Warning: Extended warranties may cost more than advertised

ATLANTA — Consumers who thought they were buying extra protection for their vehicle told Channel 2 Action News it ended up costing them more in the long run.

Derrick Hall said the CarShield customer service representative he spoke with was persistent.

“He would not let me get off that phone, and the price kept knocking down,” Hall said.

Eventually, Hall decided to purchase a warranty.

“My father always to told me, ‘You take care of your vehicle and your vehicle takes care of you.’”

He said that’s the reason he paid more than $100 each month to protect his 2010 Porche Cayenne.

When his air conditioner wouldn’t work, he thought he’d be covered.

“I got them three estimates, they said, ‘Well, they are too high,’” Hall said.

Eventually, the company denied his claim altogether, citing after-market rims on his tires.

When Hall explained the rims were on the vehicle when he bought it, he was told any modifications to the vehicle would void the warranty.

“I was like, ‘What does the rims and tires have to do with the air conditioner?’” he said.

Thallas Aime bought a warranty from Palmer Automotive to protect his 2014 Dodge Durango.

He told Channel 2 a phone call from Palmer convinced him it was a good idea.

Robocalls advertising extended warranties for your vehicle are on the rise.

According to 2020 data from the Federal Communication Commission, consumers filed more complaints about auto warranty renewal calls than any other.

Aime’s complaint didn’t come until Palmer refused to cover his claim for an engine problem.

After a dealership told him he’d need to replace his engine because of metal in the oil pan, Palmer demanded the dealer break down the engine twice looking for damage, at Aime’s expense. He owes over $2,000.

TRENDING STORIES

“They make it all sound so good, but as soon as there’s an issue, they are stepping back, they don’t want to help you,” Aime said. He felt like he’d been robbed: “It’s like a stickup, but it’s legal.”

Bill Rimmer, who owns Cooper Lake Automotive in Marietta, told Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Justin Gray his assessment of Aime’s engine lined up with the dealership’s.

“If you see metal in the engine, the first step is replace the engine, that’s it,” Rimmer said replacing bits and pieces will only cause more issues down the road. “The whole engine is scarred. That’s why you don’t do some Frankenstein patch job because it’s just not going to last.”

He said his shop won’t do business with most extended warranty companies.

“It just turns into a disaster,” he said.

Gray tried calling both CarShield and Palmer for comment. When he eventually spoke with someone at Palmer, he was told to “never call there again.”

He did call back and left messages for both companies. Channel 2 is still waiting for responses.

After Derrick Hall expressed his disappointment with CarShield on multiple social media sites, the company refunded the money he paid for his warranty.

Thallas Aime is still stuck. Palmer won’t pay the $2,000 he spent on a rental car since, technically, the work was never started.

Channel 2 consumer adviser Clark Howard said if you need extra warranty coverage, only buy one from the manufacturer itself.

Bill Rimmer said ignoring those robocalls might be your best bet.

“They sound so great until you actually need it,” he said.