Tired of getting those pesky calls asking about your car’s extended warranty? Nikki Fried feels you.
The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which Fried heads as the only statewide elected Democrat, issued a $345,000 fine against a West Palm Beach-based company for conducting unsolicited telephone sales calls to consumers on the “Florida Do Not Call” list.
The company, Turnkey Auto Group, sells extended car warranties. Solicitations for such products have become a common meme as residents everywhere get bombarded with robocalls calls infamously beginning with some variation of, “we’re calling about your car’s extended warranty.”
Fried’s office also named Fidelity Mutual Life in the fine, which includes 171 alleged violations.
“Businesses allegedly conducting unsolicited calls in disregard of the ‘Florida Do Not Call’ list aren’t just violating consumer trust, they’re violating the law,” Fried said in a statement. “As the state agency responsible for consumer complaints, our Department will continue to investigate all potential violations of the ‘Florida Do Not Call’ list to hold bad actors accountable for their actions.”
The fine follows an investigation into 69 consumer complaints submitted to the Department between September 11, 2019 and March 23, 2020 against Fidelity Mutual Life and Turnkey Auto Group. The complaints claimed the entity was conducting non-solicited telemarketing calls to market auto warranties directly to consumers, including Florida residents.
The investigation found the companies had made unsolicited phone calls to people on the do not call list, a violation that carries an administrative fine for each offense.
The fine includes 66 violations of a state statute requiring solicitors to identify themselves by their true first and last names and to identify the business for whom they are soliciting. Another 68 violations broke state statute barring solicitation to people on the do not call list and 37 violations of state statute blocking automated alls one a connection is completed.
Turnkey Auto Group has 21 days to request an administrative hearing countering the complaints.