We’ve all been victims of auto warranty phone calls, but you may be new to receiving a motor vehicle service notification postcard or letter in the mail. What is this notification? Is it legitimate? Should you worry about the information on this card?
In this article, we take a closer look at what the auto service postcard is and what it means to you. We also look at whether it’s a scam or not and show you how to tell when something is suspicious.
What is the Motor Vehicle Service Notice?
The Motor Vehicle Service Notification is a communication intended to come from the factory automobile manufacturer to alert you of the warranty status of your automobile. It usually arrives as a pink postcard and shows service records, warranty protection, and the expiration date.
This correspondence will contain vital information such as the vehicle make and model and phone number. It may also have the Department of Motor Vehicles seal or logo. You will also be able to locate the factory manufacturer and the dealership where you purchased the car.
However, not all motor vehicle service notification letters are real. It is very important that you take the time to determine if this correspondence is legitimate before making a decision.
Is Motor Vehicle Service Information a Scam?
It depends on the letter you received. If you have a postcard from the car dealer or car manufacturer, this is a real notification. Otherwise, the match is just a scam from a third-party company trying to sell you a car warranty.
It is not uncommon for dealers to sell private information to another company to qualify for the warranty. For this reason, it can be difficult to tell the difference, as the warranty provider will have all the vital information from it.
You should carefully review the vehicle service notice to ensure that it contains all of the following items:
- Shipped when the factory warranty expires or is about to expire.
- Contains the appropriate company name and contact information.
- Contains all valid service records for the vehicle.
If you call the number on the postcard, you should speak to the company you are waiting for. If someone else answers the phone, the postcard is invalid. Additionally, the customer service team should always treat you professionally. If they don’t, it’s a big red flag that something is wrong.
You may receive these notifications every two months from various companies looking to gain your business. All of them may look legitimate, so you should be careful.
Motor vehicle service information signs is a Scameter
1. Inaccurate service record
On the back of the notification letter, you will find the account activity for the vehicle in question. If the postcard is valid, all of this service history will be accurate. Otherwise, the information is compounded and could even add up to a total showing hundreds or thousands of dollars of work.
In the end, the notice will show that you paid nothing but would have needed it without the protection. This is a big red flag, especially when the service record is invalid.
2. Invalid vehicle information
A big red flag is when the vehicle information is very inaccurate. If the company isn’t trying very hard, it could even be the wrong make and model.
However, you also have to pay attention to the mileage. Let’s say your vehicle has a 50,000 mile/5 year warranty. If you only have 7,000 miles on the vehicle and have had it for a year, there would be no reason to receive this notification at this time. You still have enough factory warranty left on the vehicle and the manufacturer will not contact you.
3. Wrong phone number
Pay attention to every little detail associated with the notification. By carefully checking the phone number, you can save yourself a lot of hassle. If you are contacted by the original retailer or manufacturer, the number included in the notification will be the same number found on their website.
If this number is different, please contact the contact listed on your original warranty documents. Ask about the notification to see if it was sent. If they are unaware of the notification, they must have it.
Avoid Vehicle Warranty Scams
1. Be skeptical
Whenever you deal with mail correspondence, you should be careful what you read. Don’t take things at face value without first investigating the source. If this is a legitimate match, the manufacturer or distributor will want to clarify this point.
Even if you think the notification is legitimate, you should do a little more research. Call the manufacturer’s number and continue your research. Until there is no doubt about the validity of the notification, you want to be alert and protect yourself.
2. Protect personal information
There is never a reason to give a company your personal information until the time is right. With your car warranty coverage, the dealer and manufacturer should already have all the information needed to register it. There should be no reason to provide anything else.
If it is a scam, you may be asked for financial information, your social security number, or credit card information. They may also ask you for your driver’s license number or vehicle identification number, which would already be on file.
3. Listen to your intuition
If you are dealing with scammers, the interaction will not feel good. When you call the number, you will be subject to high-pressure sales tactics. They might start making demands and telling you that you don’t have time. The goal will be to obtain a deposit and your personal information.
On the other hand, a legitimate business presentation will give you all the details and give you time to make a decision. You should never be pressured to make a decision immediately. If something is wrong, it probably isn’t. Listen to your instincts first.
Do you need an extended car warranty?
With a better understanding of the service notification, you may be wondering if the extended warranty is a good option for your situation. To start, you have to look at the warranty for what it is, insurance coverage. It is intended to prevent you from paying expensive auto repair bills in the future.
RELATED: How to Negotiate the Best Price for an Extended Warranty (7 Tips)
You can get extended OEM warranties from the manufacturer. Different policies will cover just the powertrain or the entire vehicle, depending on what you choose. With a powertrain warranty, the transmission and engine are covered. In comparison, the bumper-to-bumper warranty includes other major systems and sometimes electronic components.
It is also possible to obtain a guarantee through a third-party company. These may be cheaper than those offered by the manufacturer, but you should be careful which company you choose. If you choose this route, do your research first. After all, paying for a warranty will be a waste if the company doesn’t cover repairs.
Knowing all this, do you need an extended car warranty? It depends on whether you can afford car repairs or not. If you can pay for repairs out of pocket, there’s really no reason to get an extended car warranty.