Automobile Owners Receiving Harrassing Phone Calls & Mail

  
     
May 14, 2009

Lubbock, TX May 14, 2009 – Do you own a car? Have you received phone calls and/or mail telling you the warranty is about to run out? If so, you are just one of millions of consumers receiving these kinds of phone calls almost daily. Consumers also receive postcards and other kinds of mail from auto warranty companies trying to sell extended warranties.

There are major auto manufacturers such as Chrysler and GM that are contending with bankruptcy or fighting off bankruptcy which is causing a lot of confusion surrounding the status of auto warranties. BBB is concerned that consumers are particularly susceptible right now to deceptive telemarketing phone calls and other solicitations that seem to be coming from their manufacturer regarding the status of their warranty.

“These companies are selling extended service contracts – basically a health insurance for your car if something should break”, stated Nan Campbell, president BBB serving the South Plains of West Texas. “Many consumers are complaining to BBBs after they purchased a service contract and found that there were many caveats and exemptions and it didn’t cover the work they needed on their car”, she continued.

Just recently, two senators asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to crack down on these types of “robo-dialer harassment” calls. It is the BBB’s understanding that the FTC will be filing lawsuits shortly on several companies. Several states Attorney Generals are investigating and Verizon Wireless has sued two companies which settled out of court in April 2009 and they announced a new lawsuit against three more companies claiming that 2 million of their customers had been called.

BBB Tips:

  • Not all companies selling extended service contracts are misleading consumers or violating the Do Not Call lists. BEFORE YOU BUY, check the company’s reliability report at www.bbb.org
  • Don’t feel like you have to make an immediate decision; you have time to consider all your options
  • If considering an extended warranty, be sure to read and understand the stipulations in the contract and make sure that everything is spelled out and check with your auto manufacturer so that you are not duplicating coverage
  • Make sure your home and cell phone numbers are registered on the Federal Do Not Call list (www.donotcal.gov) as well as the Texas Do Not Call list (www.texasnocall.com)
  • Federal Communication Commission (FCC) regulation states that the use of auto-dialers and recorded messages to cell phones is illegal and cell phone users should file complaints if they receive such calls – even if their cell phone is not registered on the Do Not Call List
File a complaint with the Texas Attorney General (www.oag.state.tx.us), your BBB (www.bbb.org) and the FTC (www.donotcall.gov)