Report: #343048

Complaint Review: Continental Warranty

  • Submitted: Mon, June 23, 2008
  • Updated: Mon, July 28, 2008
  • Reported By: Peoria Arizona
  • Continental Warranty
    Malibu, California

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

Don't buy this warranty! Shop for yourself instead. Wow! I had such a negative experience with this company in June 2008. All I wanted was a quote so I could do some comparison shopping. There is nothing wrong or evil with that it is called being smart ok. First off they asked me why I waited until my mfg warranty expired to look for an extended warranty. They said some people wait until their check engine light comes on and then sign up real fast for an extended warranty. That doesn't make sense to me because I would assume the car would have to undergo an inspection just like with car insurance to make sure it's not a junk heap and I'm sure someone would notice a check engine light. To insult my integrity right off the bat is also not a good way to sell me something. My car has 54k miles on it and is two years old. Yeah I drive it alot but I also take very good care of it at the dealership with regular checkups and maintenance. So the gal acts like she is giving me a deal by certifying my car although my original warranty has expired and I have more miles than the average driver. She the tells me she needs my vin number to get a quote. (She must also know if I own a house and a visa card for discounts?) Eventually after much stalling and getting as much free info from me as she possibly can I finally get a verbal quote but I can't look at the hardcopy contract without giving her a retainer fee? She also insists I must buy right this instant or my car cannot be certified if I call back. I inform her once again (for the third time) I am shopping around and getting quotes and I already have an e-quote from another reputable company (been in business many years) that was half what hers was for the same coverages. She convolutes the issue and says well since I am shopping by price alone (not true) she will get me a quote for a policy with a higher deductable? Lots of attitude in her tone btw. OK I told her, that does'nt even make sense. Why would I want a less valuable policy with a higher deductable for the same price another reputable company had already quoted me for bumper to bumper including wear & tear? Since she had previously informed me they were warranty brokers, I can see the hugh price difference must be the broker fee. They wanted to sell me the same coverage for $2400 I can get on my own for $1900. They also informed me the other companies are not allowed to give me e-quotes and send me details of the policy that it was not an actual binding agreement or contract. A convoluted response once again.
Dah OK yes. I told her I am aware until they send me a real hardcopy contract, I sign it and send it back there is no binding agreement. But they seemed to have no problem emailing me some free info as to what my contract would cover and not cover so why do you? Irritated with the truth, she declared, "mam you do realize if you turn this coverage down now you will not be able to call back later and get the same deal." Wanting to end this high pressure sales gig, I said yes.

"Fine," she says snottily "I will permanently decline your vehicle in the VIN# Database".

Four questions came to mind right away in dealing with this company.

1) Why am I not allowed to shop? If their product really is the best why do they have a problem with me shopping around?

2) Why do they insist I buy instantly right then & there on that phone call? Talk about high pressure and so rude you wonder how they get any business.

3) Why the threatening attitude? Why make people feel like they are being blackballed in some database just for not buying their overpriced services?

4) Why are they trying to get a retainer fee (credit card info) for a product sight unseen? That seems dishonest & backwards. Good thing I didn't fall for it. I have since read and heard how others tried to cancel and get their so called "refundable retainer fee" back and it took them months to get it!

Peoria, Arizona
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/23/2008 04:00 AM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 UPDATE Employee

The last post I have no problem with

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

In response to the post by the last client I really don't have a problem with most of what you wrote:

1.) Our contract doesn't say we will put brand new parts every single time. No extended warranty that is backed by an insurance company will say that. The termonology will say that the company has the right to be refurbished or like components. This clause is for many reasons, we sell warranties on some cars that are discontinued or are older than 10 years old and hence have no guarantee that "NEW" parts are still in production on that model. (I have talked to Kirk about this, he has worked here over 4 years and he said he has never said we guarantee new parts on every single repair, but in this case I still did a coaching session and wrote the complaint up.

I think as many of these complaints I respond to is just a situation where a client wanted to do business his way and we wouldn't accomadate that because of our insurance companies regulations. We don't say if you call back tommorrow you are committing fraud, we just say that you are a higher risk the second time you contact us, wether that is tommorrow, three days, a month or a year.

I will give you a secret that all sales people know, and all customers know it as well. When you said you were going to call us tommorrow, you meant you wanted a $400 cheaper warranty and congratulations you found one, doesn't mean it was the same program and it doesn't mean we aren't $400 better. I think if we all thought about it truthfully, we have all told a sales person we'd get back to them and not meant it, we have all said that line. Not many of us ever call them back, but it's not the reason we press hard on used cars, think about this statistic, when a dealership sells a warranty with an inspection only 12% of clients file a claim in the first year. When we sell one without an inspection the percentage goes up to 40% of clients filing a claim in the same time. Three times as many claims, and once again I have to ask you to be honest here, lets say I gave you a quote and you said no and I cheerily told you to sign up when you were ready. Two weeks later your Air Conditioning Compressor goes out, doesnt stop your car from running but you find out is $1,200 to fix. You don't think 1 out of 5 people in this tough of an economy would call back and wait our waiting period and have us fix it ? If you don't think so God Bless you, but it is really more like 1 in 3. But of course we are just greedy sales people pressing you to do it today right?

