Car Warranty Racket Exposed On Today Show

The Today show recently aired a terrifically entertaining exposé of US Fidelis, one of the biggest companies behind the auto warranty racket that you’ve probably encountered via junk mail, telemarketing, or even on TV. They start by looking at an individual who spent $3,180 on one of their auto warranties only to be left stranded when her car overheated and they refused to pay.

“It’s the biggest scam I ever got involved with,” she told Today. She eventually got her warranty refunded after threatening to report US Fidelis to her state’s Attorney General; this may have something to do with the fact that 40 state Attorneys General are currently investigating the company for misleading consumers.

The Today show goes on to point out that the company has 1100 complaints with the St. Louis Better Business Bureau. The St. Louis BBB president told Today, “In my 35 years of experience I’ve never seen this kind of activity on a company, where so many people have told us that this company is using deceptive practices and misleading advertising.”

US Fidelis, a self-identified 'faith based' company, uses a halo for its logo, but its founder has served prison time for fraud.One hilarious detail pointed out by Today is that US Fidelis calls itself a “faith based” company and incorporates a halo in its logo. A halo! They must be trustworthy, then. On a related note, they point out that founder and president Darain Atkinson served time in prison in his 20s.

Still not convinced the company is crooked? (We know, you probably don’t need any more convincing, but it’s fun to talk about this stuff.) Here are a couple of interviews with former US Fidelis employees from the exposé:

Former Employee #1: We were told to give them the impression we were with Dodge, Ford, Chrysler, BMW, Honda, all of them.

Today Reporter Jeff Rossen: If the customer said, Are you from Chrysler?, what would you say?
Former Employee #2: Oh so we’re just like the warranty you bought when you originally bought this vehicle.
Rossen: So are you from Chrysler?
Employee: What does the letter say?
Rossen: The letter says it’s a Chrysler notification from ‘Dealer Services.’
Employee: There’s your answer.

Here’s the capper: ex-con Atkinson is currently building a $17 million dollar mansion in Missouri. The only things missing from it are bats flying out of the uppermost tower.

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“Do extended car warranties protect you?” [Today Show]