The Better Business Bureau sent out an alert that it’s been bombarded with complaints about extended auto warranty companies. Gripes include deceptive sales practices — including high-pressure phone sales tactics to get customers to pay upfront for contracts they can’t see — as well as insurance fraud.
Remember US Fidelis, one of the nation’s leading companies in the useless auto warranty market? Since the company’s anti-consumer practices were uncovered this spring in a Today Show exposÃ©, they haven’t been doing very well. The company has laid off over half of its employees, and now has stopped selling new service contracts altogether.
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.”
U.S. Fidelis, the auto warranty company that’s currently being investigated by 40 state attorneys general for questionable business practices, has hired the law firm headed by former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft. The firm won’t represent the company in litigation, but is supposed to provide an internal review of their practices. They’ll also provide draping cloths for any immodest statuary, and wiretap kits for employees of interest. Hey, it’s hard to do topical humor on someone who’s been out of office for 4 years.
You know those annoying robocalls on your mobile phone about renewing your car warranty? The companies behind the calls use spoofing to remain hidden, but AT&T Mobility just filed suit in federal court to track down the culprits, then hopefully make them stop. This is great news, because judging from the quotes given to RCR Wireless, the FTC and FCC both don’t seem too concerned about the matter.