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Bird-dogging a Refund
Old 02-12-2016, 10:13 AM   #1
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Bird-dogging a Refund

We bought a new car for cash last fall - shopped around for the best Internet price, and took the offer from a dealership 40 miles away. Somehow, I was inveigled into buying an extended warranty. It seemed like a good idea, since we've always kept our cars a long time. I was assured I could get my money back if I changed my mind.

Later, we realized we are unlikely to keep this car past when the 5-year warranty expires. So in mid-December, I contacted the finance manager to request a refund. It took quite a while to get through to him by phone; I kept getting handed off to this or that ignoramus duty person.

When I finally reached him, he said to send him an email documenting our request for a refund, and that it would take about six weeks to process. (I checked his email address carefully to be sure I typed it correctly).

More than 7 weeks have elapsed, and I emailed the finance manager a couple of days ago to query the status of our refund. He has not responded to my email.

I'm thinking that calling to talk to him will just get me into another run-around loop. Could there be a smarter way to handle this?

Thanks,

Amethyst
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Old 02-12-2016, 10:25 AM   #2
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Who issued the policy and what does the contract say about refunds?
I would think an insurance company has your funds now and needs to make the refund.

Thanks for expanding my vocabulary...I had to google inveigled.

If you prefer a face to face meeting/phone call, you may need to inveigle your way onto his schedule. Is there a gate keeper that you could persuade?
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Old 02-12-2016, 10:39 AM   #3
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I'm thinking that calling to talk to him will just get me into another run-around loop. Could there be a smarter way to handle this?
A certified letter formally documenting your request to terminate the contract, with a copy to your state attorney general.

But first read the agreement carefully as it should outline the formal steps required to cancel.
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Old 02-12-2016, 12:49 PM   #4
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We sprang for a service contract when we bought a used car from a hole in the wall used car joint. Decided, after reading what was and wasn't covered, that it had been a waste of $3000. Our contract read that if we hadn't used the service contract within the first month we could cancel for a full refund. We hadn't , so put in for a refund and was amazed to actually get it.

Do read the contract and communicate via email or mail so you have a record. Good Luck! (buying houses are way less stressful than car buying for me).
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Old 02-12-2016, 12:52 PM   #5
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I canceled an extended warranty once, primarily because we moved away from the area where we bought the car. Fortunately I didn't have to go through that much headache, though. The details may be buried in the contract. Mine (through a Toyota dealer) gave, IIRC, a prorated refund minus something like a $50 administrative fee.
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Old 02-12-2016, 12:54 PM   #6
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After confirming per the contract that you have done all that is needed and are in good grounds for a refund (vs. what your dealer told you, means nothing if it's not on paper)... then...

Time for another trip to the dealer - with an appointment with the boss. Log all prior
activity and responses, and lack thereof. Be prepared to be annoying. No response has no place in a business. It's far easier to ignore an email than someone standing in the middle of your other potential customers.
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Old 02-12-2016, 02:53 PM   #7
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Old 02-12-2016, 03:27 PM   #8
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After confirming per the contract that you have done all that is needed and are in good grounds for a refund (vs. what your dealer told you, means nothing if it's not on paper)... then...

Time for another trip to the dealer - with an appointment with the boss. Log all prior
activity and responses, and lack thereof. Be prepared to be annoying. No response has no place in a business. It's far easier to ignore an email than someone standing in the middle of your other potential customers.
+1

My initial thoughts on this also.

It would also be good to know where you stand with the written contract.

Did the dealer say that they would refund your money if cancelled, or did they leave it open where you would have to pursue it from the insurance company directly?

-gauss
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Old 02-12-2016, 04:00 PM   #9
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At what point could you cancel the contract. Last fall is a little far back, maybe
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Old 02-17-2016, 06:35 PM   #10
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Old 02-19-2016, 04:38 AM   #11
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Several other matters intervened and had to be attended to. I'll be writing letters.

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Any progress? Update?
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Old 02-19-2016, 08:35 AM   #12
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I'd make a trip to the dealer. Expect another run-around though.

Failing that, I'd have my lawyer write a letter, certified. That usually does the trick.

Failing that, your local newspaper and/or TV station might have an ombudsman who would love to show his/her worth in bird-dogging them via public outing.
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Old 02-23-2016, 10:35 AM   #13
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I called the insurance company's customer service department. They had never heard from the dealership.

I was advised to send the insurance company a letter with a copy of the warranty contract, a copy of the email I sent the dealership back in December, a few words about why I want to cancel the policy, and a few other things.

Their process, once they've reviewed/approved the refund, is to send the money to the dealership, who then reimburses the customer. (I can hear everyone's teeth gritting).

I'm pulling together the paperwork now. I plan to send a copy of the letter to the dealership. Do y'all think I need to use certified mail? It's 15 miles to the nearest P.O.

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Old 02-23-2016, 10:52 AM   #14
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Certified or at least Priority Mail. Priority mail includes tracking. I have an account with USPS.com and use the Click and Print feature to create shipping labels. Our mailman gladly collects outgoing mail when he's making his rounds if you want to avoid a trip to the P.O.

Its about 7 bucks to send a letter using Priority Mail.
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Old 02-23-2016, 01:35 PM   #15
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Old 04-01-2016, 03:39 PM   #16
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Update: After I sent a certified letter to the insurance company, they quickly notified the dealership to refund our money, minus a $50 processing fee.

Today, we finally received our refund check from the dealership.

Thanks to all for your encouragement.

Amethyst
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Old 04-01-2016, 03:41 PM   #17
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Wow, glad to hear that persistence paid off for you!
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Old 04-01-2016, 03:46 PM   #18
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I have one rule that I always live by, never ever by an extended warranty, on anything. Always a waste of money that only lines the pockets of those who issue them. Recently bought the DW a new car (cash) and the business manager asked what I had against extended warranties ? I told him flat out if the car is going to go to **** after 36K miles, maybe I should be buying another brand. And no I didn't want the undercoating, clear coating or any other BS, just the car as is.
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Old 04-01-2016, 06:06 PM   #19
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Honestly, after all these years on ER Forum, I don't even know why I agreed to buy the silly thing. Never again!

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I have one rule that I always live by, never ever by an extended warranty, on anything. Always a waste of money that only lines the pockets of those who issue them. Recently bought the DW a new car (cash) and the business manager asked what I had against extended warranties ? I told him flat out if the car is going to go to **** after 36K miles, maybe I should be buying another brand. And no I didn't want the undercoating, clear coating or any other BS, just the car as is.
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Old 04-01-2016, 07:04 PM   #20
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.......... I don't even know why I agreed to buy the silly thing. ..........
Because when they were trying to sell you the car, it was a super high quality, well engineered wonder. Once you'd agree to actually buy it, it was a piece of junk likely to bankrupt you with frequent, expensive repairs.
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