Don’t Fall For This One

By   |  Eric Peters Autos

People are – understandably – terrified of any correspondence that looks like it’s from the government since it usually means something bad and something you can’t avoid. Scammers have glommed on to people’s fear of anything official looking and are using it to trick people into opening crap correspondence they’d otherwise just trash without even looking at.

So when an official-looking envelope arrives from the Vehicle Notification Department – and an IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TO THIS NOTICE  is staring at you in all caps bold-faced type – well, one tends to give it a second look at least.

Which is about all it’s worth – if that.

The “Vehicle Notifications Department” is in fact a shystery extended warranty outfit – AutoAssure, LLC – looking to cash in on people’s fear of Uncle (first) and catastrophic car repairs (second).

Their “records indicate” that I “have not contacted (them) to have the vehicle service contract for your vehicle uploaded” – whatever that is meant to mean. It seems to mean they want me to buy an extended warranty from them, though it is interesting that their “records” have no actual record of my vehicle, not even its make.

They have a “record” of my name and address – nothing more.

Well, that – and the possibility that I have a pulse and possibly a wallet and might be fool enough to fall for their scam.

“By neglecting to replace my coverage,” the letter advises, I will be “at risk of being financially liable for any and all repairs after (my) factory warranty expires.”

Well, for openers, I have no coverage to “replace” as my truck is 17-years-old and the factory warranty expired sometime around 2005. And I figure I am going to “liable” for every repair it needs since that’s generally the way the world works – unless of course you’re a government-connected mafia and then you can force someone else to be “liable,” but that’s another rant.

“However” – the letter becomes conciliatory – I “still have time to activate (my) service contract . . . before it’s too late.”

Of course.

And then, not so conciliatory: “Your file on this vehicle,” it intones –  you know, the one they don’t mention, by name or make or model or year and so clearly have no “record” of – “will be deleted” (cruel world!) and I “may no longer be eligible for this offer regarding vehicle service coverage after 01/2/2019.

All in bolded type.

In much smaller type – at the bottom of the page – one finds the following interestingly illiterate paragraph:

“You may have been selected” (wait a minute, I have the letter; doesn’t that mean I havebeen selected?)  . . .”to receive this special limited time offer from AutoAssure, LLC because of the make and model of (my) vehicle.”

Really? The “make and model” these shysters have no “record” of?

Am I just that special?

“Final acceptance is subject to (my) eligibility to meet our full eligibility requirements” …

Someone, please call a copywriter. Stat.

One presumes this “eligibility” amounts to having an IQ low enough to call 1-877-917-568 (Do it now! Before it is Too Late!) and provide a credit card to be vacuumed for “Platinum” or “Gold” coverage.

“This is an advertisement to obtain coverage” – you mean, as opposed to “AN IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TO THS NOTICE,” as on the envelope, to terrify the prospective mark? If more in that department is needed, the letter’s flip side is plastered with a roster of horrors which are formatted to resemble a bill – to further impart the message, deep in the mark’s psyche:

Under “billing date” for my “account” I find listed a $495.60 charge for a water pump (these generally cost about $150) and $563.40 for an electric power window motor (which might cost that much if you have a Lexus or BMW but for most cars half or less that sum) and about a dozen other overpriced unlikely eventualities – any of them almost certain to cost you much less than the cost of the “coverage” offered by the “Vehicle Notification Department.”

Which (more very fine print, at the very bottom of the second page) turns out is actually a  “d/b/a  of AutoAssure, LLC . .. which in turn is the “administrator/Obligor” (there’s a new one) of United Car Care, Inc., or Enudrance Dealer Services.

Better Call Saul.

Better yet, just toss it in the trash. These “notices” are literally not worth the paper they’re written on and the same can be said for the offers contained therein.

Legitimate extended warranties don’t purvey themselves this way –  unsolicited in the mail, looking like a letter from Uncle.

May the Vehicle Notifications Department dine on fish heads, served cold, for all eternity.

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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