The letter to Boise resident Robert Jacobs claimed the checking account information hed provided for an extended warranty was declined due to unable to locate account.
Ive never done business with National Auto Division, Jacobs said. Why they think that I need to extend my warranty is beyond me.
Jacobs received a letter stating he was facing early warranty termination if he did not call and correct the problem. Jacobs said he has never dealt with the company on the car noted in the billing statement.
The car they listed is a car we no longer own, he said. The total requested in immediate payment was $275.75, but the customer balance due was $2,656 on a monthly invoice.
The Howell, N.J., company has a C rating with the Better Business Bureau with complaints on advertising, service and product. There have been 120 complaints over the past three years, and 119 have been resolved.
The BBB warns that letters and phone calls to the area are promoting upgrading or renewing warranty or guarantee programs on automobiles.
Whether its a car or just about anything else you buy, theres some important information to keep in mind regarding warranties.
Federal warranty laws require merchants to let customers know about the warranties on most consumer products by either attaching the warranty to the product, posting a copy of the warranty near the product, or maintaining a catalog of warranties. A warranty or guarantee can be an oral or written promise by a manufacturer or retailer that they will stand behind a product or service.
Whenever a warranty is important to you, be sure to get it in writing. Check out warranties before you buy a product. Warranty information must tell you what is covered, for how long, by whom, and any out of the ordinary warranty conditions. They must also be labeled full or limited.
Before you use the product, be sure any specific routine maintenance or service has been done as suggested or required by the warranty. Keep your sales receipt for future reference. Write down the date of purchase and installation, and record service or repair done after the purchase:
Dont take mail or phone calls about renewing your vehicle warranty at face value. The warranty may have expired or may still be in place. Take the time to research your manufacturers warranty. Your car dealership can tell you the exact day your warranty expires (barring a mileage limitation).
Know your coverage: An extended warranty is not the same as bumper-to-bumper coverage. Theyre more like service contracts to minimize any high-priced repair costs.
Research the company: A quick Internet search will tell you a lot about the company offering the extended service contract. Check it on BBB.org.
Be skeptical: The Do Not Call Registry should limit unsolicited calls, but mail deliveries are hard to filter out. Initiate conversations about warranty coverage by calling local dealers, finance managers and owners.
And never give out personal or financial information.
Robb Hicken: 947-2115