Friday, January 04, 2008

My Adventures with "Ultimate"

Yes, boys and girls, I will again be ranting and (decidedly NOT) raving about that entity known as Ultimate Warranty.

If Ultimate Warranty were a child, it would have been conceived by a harpy and Baal in the deepest caverns of Hell.

I'm just sayin'.

I took it upon myself to call them this morning ... at 6:30 in the flippin' morning (our time). I will say that I spent less than five minutes on hold.
Only to be told that no, they want to stick to their guns about making us tow the van from one Honda dealership to another (which will cost us around $150 out of our pocket). They refused to cover it since we don't have their roadside assistance and "We can't make an exception for you because then we'd have to make an exception for EVERYONE."

(I understand their point BUT has everyone else been totally screwed by them in the first place? No, I'd hope not. But for a company that's going out of business for being complete punks ... Let's just say that their customer service isn't so much of a surprise.)

The big clincher was after I finally got permission to PERHAPS keep the van at the one Honda dealership IF I jump through the hoop of getting both dealerships to agree that if there was (by some radically, infinitely small chance) an error done by the other (first) dealership that caused the (fished out of a wrecking yard) second transmission to fail, that they will cover the cost instead of "Ultimate" (You see that I can't even say that company's name with a straight face) Warranty.

And ... well, think about it. You deal with the service tech who's a wonderful guy. He really goes to bat for you. Tried to get us a new transmission (which "Ultimate" refused to get UNLESS we paid the difference ... a difference of over $1000) and was really opposed to putting a used transmission in the car. He made SURE that we'd be covered with a guarantee on this second transmission -- it's from a junkyard, after all. He had to be on hold and jump through hoops.

In short, I really feel that he went to bat for us. Multiple times. AND that he really has our best interests at heart. He's on our side.

So I tried to mildly ask if I was supposed to tell him that Ultimate Warranty was accusing that shop of faulty labor.

AND THEN the CSR totally FREAKS OUT. "No one said ANYTHING about ACCUSING ANYONE or anything. We are NOT ACCUSING anyone." Blah, blah, blah. So I try and get HER calmed down so I can finish getting some answers out of her as to what exactly they WILL cover and IF we have any chance in Hell of getting this fixed without having to fork out money that we really can't afford to get it towed when everyone that I've talked to (including that first tech) says that this is a ludicrous demand.

Especially since "Ultimate" Warranty didn't make this a requirement for A WEEK AND A HALF.

Repeat with me:
1- Wither the fries?!?
2- Well, that's just ANOTHER example of why Ultimate Warranty sucks.

And, I get one more question answered and thank her for that answer ... and I'm not done asking yet and she's all: "Thankyouhaveaniceday." CLICK.

She flippin' HUNG UP on me!!

And then I said a very unkind term ... which rather did describe her character. It's not like she was there to be insulted. And I know that I shouldn't lose my temper. Even though she kept trying to tell me that my phone was cutting out. Three times.
One of those times was when I was trying to take some deep breaths so that I wouldn't give into that urge I have to REACH. THROUGH. THE. PHONE. AND. SLAP. THE. CRAP. OUT. OF. UNHELPFUL, SNIPPY, SELF-RIGHTEOUS CSRs who don't even try to sympathize with their customers.

Really, they could just TRY to make us think that they give a flip.

But OBVIOUSLY that takes too much time to teach in Customer Service Rep college.


SO, after all that ... and some more deep breathing, I leave voicemail at each of the service techs' offices at their respective Honda dealerships. I get a call back from the dealership where "Ultimate" Warranty has had our van sitting for nearly two weeks before saying that oh, wait! We don't want it fixed THERE. Wah wah wah. --- Well, I get a call back. And the tech there (the assistant, since the other one's sick. Poor guy. They're both great ... and here's why:) tells me how sorry he is that we've been without our van for this long and he's shocked that we're being treated like this by Ultimate warranty (though he's not surprised -- but he was surprised that someone at Ultimate tried to tell Michael that they WOULD NOT use used parts. Because they DO. ALL THE TIME.). And he's going to be calling them and getting an agreement with the other tech at the other dealership so that we can get our van worked on and back.

Seriously ... he made me feel really respected and cared about. How hard was that?
Not very hard.

But Ultimate can't bear to actually try to treat paying customers like that.
Because Ultimate Warranty sucks.

They cut off roadside assistance after a year on a $3000 policy.
They use wrecking yard/junkyard/"refurbished"/used parts ... and try to deny that.
They won't pay for all things necessary when fixing your car (In our case, the diagnostic [approx. $75] and the transmission flush [$80 ... and we had to do that twice. -- But Jiffy Lube is another company that we like. They did the second one for free. And they treat us really well, too. They've definitely won our loyalty.])
Both these things are totally necessary ....

Oh, did I mention that the first week that the van was in the shop, I had to jump through the hoops of having Jiffy Lube fax over proof that we had flushed the transmission? Because I SO did.

Therefore, this begs the question: If the transmission flush is SO DANG IMPORTANT in fixing the transmission, why didn't "Ultimate" cover it?

Everybody now! -- Because "Ultimate" Warranty sucks.

At this point, I'm seriously thinking, "What if I get an acquaintance of ours, the local District Attorney, aware of this? He probably knows a guy who'd be aware of the laws regarding this ... Or I could post it on Consumerist. Or I could call up some news people."

But, this company is going out of business. They don't care. Before they were going out of business, they showed that their only concern is the bottom line ... not their customers nor their safety.

However, on the bright side, I did make the missionaries laugh last night when I described (regarding the fact that the transmission's from a wrecking yard) the rest of the car that it came from likely being fashioned into "pennies ... from the portals of Hell."

But just keep your prayers coming. We've been blessed with some GREAT technicians who have proved that they are on our side, sympathize with us, and are willing to work to protect our family and to get us reunited with our van.

and I'm very grateful for that.

And also, spread the word: Ultimate Warranty sucks.

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