Is Your Extended Auto Warranty a Scam?  Four Red Flags.

Posted by Phillip Warren | Apr 17, 2024 | 0 Comments

As experienced consumer protection attorneys, we have dealt with many consumers who fell victim to unscrupulous extended auto warranty companies.  When they're selling you an extended warranty (often called an auto service contract), they make a lot of promises.  “Everything will be covered.”  “You can get a refund at any time if you are unhappy.”  And, for some legitimate companies, these promises are true.  But not all companies.  Some extended auto warranty companies are little more than a business address that will never answer your calls or emails after you file a claim.  Here are four red flags your extended auto warranty company may be giving you the run-around and steps you can take to avoid an extended auto warranty scam.

Extended auto warranty scam


1.  Putting Sales Before Service

When selling an extended auto warranty or auto service contract, the company will often seem relentless—calling or emailing you numerous times to try to pressure you into agreeing to purchase.  Whatever reason you come up with to try to politely decline, they have an answer for.  During the sale process, they quickly respond to questions and are fast to get you the paperwork to sign and the payment information you need to finalize the transaction.  However, for illegitimate companies, once the deal is inked, the agreement is then put on a shelf and when a claim is filed, the customer care team goes silent.  This is the most common complaint we have received from victims of extended auto warranty scams

2.  Non-Responsive Customer Care Team

We have heard from many consumers who purchased an extended auto warranty, thinking it would be a wise investment for their car and their family, only to try for months to no avail to reach their extended auto warranty company to get a legitimate claim paid.  They try emailing the representative who sold them their extended warranty, with no response.  Phone calls go unanswered and—in the end—legitimate claims for repairs go ignored.  A failure to respond is one of the most common complaints we have seen in our efforts to help people who have been defrauded into purchasing an extended auto warranty from an ill-repute company.    

3.  Finding Far-Fetched Reasons to Deny Claims

One of the most common complaints we have heard from extended auto warranty victims is the lengths their warranty company will go to to deny a legitimate claim.  Companies attempting to avoid paying claims will find, or concoct, many reasons to deny claims.  They may claim the damage was wear and tear, or was pre-existing, or certain parts or labor needed to affect the repairs are not covered, or the damage was consequential—i.e., the damage was caused when a part that is covered damages a part that is not covered—all to deny the claim.  Unscrupulous extended warranty companies know all the tricks to try to wiggle out of liability for paying a legitimate claim.  If you feel the company's reason for denial is unfounded or unreasonable, chances are it is. 

4.  Refusal of a Full or Partial Refund

When selling customers an extended auto warranty or auto service contract, companies will often claim you can cancel the coverage at any time and receive a full or partial refund.  The representatives who sell the policies are often very aggressive, clever, and successful in closing the deal.  But, when the customer tries to capitalize on the promise made—i.e., that they could cancel at any time for a full or partial refund—their request often goes ignored or outright refused.  It is important that you read all paperwork carefully before signing.  The refund policy should be clearly outlined and understandable.

How to Protect Yourself from an Extended Auto Warranty Scam

Vet the company before purchasing.  If you look through ConsumerAffairs or BetterBusinessBureau complaints and find the company trying to sell you an extended auto warranty or auto service contract is very poorly rated with complaints that the company is aggressive in their initial sales approach but difficult to contact after, ignoring legitimate inquiries and communications, and quick to deny claims, do not sign up with that company.  Just say no.  Do not succumb to the pressure.  If the company is illegitimate, you are better off not purchasing the extended warranty and relying, instead, on your manufacturer's warranty or putting the money you would have spent toward the warranty on repairs when and if they are needed.  If you feel you do want a reliable extended auto warranty, start by searching for top-rated companies and be sure to read the contract they offer in full before signing. 

If You Feel Your Auto Service Claim Has Been Wrongfully Denied

Florida has consumer protection laws in place designed specifically to protect consumers like you against fraudulent, deceptive, or unfair commercial practices.  Our attorneys have years of experience handling consumer protection claims.  At Taylor, Warren, Weidner & Hancock, each case, no matter the value, is personally handled by one of our experienced attorneys.  We handle cases on a contingency basis with no fee or cost if there is no recovery and we do not require any cost, fee, or obligation to simply discuss your case and provide you with our thoughts and advice.  If you purchased an extended auto warranty or auto service contract and your claim for repairs was wrongfully denied, you have rights.  Contact us today to speak to one of our consumer protection attorneys about your rights.

About the Author

Phillip Warren

Phillip devotes the same honor, courage, and commitment to his clients as he did in the USMC.


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