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Warranty Experience

2012 Camry LE, purchased in Dec 2011. I had never bought an extended warranty on anything in my life but when I bought my Camry, I was given an offer that seemed too good to be true. An 8 year 75000 mile Toyotacare platinum bumper to bumper warranty that was fully refundable if not used.

When I posted that on this site, some expressed asceticism. I don’t blame them.

As soon as the 8 years was up, I called the dealership and was sent to the finance manager. He asked my name and the vin number. He told me he had no record of purchasing a car there and asked me to email him copies of all the paperwork I had. I sent him copies of the receipt. contract, warranty, title, current registration and the service records from the two years of free service at their dealership.

On dec 18 he emailed me back saying I needed my copy of the warranty refund application. I assured him that I had no such thing and he sent me a sample copy of that paperwork.

It was from an outfit called SGI (Signet Financial Group) and looked like something drawn by a third grader and offered by a fly by night used car lot. I told him I had never seen or possessed anything like that. He said he would send someone to get their copy from their dead files in storage.

Between Christmas and New Years I emailed him several times with no response. On Jan. 2 I called the dealership and was told by the dealership that he was no longer employed there. I lef voicemail messages for the new FM 3 tines that day with no callback. The next day I went to the dealership and oarked myself at a table in the showroom. A salesman went and got me the General manager who came out and gave me his card and said he would send someone to look for my paperwork from storage. He came back in 5 minutes and told me they did not have it because “As allowed by state business law, we throw out all our paperwork after 5 years and I can’t do anything for you because you lost your copy.”
I told him O did not know anything about state business law but that only an idiot would throw out an 8 year contract after 5 years. He offered to speak to the owner and called me.

Before I went to the dealer, I knew SGF has disconnected their phones and vacated their building in 2016 but could find no record of their bankruptcy. I had also verified with Toyota Financial that the dealership had purchased the warranty and Toyota sent me a letter saying that I had not used the warranty. The also told me that they were aware of their dealerships doing this at the tome but Toyota had nothing to do with it.

I read online that several car owners had sued their dealers over this and lost because the dealer was a disclosed agent of SFG and thus not liable.

No one at the dealership answered or returned my calls.

I first tried Call for Action, a local TV station’s investigative reporter and got a young woman who sounded like a high school intern and the dealership swatter her away like a fly.

Next I contacted the local branch of the NY State Attorney General’s Office and wrote them everything I poster here plus the fact that during the purchase I had told the Finance Manager that I was only boying it because it we a refundable TOYOTA warranty and that I would not touch a 3rd party warranty with a 10 foot pole. I added that I believe The finance manager pocketed the 3rd party paperwork because he knew I would have cancelled the warranty sale and he wanted the commission. I said, it is impossible to prove I did not get something but that is what I will swear to and the dealership has no one who was there to refute it. Their defense should be to produce their copy of what they say iI signed.

about 3 weeks later I got a call from someone who said he was the business manager of the dealership asking If I wanted to pick up my 870 check or have it mailed to me.

This dealership had a feature on their website called meet the staff. That feature is no longer there and the Business Manager who mailed me the check was a salesman a few short months ago.

I am not naming the dealership because I don’t know that the owner was aware of what one or more of his employees were doing.


To me it is like any insurance policy, if you do not need it fine, if you do need it happy happy happy. You got a refund? sounds great!

First I had to look up “ asceticism”.
Beyond that, did you get your refund?

So; did they fully refund you or were there warranty issues which made the refund null and void?

Yes I got my refund., I was typing skepticism when spell check apparently struck.

I am amazed the three people read such a long post already.

Sometimes I don.t seem to be able to write a short one.

The irony is that if they had dealt honestly, they would not have to refund a cent. Instead I got every penny back.

Like my high school chemistry teacher used to say “it’s in the book”. Yeah $870 refund. Last paragraph. I have the habit of reading magazines starting at the back. I don’t know why but seems to make sense to dispense with all the 3rd rate stuff first. In this case you either had to read the whole thing or start at the end.

Now to go on and on, I was always taught to start every memo or letter with the purpose and then fill in the details because a lot of people only read the first paragraph. So this could have read “the purpose of this post is to tell about how I got my $870 warranty refund”. See? Blue skies and straight and level flight.

PS. I’ve tried to teach that to my English teacher wife with limited success. Generally the purpose is on page 4.

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The entire post did not appear when I first saw it. Only the first paragraph.

That whole episode is typical of my experience with what they call “customer service.”

I remember when “customer service” could be translated literally, but that was when it was said , " The customer’s always right!," and “There’s no such thing as a free lunch,” (and there really wasn’t). Things that made sense a few decades ago, don’t make any sense now.

Everybody needs to pursue this type of treatment to the bitter end as you have done. Sometimes it’s not worth the anguish and time spent, but by “accepting” this as the new normal, things will get worse, yet and you’d become part of the problem rather than part of a possible solution.

How about businesses that require customers to retain a receipt in order to get “customer service” if it’s needed… and they hand out thermal image disappearing receipts? I have come to make copies of those receipts on my copier and file them.

guess the new “customer service” definition means that service needs to be provided by the customer.

:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

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I’m glad everything worked out for you in the end. It’s ridiculous that they would quibble like this, but it’s unfortunately not surprising.

Thanks oldtimer_11 for sharing your pursuit. I’m glad you prevailed in the end.

I liked that part, “as soon as 8 yrs was up”.

Fantastic that you managed to force the refund. I think the original seller was counting on several things… people rarely keep paperwork, people rarely remember such deals and people are rarely that persistent. You are the triple threat.

Good work!


Unfortunately there are probably several hundred who weren’t able to get a refund. And that’s what the dealer is hoping for.

Sort of like any long warranty… Hyundai and Kia come to mind!

Actually it was Chrysler that came to mind.

Thanks for all the replies, my next step would have been small claims court with no guarantee of winning and if that happened I would have cone on yelp and named the dealer and possibly joined some social media groups to besmirch their name.

All I wanted was what they promised.

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We seem to get quite a few posters that have had Hyundai and Kia have deny warranty coverage on their blown engines. Seems the Chrysler folks have more problems the dealers can’t find or fix.

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Ah yes, the Chrysler (and Jeep) lifetime warranty… I don’t know if the courts have ruled that those warranties were voided by bankruptcy. I do know that Chrysler was trying to honor them but in the case of ABS systems the parts were unavailable because the supplier went out of business.

I just glad you’re not writing suspense novels.
This book is a murder mystery about how the butler did it…

Yes, in business communications we always insert an executive summary at the beginning of the document. This is more like entertainment here so I like to see some suspense about the outcome as I read through it…

I enjoyed the story and especially to perseverance displayed to get satisfaction!