FTC: energy robocalls likely to increase in future


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FTC: energy robocalls likely to increase in future

By Michael Lopardi. CREATED Aug 23, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- You may find yourself hanging up the phone more often.

The Federal Trade Commission said it's likely calls similar to the green energy robocalls will increase in the future, even as people across the valley said they've had enough.

As quickly as he answers, Robert DePasquale hangs up. His plea is simple:

"Please, please, please stop calling me," DePasquale said.

DePasquale is referring to the green energy robocalls offering to save up to 50 percent off your energy bill.

He said he twice asked an operator to be removed from the list but the calls continue. DePasquale said he's received up to 20 calls over the last two months and has now signed up for the Do Not Call Registry.

"When people ask you more than once, please stop calling, that should end it," DePasquale said.

Action News has received numerous emails from people at home with the same problem. Several people we have spoken with have been on the Do Not Call list for more than 31 days and are still receiving the calls.

"This has been going on for months, and months, and months and was so frustrating," said Andrew Spivak of Las Vegas during an interview on Wednesday.

Spivak, who is on the registry, is trying to undercover the source of the calls. He responded to the call, set up an appointment and invited Action News over earlier this week to see who showed. We met David, who identified himself as an independent contractor for Home-Tec International selling green energy-saving products.

"It's just all through marketing," David said. "So, for example, it's a company that telemarkets out."

But that doesn't answer exactly who's behind the calls. We haven't found out either. Action News reached out to Home-Tec, an Arizona company, several times this week but we have not heard back.

The FTC in Washington watched our story. Bikram Bandy, Do Not Call program coordinator, said it's likely the calls are coming from multiple sources.

Generally speaking, Bandy said one company usually makes the calls to generate leads for separate businesses; Bandy said it's possible the businesses don't even know the caller could be violating the Do Not Call Registry. 

Robert's message for the callers: "I would just ask them to respect the wishes of the people who you're calling."

Tracking the calls is often more complicated than simply redialing the number on your caller ID since some numbers may be spoofed. 

Bandy said the FTC is aware of the energy robocalls and not ignoring the issue, but Bandy said he can't say what's happening behind the scenes. Bandy predicted the calls will likely increase in the future as more programs pop up offering green energy services.