Personally I would pay $400 extra for Great American over many of my competitors insurance companies and claims administrators even if the contract weren't better. I of course am biased because I work here but I have researched every single company out there, I know a lot of scary details about companies that look very legit on the surface. Please contact me with any questions if you are considering a competitor and you'd like to know my data or opinion of them, unlike the numerous immature clients and sales people who without the real facts blast my company on sights like this I promise I will not disparage the other company.

To the previous post though, you're spelling was great, you were right about us not guaranteeing new parts every time and I bet Kirk was pushy, we do wish you the best of luck with your car and of course with our cheaper competitor, good luck to you.

Anyone else reading call me 1-866-989-9100 Extension 1620 I guarantee you one thing you might not buy our plan, but you will have your questions answered about this industry and you will make a more informed decision I promise.

Lonnie Pitts Welcome Center Manager
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#2 Consumer Comment

Here is my Experience.

AUTHOR: Mike R - (U.S.A.)

I talked to Kirk at Continental, and am so glad I did not buy from them. I will not fill out a complaint because I did not purchase a plan with them. However I will tell everyone I can about how bad my experience with them was. I was told that their insurance company will ALWAYS use new parts, and the limit on the plan is the value of the car when it was NEW. So I ask him "if my Engine breaks on my 02 Camry and has to be replaced what parts would you use"? He says " Brand NEW from the Factory". The way I figure it, if I can find a company stupid enough to offer that, then I'll take it (an extra 3 or 400 dollars is worth that for me, and they know that). The only thing I ask is to see a contract to confirm.

In my opinion if I am spending more than $2,000 on anything I want to see what I am buying, and I do not think that is too much to ask. I'm not rich, and $2,000 is a big chunk of change for me. And I tell him that other companies did send me one. He proceeds to tell me that nobody can send you a contract, and that it is a "well formulated Sales brochure", not only that he tells me that he can make make one in a few minutes if I would like. The reason is that their insurance Company will not allow them to send a contract before they get a downpayment (which by the way is how Grab bags work). I told him that if he cannot send me a contract then I cannot do business with them, the reason is that I did not believe him.

To make my long story short, I bought a plan from another company, the one that did send me a sample contract. When I got the actual contract in the mail, it was the same, WORD FOR WORD. Not only that, I did a lot of research, and there is NOBODY on the market who would use brand new parts all the time. From what I understand, every Warranty Company reserves the right to use rebuilt parts. And I must have searched about twenty of them. Also, the limit of liability on all plans is the value on the car, AT THE TIME OF THE REPAIR. Not when it was brand new. At the end of my conversation with Kirk, who by the way was the second person I spoke to, (I believe the first person was a lady named Janice) Kirk tells me that if I do not buy the plan right there, they cannot offer me the price the next day.

Basically, if I call back the next day, I am trying to commit fraud. Maybe that is not what he meant, but that is how I understood it. I do understand that maybe if I call back in two or three months it could be fraud, my car could brake, but not giving me 24 hours to make a decision, is outrageous. Lonnie, from Lynwood Washington, you will probably respond to this, and make it seem like I am wrong. You do on every other complaint, I read a lot of them. Here is what I will do for you, if you can get me a contract from your administrator that states "Only brand new parts", and that the limit of liability is "the value of my car when it was new". I will cancel my current warranty immediately, and buy from you (no matter the price). To every consumer out there, please do your research. Please do not take anybody's word for it over the phone. When the car breaks down, you will not be able to call Continental. THE ONLY THING THAT WILL MATTER IS THE CONTRACT.

When I was younger, I used to go to a store that sold baseball cards. They had Grab bags. For anyone who does know what they are, they are closed bags that you cannot look into, untill after you buy them. Just from my Experience, Warranty Companies ARE allowed to show the contract before you buy from them. If they do not it is their choice. My thing is, why would you not show me a contract, unless you don't want me to see it. And the only answer is the one I thought of originally, it can't be true. This high pressure grab bad way of selling Warranties is not a way to get me to buy. I'm sure everyone understands that if you cannot see it on paper, it might not be true, however it might be. If it is though, prove it, and Kirk could not.

