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June 14, 2010

Get a Free (not so) SuperGuarantee on Used Cars

Filed under: Autos,Internet,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:02 am

The folks who bring you SuperPages (yellow pages) are now trying to help you buy a used car via their new site EveryCarListed.com . As an inducement, they promise you a free vehicle warranty with every qualified purchase:

The actual guarantee in most cases is for 90 days or 3000 miles, whichever comes first. It also only comes on cars under $60,000 and nine years old or less. But, you will likely have a costly surprise when you try to make your first claim:

*MOUSE PRINT:

“The Warranty is subject to a $100 deductible per service visit and a maximum liability for the life of the Service Contract of the trade in value of the vehicle you purchase or $3,000, whichever is less.” [See terms and conditions.]

Also, the warranty is not bumper to bumper, but only covers certain parts:

*MOUSE PRINT:

Engine, turbocharger, transmission, transfer case, and drive axle

There is a long list of exclusions (if you are lucky enough to find the actual contract), including one you might not expect on a used vehicle:

*MOUSE PRINT:

Particularly for a just-purchased used car, you don’t always know what’s wrong with it until after you drive it awhile. And a part rarely goes from being perfectly fine one day to being dead the next. So might those less obvious defects be excluded? One would hope that the company behind the service contract wouldn’t use that provision or others to weasel out of paying for particular repairs.

So what company backs up this guarantee? Warrantech. Never heard of them? You should have. The Better Business Bureau in Texas where the company is headquartered certain has, and has given the company its lowest rating.

*MOUSE PRINT:

“The majority of Warrantech automobile warranty complaints center on deceptive and ambiguous language in the contract and refusal to pay valid claims. ” See full BBB report.

Sometimes, you get what you pay for. But you really have nothing to lose other than your “peace of mind” in being protected should you have a claim.

• • •

3 Comments

  1. It should be noted, Superpages is Supermedia, the latest name-spinoff of Idearc, which itself, is merely a spinoff of none other than our old pals, Verizon. Here, as always, garbage by any other name still stinks. So it is of no surprise that this would be a scam and ripoff. The SOP today of the most hated companies is to build up enough bad karma with one name, then spinoff or come out with a new one. See Comcast/Xfinity as well

    Comment by Dave — June 14, 2010 @ 6:50 am
  2. When I (briefly) worked in the auto industry, I learned that selling warranties was a great thing, since they cost a nice chunk of change & rarely ever have to pay out anything. Aftermarket warranties (like this,) seem to be much, MUCH worse. I have yet to come across any aftermarket warranty that would be worth the price.
    In regards to Dave’s comment, other such spinoffs include GMAC/Ally and AIG/21st Century.

    Comment by Lana — June 14, 2010 @ 8:39 am
  3. I used to work at a company that sold warranties of this sort. This one looks even worse than those; when buying a used car, a pre-existing condition is precisely what you’d want the warranty to cover! You’re not worried that the car will suddenly break down for no reason; you’re worried that it has an existing problem that you don’t know about.

    In truth, car repairs can be expensive, but not so expensive that a car warranty like this is a good deal. And it’s definitely not a good deal at the $3000 or so they cost from the company I worked for (which, due to bad publicity, is now nearly out of business).

    Comment by Kyralessa — June 15, 2010 @ 9:22 pm

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