OK, I work for the so-called "Warranty Scam". I feel like some clarification would really help because there's obviously a lot of conflicting and bogus information on here. Everything I'm about to say is 100 percent objective and factual.
1. There are over 90 warranty marketing companies that resort to these dubious marketing practices in the USA. They are indistinguishable from each other because they all use the same automated recording (which is provided by the warranty provider that they represent. If you're thinking that these 90+ warranty marketing companies are connected, and likely subsidiaries of the warranty providing companies - you're likely correct, as you will see shortly.) The warranty providing company pays the marketing company to call people in a specified area code, which the marketing company does with an auto dialer. They literally will call every number from, for example, 123-456-0000 to 123-456-9999. The WORST thing you can do is answer and press "2" to be taken off the list. All that does is confirm to the auto dialer computer that the number is valid, and it basically opens you up to be called ad infinitum by the remaining related 90+ warranty marketing companies. They do this so that they can have other options to continue calling you even after you request to be taken off the calling list. It's one of the many legal loopholes upon which they rely to stay in business.
2. Whoever said they got the company a $30k fine through the FTC is just as shady as the warranty scammers themselves. The fine for calling someone on the Federal Do Not Call list (or calling someone after they communicated they did not want to be called anymore) is $500 per REPORTED and PROVEN incident. This fine triples to $1500 if it can be proven that measures were taken to circumvent the law. (Using an auto dialer and having many aliases are such measures, and therefore the $1500 fine would apply.) The fine amount is irrelevant to begin with, however, considering that the REASON THESE WARRANTY SCAMMERS HAVE BEEN AT IT SO LONG AND CONTINUE TO FOLLOW THE SAME MARKETING PRACTICES IS BECAUSE THE FCC, FTC, BBB, FBI, LAW ENFORCEMENT AND ALL THE STATE ATTORNEY GENERALS ARE POWERLESS, OR AT MOST INDIFFERENT, TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. Period. This entire campaign to "report them to the FTC or FCC so they can do something about it!" is crap. I know many of you reading this think I'm full of shit or don't have my facts straight, but I give you this simple indisputable fact - I average 350 or so calls per day and hear these complaints AT LEAST 40 times a day. I'm only one rep out of 40+ in ONE of 90+ centers - so think about how many calls that is, and how many angry people who are reporting us for the 5+ years my company has been in business. If there was someone who could shut us down or fine us out the wazoo, it would have happened thousands of times over by now. So stop wasting your time.
3. If you are foolish enough to press "1" to speak to a rep, you will quickly discover that they have no idea what your car's warranty status is. None whatsoever, nor do they have access to any means of finding out about your warranty - short of asking you and you answering them. Furthermore, they don't know your name, they don't even know if you have a car, they don't even know what your phone number is. ON THAT NOTE - here's one of the legal loopholes I wrote about earlier - when you press the "1" key, you are being transferred to the marketing company's call center. At that time, it becomes in essence and in the eyes of the law, an INBOUND CALL TO THE CALL CENTER. To the rep you speak to, you're just an incoming call and we're instructed to say our opening line to answer the call. We don't have caller ID so we honestly don't know your phone number. In fact, the only information we know at all is which warranty provider paid for our auto dialer to make the call on their behalf. So to the rep, the customer is calling them. To the customer, they received an automated recorded message and pressed "1" to transfer to a live person. Who's right? Both! But legally, the live representative didn't place the call, so they can't be guilty of violating federal laws. Now - that's not to say that the MARKETING COMPANY itself is not breaking the law, because obviously by using our calling methods we call hundreds of people per day that are on the do not call list - and we auto dial to cell phones which is illegal. (NEWS FLASH - IT IS !!!!NOT!!!! ILLEGAL TO CALL A CELL PHONE. But it is illegal to call one with an auto dialer, and it is of course illegal to call anyone on the Do Not Call list, or anyone who has previously requested no more calls. To be fair, of course this would mean that OUR calls to cell phones are illegal, because as I previously said, we use an auto dialer. But too many people out there think that all telemarketing to cell phones is illegal... and by all the research I've done, it's not.)
4. I have never, nor will I ever request social security numbers, credit card numbers, dates of birth, physical addresses or any other truly proprietary information. Nothing more personal than vehicle make, model, and mileage; full name, phone number and ZIP code. That's it. I know it doesn't hurt to be too careful these days, but people are on here saying that we ask for credit card numbers and it just isn't true. NOW - that isn't to say that the warranty provider to whom we transfer the call isn't going to try to close the sale and get CC information for payment - but that happens at a later stage than anything that has anything to do with me.
5. Want the calls to stop? The best thing I can recommend is to answer the call and hang up immediately without making any sound. MAKE SURE YOU'RE IN A QUIET PLACE WHEN YOU DO THIS! Background noise may validate your phone number to the auto dialer even if you say nothing. If you're one of these sorry saps getting multiple calls a day for many weeks, obviously this method is going to take some time, but it will slowly start weeding the calls out. Also, don't ignore the call because a voicemail greeting will confirm that the number exists, as explained before.
6. To all those who wait on hold and talk to the rep and make up information just to find out where the rabbit hole goes, just one thought - you're not OUTSMARTING anyone. I can tell within three seconds if someone is genuinely interested, confused, wants to fish for information on how to report us to someone, or just wants to mess with me in general. If someone is making up information, I don't care. Not at all. I get paid by the number of transfers I do, so as long as no one can definitively prove that you were lying to me, I'll transfer anyone and everyone. And I'm fully aware that probably a third of the people I transfer were lying through their teeth, or just trying to get under my skin or make fun of me somehow. I don't care because I got paid, which is why I'm there. And I do also truly enjoy the practical jokes and prank calls I get - they really break up the monotony of the day and make life interesting. I'm usually taking notes for the best responses so I can figure out how I'm going to handle the next telemarketer that calls our house!
I hope that you've gathered that though I work for the company, I'm not exactly proud of it and I couldn't disagree more with their business practices. Not that anyone cares, but you wouldn't believe how badly we as employees are deceived and lied to by a company that sustains its entire existence in deceiving and lying to the public. So I don't want ANYONE thinking I'm towing the company line here in anything that I've said. I took this job because I lost a much more reputable and dependable job in November and was unemployed for months until I finally settled on this ridiculous job for a lack of anything else out there. You'd like to say you'd never work for a company like that, but when you have bills to pay and a little baby girl's mouth to feed, you get a bit desperate after four months of no income; hundreds of resumes posted, hand-delivered and emailed; and hundreds of applications completed. It's a HORRIBLE time to be unemployed - I hope that no one reading this knows what that's like.
Anyway, I could go on forever and ever - which is hilarious considering that probably no one will ever make it this deep into my convoluted post here.
Good luck to those trying to stop the calls. Even greater luck to those in their ever-determined (and almost certainly fruitless) efforts to report us.