from Goss’ Garage by Pat Goss

Yesterday was an interesting day; my mailbox was blessed with phenomenal offers and ominous threats. Later during my evening study time I was verbally assaulted by a fast talking creep on the phone. That’s four letters and two phone calls all trying to sell me an extended warranty.

The mailers were cleverly disguised to look like official DMV documents and were marked urgent, respond immediately and time sensitive. But in case the reader wasn’t sufficiently intimidated each was emblazoned with: WARNING: $2,000 FINE. 5 YEARS IMPRISONMENT, OR BOTH FOR ANY PERSON INTERFERING OR OBSTRUCTING WITH DELIVERY OF THIS LETTER. U.S. MAIL TTT.18 U.S. CODE. In the text were more warnings and almost nothing else except clever titles for different warranty packages.

To complete my evening I was subjected to two unsolicited phone calls. One moderate but annoying and the other was from a true low-life who talked fast and tried to intimidate me. “If you don’t buy the warranty today the law requires me to put your name on a banned list. That will prevent you from ever buying a warranty!” Well ruffle my feathers and do not try that crap on me; I make my living with words. When faced with real questions he suggested an inappropriate relationship with my mother and hung up. Utterly charming and the intellect of an earthworm!

Unusual you say? Not really! This happens way too often and it’s really getting stale for lots of folks. I’m on the do not call list which doesn’t even faze these guys so it makes me wonder how others deal with them. Common sense says a lot of people must be strong-armed into buying their warranties or they wouldn’t continue.

But enough creepiness, here are some common sense tips. Should you buy an extended warranty? That depends on how much peace of mind it will bring and how long you keep cars but personally I normally buy extended warranties. Even though I’m in the business of fixing cars the cost of parts is so high today and the labor so complex I feel I need added protection. What I don’t need is a warranty from a company that tries to coerce me into buying theirs. Making matters worse is, the warranties the hard-sell guys offer are usually too costly, too difficult to collect on, cover too few of the high failure items and in some cases are completely bogus.

You should select the company not the company select you and the company you select should offer options to match your driving style, not one size fits all. If you drive a lot buy more miles, if you only drive a few thousand miles yearly buy more time. Quality providers will also allow you to pick the level of coverage and deductible that makes sense for your car, your driving style and your budget. I also make sure high tech items are covered on my cars as they can be enormously expensive to repair.

One of the most important and misunderstood parts of buying an extended warranty is the difference between exclusionary and inclusionary contracts. With an exclusionary contract everything within a system that isn’t covered is spelled out so you know exactly what is and isn’t covered. An inclusionary contract simply tells you the systems and parts that are covered and the only way you know what isn’t covered is when you make a claim. Talk about a five o’clock surprise! And of course never buy a warranty without seeing and carefully reading the actual contract first. For more information on extended warranties go to v6.carchex.local. CARCHEX is the only warranty company that has ever passed the Goss’ Garage requirements for approval.