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‘We’re calling about your car’s extended warranty’: Nikki Fried levies $345K fine against South Florida auto warranty company

The company violated the do not call registry (and is just annoying.)

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.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at Janelle@floridapolitics.com.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. S B ANTHONY

    November 20, 2020 at 5:23 pm

    Thank you, I get at least five calls a day about my car’s extended warranty, and I don’t even have an extended warranty.

  2. Palmer Tom

    November 20, 2020 at 5:45 pm

    Those things are not worthwhile anyway. Consumer protection in Florida. What a foreign concept until Fried arrived.

  3. Jim Donelon

    November 20, 2020 at 8:54 pm

    And they NEVER take NO for an answer.

  4. Publius Maximus

    November 20, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    Nonsense. Far more is done by the State Attorney General. The news media doesn’t seem to consider it worth printing.

    https://www.myfloridalegal.com/pages.nsf/Main/18A7753257FE439085256CC9004EC4F7

  5. Nikki Weed Fan

    November 20, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    Damn, what took so long! Better late than never.

  6. Charlotte Greenbarg

    November 21, 2020 at 7:56 am

    I just block the number. No more calls. I let calls I don’t recognize go,to voicemail. Then I block them too

  7. Ron Ogden

    November 21, 2020 at 9:59 am

    Campaign 2020 is definitely(!) under way. Nikki Fried has been Secretary of Tomatoes for two years now and this is the first peep out of her on this topic–all while I have gotten at least a million calls a week from the warranty people (yes, Fried-ians, I am deliberately exaggerating).

    By the way, to say in your subhead that “the company violated” is both inaccurate and, in the absence of a court determination, libelous, I would think. As the press release said, “allegedly conducting”. Please keep in mind the role of a journalist is to report–not to render judgments in civil cases.

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