Let me make an example, if you were getting a mortgage, would you not want to see it before you signed it. Also, EVERYONE offers a 30 day money back guarantee. See the plan before you buy it, save yourself the trouble of getting a refund, which from what I read could take up to six weeks, from ANY company out there. And Continental has over 100 complaints on the BBB for refunds. Yes Lonnie, I know, take a look at Best buy, and Verizon BBB reports Etc..., they have complaints also. I don't care, with them I know what I am getting. The thing is, I cannot say Continental is a Ripoff, they might not be all the time. But there is no way of double checking on this, and as a consumer, for any product, I feel that I have the right to see a contract before I make a downpayment.

I got a great plan, for about $400.00 less than Continental, the Company has a great reputation, and they let me see the contract before I bought. And the Salesman was very patient with me, and also very honest with me. So this is my story, and I hope that when you read this, you understand that I am not here to make Contental look bad, just to tell you that you should really do some research. I will not mention who I bought from, it is a great company, and they do need to be in the middle of this. This is posted on Sunday the 27Th, and I can Assure you that by Tuesday the 29Th there will a rebuttal. Maybe they will make fun of my spelling, or point our any mistakes that I have made in this complaint.

But that will not change the fact that they will not show you a contract before you buy from them. What I am saying is that it is not too much to ask to see the plan before you buy it. If you think that it is, buy from whoever sounds the best, and good luck. I think that doing business this way is designed to get sales, and nothing else. One piece of advice, like I was told, the only thing the price of the plans are based on is the Make, Model, age, and mileage. So unless you can put a few thousand miles on the car in 24 hours, the price cannot change. Thanks for taking the time to read this, I really hope that it helps in you research.
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#3 UPDATE Employee

A very intelligent post

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

After 5 years of responding to reports on this site, I am really happy to read this one.

This client couldn't be more accurate in his description of this industry.

I find it refreshing to read this post versus the usual trash about my company that gets printed on this site.

Thank you for the informative post sir.

Lonnie Pitts Welcome Center Manager
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#4 Consumer Comment

Do your homework

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

I work for a major reporting firm and before I bought an extended warranty. I did my homework and research. I asked a lot of questions and read a lot of posts before putting any money out. This is what I found.

Laws vary from state to state regarding extended warranties.

Almost all warranty companies take on vehicles sight unseen (no inspection). The companies who say call back any time probably won't be around when you need them. Warranty Gold is a good case in point. That's why Continental Warranty states they don't have open enrollment, because if they did, what would stop someone from waiting until their car broke down before they purchased a warranty? However, I did find out that Continental Warranty wants you to enroll the first time they talk to you because of incentives, like 0% financing, roadside assistance, car rental, etc. They claim to give you more benefits the first time they talk to you. Which is not true, the incentives are the same whether it's the 1st, 2nd or 3rd time.

One consumer from a different post wrote: Consumer rights to a 30 day cancellation are already in place under the consumers rights laws. If not mistaken, that's a federal law to protect consumers.

Answer: This is absolutely correct, with the exception of Florida which allows 60 full days.

Same consumer from a different post wrote: Solely based upon having been told by a sales rep, you'll have the ability to cancel within 30 days. A common sales ploy used to earn a commission on a sale.

Answer: The Sales Agent DOES NOT get a commission until after the 30/60 days have elapsed, and only if the customer does not cancel and has made the first monthly installment.

Same consumer from a different post wrote: In order for the article to be more informative, it needs to be stated how the Continental Warranty was able to immediately charge your credit card? What you failed to note was, in order for Continental to do that, you had to have given them the card number.

Answer: Not only must the credit card be given in order for the transaction to be processed, but all customers are sent through to the Verification Dept.. A verification agent reads from a script and the call is digitally recorded to protect both the consumer as well as the company. Throughout the call the verification agent asks Do you have any questions so far? At the end of the verification process the agent asks Do I have your permission to charge $ X to your X Credit Card today? Your credit card cannot be charged without your express permission.

As far as California law regarding the power train warranty. It is not any better or any worse than any other extended California warranty. That is not to say it's a good warranty. It's called a Product Warranty. What that means is they are guaranteeing when you add the product, which is a coolant additive to your radiator, if any of the parts listed on the warranty breakdown as a direct result of the product not working as stated, they'll repair it. But this type of warranty is iffy at best as it only covers certain components. Read this plan carefully before your 30 days is up, and definitely BEFORE your add the product. They DO NOT have to give you your deposit back after the product has been added, and from what I understand, most times won't give it back (unless you make a big stink and get a reporting agency involved). Although that goes for all warranty companies, not just Continental. If you decide to go forward with this type of warranty and the component(s) which is covered does fail, the warranty will pay 100% parts and labor up to $4500 which can be a very good investment on your part. I do not recommend this type of warranty for either a high end vehicle (BMW, Mercedes, Lexus etc) or a new car with virtually no mileage, buy a Full Coverage warranty from the dealer BEFORE you drive off the lot.

