Monday, July 6, 2009

Extended Auto Warranty Scam

It came in the mail last week—and looked very official.

In bold print it said: “Request for Immediate Action—Time Sensitive Material.” Then: “18 U.S. Code: Warning: $2,000 Fine, 5 Years Imprisonment, or both, for any person interfering or obstructing with delivery of this letter.”

Then, the notice that this “is to inform you that your factory warranty may have expired or is about to expire. You may have an opportunity to extend your coverage on your vehicle.”

In small letters on the bottom though were a tip-off. The sender of the notice
“is not affiliated with any dealer or manufacturer.”

What I received was a phony pitch.

I’ve also—and I suspect you, too—have gotten phone calls along the same lines.

New York Senator Charles Schumer has been hollering about what’s been going on, speaking about U.S. consumers being “bombarded” with millions of “robocalls” for phony extended auto warranties. He’s called on the Federal Trade Commission to take action. It has agreed.

Says Schumer: “Many Americans have been fleeced by these companies….I look forward to these calls being stopped and the ill-gotten gains returned to their victims.”

Attorney generals around the nation have also been investigating.

I had an interesting experience with agents from one of these outfits a few weeks ago. First, I got a robo or automated call advising me that my car’s warranty was about to expire and I should press one to speak to a representative. I did that and then a woman, seemingly reading from a script, advised that I probably was entitled for an extended full service 100,000-mile warranty—covering the engine, the transmission, the air conditioner, everything.

But, I said, I didn’t think I had a warranty to begin with, considering I bought the car used on Craigslist with 85,000 miles on it. And now the old Honda has well over 100,000 miles. Are you sure it can be warrantied for another 100,000?

She said she’d pass me on to another agent. In broken English, he said his supervisor would make a decision.

“Congratulations,” said the supervisor. I could get the deal.

But I asked for it to be put in writing and mailed to me. He said that could only be done if I put a deposit down with a credit card. I don’t think so, I said.

What a huge scam. It should be stopped before any more people are hurt.

2 comments:

thebest said...

Very Interesting and useful post....

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