It is just any regular day at work for Larry Younglas. His phone rings all the time. But he has been getting strange phone calls for two weeks. "They're always a 702 area code which is out of Las Vegas," he said, and he says they aren't calling him about business.
"When the automated at the beginning of the phone call (comes on), it basically states and I almost have it quoted, 'the warranty on your vehicle is about to expire. This will be the last chance for you to purchase an extended warranty'."
Larry says he is getting the same phone calls on his cell phone and house phone. "We have a local business down the road. He told me he was getting the phone calls too," he said.
We know at least a dozen of employees at NewsChannel 11 have been getting those strange 702 phone calls as well. Which means many of you may be getting them too. Phone numbers like (702)-520-1474, 1477, 1462, 1487, and 1488 are just a few of the numbers showing up in Lubbock.
Larry says his trucks all have warranties so why would he be getting phone calls? He dug a little deeper the next time they called him. "When we asked them for phone number to return calls to, we were given basically, I'm gonna go out on the limb and say, a false phone number," Larry said.
One number he was given was to a realtor in California. When he called, the person on the other end had no idea what Larry was talking about. NewsChannel 11 investigated even further. We found out the 702 phone call is coming from an unknown marketing company. That company was hired by a business to make all its phone calls. Once they find a willing participant, in this case NewChannel 11, they patch the phone call to a sales person with Vehicle Services, Inc. or VSI.
They sell auto warranties. Here is their website. They are based out of St. Peters, Missouri. We checked on this company with the Better Business Bureau in St. Louis, they have a 'no rating' which means the company is neither good nor bad. And, we were surprised to learn from the BBB those phone calls most of us are getting, are coming from a legitimate business. But what they're selling may not be the deal you want to sign up for.
Coverage for seven years for $2,400? That seems a little steep and even the experts agree. We showed Wayne Bowling, General Manager of Spirit Chrysler Jeep, the contract VSI has on their website and told him we were quoted $2,400. "I could think that is overpriced especially with the coverage they want to give you," said Bowling. He says dealerships offer better deals than that. And Bowling knew exactly which phone calls we were talking about. Would you believe? "We get them here at the dealership," he told us.
As for Larry, he's still getting those phone calls and he just hangs up on them now. But, he wanted to make sure others knew to do the same thing.
Larry Younglas is on the National Do Not Call List. We checked out why he is getting phone calls and the website indicated it blocks most phone calls, not all of them. But, the BBB recommends that if you're on the list and you're still getting called, to file a complaint. If you are not on the list, sign up. You can do so by clicking here.
We were unable to locate the marketing company. The BBB in Nevada can't seem to pinpoint who this is. But they are trying. They say many have called to complain about the telemarketers' advertising tactics.
|NewsChannel 11 Investigates|