• Report: #33022

Complaint Review: CARFAX.COM - Car Fax

  • Submitted: Mon, October 21, 2002
  • Updated: Thu, July 31, 2014

  • Reported By:Rochester ny
CARFAX.COM - Car Fax
carfax.com Fairfax, Virginia U.S.A.

CARFAX.COM ripoff fairfax Virginia

*Consumer Comment: carfax is a basic report

*UPDATE Employee: Carfax's reporting is based on its sources, thus some limitations

*Consumer Suggestion: I agree with these report posters, I too have seen the same thing with Carfax.

*Consumer Comment: CARFAX is pretty useless ..how reliable are carfax reports.

*UPDATE Employee: sorry that this response may seem a bit generic

*UPDATE Employee: sorry that this response may seem a bit generic

*UPDATE Employee: sorry that this response may seem a bit generic

*UPDATE Employee: sorry that this response may seem a bit generic

*Consumer Suggestion: Carfax is definitely useless

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CARFAX uses smoke and mirrors to lure people to fork over their money for virtually useless reports. On their main page, banner after banner proclaims "*FREE* CARFAX record check, just enter VIN". When you enter the VIN, interestingly you get to a page that will say "there are xx number of reports filed for this vehicle", with all these little reds flags next to the comment. Thats all you get for your 'FREE' report. If you want to know what those reports say, then you have to 'PAY' for a 'DETAILED' report. This is CARFAX.COM's idea of 'FREE'. So much for 'FREE'. When you get to the point of thinking about paying for your 'FREE' report to see what these RED FLAGS mean, your lulled and coddled into a "100% Money Back if not Satisfied". These little banners are all over the place, so you think, if I'm really not happy with this report, I can simply get a full refund. So much for the smoke, now for the mirrors. When I received my 'FREE' report that I had to pay for, it was 90 % in error, vauge and general in content, and basically in 2 words....VIRTUALY USELESS. Only after I paid, was I able to see the 'TRUE' terms and conditions for this service. Trust me, I went back after the fact to their main page, and you can't tell what this report can and can not see. Basicaly, only after paying, is when you see the narrow scope of information that CARFAX searches for. The vehicle I was looking up was in 2 'BIG' accidents and was 'REBUILT' 2 seperate times. CARFAX gave this car a clean bill of health. After looking at their terms and conditions, (again, only after paying can you see this) CARFAX says it mainly looks for 'totaled', 'salvaged', 'flood damage' etc...etc... . Let's face a simple fact here, MOST cars DO NOT fall under these descriptions. Most cars have maybe an accident or two here or there if anything. You think CARFAX is giving you a detailed report, yet it can only give you the forementioned information. Certainly, your not going to get 'owner' information, that's private. In my opinion, thats VIRTUALLY USELESS information for just about 98% of the people out there. Certainly I was NOT happy with this useless generic report. Now comes the time for me to get my money back. It was very easy to see the many banners proclaimng '100% money back' when I was giving CARFAX my money, now? I searched link after link for information to get a refund. After looking for 30 minutes, I finally got a general phone number. I called and was told, they ONLY handle refunds via email. ARGH!!!! I emailed them and waited a few days. I do have to say CARFAX did refund my money after about 4 days, but they still have some racket going here. In closing, please let me say, unless the vehicle your looking up was in a flood, or was totaled, your not going to get much more information than that. Yes, they 'try' to cover some other things, but again, rare and very useless. If you have the average vehicle, then save your money, these reports are not worth anything. Free is rarely ever free. William Rochester, New York


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/21/2002 06:43 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r//Auto-Inspection/CARFAX-COM/Car-Fax/carfax-com-ripoff-fairfax-virg-FMM5C.htm-33022. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

carfax is a basic report

AUTHOR: dong dao - (United States of America)



I have used carfax a few times and it is a basic report. I am buying information that has be reported to carfax, and I know that carfax only reports public records.

IMO Carfax reports 2 things. First, if there has been any accidents. Second, how many previous owners.



The first part is easy to solve. Some basic logic can avoid using carfax. For example, if the owner holds a clean title, then most likely the car is clean. The worst case might be in a fender-bender, but nothing major. If the owner has a rebuilt title, then you know that the car has been in an accident. The norm would avoid salvage or rebuilt title cars.



So, why do I use carfax? Its because I want to know how many previous owners have driven the car. If the car has been sold over 10 times in 5 years, then I know that everyone is trying to get rid of the car. Another example, if the current owner only had it for 3 months, then tells you a lie/story that he's owned it for years. Then i know something is fishy, and i will avoid buying that car. Knowing who and when the car was bought is the only reason why I order carfax.

