Penn Warranty

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Poor Business Practices
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ROCHESTER, NEW YORK -- Penn Warranty Corp., Wilkes-Barre, PA - telephone number 800-356-9441.

Deceptive practices and work not covered that is supposed to be.

This company has victimized me. I have been with them for two years and this is the first time I am utilizing the policy.

I noticed that my vehicle was running poorly so I took it to a local, reputable repair shop.

It was diagnosed that I could have possible leaking Cylinder head gaskets. The oil as well as the antifreeze was very low and it was just serviced about two weeks before. The heater was blowing cool air. I have a Ford V6 engine with 43,000 miles. At the repair shop, I called Penn Warranty Corp. and initiated a claim. I had to convince the repair shop to do the work because they have dealt with this company before!


This is what my policy covers as it pertains to this repair:

ENGINE - "Cylinder block, cylinder heads, and all internal parts. Cylinder head and intake manifold gaskets are covered for coolant leaks only".

LABOR - "Labor charges based on industry accepted flat rates to repair or replace a covered component".

Side note:

There is no copy of the "Terms and Conditions" on the Penn Warranty website, that I could find! Consequently, I cannot cut and paste them.

That same day I placed the claim, a claims person talked to the repair shop and subsequently a "claims adjuster". The supposed "adjuster", (I will explain that later) told the repair shop to take the engine apart and fax them, (Penn) the complete diagnosis of what they found. From that point on the situation went downhill.

We found out after the fact, that Penn at this point, had not yet approved the entire repair BUT yet they told the repair shop to tear the engine down! That was fine until Penn alluded to the fact that they could actually still refuse to cover the claim!



Now, right from the start, the repair shop and I were NEVER told that only the tear down to diagnose the problem was approved! We were both under the impression that the entire repair was approved!

When I state "under the impression" it is because I never received a straight answer to the question of, what are the procedures and how much would they cover?

After 4 to 5 days of frustration, many phone calls from the repair shop and myself and (Penn) losing the paper work, I Finally was told that the repair was covered BUT they would NOT yet tell me how much they covered?

Finally, after they approved the entire repair because the problem was, in fact, "coolant leaking from the gaskets",

Penn Corp. (cowards) told the repair shop, the covered amount, but never told me even though I had asked multiple times? They left it up to the repair shop to tell me that they would cover only a little over half, ($690.00) of the repair of $1,300.00.

Doesn't it seem reasonable that, First, the Car owner should know what the dollar amount is? What good is an Insurance policy that only covers half of the amount of the repair and the company never admits that to you personally?

They place the repair shop and the owner in a very un-professional and awkward position. The repair shop was put in a position to say to me that:
“Penn Warr. Would cover only $690.00 of the $1,300.00, what do you want me to do”?
“Do the repair and you, (the owner) will cover the balance, or if you cannot afford it I can put the car back together but I will have to charge you for the time spent”.

Are you starting to see the corner that the Penn Warranty Corp. backs you into?

Here are the mechanical issues:

They don't cover having the cylinder heads pressured tested or milled.

Now, any amateur mechanic knows that when you go to the expense and effort to take apart an engine and remove the heads due to a cylinder head gasket leak. The engine could possibly have overheated and the heads may be warped or cracked! Allowing the repair shop to install the same old heads back on the engine without being tested, repaired or replaced.

If the repair goes bad a week after it was done, I would bet that they WILL NOT cover the same repair twice! I asked this question but received the usual double speak and no definitive answer!

So, if you are un-educated or cannot afford to spend another $150.00 + and you allow the repair shop to install the UN-TESTED cylinder heads back on the engine, it probably is your problem!

Keep in mind that the contract does in fact cover "Cylinder Heads" but only replacement if necessary and not the smart and logical testing and milling!

Here is another issue associated with the above Penn Warr. Practices that you will also encounter, that also puts the owner and the repair shop in a very awkward position.

The repair shop won't guarantee, (1 year) “their work” unless the heads ARE IN FACT tested repaired or the in worse case replaced and I don't blame them one bit!

