The following letter was sent as indicated:
15 October 1998
Chief Executive Officer
Vehicle Protection Plus LLC
PO Box 1039
Bedford TX 76095
Dear Mr. Crumley:
I am the owner of contract VC11-831971, dated 5 September 1998,
sold under the trade name of "TechServ". It appears that "Tech"
is an abbreviation for "technicality".
On the 13th of October, someone in your organization - or at
the appropriate level at Warrantech - apparently decided that an
idle air auxiliary control wasn't an exact match for any of the
parts listed as covered under Tech 1 and Tech 2, and opted to
fall back upon Exclusion A, which says, in effect, "If we didn't
think of it, it isn't covered." I duly read the pertinent
paragraph once more, and it occurs to me that the excluded parts
fall into two general categories: things which are subject to
normal wear and tear (shocks, clutch discs, weatherstripping), or
things which aren't essential to actual transport (cell phones,
carpeting). I would be most interested to hear which of these
two categories is more appropriate for the part in question.
The most plausible matchup might be with the specifically-excluded
"emission systems", though the IAAC's relationship to emissions
seems to be more related to legal requirements than to automotive
Of course, it is in your best interest to avoid paying claims
wherever possible, and I acknowledge this as a primary goal of the
organization, but it seems logical to me that while issuing a denial
did in fact save you approximately $600, it also made the perceived
value of the product diminish substantially - perhaps to the point
where it is no longer worth my while, in which case you will have
to fork over close to $900, rather sooner than you might have
anticipated, for a cancelled contract. (Speaking of "sooner", be
grateful I live in the state of Oklahoma, which for reasons known but
to the poltroons who run the state government, will allow you to keep
ten percent of the proceeds.)
While I don't expect one of your representatives to come dashing
over here in the dead of night, check in hand - though expect him to
be welcomed gratefully if he does - I would appreciate an explanation
of the denial process as it applies to this particular contract. Good
health to you and yours - unless, of course, you belong to an HMO, in
which case any such wishes must be approved by the Administrator.
Charles G. Hill
cc: Joel San Antonio, Warrantech
cc: Dwight Powers, Powers Auto Group
cc: Randy Evers, J.D.
Warrantech responded as follows:
November 16, 1998
Dear Mr. Hill:
I am in receipt of your October 15th letter to Mr. Joel San Antonio.
I have also spoken to Mr. Crumley. They have asked me to research
your inquiry and respond to you.
Your statement, "If we didn't think of it, it isn't covered", is
not at all indicative of how the contract was written nor how it
was administered. The contract states specifically that those
parts listed under the schedule of coverage are what is covered.
The exclusion section states that there is no coverage for any
part not listed in the schedule of coverage.
There has been no attempt to mislead in any way. There is
actuarial data for each part listed and the premium charged for
the contract is figured based on which parts are covered. The
specific parts listed in each plan are chosen in an effort to
give the consumer affordable yet comprehensive coverage choices.
These choices range from basic powertrain coverage up through
the Tech 4 coverage which does cover every part on the car except
those specifically excluded.
I am sorry we were unable to assist you with this repair, but
please rest assured that you have purchased one of the most
extensive plans available and we hope to be able to help you
should you experience any further breakdowns.
Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any
(signed) Ken Walton
Sr. Vice President/Service
cc: Ben Crumley
I will resist the urge to respond: "Dear Mr Walton: You misspelled 'expensive'."
Also this week, I had a telephone conversation with Mr Crumley himself, who comes across, at least on the phone, as that cherishable American icon, the genial Texan he even pronounces "bidness" in the canonical Lone Star fashion. He was sympathetic, but rules are rules, and so on and so forth, so I was perhaps less than thrilled that he seemed to admire my writing style.
Presumably, this ends here. If there's a lesson in this experience for anyone, it's Read the Fine Print. In fairness to this particular warranty provider, their print really isn't all that fine; I can actually read it without glasses. And if some major system like the transaxle decides to go south on me, I am apparently covered Mr Crumley was anxious to assure me that the firm does pay up on transmissions. Further, an impromptu survey of my co-workers reveals a majority of buyers aren't at all dissatisfied with their third-party warranties. Still, I would suggest to those considering the purchase of one of these plans that they spend more than the six and a half minutes I did reading it over no matter how much of a rush the dealership is in and to remember that these guys aren't in business to lose money.
15 October 1998
Updated 18 November 1998