By the way, there's no such thing as a bumper to bumper warranty. Bumpers are cosmetic as is the glass, upholstery, trim etc. Warranties also do not cover maintenance like oil changes or tune-ups, or wear and tear items like your battery, brake pads, light bulbs, etc.

Which leads me to the question of; Is it a good idea to buy a warranty from the dealership?

Depends on what state you're in. In California the laws are much different than in other states. Think of it this way. Dealerships specialize in selling cars, warranties are up sells for the finance dept. Dealerships do not sell you the warranty at their wholesale rate, they add on a mark up amount, which can be the cost of the warranty. If you financed the vehicle and the warranty is included in the financing it means your warranty is accruing charges at whatever interest rate you're paying. Some time's a good thing; but only if it's on a new car with a low interest rate and the warranty lasts as long as the financed payments. On a used vehicle you've financed for 5 years, and the warranty is only good for 3 years, you'll be paying interest on a warranty that expired 2 years before the loan is paid off! Not a good deal.

As far as Continental Warranty goes, they're brokers, They sell warranties, no more, no less. The company has been around for years but it's the underwriter who'll be paying your claims. A lot of warranty companies do not use underwriters, they're self insured companies, many have also been around for years and pay your claims, others close their doors before they have to. Do your homework. Ask a lot of questions.

Does Continental Warranty give you the facts? Yes, but you need to ask the right questions and be willing to listen to the answers all the way through. Can you call back? They'll tell you Yes, but you won't be eligible for a certified plan. That's not true, you can call back and get certified coverage, however keep in mind since you're driving your car, your mileage will go up which may change the plan you're originally eligible for.

Were the Continental Warranty Agents I spoke with rude? Not at all. The 3 different agents I spoke with were firm in their policy about not calling back and willing to explain in detail why I needed to put down a deposit today (which I didn't do till the 3rd time, so the First Time Applicant rule isn't true) I did not find any inconsistency in what they were telling me about underwriters or Risk Retention Groups. They were patient, informative, and yes, at times they put me on the spot about having let my warranty lapse. They also called me on some excuses I made about speaking with my wife before I gave them the deposit by reminding me I had given them permission to submit my Vin #. Several times during all three calls, I too felt my integrity was being questioned. But the bottom line was, looking at it from their point of view, as the woman explained to me; she couldn't see my car from her office (I live in another state) and if the Ins. Co. was willing to take on my car sight unseen I would need to give them the same amount of trust with a small refundable deposit on a secured credit card.

People, this is how all sales work. Just like any other company they want to earn your business. But in order to earn it you must first read the fine print, and DO read the fine print, however you've got to get the contact into your hands first so you can read the fine print, and the only way you can read the fine print is to put down a refundable deposit.

Whichever company you decide to purchase from, read the contract until you understand what you're getting, and if you have questions, call and ask someone to explain (I called as there were a few questions I had after I got the paperwork). A warranty like any other insurance based product is something you'd probably rather not spend your money on, yet it sure is a great investment when your car breaks down!

Thank you for taking the time to do your research as I did, and that is why I came back to this post so I could share my experience.
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#5 UPDATE Employee

Response as a consumer, not an employee

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

Hello there,

My name is Lonnie Pitts, I am the Welcome Center Manager for Continental Warranty and when reading this I really wanted to respondn as a person who shops around and not as a representative of my company.

The client alleges we are overpriced, rude and deceptive, these descriptions are what she posted as a reason to not do business with us.

A.) The client has a car that has expired out of Factory Warranty 19,000 miles ago, so as far as having urgency, someone who has already procrastinated for close to 20,000 miles really doesn't get a lot of sympathy from me when a company explains that this is her last chance to get "new car coverage". The manufacturer of her car will not sell her a program at this point, we are willing but on our terms.

B.) The client says she found the same coverage for $500 cheaper, it shows the client is not interested in coverage, she just wanted a cheaper product. The company that offered $1900 for the "same" coverage is not backed by Great American Insurance Company, doesn't have the same coverage at all. The truth is it is not like buying a sony tv from best buy instead of some high price retailer, in that scenario the TV is the same, just the price varies. Insurance, the coverage is not the same, the amount of liability per claim differs, the claims procedures differ, the insurance companies stability differs, too much difference to make a comment like "They are overpriced" We never say we have the cheapest policy, just the best value for the consumer.

C.) Saying we are deceptive is just upseting. The scripted presentation this customer went through mentioned over 5 times that the first time we quote someone, the better the deal is. (Especially when someone has high mileage like 54,000 miles). We let the customer know they Don't have to buy it, but if they don't want it now, we are not willing to wait for them to breakdown prior signing up with us. No problem, don't buy it, but do not say that we are high pressuring you when you let your factory warranty lapse, not my company. It's not high pressure to have a protected enrollment in insurance, it is common sense.

Lonnie Pitts Welcome Center Manager

Any questions, 1-866-989-9100 Extension 1620 or email
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