PORTLAND, Ore. (KGW) — The Oregon Department of Justice is cracking down on a company selling extended car warranties. As part of a settlement, Endurance Warranty Services will be banned from making unwanted phone solicitations in Oregon for the next five years and be forced to pay up to $550,000 in fines.
The Oregon DOJ opened the investigation into the Illinois-based company after receiving more than a dozen consumer complaints, records indicate. Endurance sent hundreds of thousands of mailers to Oregonians from 2016 to 2019 and sold more than 1,600 extended car warranties, according to the Oregon DOJ.
The state investigation found the company’s mailers contained multiple false claims, according to the Oregon DOJ. For example, Endurance pretended to know when someone’s car warranty had expired or was about to expire.
“It’s my estimation it is mail fraud — or at least highly misleading advertising,” wrote Frank Dudgeon of Hillsboro in a 2019 complaint submitted to the Oregon DOJ. In the mailer, Endurance explained Dudgeon was selected for this offer because of the make and model of his vehicle. Only problem — Dudgeon has never owned a vehicle.
“It was silly for me because I’ve never driven a car,” Dudgeon told KGW when reached by phone on Monday. The 76-year-old notified the Oregon DOJ fearing other seniors might be fooled by the mailer.
“I’m not sure if I’m targeted or just a random selection that happens to be an old guy, but I can understand why they might target seniors,” said Dudgeon.
During the investigation, Endurance stopped sending the mailers, according to the Oregon DOJ.
The Better Business Bureau has also had issues with the company’s advertising. “Since May 2019, the BBB serving Chicago and Northern Illinois has requested on multiple instances for Endurance Warranty Services, LLC to modify, or discontinue their promotional mailers being distributed nationwide,” the BBB wrote on its website. “The businesses mailers contained aggressive and confusing language, that often intimidated consumers.” The BBB posted an update in April 2020 indicating the mailers meet the BBB Code of Advertising.
Endurance did not respond to KGW’s request for comment.
As part of the settlement filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court, Endurance is banned from making unwanted sales calls in Oregon for the next five years. Additionally, the company will have to implement an independent review process for all advertising direct toward Oregon residents and pay a fine of up to $550,000.