ED Magedson – Founder
American Auto Shield5695 Yukon Street Arvada, Colorado USA
American Auto Shield (AAS) Slick, high-pressure sales calls, BUYER BEWARE! Arvada Colorado
The other day I received a cold-call for my vehicle which is out of dealer warranty from American Auto Shield (AAS). They knew the make, model, year of the car, and made it sound like they were a "preferred warranty vendor" for my vehicle. The sales gal who called asked if I was receiving the notices of the extend warranty in the mail, as it was about to expire on my vehicle. I said no, why don't you mail them again (I lied, I did see a bunch mailings from them over the past few years and they made all made a short trip from the mailbox to the recycle bin). I like clowns like this to mail junk because it's a waste of their money and sometimes I find the tactics humorous - like seeing mortgage ads that look like official tax documents, etc.
So, for the fun of it, I decided to play their game and waste their time, already knowing I would decline their offer in the end. I asked her for the name of the company, and she immediately transferred me to her "supervisor". Obviously she was uncomfortable answering anything other than what was on her script. That was my first red flag with these guys. So the "supervisor" gets on the phone and immediately starts the sales pitch - reminded me of the classic used car salesman of the 1980's. Pushy, condescending, made me feel like I had to take this policy or I'd be in a financial disaster in the future. He pressured if I did not make a decision on the phone at this time, that the policy offer would become null and void within 30 minutes of the call. High-pressure sales tactic: BIG red flag. So I then demanded he tell me the name of the company (again). He says American Auto Shield working under Warranty America and they have an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, blah blah... By the way, it's not difficult to get a company registered with the BBB. The BBB site is so bad too, you cannot even read the complaints, etc, the links to the complaints about American Auto Shield go to page not found, so it's a moot point. (See AAS page on BBB).
So I check out this so-called Warranty America "parent company" of AAS claimed by the sales guy. Nothing. American Auto Shield's whois dns info is a warrantyamerica.net email address but I don't see any website about Waranty America or anything close to that. www.warrantyamerica.net goes to a dead-end, and even better, the domain goes to a default apache server page (warrantyamerica.net). Wow. If they are such a big reputable organization, like this guy claimed, then why doesn't the parent company, "Warranty America", have a website with some info on what they do? (Try googling that one. Is it under yet another different name? I cannot find it). So AAS is a company hiding under the shell of another (most-likely) phantom company, or just using that as a boloney sales pitch on the phone. Maybe it's a real company, who knows. So, an even smaller or phantom parent company = another red flag. Next, going to the www.americanautoshield.com website itself is amateurish at best. Look at the footer: "Website Design by 123Triad Web Design". Nice... Oh, and "Need to make a secure payment" on the bottom of their home page goes to a Paypal button. It's right under the "Track Your Packages" section. I am sure a parcel tracking link box is really necessary to have on an Automotive Warranty website, right? But it only provides tracking info for FedEx packages, so UPS and USPS customers are out of luck, sorry. Perhaps another automotive warranty company provides those package tracking links. So... bad website(s) = another red flag.
Ok, it gets even more fun. At this point I started acting interested in what he was shoveling to me on the phone, because I knew he was full of crap trying to pressure me into this unconscionable contract. He gave me all the info about how my car's computer system has about 12 different chipsets that can go bad and each one costs $500 just for the parts, all the expenses I'd have to pay, etc. So I asked him to see a copy of the policy before I commit to anything. He said he cannot show me the policy until I pay for it because that's how their computer system works. WHAT????? HAHAHA!!! That was my final red flag with these bozos. I flat out yelled at Mr. Slick: "Do you buy things first without seeing what you are paying for?" He then went into a digression tactic and said "well I can recite the VIN # of your vehicle just so you know I'm not trying to pull any fast ones on you if that would make you feel comfortable." If someone needs to tell you they can prove they are not trying to scam you, then you know that they are trying to scam you. Also, can't you look up anyone's VIN # at a site like Carfax (https://secure.carfax.com/creditCard.cfx) and other sites? VIN numbers are no secret. If they were, then why would they be visible from the outside of the car? He also said, oh the policy is all on our website, I can show you. He seemed pretty proud of this. Ok, so there is a sample policy on their website, but... it is not the actual policy I would receive. For all I know, the policy I receive in the mail (30 days from now, after the 30-day money back guarantee expires) could be for some prime real-estate on Mars. So that's totally irrelevant. Even if the sample policy was similar to the actual, check out all the exclusions on their website samples. Straight copy/paste from the sample: "YOU may, at OUR sole discretion, be required to provide a copy of the maintenance log and receipts in the event of a claim and YOUR failure or inability to do so may result in a denial of COVERAGE in accordance with this section." This is a major loophole. Maintenance Logs and Receipts of what? They could say you didn't provide a receipt for when you changed a lightbulb, so we are denying your claim to fix your failed fuel injection system. Anyways... so the salesguy continues and says the contract is fully refundable if I am not satisfied within 30 days (or maybe 60, I wasn't listening too hard at that point). But if you do ask for a refund, I bet you won't ever hear back from AAS until the policy refund date is conveniently missed. I'm sure the money-back guarantee starts when you pay for it, not when you get the policy in the mail (which you won't even see until after the 30-days are up). Very common tactic with the slick operations. So, getting a risk-free guarantee with no time to redeem it = another red flag (these guys are on a roll).
Moving on, he even asked if I had a spouse or other family member/dependant responsible for the vehicle who he could put on the warranty card. He was obviously fishing for another name he could try these outstanding sales tactics on. I said "you must be joking if I'm giving you another person's info that I know." Finally, he had the guts to ask for my credit card at the end of all this nonsense. He says "so how will you be paying for your new policy? Will that be check or credit card?" I couldn't tell if he was being facetious, but he sure sounded serious. So, I said neither and ended our "conversation".
I am sorry for the long post, but I hope this gives all of you some info on the sales tactics used by AAS, and similar organizations and scams I've dealt with. I cannot say for sure this company is a scam, but from everything I have seen and read about them here, it looks like a shady operation at best. Their sales tactics were straight out of the stereotypical old-school used-car salesman book. If any of you fell victim to these guys, I hope it gets resolved and you contact your bank, the bbb, your lawyer, the Federal Trade Comission, or whoever else to get restitution if AAS is indeed a scam. If people have had good luck with AAS, then congrats to you and I am surprised. I won't know either way because I won't ever buy a contract I cannot see first. That should be flat-out illegal. Guys like AAS are banking on the fact that most people will just pay it and chalk it up as a loss/learning experience, and pay out as little (if any) claims or refunds as possible. And I forgot, they even called me despite the fact I am on the Federal Do Not Call registry as well.
Best of luck to all of you!
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/05/2013 10:23 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/american-auto-shield/arvada-colorado-80002/american-auto-shield-aas-slick-high-pressure-sales-calls-buyer-beware-arvada-colorad-1064783. 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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