Tracking another company
I found another company behind one of the auto-warranty calls! I realize it’s not hard to do now, so I suggest anyone who gets these calls to do the same. That way you can file a complaint against the company. Here’s the info:
Fidelity National Warranty
804 Meadowbrook Dr., Suite 100-B
Olathe, KS 6602
Here’s what happened:
I get the call. I press 1. I speak to a rep. I tell them a car model and year (VW Passat, 2000).
I get transferred to a representative named Jimmy.
Jimmy asks me the same questions, tells me he can get me a warranty.
I tell him my battery might die, so I need his number to call back.
Jimmy tells me he can call me.
I tell Jimmy I don’t know the number of my landline, so Jimmy gives me his number: 1-877-847-7799 x128
I ask Jimmy the company, he tells me it’s Fidelity National Warranty.
I look it up. Bingo, it’s a company based in Oathe, Kansas.
Here’s info I gleaned from the Kansas business directory
Entity name: FIDELITY NATIONAL WARRANTY, INC.
Entity ID: 4268728
Previous Names: PATRIOT WARRANTY COMPANY, INC.
Current Status: ACTIVE AND IN GOOD STANDING
Current Mailing Address: 804 MEADOWBROOK DR SUITE 100-B , OLATHE, KS 66062
Date of Formation in Kansas: 12/22/2008
State of Organization: KS
Resident Agent: MICHAEL J. FISCHER
Registered Office: 11000 KING , OVERLAND PARK, KS 66210
So it’s a company registered in Kansas that formed in December 2008. I wonder if they were something else before then. A search for Patriot Warranty (the previous name listed) comes up with the same entity on the Kansas directory.
What this means:
As theorized by a commenter, there seems to be some kind of third party service responsible for the illegal auto-dialing that connects to various companies that want to sell auto insurance. One time it connected me to Automotive Warranty Protection Services, aka National Dealers Warranty Inc., (based in Missouri, currently being sued by Verizon – although not the company that settled). This time it connected me to Fidelity National Warranty (not to be confused with US Fidelis, aka National Auto Warranty Services, which WAS one of the companies that just settled with Verizon).
I agree with that commenter that the company in The Netherlands that was named in the Verizon suit is probably behind this third-party company. A search for that company – Tele Europe, B.V. – comes up with a couple of different phone numbers. I tried one and it gets to a different company, but apparently that company is in the same building as Tele Europe. I just spoke to the guy who answers that phone and he gave me the building’s reception number. I tried calling, but it’s after business hours in the Netherlands, so I’ll have to wait until tomorrow.
In the meantime, I will ask the Verizon rep who was on the Brian Lehrer Show if he’ll give me a contact for Tele Europe. Then we might get closer to the source of these illegal calls.
If anyone has any other suggestions, please keep them coming.
If you’re interested, here is some other information I got from the call:
For my theoretical car, a 2000 Volkswagen Passat GPL 4 Motion with 100,000 miles, he quoted me $3,370 for four years.
He said that gave me comprehensive coverage that included everything on the vehicle like seals and gaskets that he said even the manufacturer doesn’t cover. He said it was accepted at mechanics nationwide and any VW dealer. He also said it came with a breakdown service, rental car reimbursement. He said the insurance company was called Century, who have been in business since 1987. I asked why I couldn’t just call them and he said they don’t sell direct to the consumer.
The shady part
Here’s something interesting: After I gave him the initial information about the car, he transferred me to an “authorization specialist” named Chris. Chris told me they don’t normally offer coverage on vehicles without an inspection, but he would make an exception if I answered some questions over the phone. He asked me if there were any engine lights on or if there were any electrical problems. I said no and he said they could offer me coverage. I’m not sure how they “normally” offer coverage on vehicles they inspect if they only do business over the phone, but I assume that’s to give them some legal cover.
Now here’s what sounded shady to me. Before Chris passed me back to Jimmy, he told me they have a “no call-back policy.” He said that means I had to accept or decline coverage before getting off the phone. I said why and he said it was because some customers might not accept coverage and then hang up only to find something wrong with their vehicle and then call back. I asked why you couldn’t think about it and he said it was about “mutual trust.” Seemed like a hard sell to me.
Chris passed me back to Jimmy who ran through all the other details. I asked Jimmy if I could think about it and call him back and he said cited the “no call-back policy” that Chris explained. I then told him I’d need to call him back because my battery was dying and he said fine. Isn’t that effectively a “call-back policy”? I just can’t call back if it’s to think about buying coverage. I hung up and called back another operator just to confirm it was the same company. It was. 15 minutes later I got a call from Jimmy, but I let it go to voicemail. He didn’t leave a message.