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Better Business Bureau in Cape Girardeau warns consumers about vehicle service contract companies

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 5:25 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 26, 2021 at 7:09 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about the popular vehicle service contracts you’ve seen advertised on TV and online.

They’re designed to help cover the costs if your car breaks down, but according to the Better Business Bureau, that’s not always the case.

The BBB recently took an in-depth look at the vehicle service contract (VSC) industry, which is mainly based in St Louis.

“In recent years, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in complaints filed against VSC companies,” said Whitney Quick, with the BBB.

Quick said they’re putting out the results of this study, focused on Vehicle Service Contract companies.

“Between 2000 and 2020, we’ve received over 15,000 complaints about these companies. So, definitely a red flag,” said Quick.

No doubt you’ve seen ads for these companies, selling contracts designed to cover the cost of repairs to your vehicle.

But a growing number of consumers report their claims are being denied.

Quick said the number of complaints took a dramatic jump over the last few years.

“Since 2018 until now, it’s tripled,” said Quick.

According to the BBB, these five St. Louis area companies received the most consumer complaints over the last five years.

According to Quick, the company that sells you a VSC is not the company that decides what is covered and what is not.

“So as a result, consumers may spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on repair costs that they thought were covered under these policies, in addition to the VSC cost itself,” said Quick.

If you’re going to invest in a Vehicle Service Contract, Quick suggested you take a few steps first.

Make sure you need the coverage, find out which company is actually providing it and if what you’re spending is worth it.

“If you pay 100 dollars a month for 24 months, it’s 2,400 dollars, so is your vehicle actually worth that amount or would it be advantageous to regularly set aside money for a rainy day,” said Quick.

Quick said they’ve received a few complaints from folks right here in the Heartland.

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