ROCK HILL, S.C. — By phone or by mail, scammers are trying to use car warranties to take your money.
Rock Hill resident Krystal McKenzie bought a new SUV earlier this year.
“I just purchased my vehicle in January. [I] still have the full 3-year/36,000-mile manufacturer warranty,” she said.
In no time, McKenzie began receiving forceful letters that said “official business,” “final notice,” and “extremely urgent,” telling her the warranty would expire.
“[It] has all this information about my vehicle: year/make/model, the whole nine,” she said. “For some people, I feel like that could really scare somebody into making a phone call, making a bad decision.”
The letters come with a number to call, but nowhere is a company name listed. Not even in fine print or on the envelope.
After completing some research, Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke found the company that contacted McKenzie is called Automotive Protection Group, according to the Better Business Bureau.
At last check, the BBB gave it an “F” rating and said it asked the company to “substantiate, modify or discontinue the claims made on its mailer.” The BBB says the business did not respond.
Action 9 called Automotive Protection Group. A person who answered said he had to speak with marketing and then told Action 9 to speak with the owner, but wouldn’t give the contact information.
Some car warranty mailings may be scams, trying to get your personal information. Others are real companies, trying to sell you an “extended warranty,” which, legally, isn’t a warranty at all.
Warranties are usually free. Companies like Automotive Protection Group are offering “service contracts.” You pay a fee, and they cover repairs.
“They’re trying to generate leads of people that may have some interest, which they can then sell to companies that sell car warranties trying to make a buck,” North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said.
McKenzie’s had enough of the mailings. She said she’s gotten two more since the interview for this story.
“It’s so aggravating and it’s so irritating and it scares me to know that these companies are getting a hold of my information,” she said.
If you get a car warranty call or mailing:
- Don’t let the company pressure you
- Read the fine print: the service contract may not cover what you expect
- Remember: If the company goes out of business, you may be left empty-handed. All the more reason to be super careful
(WATCH BELOW: Action 9 helps man with lifetime warranty from business that closed)
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