Always have a good mechanic. Always check the title. Check the car once,  ask the owner a lot of questions, then come back a few days later, and see if the owner has the same story. Simply be a smart consumer, thats all it boils down to. (IMO Avoid dealerships, they dont know anything/history about that car)

Carfax is over priced for the little info they give you, but I appriciate its convienance. It does give me more confident when buying a used car. The more expensive the car, then most likely i will order a carfax. What is $10,000 car compared to $29? 

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#2 UPDATE Employee

Carfax's reporting is based on its sources, thus some limitations

AUTHOR: Justin - (U.S.A.)

Hello,

As with any information-based service, Carfax relies on its sources for the completeness and accuracy of its information. While Carfax does a great job compiling information from a wide variety of sources, we can't force our sources to offer information that either they don't have or, at times, that they themselves have misplaced or misfiled.

Carfax is an independently owned, privately held company. We serve both businesses and individuals involved in used vehicle transactions, and the hope to offer them more information to be used in the buying and selling processes.

The key point to recall when using any information service like Carfax is that a vehicle history report is one of several tools to use when researching a used vehicle. As noted on every report, "CARFAX does not inspect vehicles. This vehicle may have problems that have not been reported to CARFAX. A vehicle inspection is recommended". To assume that a Carfax report alone is all the research needed to conduct a used vehicle transaction is short-sighted. Use Carfax to learn about the history of the car (to the extent possible), and have a good inspection done to evaluate the current condition of the car. Do extra research in areas of specific concern (recalls, warranty issues, or whatever). Combine the results of all of these efforts to become a more educated consumer overall.

Carfaxs mission is to be the leader in providing vehicle history information to help buyers and sellers of used cars make better decisions. Thousands of educated consumers who know how to use Carfax properly benefit daily from our service. Learn about our service, take the other steps necessary, and become more comfortable when buying a used vehicle.

Carfax Consumer Affairs
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

I agree with these report posters, I too have seen the same thing with Carfax.

AUTHOR: April - (U.S.A.)

My husband owns a 2001 Focus. God knows, the worst vehicle Ford ever made, and just last month the dealership printed us a complete Carfax report. Heres where it gets funny. Our vehicle is listed with any and all organizations as a lemon (in accordance to state laws); the vehicle has had over 11 recalls, and a false odometer reading upon purchase. Kellys Blue Book records and shows all of these upon paying for their report. Yet, Carfax listed nothing except 1, thats right, 1 recall and the least important (a bolt problem). Yet, we tried to trade this vehicle in to another dealership 3 months prior and could not because their report stated it was a lemon, etc. So, in 3 months, they changed the report to positive. Doesnt make since does it?

My opinion is that Carfax provides the correct information when its going to hurt you, and positive information when you want to use the information against the selling dealership. You see, Ford prints out a positive report when we want them to do something about the piece of crap car we have. Yet, when we try to go to another dealership to purchase a better model car, they print out a report that states such negative information that we cant trade or sell the car over.

This makes you wonder who finances this company, doesnt it?
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#4 Consumer Comment

CARFAX is pretty useless ..how reliable are carfax reports.

AUTHOR: Preston - (U.S.A.)

This is for the last rebuttal. I now understand it that an accident may or may not show up on carfax, but here is something to consider about how reliable this carfax reports are.

I own a Pontiac Grand Am. The car was sold to me after it had been in a major crash. The dealer used this to make me believe the car had never been. The title is not branded, the crash information does NOT show up on a carfax.

My girlfriend owned a Ford Contour. She bought it in July, we have a copy of the title. The carfax report doesn't even say a title was issued for her. On top of this, the car was totalled in November. The insurance company currently has a salvage title. Just last week, we ran a vehicle history report, and it still does not list her title on it's history, nor the accident, nor the salvage title.

The only consistent postive thing coming from getting a carfax report is that you can verify a seller's claim as to what owner they are and if it was used as a rental. Other than that, it seems pretty useless.
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#5 UPDATE Employee

sorry that this response may seem a bit generic

AUTHOR: Alethea - (U.S.A.)

Hello William,

Thank you for posting your comments on Rip-off Report.com

I would like to take this opportunity to respond to your posting. I am sorry that this response may seem a bit generic. Without your last name, email address, VIN number, or any other identifiers I am unable to respond in a way more specific to your situation.

As you mentioned in your posting, CARFAX's Free Record Check examines all the vehicle history information that is available for a specific VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) and reports the total number of vehicle history records that exist for that vehicle. The text from the Free Record Check is as follows:

The "X" records on this "vehicle make and model here" will confirm a clean history or uncover potential problems. Find out by ordering the complete CARFAX Vehicle History Report.

