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Hard sell on auto insurance

Old 09-04-19, 12:09 PM
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Steve B.
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Hard sell on auto repair insurance

Was picking up a new Mazda 3 Hatchback yesterday from a local dealer, financed it, all was good until the "finance guy" started in with the hardsell for supplemental repair insurance. Never owned a Mazda prior, have had 5 Subarus since '01. Due to the distances we both commute and the need for reliable auto's, it's the 13th car we've purchased together in near about 40 years.

This was a new one, that I guess the dealers have figured out. Seems a lot of modern cars are equipped with low profile performance tires, as this Mazda has. My wifes '11 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport (that we traded) had these as well. In the 8 years we owned the Impreza I had to replace a tire twice due to damage from potholes, a rim repair once. This happened last week, cost me about $150 for tire and labor. I think the total in 9 years was maybe $450 all told. I hate low profile tires and rims, but sometimes it's what you are going to get.

This dealer was offering a 6 year road hazard warranty for tires and rims, $850. Free tire, free rim or repair, free labor, balance, etc.... if the tire & rim gets totalled.

I did the math, his was off, and I declined this as well as the extended car repair insurance. He got really pissed at us, was at that point essentially berating us for our stupidity ("you can roll it into the monthly payment"), which then made the car buying experience, which up to that point was very positive, a real unpleasant experience. Too bad. Subaru had never hard sold us like this and I fully get it's the last real chance for them to make some money.

Hopefully all other experiences with the repair shop will be positive

Last edited by Steve B.; 09-04-19 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 09-04-19, 12:28 PM
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Never buy those. My foolish buddy bought one of those things they advertised on TV like we will fix anything. He was out 1500 dollars and when he took his truck to the shop the owner told him he got scammed. I will get road hazard for tires from Discount Tire and that was worth it because they stand behind it. Like I ran over something ruined a new tire and they replaced it for free or I think it was 10 bucks.
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Old 09-04-19, 01:06 PM
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It may not be a "scam" from the dealer, but the reason the salesman wants to sell the insurance is because he will make money on the policy.

If you do buy such a policy, start by reading the fine print.

Tread damage vs sidewall damage vs vandalism, ???

Does the rim insurance cover curb rash?

For tire warranties, it is rare that I get anything covered. And, if it is covered, it is usually prorated, so one gets say 10% of the cost of the tire back.

Oh, how expensive are the wheels on your car? E-Bay?

I'm trying to think of how many rims I've totaled... usually normal profile. Ahhh, there was one that the tire shop didn't properly tighten the lug nuts, almost causing a catastrophic failure... Oh, that happened to a bailer I was towing too... So, two rims, both maintenance issues.

There was that squirrel incident where the squirrel was leaving nuts in my steering, which drove me into a curb. It ruined the tire, but not the rim (although it might have been different with low profile tires).
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Old 09-04-19, 02:02 PM
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Dealer cost on a $1,500 maintenance agreement is under $500. You can shop around for maintenance agreement at near dealer cost at a future date.
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Old 09-04-19, 02:08 PM
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Mazdas are generally good cars, I owned an 83 626, bought a used 2006 Mazda 3 for my daughter that has held up well.

I never buy extended warranties on anything, it is basically expensive limited purpose insurance. Actuarially the expected claims payout is tiny (17% or less from what I've heard from some in the business). Pretty much the same deal for extended warranties on cars, appliances, computers, etc. I'll keep my money and keep a cash reserve for the occasional hit (also known as self-insuring). And then I don't have to deal with some third-party dictating the how/what/where/when I get something fixed or replaced.

