Money Saving Monday: Cancelling an Extended Warranty
This was a task from last week’s Monday Money Saving list. Turns out, its more complicated than I thought.
I’d like to preface this by saying, Don’t Buy an Extended Warranty. Just don’t. If you’re tempted, take the money you would spend on one, and stick it in savings account. Chances are you’d never spend more than that on covered repairs, so even if you have to tap into it, you’ll come out ahead, plus interest. It’s just a better deal.
If you did buy one (like me), here’s how you cancel it and recoup some of your money (apparently).
First, I called the company who holds the warranty. This is not the thing to do. You have to call the dealership you purchased the warranty from. It was at this moment, I realized this was going to be a larger pain than I anticipated.
Then, I called the dealership where I bought the car, and asked to speak to the finance person. They transfered me. And transfered me again. And then mis-transfered me. I called back. Phone call #4 netted me a conversation with Jim. Here’s what Jim informed me:
- I had to come down to said dealership to do the paperwork, There was no way around this. I asked repeatedly.
- I needed to provide proof that the car was paid off and…
- Documentation of the mileage at time of total.
I bought this car 2 counties away, in the valley I grew up in. They have lower sales tax, and it saved me some money at the time. Now its going to cost me a drive.
In case you didn’t get the memo, my car was totalled. In order to get the check from the insurance company, I had to trade them the title for the car. My car was paid off so long ago, I dont even have the statements from the credit company anymore. Why would I need those when I have the title, right?
I scraped together the letter from the insurance company (stating they paid me), my last service record (with the mileage), and a copy of my credit report (showing the credit account with a $0 balance). I had scheduled an evening appointment to meet with a Sales Manager and go over my paperwork.
Please note: It is not in the dealerships best interest to make this process easy. This cost them money. Money they collected back in 2005. It involves back billing commissions and I’m sure it’s a pain. However, they have to do it. It’s the law. They just aren’t going to make it fun.
So, its no surprise when I show up at 7pm on a Thursday, paperwork in hand, after a 45 minute drive through extremely crummy traffic, that no one is there to greet me. Or generally even aware of my ‘appointment’.
They finally scare up the Sales Manager, who has never heard of my situation, despite Jims promises, but is aware of the form to be filled out. She fills it out. I sign. She takes a copy of the letter from my insurance company about the totalling out. Informs me that the service record is not sufficient for the mileage. I will have to fax another form from the insurance company.
Wait. Why exactly did I have to drive up here again?
Oh, that’s right. To jump through your hoops.
Clearly, the ‘in-person’ requirement was thrown out there to deter me from pursuing the cancellation. In that vein, I fully anticipate having to call and follow-up on this again and again and again in order to ensure it actually happens. I’m prepared with my threats of contacting the State Attorney General’s office, the Insurance Commissioner, the Better Business Bureau, and even writing a scathing Yelp review. I’ll do it. Don’t tempt me.
I took copies of all the paperwork they have. I’m faxing in the mileage form this morning. After which, I will call to make sure they got it. I am armed with a business card for the Sales Manager, the name of their title clerk, and an expectation that I *will* get my money back. By my calculations it’s at least $200. That’s worth a little fighting.