Wisconsin AG Kaul accuses New Jersey firm of illegal telemarketing of extended car warranties

Ap Robocall
(Associated Press)

MADISON (WKBT) — Take heart, if extended car warranty telemarketers have gotten under your skin: Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul is taking steps to skin a New Jersey-based firm for pestering people.

“Wisconsinites are being inundated with unsolicited telemarketing calls from companies selling extended auto warranties — even though many of those Wisconsinites put their numbers on the Do-Not-Call registry so they’d be spared these interruptions to their daily lives,” Kaul said Monday in announcing that the state Department of Justice is taking action against N.C.W.C. Inc.

The action, based on a referral from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection alleges that N.C.W.C. violated of Wisconsin telemarketing laws.

“Working with our partners at DATCP, DOJ will vigorously enforce our telemarketing and Do-Not-Call laws to protect Wisconsinites from unwanted telephone solicitations,” Kaul said.

Telephone solicitors must register as such in the Badger State, and the state also has telemarketing laws that require certain disclosures and prohibit misrepresentations. The laws give state law enforcement agencies the authority to prosecute fraudulent telemarketers who operate across state lines.

N.C.W.C. markets extended vehicle service plans throughout the country, according to the Wisconsin DOJ, which says it markets plans administered by Palmer Administrative Services Inc.

The DOJ complaint alleges that N.C.W.C. made thousands of telemarketing calls to Wisconsin numbers in 2017 and 2018 without being registered as a telephone solicitor. Several thousand of the calls N.C.W.C. made to Wisconsin consumers were to numbers listed on the Do-Not-Call registry, the DOJ contends.

N.C.W.C. also entered into sales representation agreements with 42 other companies under that have sold the Palmer-administered extended vehicle service plans to consumers. The companies also have made large numbers of telemarketing calls to Wisconsin numbers without registering as telephone solicitors.

“Two of these companies are known to have made several hundred thousand telemarketing calls to Wisconsin numbers listed on the Do-Not-Call registry,” according to a DOJ news release, which adds, “The total number of such illegal calls by the remaining 40 vendors may be much larger.”

The state alleges that the vendors were acting as N.C.W.C.’s agents, making N.C.W.C. liable for the Do-Not-Call violations.

“Wisconsin consumers are tired of being illegally solicited by these telemarketers regarding their ‘extended auto-warranties,’ and today’s joint effort shows the State of Wisconsin is committed to addressing these illegal telephone solicitations,” said DATCP Secretary Randy Romanski.

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