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August 11th, 2009

Consumer Reports Says “Avoid…USfidelis”

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Have you seen the T.V. commercials with NASCAR racing legend Rusty Wallace promoting extended automobile warranties from USfidelis?

“Believe me, I know the value of good repair service. I know how expensive it can be,” Wallace says in the commercial. He says that a USfidelis plan “can save you thousands of dollars by tak­ing repair bills like these and cutting them down to size.”

Despite the famous pitchman, Consumer Reports advises you to steer clear of the now infamous company that has racked up its fair share of complaints and grievances:

The company has received a failing grade from the Better Business Bureau based in part on a pattern of grievances, some of which remain unresolved or took too long to address. Consumers have  made 1,077 complaints against USfidelis over the past 36 months, alleging difficulty in canceling policies and obtaining refunds; misleading company advertising; and a fail­ure to pay for vehicle repairs, among other issues.

In March 2008, the Missouri Attorney General filed suit against the company, doing business as National Auto Warranty Services Inc., accusing it of sending consumers misleading letters that their warranties were about to expire and of violating Do Not Call laws. The case is pending. The company’s Web site says it has eliminated telemarketing and that it is “continuing to adjust other marketing efforts to avoid even the possibility of any confusion among prospective customers.”

Consumer Reports says, that while they advise against extended service contracts, if you are planning to buy one, do not do so with USfidelis.

(hat tip: The Consumerist)

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8 Responses to “Consumer Reports Says “Avoid…USfidelis””

  1. Erica@USfidelis Says: August 11th, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    The complaints referenced by the BBB represent less than one half of one percent of the company’s total customer base. We take each customer concern very seriously and, as a result, when we are notified of a complaint we respond with 24 hours. We have resolved all but a handful of the BBB complaints. Additionally, we do not do any unsolicited telemarketing and does not mail letters or postcards. To learn more please visit http://www.usfidelistruth.com.

  2. Tim Manni Says: August 12th, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Erica,

    Thanks for commenting — we are always interested in hearing both sides of the story.

    The extended auto warranty business has a bad rap these days due to the hosts of companies out there that solicit over the phone and through the mail (I can’t tell you how many offers I’ve gotten [not from fidelis]). Has USfidelis done phone or mail solicitation in the past but since stopped?

    One of the big issues BBB had with USfidelis was that the sales person told them that the contract could only be viewed after the policy was purchased. Is that true?

    Thanks for commenting, our readers are always interested in hearing the whole story,
    Tim

  3. Erica@USfidelis Says: August 17th, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Hi Tim,
    We are always happy to get our side of the story out there. Since July 2008, we have not done any unsolicited telemarketing and we do not mail any letters or postcards. Since June USfidelis has been making available to any potential customer a copy of a sample contract for their review. That is in addition to the 30 day, money back guarantee policy that has been in place for some time. It is unusual to have a company send out a signed contract on a product that has not been purchased, yet USfidelis has listened to consumers and is getting potential customers a sample contract to view before purchasing. All customers who do purchase are immediately sent the entire contract with an unconditional 30 day money back guarantee.

    Thanks,
    Erica

  4. Dave Says: August 19th, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    I got ripped off by US Fidelis. What the people you talk to on the phone tell you and what you get is two different things. This company is a rip and steer clear. Erica I know your getting paid well. You would have to for the sh** you guys pull.

  5. thomas o swan, jr. Says: August 22nd, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    I called us fidelis for info, it was the second time that i had called. (i had lpst the previous information that i had been given on the first call. besides i did not have the complete data that usf needed to give me a valid quote. then all hell broke loose. after giving me a quote the salesman insisted that i had to make a decision. i wanted more inf and told him that i diid not have time to hear him out, i was already late for an appointment. it did not matter to him,” he did not want me to take a chance by driving, even to my appointment without usf coverage.”i demurred again and attempted to break loose. however, he went on and told me he was authorized to reduce my premium of less than $3,000 by $500. i should have hung up then, but trying to be polite (a big additional mistake} i told him that i really was late and had to leave. we agreed that he could call me back a few hours later, even though if i did not accept right away, i would lose the deal. well the log and shoart of it i accepted his call and signed up with usf. since that time i decided to investigate the organization and have not come across many good things about them. actually, i have found a plethora of negative information, i’m outa here! i will cancel my contract tomorrow,

  6. Tim Manni Says: August 24th, 2009 at 11:37 am

    Thomas,

    Thanks for sharing your experience with USfidelis. We seem to have a concrete divide in regard to this company — angry consumers and a defensive company. Yet, until we have a consumer write in to share a positive experience, we take it that the majority feel negatively towards fidelis.

    Thanks for commenting,
    Tim

  7. pslgreg Says: August 28th, 2009 at 7:31 am

    I don’t think any of these extended warranty companies are a good value for your money, even if some are semi-legit. If you want to make $3,000 in payments, make them to a savings account. Then, if the disaster that these companies try to make you fear, actually happens, you will have the money to make your repairs, and if it doesn’t happen, you have that money to use as a down payment on your brand new car, which does have an actual warranty.

    Also, be advised, there are so many deductables and not covered items, even on the few semi-legit companies that you will be going in your pocket for a large percentage of the repair anyway.

    If people would think these things through, we wouldn’t be seeing all these fraudulent ads everywhere we look.

  8. Tim Manni Says: August 31st, 2009 at 11:40 am

    pslgreg,

    Thanks for commenting and adding a new reader perspective to this story. I think a lot of people would agree with you. I had bought an extended warranty for my car and it has actually saved me a lot of money (I do believe though that I’m one of the few). Using the money you would have spent on a warranty for a savings account is smart, but you have to be diligent in your savings and hope that another life expense doesn’t come up in the meantime.

    Great perspective, thanks again,
    Tim

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