“We’re calling about your car’s warranty.” Ever gotten those annoying calls for an extended car warranty? Even when you’ve blocked solicitations you still get them. Now, the Oregon Department of Justice is going after these phone solicitation companies. It just finned but also banned Endurance Warranty Services from sending misleading mailers and making these calls for the next five years.
What did Oregon find wrong with the extended warranty offers?
Oregon DOJ targeted Endurance Warranty Services after receiving complaints. Between 2016 and 2019, it sent hundreds of thousands of mailers soliciting its warranty services. The Illinois company ended up securing 1,600 warranties from Oregonians. But it found many of the claims were false.
The DOJ found that though the solicitation said it knew recipients’ car warranties were ending, some of the recipients didn’t even own cars. Solicitations would even list the recipient’s car make and model. Again, they didn’t even own a car.
The recipient told KGW8, “It was silly for me because I’ve never driven a car. I’m not sure if I’m targeted or just a random selection that happens to be an old guy. But I can understand why they might target seniors.”
How was the extended warranty company stopped?
Now, Endurance is banned for five years and fined $550,000. And the DOJ isn’t the only agency that has focussed on the warranty company. The Better Business Bureau has had dealings with Endurance.
On its website, it stated, “Since May 2019, the BBB serving Chicago and Northern Illinois has requested on multiple instances for Endurance Warranty Services, LLC to modify or discontinue their promotional mailers being distributed nationwide. The businesses mailers contained aggressive and confusing language that often intimidated consumers.” Currently, the BBB says the Endurance mailers “meet the BBB Code of Advertising.”
Beyond Endurance, in July the Federal Communications Commission ordered phone companies to deny service to warranty scam operations. Since 2018, one warranty company made over eight billion warranty calls, according to the FCC. And the Federal Trade Commission recently charged a company in Florida for scamming over $6 million for its extended warranty swindle.
How do you know if the warranty call is real?
These types of calls usually have one of two motives. They’re either to sell you fake extended car warranties, or they’re trying to get your personal information. The extended warranty they describe is really an extended service contract, not a warranty extension.
When you answer the phone, a prerecorded message says your car warranty is expiring soon and to stay on the line for a representative to talk to you. The FTC says that unless you’ve asked for the call, they’re committing a crime. As with all types of unsolicited calls, if they start asking for personal information like Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers, it’s a scam.
Many expect that calls not from your local area code are not legitimate. But now, robo-callers use local phone numbers to throw off recipients. If it is a legitimate telemarketer, not only the phone number but the name of the organization identifies the caller.
What can you do to stop these robo-calls?
If you haven’t already, you can do a number of things to lessen the occurrence of unwanted robocalls. First, you can download a blocking app like RoboKiller. Another is to get on the National Do Not Call Registry. There is also the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which can score you up to $1,500 for each call you haven’t given permission to. But you’ll need to read up on how it works.
Finally, the easiest way to eliminate these types of annoying calls is to not answer the phone. The robo-callers will move to another number if they feel they’re wasting their time calling yours.