Vehicle Protection Association Issues Advisory Notice to Consumers Regarding Robo-Dialing

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Consumers urged to purchase vehicle service contracts only from certified sellers.

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The Vehicle Protection Association (VPA), an association formed to promote regulatory transparency, education and accountability for marketing and servicing automotive service contracts, is advising consumers to avoid purchasing vehicle service contracts from companies that engage in robo-dialing.

The VPA strongly condemns the practice of marketing vehicle service contracts through the use of apparently misleading, recorded telemarketing calls, know commonly as "robo-dialing." These calls are illegal under 2009 regulations issued by the Federal Trade Commission. Telemarketers who send prerecorded messages to consumers who have not agreed in writing to accept such messages can face penalties of up to $16,000 per call. Consumers who receive such automated phone calls should notify the VPA, contact the Federal Communications Commission and report the instance to the FTC by visiting the National Do-Not-Call Complaint Registry.

VPA members are strictly prohibited from engaging in robo-dialing and must adhere to the VPA Standards of Conduct, a uniform ethical code designed to protect consumers who purchase vehicle service contracts. The Standards of Conduct require that: “Members using an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) to place outbound calls shall do so in accordance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations.”

“The Vehicle Protection Association and its members are aligned in the continuing effort to protect the rights of consumers and maintain the integrity of our industry," said Larry Hecker, executive director of the VPA. “The FTC has made its stance clear on unsolicited, automated phone calls, and we encourage all consumers looking to purchase an auto service contract to choose only organizations that have demonstrated compliance with the law.”

When shopping for vehicle service contracts, consumers should choose to work with VPA Gold-Certified companies in order to ensure that they are working with an ethical vendor. The VPA certifies select companies that pass a rigorous, third-party compliance review, which evaluates the company’s adherence to VPA Standards of Conduct, applicable federal and state laws, as well as industry rules and regulations.

A full list of VPA-certified vendors is available on the organization’s website.

About the Vehicle Protection Association
The Vehicle Protection Association (VPA) is a not-for-profit trade association representing firms that are active in the automotive service contract industry. Members include service contract marketers, administrators, insurers, payment providers and software providers. VPA currently has more than 60 members. The organization is committed to ensuring regulatory compliance among members, educating consumers on their rights, and otherwise ensuring the integrity of the automotive service contract industry. For more information, visit http://www.vpanet.org.

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Larry Hecker
Vehicle Protection Association
302-524-1150
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