3OYS: Go Green campaign making consumers see red

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX --  Telemarketing calls can be annoying. They take our time away from the rest of our lives. But one telemarketer in particular is really making people upset.

The caller phones you in the morning, afternoon and evening. And even though you tell them not to call back, they do. They claim to be with something called the Go Green campaign. But consumers tell me they just want go green to go away.

Al Huss is a businessman, but a pesky telemarketing campaign with a similar name is driving his business away. "We were getting so many calls that what we decided to do is, we put in big bold green at the top that we are not affiliated with the Go Green initiative and we don't do telemarketing."

Al's business is called Arizona Going Green which helps homeowners cut down on energy expenses. And although Al doesn't cold call people he frequently gets an earful from angry consumers calling him.

And they're not calling for his services either. They're yelling at him to stop calling them.    
“I get sworn at, getting all kinds of obscenities, threats and stuff like that,  just because they're in a situation where they've been called maybe 20 or 40 times."

Some of those consumers have contacted 3 On Your Side, upset with something called the “Go Green" campaign. You may have received the phone call yourself.  Basically, it's a sales pitch offering home visits to promote solar energy products. The callers sometimes insinuate they're associated with a city to appear legitimate. The City of Mesa had to issue an alert under their "cons, frauds and scams" section, telling folks, they have nothing to do with the campaign.

"I’m averaging probably one to two calls a week on my phone; about the same on my wife's phone,"
says Terry Hulse, who is familiar with the annoying Go Green phone calls. "I’d consider it harassment,  considering you can get them up to, I think the latest one I had was like 8:30 in the evening."

According to the FCC, "telemarketing calls to wireless phones is - and always has been - illegal in most cases."

The Go Green Campaign is almost ghost-like. There's no company website. They don't have an exact location listed anywhere. And when they call, there number is always different on your caller ID. "I think it's about three numbers now that I’ve been through on it," says Hulse.

Utility companies like SRP have solar energy programs but insist they're not connected to the Go Green campaign or the annoying phone calls. Kathleen Mascarenas represents SRP, and says to keep this in mind if you get one of those calls: "If someone is calling you with high-pressure tactics, that is the absolute first sign that is not SRP,; that's not how we operate."

So, what happens if you keep getting these phone calls? Try filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and provide as much information as you can like time of day you received the call and the telephone number that popped up on your Caller ID.

If the FTC gets enough complaints, something will be done.

A link to the FTC is below: