Sunday, July 06, 2008

Scam from Dealer Services

I found another scam in the mail. This one is from "Dealer Services", also known as "National Auto Warranty Services". The top of the letter reads as follows:
Dealer Services
100 Mall Parkway
St. Louis, MO 63385

The letter then reads:
Our records indicate that the factory warranty on your 2003 Ford has expired or may be expiring soon. As a loyal Ford owner, you qualify for extended vehicle coverage of up to six additional years or 140,000 miles. Only your vehicle qualifies for this program. Please refer to your customer ID# 334-636-097 when you call.

Call immediately, 1-866-847-6655. It is important for you to take advantage of this direct purchase program to protect your investment. This program was designed to save you thousands of dollars in unnecessary repair bills.

With labor rates as high as $100 per hour, mechanical repair costs continue to climb. The average cost just to replace a transmission is $4800 and an average engine replacement is $3800. Without extended vehicle coverage you will be responsible for these costs.

Due to the nature of this program, we can only authorize your vehicle for 72 hours from the receipt of this notice. This program is in conjunction with top rated nationwide insurance companies.

We will be taking calls for this program Monday - Thursday 7:30 AM to 8:00 PM; Friday 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM and Saturday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Central Time).

Our coverage specialists can be reached at 1-866-847-6655. Please have current mileage, (VIN) vehicle identification number, and your customer ID number when you call.

Sincerely,

Kent Finley
Senior V.P.

P.S. Call toll free 1-866-847-6655 and refer to customer ID 334-636-097 to discuss options on your vehicle and receive free roadside assistance, value $600, and interest free same as cash financing on your purchase.

There's a couple things wrong with this. First, I don't have a 2003 Ford. Second, it looks like something you'd get from a Ford dealership, but why would a company called "Dealer Services" be commissioned to send these letters (the answer -- they wouldn't!) I showed it to my mom to see if she'd be fooled. To my surprise, she thought it was legitimate. I can only imagine what an elderly person would think after seeing this letter.

There have been claims that they've violated "Do Not Call" rules with the Better Business Bureau reporting 401 complaints filed over the past three years. The Attorney General of Missouri is suing. I also found the following paragraph interesting. It comes from a Ford dealership:
I actually just received a call from one of our customers who had recently purchased an extended warranty directly from us for her 2002 Ford product. Her extended warranty was about to lapse and she wanted to continue with the same amount of protection as she has had for the past six years. I took care of her needs and she was very appreciative until this morning when she received a letter from this company and a number to call. During her conversation with them, they told her that I had scammed her and that they do not require any inspection prior to placing a warranty on her car and that my 100 point inspection required by Ford was an outright lie on my behalf. They also said they could extend coverage above and beyond my abilities for a much cheaper price. I did a little homework on these guys. Their website is see through and the fine print will astonish you. Glad to see you folks are taking a stand. Warranties are great but only trust the people who made the car to stand behind it. Thanks again.

Do not give out any personal information. Do not call the number. This is definitly a scam. Unless it came directly from your dealership (read carefully to find out where the letter is from), ignore it. Also, a reputable company would give you more than 72 hours to respond. Keep all of that in mind.

38 comments:

tails92 said...

$48000 for a replacement transmission? How can a transmission cost more than the whole engine? It is possible to see that it is a scam from these little controversial particulars in it.

Anonymous said...

Good god, man. I just checked your page, and this is the SECOND scam you've had in a relatively short period of time.
Are you unlucky or what?

Anonymous said...

I received a similar letter (replace "Ford" with "Toyota") for a Prius (well a fleet of Priuses -- I hope they don't send one out for each car). The funniest part about the Priuses is that they have continuously variable transmission, which are not really transmissions at all.

I called up Dealer Services and asked what other parts that my car doesn't have (such as wings) might be covered under the policy.

Anonymous said...

I got the same one today, but will mark it "Return To Sender" and let them pay return postage. (Nope, not going to open it.)

There's another thing wrong with the letter. "...72 hours from the receipt of this notice." They don't know when you received it, so they don't know when 72 hours is up. DUH!

"Monday - Thursday 7:30 AM to 8:00 PM; Friday 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM and Saturday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Central Time)."

This justifies the stupidity of the 72 hours crap.

Do they put a postage paid envelope in it for any reason? If they do, put a bunch of junk mail back in it and send it back.

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