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Undersecretary Barbara AnthonyPosted by:
Barbara Anthony, Undersecretary of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation

Chances are, we’ve all quickly hung up our cell phone and thought the same thing. “My auto warranty? What about my auto warranty.”

We quickly realize that we’d received a robo-call, and that the number that came up on our caller ID was bogus. According to the Federal Trade Commission, approximately 1 billion of those annoying calls have been made. Last week, a federal court took a step toward reducing those illegal calls.

The court has issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting these auto warranty robo-calls, stating that the companies running the scheme have acted in violation of the Do Not Call Registry and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

Many Bay Staters have answered their phone to this automated message: “The factory warranty on your vehicle is about to expire. This is your final notification.” The automated message includes information on how to opt out of the calls, but many consumers say their attempts have failed.

For these companies to claim that auto warranties are about to expire is to misrepresent the nature of an actual vehicle warranty, the cost of which is included when one purchases a new car.  The product that these “warranty” peddlers sell is actually overpriced auto servicing coverage, which still fails to pay for many repairs.

Most of these calls are in violation of the state and national Do Not Call rules. If you haven’t put your phone number on the Do Not Call list, I encourage you to do so. To add your number to the Massachusetts Do Not Call registry, all you need to do is enter your number into the database. The lists solicitors receive are updated quarterly. Don’t forget to sign up to the national registry, as well.

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