Are Guarantees What They Seem? - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

ConsumerWatch

Are Guarantees What They Seem?

By Zaneta Lowe  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Don't like it, can't afford it?  Well, just take it back.  You can't do that, or at least you're not supposed to after, say, buying a sweater.  However, a car, a vacation, airline tickets, well, that's a different story these days.

Buy back and so called job loss protection programs have become quite popular throughout the recession, but some experts say the promises don't always pay off. 

"They can bring it back for any reason, whatever reason they choose," explains Legacy Automotive General Sales Manager Lloyd Yancy.

Yancy is describing GM's new guarantee program called May The Best Car Win.  It gives customers who purchase certain 2009 and 2010 models the option of taking the vehicle back for any reason within 60 days.

"You will be guaranteed to get all of your money back with the exception of say any dealer fees or any state taxes," adds Yancy.

Yancy says customers will also have the option of accepting a $500 cash incentive to opt out of the program.  GM is hoping to continue the momentum after Cash for Clunkers.

But it's not the first time this year car companies have provided consumers with the option of changing their minds.  Previously, it was for job loss protection.

Hyundai has its Assurance Program where you can walk away from your vehicle if you lose your job within the first year of purchase.  GM ran something called "Total Confidence" through June.

It promised to make car payments up to $500 if you lost your job.  However, some experts say some of the promises in these job loss protection programs don't always pay off.

For example GM's Total Confidence doesn't apply if you get laid off and receive termination or severance.  It also doesn't apply to part time workers or those self employed.

 The automobile industry though is just one of many giving customers the right to change their mind if money's not available.

The Jet Blue promise will refund tickets purchased through the end of the year in the event of a job loss.  A closer look however, reveals the person who bought the tickets has to be the one who lost their job.

Norwegian Cruise Line's Book Safe Travel Protection is supposed to be free, but you actually still have to buy insurance which can run more than $200.

Yancy says this latest GM deal though is different.

"I think out of all of them that have been done so far this is probably going to be the greatest program that comes out.  To be able to put a person in a car and say if for any reason you're unhappy that's a bold statement to say."

GM's new program has already kicked off and will run through the end of November.



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