Why should they guarantee a repair that is only partially fixed? So, if you are un-educated or cannot afford to spend another $150.00 and you allow the repair shop to install the UN-TESTED cylinder heads back on the engine. Not only will the Penn Warranty Corp. probably hang you out to dry if the repair goes bad but the repair shop will not cover their work either!

Again, are you starting to see the corner that the Penn Warranty Corp. backs you into?

Here are the other items that they don't cover:

The Penn Warranty Corp. covers only the cheapest gaskets that you could possibly find and only cover the head and intake gaskets.

The Penn Warranty Corp. does not cover antifreeze or oil replacement, this is VERY VAGUE as stated in the fine print on the contract and probably is part of the reason why the "terms and conditions" are not on their website that I could find!

They word it so it seems to read that they don't cover "normal" oil and anti-freeze consumption. Now, I can very well understand why they would have to state that but read on.

Now, any amateur mechanic knows that when you take apart an engine for head gasket problems there are at least a half dozen other gaskets that also need to be replaced as well as the oil and antifreeze! Penn relates back to that VERY VAGUE statement I mentioned above AND in fact they cover NEITHER the oil or anti-freeze!

This is also just plain fraudulent of the Penn Warranty Corp. You need oil and Anti-freeze to allow the engine to start and run after a repair like this?

Labor:
The repair shop I went to and also 3 (three) other repair shops that I investigated were asking for $65.00 per hour and approx. 12.7 hours for the repair.

Penn Warranty states: "Labor charges based on industry accepted flat rates to repair or replace a covered component".

NOW, four repair shops gave me almost the same price and hours for the job, I would not call these prices outside the "industry accepted rates"! Penn will only cover $55.00 per hour and 10 hours for the repair.

Dispute Resolution"

The "dispute resolution" phone number that the Penn Warranty Corp. gives you to call if you feel that you are not being treated fairly; is in reality, JUST a different DIVISION of the Penn Warranty Corp. itself!

I called and this arrogant woman answered the phone! After I told her my concern she proceeded to argue with me and basically told me to take a hike! I finally got frustrated and asked a simple question. "How can you fairly handle a disputed claim when you work for the same company that is refusing to reimburse me for the entire repair"?

The women on the phone tried to cover her self and state that we are a "different division" of Penn Corp. and are not associated! Now, I believe that and maybe they are regulated by another agency but still and all, I was being treated badly and was getting nowhere. This woman really needs some customer service training.

She argued with me and would not answer some questions like she was protecting the Penn Warr. Division and did not act at all impartial or like she was a “different division”. I finally asked her, what is the name of the company on your paycheck, isn't it The Penn Corp.? I received no answer all she said is that I would receive a "dispute resolution" papers in the mail and she hung up!

Update: 2 months later, I never received the "dispute resolution" papers.

And the supposed "Claims Adjuster" well, according to the claims person I originally dealt with. Penn Warranty has no local claims adjusters and the fellow who called claiming to be "an adjuster" was just another Administration person out of Wilkes Barre, Pa.

I found their motives and business practices deceptive. The people who take the original phone calls and or the so-called adjusters understand nothing about cars. From speaking to them and to the repair shop, I can say with a fair amount of confidence they don't base the claims paid on the actual repair. I feel they base it on what they feel you will swallow with the least amount of resistance and I suspect that is some other monetary agenda that prompts this? I have not even started the "dispute resolution" as yet so I am sure I am in store for another nightmare.

They are arrogant and just plain nasty when you question them on anything.

Two of the four repair facilities I contacted, one of which did the work used to carry the Penn Warranty used car repair policies. They got so fed up with the Penn Warranty Company that most of the time they refuse to work on the cars with a Penn Warranty.


Also, I have inquired of many other car owners who also have used car warranties, (other than Penn Warr.) such as this and they along with the two repair facilities state that, they never encountered such a problem with "other" used car warranties.

UPDATE: I was so frustrated that I asked to speak to a manager.

