Complaint: To be fair, this all apparently boils down to this warranty company’s request for pricing when you initially speak with them. As a manager of a busy retail automotive facility, I’ve dealt with more than 50 warranty companies. Some of which we deal with almost on a daily basis. In 15 years of working in the automotive field, I’ve dealt with them for items ranging from mundane tire replacements, to engine rebuilds, and replacements. I’ve even sold warranties for a service drive, and for a used car dealership; for TWO other warranty brands. This time, I was unprepared for the amazing lack of concern this company had for their customer’s trust, and for price integrity. Fidelity was contacted as per their warranty pamphlet advises. The vehicle in question (2015 Jeep) was in need of a thermostat housing replacement. Jeep is SO aware of this issue, that parts are kept in stock, and sold to aftermarket. A factory part was obtained, and priced at fair retail markup; determined by our company-owned software. A representative of Fidelity was contacted to start a claim, and we were asked to provided ‘pricing’ for our repair. The representative asked us for a ‘parts price’. The thermostat housing, associated fluid, and labor time was priced to them at around $355. The ‘parts price’ was given to them at $40; which is retail pricing. If you are familiar with warranty companies, most will ask you for retail pricing, and if the price you give them doesn’t fall within an acceptable range, they will (up front, I might add) inform you of what they WILL pay, and authorize an amount appropriately. To be clear, in fifteen years of servicing vehicles under warranty coverage, I’ve never been asked for our cost on a part, nor have I ever had a company authorize an amount they DO NOT AGREE UPON up front, and bluntly, with a service provider, or their end user (warranty holder). At this point, after being asked for ‘parts price’ and telling the representative a price of $40; an authorization was given to approve repairs, and begin fixing the vehicle under their authorization number, and agreed upon price of $355. The customer was contacted at this point, and advised how much of the repair the warranty company would pay, and how much was the warranty holders’ responsibility to pay. He agreed upon that price. So work commenced on the vehicle to satisfy both the customer and the warranty! The vehicle was finished, the warranty holder arrived to pick up his vehicle, and pay his agreed upon amount. In good faith, the ticket was closed, with the normal understanding that the warranty company would pay the agreed upon amount, according to their contract, and corresponding to their authorization number. The invoice, receipt showing customer payment, and parts receipt were faxed to Fidelity, as per their request. At NO TIME did Fidelity contact us, the service provider, to ask what parts cost was, or to ask what markup was, or to dispute that markup, or the parts price we provided them over the phone. They provided authorization to repair the vehicle based on pricing that we honored, and provided them at the time of authorization. When we recieved payment, a WEEK LATER; the payment was for parts cost, and NOT the ‘parts price’ they asked for at time of authorization. Upon being contacted regarding the discrepancy, they cited a company policy that they are NOT allowed to pay more than parts ‘list price’, or 30% markup over part cost. This was the first time we were told that pricing would be changed, AFTER authorization had been provided to repair the vehicle at an ALREADY agreed upon pricing. I have dealt with warranty companies who prefer to pay parts list price, or who dispute retail markup over a certain percentage, and our company is happy to provide service for those companies. We gladly deal with them, often. But those companies provide authorization ONLY for the amount they agree to pay, whether that is less than what you are charging for the part or not. And they TELL you how much they are paying up front, and stand by it after the fact. They do not provide authorization for a price, and then CHANGE IT AFTERWARD based on analysis of your repair receipt after the repairs have already been authorized and performed. They tell you at the beginning, so you can then provide pricing integrity to the end user, the customer; the warranty holder. In 15 years of automotive management, and more than 20 years of working on cars, I have never been the reciever, or the giver, of the good ‘ole fashioned’ bait-and-switch. I can say I have had the dishonor of that experience now. Fidelity authorized a customer repair, provided the good faith authorization number for that repair, and then CHANGED the amount of that authorization a WEEK after the vehicle had left the shop. And claimed it was because they asked us for ‘list price’ when initially discussing ‘part pricing’. I do not normally fill out reviews or throw anyone under the bus. But I hold integrity, and honesty to be the two most important values that need to be improved upon in the automotive industry. Because trust is what customers are counting on when they walk through our doors each day to let us perform surgery on what is usually the second most costly investment in their lives… And unfortunately, Fidelity Warranty Company, does not hold that price integrity is important to those ideals, or the automotive industry.
Tags: Auto Extended Warranty, Auto Warranty, Extended Warranty, Warranty Companies
Address: PO Box 8567 Deerfield Beach, Florida United States