BASKING RIDGE, NJ — Verizon Wireless said today it has filed a lawsuit to stop several telemarketers from calling its customers and employees with an offer of an extended car warranty. The lawsuit, filed in New Jersey Superior Court, names Dealers Warranty (doing business as Federal Auto Protection), National Dealers Warranty and Tele Europe, B.V., and alleges these companies are responsible for illegally using an autodialer to reach Verizon Wireless customers.
The first two companies are based in Missouri, and the third is based in the Netherlands. The lawsuit alleges they have engaged in a campaign of making unsolicited telemarketing calls to Verizon Wireless customers and employees, consisting of a pre recorded voice message indicating that a car warranty is about to expire and urging the recipient to press “1” to speak to a representative. When a call recipient presses “1,” the representative on the line often refuses to identify the company or provides vague information. When customers and employees have attempted to call the number that appeared on the Caller ID, they have received an automated message indication that the call was received “in error.”
“Telemarketers continue to harass our customers with these pitches for extended auto warranties, among other offers,” said Steven E. Zipperstein, vice president and general counsel of Verizon Wireless. “Whatever it is they are selling, these unlawful telemarketing calls are an annoyance to our customers and invade their privacy, and we will continue using all the legal weapons in our arsenal to stop this activity and protect our customers.”
The lawsuit alleges violations of the Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which makes it illegal to use an autodialer to make calls to wireless phones, as well as state fraud and privacy laws. By filing the lawsuit and naming John Does as defendants, Verizon Wireless will be able to use the discovery process to help identify the currently unknown telemarketers and to get them to halt their practices.
Since 2004, Verizon Wireless has brought nearly 20 lawsuits against wireless spammers, telemarketers and pretexters, and the company’s record of protecting customer privacy puts the company at the forefront of the U.S. wireless industry. Over the past several years, Verizon Wireless has won permanent injunctions against individuals and companies that have engaged in illegal telemarketing and text message spamming to Verizon Wireless customers, and against those who have attempted to obtain information about Verizon Wireless customers to sell to third parties. On behalf of its customers, Verizon Wireless has donated tens of thousands of dollars to many domestic violence prevention, law enforcement and other non-profit organizations as a result of these settlements.
About Verizon Wireless Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless voice and data network, serving more than 86.6 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with more than 86,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.