Recently there’s been an explosion of aftermarket extended car warranties companies making wonderful claims on TV and the radio about hassle-free auto warranty protection. Sometimes these folks will even call you at home. But the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, urges you to be skeptical of mail and phone calls warning that the warranty on your car is about to expire. I can’t stress this enough: stay away from high-pressure warranty companies.
View our bankruptcy alert of auto warranties companies who have recently filed for bankruptcy.
The People Who Call You Often Misrepresent Themselves
The companies behind the mail and calls selling extended car warranties may give the impression that they represent your car dealer or manufacturer. Using phrases like “Motor Vehicle Notification,” “Final Warranty Notice” or “Notice of Interruption,” they try to make the offer seem urgent as they pressure you to call a toll-free number for more information. But it’s more than likely that these pitches are from unrelated businesses.
If you respond to a call from a business pitching so-called extended warranties, you’re likely to hear high-pressure sales tactics, as well as demands for personal financial information and a down payment, before you get any details about the service contract. And if you end up buying car extended warranty, you may find that the company behind it won’t be in business long enough to fulfill its commitments.
You Can Fight Back Against Unscrupulous Auto Warranty Companies
If you think you’ve been victimized by an extended auto warranty scam, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Although the FTC does not intervene in individual disputes, the information you provide may indicate a pattern of possible law violations requiring action by the Commission. http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt155.shtm
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid these scams. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit ftc.gov or call toll-free 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters consumer complaints into the Consumer Sentinel Network, a secure online database and investigative tool used by hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
Auto Warranties Companies Ignoring the National Do Not Call Registry
If your telephone number is on the National Do Not Call Registry, a salesperson may call you only if you have agreed to accept calls from his company, if you have bought something from the company within the last 18 months, or if you have asked the company for information within the last three months. To report violations of the National Do Not Call Registry or to register a phone number, visit DoNotCall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222.
About the author: The Warranty Watchman, a.k.a. David Olthoff, has specialized in auto extended warranties for the past 21 years.