Tuesday

Extended warranty ripoffs abound

We are seeing more and more high priced extended warranty rip offs in this slowly rebounding economy, as car dealers try to increase their profit margins any way they can. These service contract scams generate big bucks for the dealer and usually have a mark up from the cost of a hundred bucks or so and which the dealer then turns around and sells to the consumer for usually anywhere from $1,200 to $3,000 and sometimes more.

And it's not just the extended warranties either.

Prepaid Maintenance Programs, often called something like "car care," are another example of high priced "soft add on" products that usually make the car dealer's finance center the most profitable and lucrative (and often slimy) part of the average dealer's operation. Basically, they are getting you to pay up front for oil changes you may not even keep the car long enough to have --- and all at a cost that is often higher than if you just pay for it when you need it. Of course, they don't tell you that part.

Credit life and credit disability insurance, often sold at extremely high costs with minimal coverage amounts, are another high priced rip off. You can almost always buy more ocverage for much less cost through your regular insurance agent. But people don't think of that and you can count on the dealer not to tell you either.

Then there's the window etching scam. It's how you turn 20 bucks into 300, 350 or more. For a price usually between a hundred and three hundred, you supposedly get a security program that really is nothing but some scratches on your car window that supposedly gives you extra security coverage and payout if your car is stolen. But if you look at the fine print, it's just another way of getting more money out of you and selling you something worth almost nothing at all. In fact, you can buy the same thing on the internet from any of a dozen or more web sites for about twenty bucks.

Then there's the unemployment program that'll make your car payment if you get laid off, at a hefty cost to you that you pay for up front, too. These rip off soft add-on's can add thousands of dollars of profit for your dealer and cost you even more than that.

It's one scam after another and all of them after the money in your wallet or your purse. Don't fall for it. If you've been the victim of a greedy car dealer, call us. We can help. It's what we do. We help consumers get their money back from car dealers who cheated them, and manufacturers who sold them a lemon. We do that too.

Burdge Law Office
Helping consumers protect themselves since 1978.