We were poking around the July issue of Consumer Reports (which, like Consumerist, is published by Consumers Union), when we noticed this little nugget of information. CR was investigating USfidelis, the auto repair coverage company. They called and asked about the coverage available for a 2002 Toyota Camry with 104,000 miles. When they asked if they could read the contract before signing up for the coverage — the answer was, “No.”
From Consumer Reports:
Initially we were told the coverage would cost $2,775, including an immediate 20-percent discount. The more we hesitated, the lower the price went, eventually dropping to $2,225 after the rep threw in, among other things, her “employee pricing bonus” and $25 off the $150 activation fee.
The sales rep said that she couldn’t send us a contract to read until we ordered the coverage, but that we could cancel under the company’s 30-day money-back guarantee if we were dissatisfied.
She repeatedly warned that if we didn’t sign up right then, the price would be higher, and we’d be required to provide an inspection from a Toyota dealer to prove our Camry had no pre-existing mechanic problems. If we signed up immediately, she said, “we kind of trust you up front.”
CR says USFidelis has a failing grade from the BBB and notes that the Missouri Attorney General filed suit against the company, (which was doing business as National Auto Warranty Services Inc.), accusing it of sending consumers misleading letters that their warranties were about to expire and of violating Do Not Call laws.
Avoid “extended warranty” provider USfidelis [Consumer Reports]