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North Carolina Telemarketers Need Not Apply
Recently, a certain auto service contract company was banned from conducting business in the state of North Carolina.
The state’s Attorney General’s Office said Automotive Protection of New Jersey has been the third company in three months to be banned from selling or pitching their service contracts. Wake County Superior Court Judge, Abraham Penn Jones, granted a default judgment against Automotive Protection and its manager, Christopher Doyle. Under the judgment, the Automotive Protection of New Jersey is to be fined $4.5 million and of course, is barred from any and all telemarketing in the state of North Carolina. They also cannot sell or administer their auto service contracts in the state via any other means. Anyone who bought a contract from the company is allowed to cancel it without penalty.
Twenty-five consumers filed complaints about the company’s calls and sales practices. According to the Attorney General’s Office, the company targeted people 65 and older and often called those who had signed up for the Do Not Call Registry to stop telemarketing calls. The company’s telemarketers tricked consumers by pretending to represent car makers and claiming to sell bumper-to-bumper protection contracts.
Though most cars are offered with a warranty from the manufacture, auto service contracts are sold separately from 3rd party sellers usually costing more than $1,000.
In selling these contracts via the telephone, the company gave out incorrect contract information and refused to answer incoming calls or return messages that were left. In some cases charges were placed to bank accounts and credit cards even after service agreements were cancelled.