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Oct. 19—In the largest ever payment for telemarketing violations in Missouri, three subsidiaries of Farmers Insurance Group will pay $575,000 under a state court stipulated agreement filed Oct. 19 to settle allegations they violated state telemarketing and no-call list laws.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster (D) said in an Oct. 19 statement that his office received more than 275 complaints from consumers over a four-year period about harassing telemarketing practices carried out by agents of Farmers Insurance Group, Truck Insurance Exchange and Fire Insurance Exchange.
Many consumers reported that they continued to receive the calls after instructing agents take them off of the companies' call lists, Koster said.
In addition to the monetary payment, the settlement filed in the Missouri Circuit Court for St. Charles County requires Farmers to adopt policies and procedures to prevent future telemarketing and no-call violations, including agent training and annual audits of a sample of the company’s agents, the statement said.
Complaints about unwanted telemarketing calls and harassing treatment by telemarketers annually land atop the list of complaints received by Koster’s office, the statement said.
“Farmers Insurance simply looked the other way while its agents were flouting Missouri’s no-call law, illegally bombarding Missouri consumers with unwanted telemarketing calls,” Koster said. “This historic settlement combined with new training requirements should ensure Farmers reforms its practices to protect Missouri consumers.”
In an Oct. 19 statement, Farmers said, “While we believe we have not infringed on any state regulations, we feel the settlement enables us to move forward with an outcome that is the best course of action for everyone involved.”
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