Even I Get Ripped-Off... Sometimes.

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It hardly ever happens... but every once in awhile even I get the short end of the stick. I mean, you would think the consumer guy would never get ripped-off. I'm too savy for that, right? But, from time to time, it does happen so take heart.

My latest fiasco has to do with that wonderful thing called an "extended warranty." I have always told people not to buy "extended warranties." Don't buy them... don't buy them... don't do it, don't! "Extended warranties" give you a false sense of security... while at the same time, make the retailer richer. Case in point? The "extended warranty" on my vehicle. When I purchased my vehicle through a private party... which I always do when it comes to cars... the vehicle came with an "extended warranty." Fortunately, for me, I didn't actually purchase the "extended warranty" but it was nice to know the warranty was transferrable to me from the seller. Keep in mind, I wasn't out of pocket any extra expense... but it was a perk knowing I had the "extended warranty" in case I needed it. Well, I needed it this week... and it didn't help!! When my vehicle started acting up... I took it into the dealership thinking my "extended warranty" would cover the problem. Several hours later... I get a phone call saying my car was ready. However, the problem I was having wasn't "covered" under the "extended warranty." Apparently, everything is covered.... except for that one part I needed to replace. How convenient, don't ya think? Reluctantly... and after much debate with the manager, I pulled out my wallet and paid for the repair myself. My experience is the very reason Consumer Reports took out a full page ad recently in USA TODAY advising consumers not to buy extended warranties. So, with the holiday shopping season quickly approaching, remember... don't get sucked into some sales guy's canned speach about protecting yourself with an "extended warranty." Most likely, you won't have the coverage you thought you had..... especially when you really need it most.