In principle, insurance is a wonderful thing, allowing people to undertake endeavors and mitigate catastrophic risk. But insurance companies have to make money too, so there is a cost involved. Most of the time you'll be better off buying insurance against the big hits, (health, homeowners, income [e.g. life/disability insurance to support dependents], auto collision/comprehensive). For all the other routine matters that come up in life, take your chances and then pay the piper when something breaks.
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Old 09-04-19, 02:58 PM
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i prepare for a car purchase by researching options so i know what i want when doing the buying…so i just brush off salesperson tactics during the purchase paperwork. i did just walk away from one purchase and blocked the phone number when they called on my way to buying it at another dealer, which was a quick and easy purchase.

on my last purchase my only option was a manufacturer maintenance plan which was cheaper when i earlier researched a comparison between what the out-of-pocket and prepaid costs would be at that time…..and it was payed for by less than what a manufacture rebate was for.
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Old 09-04-19, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Was picking up a new Mazda 3 Hatchback yesterday from a local dealer, financed it, all was good until the "finance guy" started in with the hardsell for supplemental repair insurance. Never owned a Mazda prior, have had 5 Subarus since '01. Due to the distances we both commute and the need for reliable auto's, it's the 13th car we've purchased together in near about 40 years.

This was a new one, that I guess the dealers have figured out. Seems a lot of modern cars are equipped with low profile performance tires, as this Mazda has. My wifes '11 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport (that we traded) had these as well. In the 8 years we owned the Impreza I had to replace a tire twice due to damage from potholes, a rim repair once. This happened last week, cost me about $150 for tire and labor. I think the total in 9 years was maybe $450 all told. I hate low profile tires and rims, but sometimes it's what you are going to get.

This dealer was offering a 6 year road hazard warranty for tires and rims, $850. Free tire, free rim or repair, free labor, balance, etc.... if the tire & rim gets totalled.

I did the math, his was off, and I declined this as well as the extended car repair insurance. He got really pissed at us, was at that point essentially berating us for our stupidity ("you can roll it into the monthly payment"), which then made the car buying experience, which up to that point was very positive, a real unpleasant experience. Too bad. Subaru had never hard sold us like this and I fully get it's the last real chance for them to make some money.

Hopefully all other experiences with the repair shop will be positive
Take what you would pay, for their package, and put it into a savings account, every month. Kind of like an HSA for your car. Essentially you will save yourself the overhead profits they are trying to collect from you. Then, drive carefully, and do the maintenance. You will end up ahead.
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Old 09-04-19, 03:47 PM
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They're trying to make money any way they can because most people don't use the dealer for service anymore. Last time I went in for a recall, my dealer claimed I needed ~$1200 worth of work that I had just done. The price for the service actually wasn't bad at all considering the cost of OEM parts, but that's kind of a moot point for service that doesn't need to be done. I've known quite a few people who have worked at dealers, they seem like a really toxic environment to work in, figuratively speaking. The salespeople think they can manipulate people into putting more cash in their pockets, and when it doesn't work out like they planned, they act out.
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Old 09-04-19, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Take what you would pay, for their package, and put it into a savings account, every month. Kind of like an HSA for your car. Essentially you will save yourself the overhead profits they are trying to collect from you. Then, drive carefully, and do the maintenance. You will end up ahead.
Oh, there was no way I was paying for this. The tire warranty alone was about double what you *might* pay to just get it fixed a few times. I felt bad in one respect as his tire numbers were like "$250 for a tire and $450 for a new rim". Well A) I don't pay that for a tire and B) You can often times get a rim fixed which I've done. As well, I had just been thru this a week before in the real world and knew the numbers. I had to then sit there and be patient as he did his spiel knowing I was going to say NO. As in No I do not want the clear coat either.........

The tire warranty was a new one though.
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Old 09-04-19, 04:10 PM
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If you care, you should call the sales manager and say (a) this is a really scammy overpriced insurance you're pushing, and (b) jr sales associate X reacted unprofessionally when I declined it, and (c) I'm not sure I want to come back here for my next new car (which in your case is probably about 3 years).

I'm sure the sales manager will want to know this to deal with the salesperson so they don't piss off more customers. Maybe the manager will throw you a few free oil change vouchers to pacify you.

I ruined a rim once, drove too far on a flat.

