5.25.2009

Robocall case sheds light on a secretive industry

·A former employee of Transcontinental Warranty, which is accused of making illegal recorded calls, says workers could be fired for divulging the firm's name.
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-robocall25-2009may25,0,5124422.story
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_j99VUrX25a4/SFCqH3DwpmI/AAAAAAAAB3w/W3h38qaQ10I/s320/robocallTN.gif
The despised robocall companies that send out illegal recorded calls nationwide to try and get people to buy car warranties or apply for credit cards are among the most secretive operations outside the CIA.
Employees are told they can be fired merely for mentioning the name of their employer.
But court documents filed this month in a Federal Trade Commission case against a Florida company -- Transcontinental Warranty Inc. -- provide what authorities say is a look inside a telemarketing operation that used widespread recorded calls and misrepresentations in selling its product.
A declaration from a former employee describes how he was supposed to go through hundreds of calls in a shift, trying to sell auto service warranties, which the FTC said typically cost $2,000 to $3,000, without giving up too much information about the company, especially if consumers became combative or suspicious.
"Transcontinental's company motto was 'Hang up. Next,' " said Mark Israel, who worked the evening shift with about 30 other operators at company headquarters in Ft. Lauderdale. "Essentially, this meant that if the consumer did not readily go along with the scripted telemarketing pitch, I should immediately hang up."
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