Answer the Phone?
Scams and Scam Artists
Stop and Think
Types of Scams
What’s one of the latest crazes in the phone harassment arena? Auto Warranty Scams!
Now, first off, I apply the word “scam” frequently and in this case it may not literally be a scam… just a really poor deal that shouldn’t be considered at any point. Here’s the way that it works. Someone calls you (or you might receive a postcard or letter in the mail) indicating that the warranty on your automobile is about to “expire” and that you need to renew. They are probably implying that they are the manufacturer. Lets think about this for a minute.
First off, car manufacturers don’t call you. In fact, they probably don’t even have your current phone number or contact information. Now, that doesn’t mean that you won’t receive a call from a DEALERSHIP which is completely different. I receive legitimate automated calls from my local Honda dealership indicating that its time for my 1993 Del Sol to be serviced. Of course, I ignore the call, since I’m not going to have THEM tell me when my car needs service, especially with overpriced (and often unnecessary and possibly even dangerous) “services” that involve a lot of labor and not much parts. I’m not saying that fuel injection cleaning isn’t beneficial, but I am saying that I’m sure your car will continue to run well without it – save it for important stuff like when your starter or alternator fails and you have to come up with several hundred to get your car to run again. Anyway, the car manufacturer isn’t going to call you, just like no other manufacturer for a product that you’ve ever bought has ever called you. Apple isn’t going to call you to tell you that your warranty is up and neither will your car manufacturer.
Next, realize that warranties are rarely renewable. Warranties are designed to only provide a piece-of-mind for a brand new product in which the failure rate is low. As the product continues to be used, the chance of failure increases dramatically. Think about it: one reason why people buy new cars is because they have new parts; as the car continues to age more and more things are likely to fail and lets face it: the cost to replace every part on your car is many, many (like 10x-20x+) times more costly to repair than it cost in the initial purchase. So, why in the heck would the manufacturer want to add additional coverage when its far more likely that its going to fail? They won’t.
I love how these warranties don’t even require you to get your car inspected. Your car could be sitting broken in your driveway. You think the “insurance company” is going to be willing to pay to immediately have that fixed the moment your “warranty” goes into place? Of course not. They’ll want to make sure your car is in 100% working order before even considering you for a legitimate insurance plan. Next you’re going to tell me that there are health insurance plans out there with “guaranteed approval” that don’t require you to get checked out or have your insurance history reviewed. Yeah… Right…
One of the most important skills you can learn in deciding whether to use a product or service that gets presented to you is to learn what to look for and how to think. If you realize that no legitimate company really has a “time sensitive” deal and that anyone that tells you that the deal is over the moment you hang up is a scammer. Why? Because all businesses want more money. If they offer a legitimate and high quality product or service then they’re going to be more than happy to have you do the necessary research and investigation because you’ll find glowing comments and reviews and will call them back to place your order. Only scam artists or salespeople pushing poor quality products/services will use high pressure techniques. They want you to commit before you realize what you’ve done or before you do your research and find out how crappy they really are. If someone calls you out of the blue, your rule-of-thumb should be that you’re not going to commit to ANYTHING. Anything!! You owe it to your spouse, your kids and yourself to take the time necessary to decide what to do. Its tough to say “no” but that’s something you need to be able to do or you’ll never be left alone. People will call you day and night, send you letters repeatedly and friends and family will continually ask you for money and favors. Be tough! Show respect to yourself by standing up for yourself. Otherwise, accept the fact that you’re weak. I’m not saying you can’t be generous and I’m not saying you can’t buy a product you might not need from a charitable organization, but you need to do it on your own terms on your own schedule.