Service Agreement Crashes

It sounded like a good deal for used car buyers, pay $2,500 to cover any major repairs and you might get all that money back. One customer hit a bumpy road trying to redeem his service agreement.

Al Hain's used Ford didn't need any repairs for three years so he expected a $2,500 refund. “We paid a little extra every month anticipating if we didn't use it for three years, pick the mileage and paid the car off we'd get money back out of it.”

Hain of Wahoo says the used car salesmen sold him on the service buy back agreement through Gold Key and Associates of Lincoln. The company used his $2,500 interest-free for three years and he'd get it all back if his vehicle stayed out of the repair shop.

Though he's been trying for months, Hain still had hoped he'd get his money because Gold Key and Associates still had an active Web site, but this week he received a letter saying we regret to inform you Gold Key and Associates is dissolving as a company.

Matt Lundak of Gold Key tells Six On Your Side too many repair claims and not enough agreements sold caused the program to collapse. The buyer incentive program paid claims until the money ran out, but the owner adds he was not trying to cheat anybody.

That's not how Hain feels. “I got laid off from work, things are slow right now so that money would have been nice to help out and pay the bills.”

Customers who purchased the Gold Key buy back policy and never used it won't get their $2,500 refunded as promised. Gold Key says dealers may offer those customers credit on the next vehicle they buy, but Hain says that's not enough. His Ford escaped repairs so he deserves a complete refund. “Good deal for somebody else unfortunately.”

The Gold Key's owner could not provide a specific number of customers or dealerships affected, however the attorney general has received three complaints. One dealer estimates up to 1,000 customers paid for a service buy back agreement.

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