But nowadays we buy all our tires at costco, frequently get free patches for nails/screws, once in a while it's too near the edge and a replacement tire is pro-rated. I'm not sure what other kinds of damage they might refuse to pro-rate.
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Old 09-04-19, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
If you care, you should call the sales manager and say (a) this is a really scammy overpriced insurance you're pushing, and (b) jr sales associate X reacted unprofessionally when I declined it, and (c) I'm not sure I want to come back here for my next new car (which in your case is probably about 3 years).
It might not hurt, although I would guess selling the policies is part of the company's business practice.

The hard sell?

On the other hand, perhaps one should YELP it.
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Old 09-04-19, 04:46 PM
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Yes, the manager will probably be more interested in smoothing out the salesman's hard sell technique than eliminating the profitable scammy add-on.

When I bought a new 2005 Odyssey, the salesman wanted me to buy an extra alarm. I wanted supplemental mechanical insurance instead. He said I wouldn't need it, but I insisted. He was right. (but not right about needing an extra alarm)
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Old 09-04-19, 05:31 PM
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I think hard selling is common practice. My son-in-law is a finance/contract guy at a local Toyota dealer and he even had to ask me if I wanted the extended maintenance agreement when I bought a new Sienna van. I told him before the sale I was not interest in any insurance add-ons but he told me it was company policy to ask.
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Old 09-04-19, 07:28 PM
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I’ve purchased 4 of 5 Subaru’s at one dealer, 3 from same salesman. They never hard pushed the extra insurance, maybe once asked if I was interested and didn’t get bent when I declined, like Mr. Mazda did yesterday. Possibly as they were not offering any deals that I couldn’t sign on for after the fact, dunno.

I had had a very good overall experience with this Mazda dealer, excepting the finance moron. The salesman was exceptionally good and knew his stuff.

Drove the car today, it’s packed with gizmos. Going to be a learning experience that’s a fact.
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Old 09-04-19, 07:53 PM
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Funny about "the finance guy..." a couple of years ago we too bought a Mazda 3... through Costco... but we had to go through the dealer to get the car. Selected the car, were sent to "the finance guy.." who started his hard sell... we cut him off with these three words... "we're paying cash."
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Old 09-04-19, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Funny about "the finance guy..." a couple of years ago we too bought a Mazda 3... through Costco... but we had to go through the dealer to get the car. Selected the car, were sent to "the finance guy.." who started his hard sell... we cut him off with these three words... "we're paying cash."
Yup, I was fortunate enough to buy my truck with cash. Saves enormous amount of BS. I said just give me the bottom line price and that is it. If the price is right with the slinky models ya got a deal
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Old 09-04-19, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
I ruined a rim once, drove too far on a flat.
Me too. Wasn't repairable. There wasn't a safe place to stop and fix it.
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Old 09-05-19, 04:47 AM
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ANYTHING someone tries desperately to sell you is better for them, not you.
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Old 09-05-19, 08:10 AM
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TBH, had an 'extended warranty' deal that turned out to be a good thing to have due to electrical gremlins....however, the YEARS and YEARS of continued calls from that company and the folks they sold us out to LONG after we had sold the vehicle were a firm decider that I will never do that again.
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Old 09-05-19, 08:35 AM
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Because of some bad luck I've had two buy two cars in the last six months so I've gotten fairly well reacquainted with the process and although I think virtually every dealer tries to sell you an extended warranty, I think the "hard sell" depends on lot on the particular dealer and sometimes the manufacturer.

When we bought the first car a few months ago I did a little research because the last time I bought a car, 6 years ago, the common knowledge was that extended warranties are for suckers. I wondered if that had changed, but from what I can tell they are still for suckers.

I found Kia delearships to be the most aggressive and pushy, and a quick search of customer experience shows that this is pretty much the norm for Kia's dealer network. Pretty much every negative, outdated stereotype about pushy car sales tactics seems to be the norm.

I did not buy a Kia. Not because of the dealership (although that didn't help) but because the model I test drove felt cheap and underpowered.

Ford dealerships are not aggressive, exactly, but they are pretty relentless in following up with you until you straight up say "I bought a different car."

The dealership we ended up buying both cars from is a combination Toyota/VW dealership and both times they offered the extended warranty plus this other "we'll fix door dings and stuff" type of warranty but when I said "not interested" they dropped it.

