I get calls from people who have bought things - or, they think they have bought things - which cannot be accounted for. A warranty on a used car or GAP coverage that exists only on the purchase agreement.

Not every dealer does this but it happens often enough for it to have popped up on my radar (emails and phone calls to my office). It goes like this. “I bought [GAP/Credit life-Disability/Warranty] and now that I am trying to use it, no one knows what I am talking about.”

This happens even though a purchase agreement shows the consumer paid hundreds of dollars for the policy or warranty. I always ask: “What did they give you to prove that at the time of purchase?”

The response is usually something in the vein of: “Like what?”

Yes, when you drop hundreds of dollars on some policy, warranty, coverage etc, you should get something to show for it. Some kind of documentation, certificate, booklet, pamphlet, flier, brochure, anything. If all you have is a single itemized line on the purchase agreement saying “Warranty - $1,395,” you may be in world of hurt. And the phone calls I get are often from people I can’t help.


The best help here is for you to know these things can happen and avoid them. I know, I say that all the time. Here is the audio of me saying it some more:


And the video.

And that pic at the top? Nothing fake about that. Just the window sticker for the Challenger Bobby Isaac was given for winning the Texas 500 in 1969.


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Steve Lehto has been practicing law for 24 years, almost exclusively in consumer protection and Michigan lemon law. He wrote The Lemon Law Bible and Chrysler’s Turbine Car: The Rise and Fall of Detroit’s Coolest Creation.


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