After being on hold for 45 minutes and subsequently being hung up on by this claims adjuster. After calling back and expressing my frustration of being hung up upon, a different woman then told me that I must have used bad language! I did not use any bad language; the reason why the adjuster hung up on me is because, I said that, "I did not trust your company".

After being on hold another 20 minutes I finally got a manager on the phone and he abruptly told me he was putting me on hold. After another period of time on hold I hung up and called back again. I got the same manager and I finally got to ask the question of why they did not cover the "testing" of the Cylinder heads.
He said that too many repair shops do this just to raise the claim and it is really not necessary! Hello...

Also, I did have the heads tested and milled at my own expense. Which now puts the Penn re-imbursement at less than half the repair cost.

Total $1,300.00 less $690.00 what Penn. Warr. paid = $610.00 left that I had to pay. Add to that the $150.00 for the testing and milling of the heads, $610.00 + $150.00 = $760.00 that I had to pay.


The heads were found to be 7 thousandths out. I called Ford and asked what would the limit be before they would mill the heads? I was told by Ford it was 7 thousandths and that since they are Aluminum they would NOT mill the heads, they would replace them! I asked why and they said that there is a good chance that the problem would re-occur.

I asked the Penn Warr. Manager but did not tell him that I spoke to Ford. The manager proceeded to tell me that they would mill the heads if they were over 7 thousandths. Now, Ford suggests to throw them away at 7 thousandths and this manager tells me that they would mill the heads only if they were over 7 thousandths?

So, bottom line is that Penn Warr. puts the tolerance at exactly what Ford states to throw them away!

I will wait until my contract expires before I file a complaint, for obvious reasons.

I don’t trust them…


     
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User Replies:
peelinglayers1 on 06/29/2005:
I an considering to start a class action lawsuit against Penn Warranty Corporation. If you are interested, please contact me at peelinglayers@gmail.com.
SeaTurtle on 11/06/2008:
I googled Penn Warranty and came across a ton of sites with awful complaints! I have yet to find even ONE semi-good one.
I had Penn Warranty on my car I bought Dec 07. In Feb 08, I was hit head-on by a young irresponsible driver who totaled my car and my leg. Anyway, my hubby bought another car, the same year and make as the one that got destroyed, but a different color. He started a Penn Warranty on the new car.
Well, it took four months to get PW from taking DOUBLE payments from my bank account, and that was only after I went to my BANK to get them to stop paying PW.
Our newer car is having some issues (America's Choice in Hazleton - story for another day!!) and this is the first time we're trying to actually use the PW claim. I am not expecting anything less than a weeks-long hassle now. :(
Thanks for posting your experience and I'm sure I'll be back to post mine.
nightfrog on 07/11/2009:
I had an issue with Penn for a Ford Ranger truck I purchased in the late 90's. Two days after buying the truck, the oil pan gasket leaked on the highway and locked up the engine.

The so-called Penn "adjuster" took two weeks to tell me that the shop found that it was a gasket leak, and that their policy did not cover repairs due to fluid leaks.

It cost me over $2000 and 3 weeks of my time to buy a new engine and parts from an auto parts store, tow it to a reputable repair shop, have the shop install the new engine in the truck, and return the old engine to get the core refund back. Fortunately, I had a backup vehicle to use during this time period.