This last car I bought a couple weeks ago, it probably didn't hurt that it was about 5 p.m. on a Saturday evening and they clearly wanted to go home.

Anyway, the tl;dr version is that this sounds like an issue with that particular dealership and/or finance manager.



OH YEAH I should mention this little caveat: one of the cars I replaced was a 2013 Nissan Altima. The dealership I bought it from includes a lifetime powertrain warranty on all new cars, as a standard perk. There are a handful of dealerships that do this. On the Nissan this turned out to be useful because the horrible, no good, very bad, useless CVT transmission on that Altima had to be replaced TWICE. The first time it was still covered under the factory warranty, but the second time I would have been SOL without the lifetime warranty through the dealership. (I traded the piece of crap in before the transmission could fail a third time, which it was showing signs of doing).

But I didn't pay anything extra for it, it was something through that particular dealer.

That wasn't enough to sway me to buy a second car from them (in fact I'll probably never again buy a Nissan) but I'm glad it was there when I needed it.

But I'd rather have a car that doesn't break down.
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Old 09-05-19, 09:23 AM
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The only time I bought extra coverage was for an expensive (to me) camera lens. It covered damage caused by anything, including my own stupidity, as long as I could produce the lens. In other words, if it got lost at the bottom of the ocean or burnt up in a fire, there was no coverage. Maybe a month or so after I bought the lens I had it out on the floor getting ready to pack it into my camera bag. I lost my balance, stumbled backwards and stomped the lens against my coast iron Franklin Stove, bending the outer housing. Boy did I feel smart about buying coverage.
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Old 09-05-19, 09:43 AM
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When I go car shopping. I walk into the dealership. I say I want that. I don't want any additional services or tack-ons. Here's the price before tax, title, reg I'm willing to pay, cash. Then usually they go on about this or that. Then I say, ok, here's my contact information. When you're willing to meet that price call me.
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Old 09-05-19, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
The only time I bought extra coverage was for an expensive (to me) camera lens. It covered damage caused by anything, including my own stupidity, as long as I could produce the lens. In other words, if it got lost at the bottom of the ocean or burnt up in a fire, there was no coverage.
Completely random aside. I knew a guy who somehow lost a 70-200 on the Cascade Pass trail. He was backpacking for 3 days. When he got back to the trailhead, it was sitting on a picnic table in a plastic bag, with a note saying where on the trail it was found.
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Old 09-05-19, 09:53 AM
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Had a very positive experience at a dealership last night. We're looking for a Passat Wagon, we showed up at an Acura dealership that had a used one advertised, 15 minutes before advertised closing time of 7pm, asked to drive it, it was fine. I said we're not buying tonight, we've got a couple more to look at. The sales manager said let me just print you up a quote and you can get back to us. In like 2 min he came back with a carfax printout and a quote with a business card on it and we were on our way. No hard sale.

After checking out another one today I expect we'll go back for that one (it already has a hitch for our bike rack! just need a 1.5"-->2" converter). We'll see if at the point of sale they try to push extras at us.
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Old 09-05-19, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Completely random aside. I knew a guy who somehow lost a 70-200 on the Cascade Pass trail. He was backpacking for 3 days. When he got back to the trailhead, it was sitting on a picnic table in a plastic bag, with a note saying where on the trail it was found.
My wife & I camped overnight to do some mountain biking last week. We left the campground for a ride, a few hundred yards out I noticed my handlebar bag was unzipped, so I zipped it. Turns out I didn't see my wallet had popped out.

Later on the ride we took a wrong turn, ran into another rider who helped us find the turn we were looking for. Half an hour later, we ran into him again (he was going clockwise, us CCW around the same loop) and he says 'did you lose your wallet?' Turns out he had come across ANOTHER guy who had found my wallet and was riding around looking for the owner. He told me where that other guy said he'd be riding, I was able to connect with him and got my wallet back.

Outdoorspeople are usually really cool, chill, helpful, nice people.
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