Vehicle Protection Association (VPA) Applauds the Missouri Attorney General on Action Against Alleged Illegal Robocalls

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Attorney general files lawsuit against M.A. Infinity Marketing, Inc. for alleged violation of Missouri’s No Call Law.

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The Vehicle Protection Association supports Attorney General Koster in prosecuting illegal robocalling.

The Vehicle Protection Association, a not-for-profit trade association promoting regulatory transparency, education and accountability for marketing and servicing automotive service contracts, today announced its support of a lawsuit brought against Ohio-based M.A. Infinity Marketing, Inc., by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster in St. Charles County Circuit Court for allegedly placing harassing telemarketing calls in violation of Missouri’s No Call Law (case No. 1311-CC01147).

According to a news release (Attorney General Koster files suit against Ohio-based telemarketer for harassing robo-calls, Nov. 18, 2013), Infinity Marketing allegedly placed thousands of robocalls to Missouri citizens, many of whom had registered their phone numbers on Missouri’s No Call list. Many consumers reported receiving more than a dozen calls from Infinity in one day and continuing to receive calls even after attempting to opt out of future calls. Koster is seeking to stop the company from making any further calls to citizens on the No Call list and penalties of up to $5,000 per violation of the No Call Law.

“The Vehicle Protection Association supports Attorney General Koster in prosecuting illegal robocalling,” said Chris Carenza, executive director of the VPA. “Although these calls were soliciting health and life insurance, this lawsuit is in line with the VPA’s own efforts to ensure that robocalling scams do not plague the vehicle service contract industry as well.”

Several years ago the robocalling industry infiltrated the vehicle service contract industry by selling “warm transfer leads” to marketers. After being prosecuted by law enforcement agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC Files Suit to Stop Illegal Robocalls Pushing Vehicle “Warranty” Extensions, May 14, 2009), a number of those who participated in illegal robocalling were forced to pay severe penalties. The VPA is being proactive again in attempting to thwart the robocalling industry from contaminating the vehicle service contract industry.

“Back then the VPA and its members stood up to robocalling by banning the practice, thus protecting consumers and bettering the industry,” said VPA legal counsel Helen MacMurray. “Today, the VPA again stands up to robocalling by lauding the efforts of law enforcement and maintaining its zero tolerance policy.”

The VPA is being proactive about robocalling and encourages all marketers and business partners to report any suspicious programs that are being marketed by “lead aggregators” and/or “lead brokers” that may result in illegal robocalling activity. As the VPA continues its investigation of reports relating to illegal robocalling, Carenza reminds all participants in the space that the standard utilized by law enforcement agencies is whether the marketer knew or should have known that the leads were illegal. Actual notice that the leads provided by the lead generator is not required; many times the lead generator hides behind an affidavit that purports that they are in compliance with state and federal law when they are not. All business partners have to remain vigilant.

“You just can’t afford to bury your head in the sand and ignore this kind of activity,” said Carenza.

VPA members are required to be in compliance with state and federal laws and uphold the VPA Standards of Conduct, which includes best practices established to protect the rights of consumers who purchase vehicle service contracts. To see a full list of VPA-certified vendors, visit the organization’s website at http://www.vpanet.org.

About the Vehicle Protection Association
The Vehicle Protection Association (VPA) is a not-for-profit trade association representing firms active in the automotive service contract industry. Members include service contract marketers, administrators, insurers, payment providers and software providers. 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.

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Chris Carenza, Executive Director
Vehicle Protection Association (VPA)
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