Don't fall for these calls

January 27, 2009 4:02:23 PM PST
If your cell phone or work phone or home phone is getting a lot of calls from car warranty companies, you're not alone.The calls are coming at all times of the day or night, even to those on the Do Not Call list. So how do you stop it?

Everyone we spoke with has gotten some kind of solicitation from a company looking to sell an extended warranty. There are things being done to put an end to the calls, but so far the sales pitches just keep coming.

From your office phone, to your cell phone, the calls are coming fast and furious.

Shasta Clements said, "I get them all the time at my job. So they call my job number basically saying to renew your car warranty and I just hang up on them."

Talk to just about anyone and they have a story to tell about the automated car warranty calls.

"I get the calls and it is a voice-automated dial that says, 'This is your final notice and your car warranty is going to expire,'" recalled Keona Mashalla.

Tracking down where the calls come from is not easy. The number that appears on your caller ID usually does not work if you call it back. The name of the company calling is never revealed during the automated sales pitch. It's leaving consumers extremely frustrated.

Henry Adams said, "I doubt they have a penny to their name in terms of backup financing to make good on warranty repairs."

The extended warranty phone offers are behind hundreds of complaints to the Texas Attorney General's office. The complaints are also pouring in to the Houston Better Business Bureau.

"We are seeing those kinds of calls and very consistently coming to the call center," explained Deana Turner with the Houston BBB. "The problem is, as you have seen, is that we don't get a phone number, or address or company name."

In an effort to stop the calls, Verizon Wireless filed a lawsuit against Warranty Services Company after Verizon tracked nearly three million calls in a year to its customers. The state of Missouri also filed a lawsuit against the same company for violating provisions of that state's Do Not Call registry.

The problem is the company named in the suit stopped making automated calls nearly a year ago. A spokesperson for National Warranty Services tells us the calls are coming from other companies using National's name. Their advice is the same as that from the Better Business Bureau.

Turner advised, "You should never do business with a company that is not going to give a company name, address or phone number."

If you are on the Do Not Call list for Texas and the one maintained by the federal government, you can complain about the calls.

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