At no time before a CARFAX Report is purchased do we say that these records are positive or negative. As the text states, if you would like to confirm a clean history or uncover potential problems you will need to purchase a CARFAX Vehicle History Report. Please keep in mind that Sample Reports and a extensive Help Center are available to you before you purchase a CARFAX Report. These online resources explain what will and will not show up on a CARFAX Report and should help you decide if CARFAX is right for you and your situation.

Concerning the information in the Report you ran... Again with out a VIN I am unable to specifically comment on your situation but I suspect that a branded "rebuilt" title was never issued to the vehicle. It is for this reason that the Report was not flagged "rebuilt" and the vehicle did qualify for our Clean Title History Guarantee.

There are several reasons that may explain the absence of a routine accident listing on a CARFAX report. Although we are continually working to obtain accident records from all jurisdictions, some states do not provide CARFAX with routine accident data. In addition, not all accidents are reported and others are reported improperly to the authorities. If CARFAX cannot match the accident to the vehicle then we will not include the incident on a report. Also, the presence of an insurance record related to a vehicle does not translate into an accident listing as we do not use insurance information.

Like many online companies, we do not have a call center set up for consumer inquiries. When you type "refund" into the search field of our Help Center (www.carfax.com/help) seven (7) FAQ's about obtaining a refund will appear including "MBG Terms and Conditions explained" which provides you with a Refund Request Link. Once the refund request is sent a confirmation message will appear which states that one should expect a response within 48 to 72 hours - with the exception of evenings and weekends. You stated in your posting that you received a reply within 4 days which does fall into the 48 to 72 business hour time frame.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, or wish to have a more specific reply, please feel free to contact me directly through our Help Center.
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#6 UPDATE Employee

sorry that this response may seem a bit generic

AUTHOR: Alethea - (U.S.A.)

Hello William,

Thank you for posting your comments on Rip-off Report.com

I would like to take this opportunity to respond to your posting. I am sorry that this response may seem a bit generic. Without your last name, email address, VIN number, or any other identifiers I am unable to respond in a way more specific to your situation.

As you mentioned in your posting, CARFAX's Free Record Check examines all the vehicle history information that is available for a specific VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) and reports the total number of vehicle history records that exist for that vehicle. The text from the Free Record Check is as follows:

The "X" records on this "vehicle make and model here" will confirm a clean history or uncover potential problems. Find out by ordering the complete CARFAX Vehicle History Report.

At no time before a CARFAX Report is purchased do we say that these records are positive or negative. As the text states, if you would like to confirm a clean history or uncover potential problems you will need to purchase a CARFAX Vehicle History Report. Please keep in mind that Sample Reports and a extensive Help Center are available to you before you purchase a CARFAX Report. These online resources explain what will and will not show up on a CARFAX Report and should help you decide if CARFAX is right for you and your situation.

Concerning the information in the Report you ran... Again with out a VIN I am unable to specifically comment on your situation but I suspect that a branded "rebuilt" title was never issued to the vehicle. It is for this reason that the Report was not flagged "rebuilt" and the vehicle did qualify for our Clean Title History Guarantee.

There are several reasons that may explain the absence of a routine accident listing on a CARFAX report. Although we are continually working to obtain accident records from all jurisdictions, some states do not provide CARFAX with routine accident data. In addition, not all accidents are reported and others are reported improperly to the authorities. If CARFAX cannot match the accident to the vehicle then we will not include the incident on a report. Also, the presence of an insurance record related to a vehicle does not translate into an accident listing as we do not use insurance information.

Like many online companies, we do not have a call center set up for consumer inquiries. When you type "refund" into the search field of our Help Center (www.carfax.com/help) seven (7) FAQ's about obtaining a refund will appear including "MBG Terms and Conditions explained" which provides you with a Refund Request Link. Once the refund request is sent a confirmation message will appear which states that one should expect a response within 48 to 72 hours - with the exception of evenings and weekends. You stated in your posting that you received a reply within 4 days which does fall into the 48 to 72 business hour time frame.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, or wish to have a more specific reply, please feel free to contact me directly through our Help Center.
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#7 UPDATE Employee

sorry that this response may seem a bit generic

AUTHOR: Alethea - (U.S.A.)

Hello William,

Thank you for posting your comments on Rip-off Report.com

I would like to take this opportunity to respond to your posting. I am sorry that this response may seem a bit generic. Without your last name, email address, VIN number, or any other identifiers I am unable to respond in a way more specific to your situation.

