My phone is ringing, caller ID says Beulah, WY
Last week, I was idly sitting as a passenger during a long road trip, admiring the beautiful Wyoming scenery. My phone rang, so I looked at the screen to see who was calling. It was a number, that was apparently from Beulah, WY. (Telemarketing firms try to use several different ‘local’ numbers to trick you into answering the call). That was their first mistake. Fortunately for me, I know that Beulah is a very small rural town in Wyoming (population of around 73 people) that I have no connection with.
At this point, I knew it was highly likely the call was going to be a telemarketer. I might add that I do also have an app provided for free by my cell provider that tries to weed out these calls or at least identify them as telemarketers. Somehow this call slipped through the net. Knowing what the call was likely to be about vehicle warranty, I decided to answer anyway, and go through the process so I can pass on the information.
They told me my warranty was about to expire!
First, of, they knew my name, and wanted me to confirm this by asking, “Is this Lauren?” To which I replied, “yes.” They then went on to confirm which vehicle I was driving and I how many miles were on it. After confirming this information with them, I was then transferred to another person. This person also asked the same questions before transferring me to another person. The third person then asked me questions relating to the condition of the vehicle, such as, “is the check engine light on”, and something along the lines of, is it serviced regularly? Of course, I told them my vehicle is in perfect condition and maintenance is all up to date. I believe I was then transferred back to person no. 2.
This person then began to describe all the components that would be covered under the top package that they offer. It sounded like he was reading from a generic list of parts (some of which, weren’t even relevant to my particular car) but it sure sounded like a lot of ‘components’ were covered.
Person no. 2 then tried to tell me my vehicle warranty expired that day!
“What? It expires TODAY?” I exclaimed, “no it doesn’t.” How could they possibly know this information? He then backtracked and changed it to, “soon.” Anyway, I’m about 18 mins into this call, and I wanted to know exactly who was calling me, so I asked, “What is the name of your company?” I got a rehearsed reply of a very generic ‘company name’ that makes you think it may somehow be related to your dealer. He very quickly tried to change the subject and get back to selling me this extended warranty for my vehicle.
Getting agitated by his sales pitch at this point I decided to tell him that I wanted to put a lot of aftermarket parts on my vehicle (knowing this would void any warranty). He told me that was fine.
Now I know they just want money
He never mentioned that if I put aftermarket performance parts on my vehicle it would potentially void any warranty or have a claim denied. Thankfully I have seen this happen and know better. Anyway, I can’t shake him off with that, so now I want to know the price. After another couple of sales pitches. Mainly about the benefits of this package and scaring me into thinking my car is about to fall apart tomorrow, I got a price. It was presented to me as monthly payment plans with deposits. It was also presented extremely fast and followed by a question. I had no time to do the calculations in my head, so I replied with, “How much if I pay all in cash today?” The answer was somewhere around $4000. I said, “I can’t afford that, do you have a discount?”
I was transferred again
This time, I knew what was coming. They thought they had me and it was time for the hard sell. They asked if I was loyal to the brand of vehicle I was driving and if I/or any of my family, was in active military service or veteran. To which I replied yes to one and no to the other. They then told me, because I qualified for these discounts, the price is now around $2000, would I like to pay by Visa or MasterCard?
I said, “Ok, thank you, I’d like to shop around for the best deal”. The reply to that is, I can’t shop around because if I hang up the call, my car might break and I’d then be submitting a fraudulent claim. WHAT!? I said, “oh I’d never do that, I’m a good person, what is your direct number?” To which I was told, there isn’t one, I have to make a decision now or never. I was also told I’d save money versus buying from a dealer because I wouldn’t have to pay sales tax. This is not true.
22 minutes into the call, I was now exhausted and had no intention of buying their warranty, however, had discovered the hard sell that these companies inflict on people who are none the wiser. Whilst it may or may not have been a good extended warranty, the problem for me is when I’m lied to, harassed and almost forced to give credit/debit card information. My phone has since been ringing incessantly since that call. They don’t stop! No doubt I’ll be receiving threatening letters in the mail sometime soon too. I also decided to do a search for the company name they gave me.
Can’t find any information on this ‘so-called’ company
They called me back the next day, and the day after, and I’m still getting daily calls. I decided to answer one more time to try and get a company name. Between 2 different people I got, ‘vehicle service dept’, ‘vehicle service center’, ‘vehicle protection network’ and ‘vehicle services’. As I was on the phone, I was also doing a search online for the names they were giving me. Again, nothing came up. I confronted them about this, “I’m not finding your company online, where are you based out of?” She then hung up on me!
I haven’t figured out how to stop these calls yet. I’m on the ‘do not call’ registry and I have told them not to call me. They still call.
If you do want an extended warranty plan/service contract
Know that Fremont Motors will never call you to sell an extended warranty or service contract over the phone. I haven’t heard of a manufacturer calling either. They may send one letter once in a while, but it won’t be a threatening one. It’ll be on pretty letterhead with a company logo. There are good plans out there, and you can always contact your local dealer to find out more and even sit down and talk about the right one for your needs. Some plans are non-refundable and lock you in. Dealership plans can be canceled at any time.
AT&T expands Call Protect Service.
“The FCC has been a tremendous partner in the war on robocalls,” said Joan Marsh, executive vice president of regulatory & state external affairs for AT&T Communications.
“The Commission’s recent action builds on a years-long effort to enable broader adoption of call-blocking tools and allow providers to better protect their customers and networks.”