Monday, November 8, 2010

Large Auto Warranty Sellers Barred from Idaho

Posted By on Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 11:33 AM

What was once the nation's top seller of extended auto warranties has been told to keep its business out of Idaho.

U.S. Fidelis, which operated as National Auto Warranty Services and Dealer Services, is prohibited from selling auto service contracts or telemarketing in Idaho.

"These individuals got rich by blanketing the country with deceptive mailings, unwanted telephone calls and high-pressure sales tactics, often aimed at senior citizens," Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. "They made millions selling nearly worthless service contracts, in many cases to people who were covered by a manufacturer's warranty. This settlement prohibits them from repeating those practices in Idaho."

After the company declared bankruptcy last spring, Wasden and 10 other state attorneys general sued, alleging the defendants engaged in illegal actions stemming from deceptive junk mail, telemarketing robocalls and misleading TV ads. The states also accused the defendants of violating Do-Not-Call laws, using technology to bypass caller ID and mask the origin of sales calls, refusing to allow consumers an opportunity to review the complete written service contracts, denying valid refund requests, improperly obtaining consumers' personal information and violating state telemarketer registration laws.

Darain and Cory Atkinson, owners of U.S. Fidelis, are also restricted from advertising any other product or service in Idaho.

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