As you mentioned in your posting, CARFAX's Free Record Check examines all the vehicle history information that is available for a specific VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) and reports the total number of vehicle history records that exist for that vehicle. The text from the Free Record Check is as follows:

The "X" records on this "vehicle make and model here" will confirm a clean history or uncover potential problems. Find out by ordering the complete CARFAX Vehicle History Report.

At no time before a CARFAX Report is purchased do we say that these records are positive or negative. As the text states, if you would like to confirm a clean history or uncover potential problems you will need to purchase a CARFAX Vehicle History Report. Please keep in mind that Sample Reports and a extensive Help Center are available to you before you purchase a CARFAX Report. These online resources explain what will and will not show up on a CARFAX Report and should help you decide if CARFAX is right for you and your situation.

Concerning the information in the Report you ran... Again with out a VIN I am unable to specifically comment on your situation but I suspect that a branded "rebuilt" title was never issued to the vehicle. It is for this reason that the Report was not flagged "rebuilt" and the vehicle did qualify for our Clean Title History Guarantee.

There are several reasons that may explain the absence of a routine accident listing on a CARFAX report. Although we are continually working to obtain accident records from all jurisdictions, some states do not provide CARFAX with routine accident data. In addition, not all accidents are reported and others are reported improperly to the authorities. If CARFAX cannot match the accident to the vehicle then we will not include the incident on a report. Also, the presence of an insurance record related to a vehicle does not translate into an accident listing as we do not use insurance information.

Like many online companies, we do not have a call center set up for consumer inquiries. When you type "refund" into the search field of our Help Center (www.carfax.com/help) seven (7) FAQ's about obtaining a refund will appear including "MBG Terms and Conditions explained" which provides you with a Refund Request Link. Once the refund request is sent a confirmation message will appear which states that one should expect a response within 48 to 72 hours - with the exception of evenings and weekends. You stated in your posting that you received a reply within 4 days which does fall into the 48 to 72 business hour time frame.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, or wish to have a more specific reply, please feel free to contact me directly through our Help Center.
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#8 UPDATE Employee

sorry that this response may seem a bit generic

AUTHOR: Alethea - (U.S.A.)

Hello William,

Thank you for posting your comments on Rip-off Report.com

I would like to take this opportunity to respond to your posting. I am sorry that this response may seem a bit generic. Without your last name, email address, VIN number, or any other identifiers I am unable to respond in a way more specific to your situation.

As you mentioned in your posting, CARFAX's Free Record Check examines all the vehicle history information that is available for a specific VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) and reports the total number of vehicle history records that exist for that vehicle. The text from the Free Record Check is as follows:

The "X" records on this "vehicle make and model here" will confirm a clean history or uncover potential problems. Find out by ordering the complete CARFAX Vehicle History Report.

At no time before a CARFAX Report is purchased do we say that these records are positive or negative. As the text states, if you would like to confirm a clean history or uncover potential problems you will need to purchase a CARFAX Vehicle History Report. Please keep in mind that Sample Reports and a extensive Help Center are available to you before you purchase a CARFAX Report. These online resources explain what will and will not show up on a CARFAX Report and should help you decide if CARFAX is right for you and your situation.

Concerning the information in the Report you ran... Again with out a VIN I am unable to specifically comment on your situation but I suspect that a branded "rebuilt" title was never issued to the vehicle. It is for this reason that the Report was not flagged "rebuilt" and the vehicle did qualify for our Clean Title History Guarantee.

There are several reasons that may explain the absence of a routine accident listing on a CARFAX report. Although we are continually working to obtain accident records from all jurisdictions, some states do not provide CARFAX with routine accident data. In addition, not all accidents are reported and others are reported improperly to the authorities. If CARFAX cannot match the accident to the vehicle then we will not include the incident on a report. Also, the presence of an insurance record related to a vehicle does not translate into an accident listing as we do not use insurance information.

Like many online companies, we do not have a call center set up for consumer inquiries. When you type "refund" into the search field of our Help Center (www.carfax.com/help) seven (7) FAQ's about obtaining a refund will appear including "MBG Terms and Conditions explained" which provides you with a Refund Request Link. Once the refund request is sent a confirmation message will appear which states that one should expect a response within 48 to 72 hours - with the exception of evenings and weekends. You stated in your posting that you received a reply within 4 days which does fall into the 48 to 72 business hour time frame.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, or wish to have a more specific reply, please feel free to contact me directly through our Help Center.
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#9 Consumer Suggestion

Carfax is definitely useless

AUTHOR: Anonymous - ()

I know of a car which had actually 180,000 miles but the odometer only showed 80,000 because it had only 5 digits. when this car (out of state) was registered here in AZ the MVD registered it with 80,000 miles. I checked Carfax's "free odometer check" and it came up with a message that no odometer discrepancies were detected.
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