Registry law can also be filed through this website or toll-free telephone number.