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Don't be tricked by car warranty notices

Don't be tricked by car warranty notices

(Cars) Permanent link

The official-looking postcard in your mailbox warns that your car’s warranty is about to expire and urges you to call a toll-free number to ensure you’re covered. But think twice before you dial. These mailers are actually advertisements aimed at pressuring you into buying an expensive service contract.

The Washington Attorney General’s Office, like other agencies throughout the country, has noticed an increase in consumer complaints concerning postcards from out-of-state companies offering extended warranties. Businesses design their mailers to look like official notices from your vehicle manufacturer with phrases like “FINAL WARRANTY NOTICE.” Many postcards are personalized with the car owner’s name and a “customer ID” number. See examples below.

“If you receive a postcard warning you to renew your vehicle warranty, don’t take the information on face value,” said Assistant Attorney General Mary Lobdell. “Your car or truck’s initial warranty may be far from expiring or may have expired long ago. These notices usually aren’t from your manufacturer or dealer; they’re ads from businesses that want to sell you an optional, pricey plan to cover future repairs.”

If you do want to purchase an extended warranty – more accurately known as a service contract – always shop around and know exactly what it is you are buying. You may be able to get a similar or better contract from your vehicle manufacturer or another business. Read our tips on what to look for.


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Posted by SES - ISD at 01/04/2008 10:13:10 AM | 

The card states, " extend or reinstate you warranty...". Since the business sending the card can NEITHER extend NOR reinstate my warranty, the statement is false. Isn't that illegal? [BLOG MODERATOR's COMMENT: There is an active multistate investigation underway regarding these notices. I can't comment on what is/isn't legal. Sincerely, Kristin]
Posted by: Eileen Perkins ( Email ) at 3/31/2009 5:50 PM

I purchased a extended warranty contract for a company called {EDITED BY BLOG MODERATOR - Name of company} out of Miami, FL. I paid a large $400.oo down payment, but do not want to make any more until I know they're honest. How do I find out if they are a reputable company? [Blog Moderator's Response -- There is a multistate investigation underway. I can't comment on which companies are under investigation. Sorry.]
Posted by: Karen Laasen ( Email ) at 4/23/2009 9:10 PM

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