Bottom Line: The Penn Warranty policy was more valuable to me as a piece of toilet paper than any kind of semi-insurance policy for repairs. They are unprofessional, and should be out of business for deceiving customers.
udesi on 08/13/2009:
they totally screwed over me and my wife on a 2002 mercury mountaineer.. the car was totaled and those scumbags would not refund our money even though we had the warranty for like 3 months on a 3 year warranty.. The would not pro rate us the money even though in the beginning they said they would... I want to file a class action lawsuit..
pi$$edoffmama on 01/14/2010:
I am dealing with these idiots as we speak...all over a water pump and head gaskets. They are asking for a complete tear down of my engine that they won't cover the cost on before they will authorize a simple replacement! If someone files a class action suit...COUNT ME IN! I've talked to them on the phone along with my repair shop...I cannot believe the incompetence of these ppl! When my warranty is up I will never re-assign with these morons again and I've already let everyone I know not to go with them either...if anyone here has picked up any tricks on dealing with this company...PLEASE, let me know! Thanks!
samantha on 09/30/2013:
PENN is also screwing me did anyone get anywhere with the class action against them ?
Charisse on 06/23/2014:
I am dealing with the same problem! They found a usued intake manifold for my mercedes for $200 when the dealership has it for $1200. No local shops will install this used intake manifold on a foreign car...they all state it needs to be new OE...After 2 weeks of my car in the shop and charges for the loaner car, I am told to take my claim to the dispute dept.
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Deceptive Auto Warranty Contract Terms
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I purchased a Penn Warranty Platinum contract for $1,300. When my transmission broke, Penn Warranty authorized a reimbursement amount without ever reviewing the reimbursement amount with me, the customer. Once authorized, a claim must be contested through their Disputes process. It is my opinion that they have designed the Disputes process to be a lengthy, paper-intensive process to discourage customers from disputing claims.

Most disturbing, Penn also authorized a reimbursement amount based on the cost of a used transmission with 69,000 miles that they located in a junkyard in New Hampshire (my car was being fixed South of Boston).


I am dissatisfied with Penn Warranty's service for two reasons: 1) Penn Warranty recognizes a customer's mechanic as the customer's agent, but they do not notify the customer of this policy even if the customer makes no action or indication of this arrangement, 2) In my opinion, Penn Warranty interprets a clause in their contracts in a way that no reasonable person would do so.

Penn Warranty essentially claims that my mechanic was acting as an agent when he did not contest their proposed reimbursement amount for the repairs to my vehicle. This assertion is false. I never implied either in writing, verbally or by action that I intended my mechanic to negotiate with Penn Warranty on my behalf. Upon receiving the reimbursement amount proposal, my mechanic immediately called me with the proposal amount. I then called Penn Warranty who stated that my mechanic had already authorized the amount and that to contest the amount, I would have to complete a lengthy disputes process. When Penn Warranty called my mechanic with their proposed reimbursement amount, my mechanics subsequent actions described above prove that he never intended nor did I intend for him to act as my agent. Their assumption that my mechanic was acting as my agent was incorrect legally and is also bad business.


The terms of my Penn Warranty contract state the following: "When making repairs, the repair shop shall use components of the same type and quality as those removed which may include used components." As a reasonable consumer, I interpreted this clause to mean the following:

"When making repairs, the repair shop shall use components of the same type and quality as those removed"

A reasonable consumer would interpret this part of the sentence to indicate that a mechanic shall not replace a brake pad of "B" quality with a pad of "A" quality or of "C" quality. This sentence leads a reasonable consumer to believe that he is being protected against sub-par components and that Penn Warranty is being protected against replacing a low-end part with a high-end part.

"...which may include used components." A reasonable consumer would interpret this part of the sentence to mean that if used components are in compliance with the requirement in the first part of the sentence (part a), then those used parts MAY be used. Emphasis on the word "may" implies an option to comply. Since this sentence is in the section entitled "What You Must Do ('You' being the customer)", again, a reasonable person would assume that the option to utilize a used part is up to the customer.

One of the most important interpretation differences pertains to the time frame applied to the section "shall use components of the same type and quality as those removed. The "same type and quality" at what time in the service life of the part? Again, as a reasonable consumer, should I expect a used part to suffice for a repair, it would have to function not like the part that broke did right before it broke (i.e., replacing my 69,000 mile transmission with a 69,000 mile transmission from a junkyard in NH), but as the part that broke functioned around (i.e., new or used) the time of its original install.
     
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peelinglayers1 on 06/29/2005:
I am considering to start a class action lawsuit against Penn Warranty Corporation. If you are interested in participating, please e-mail me at peelinglayers@gmail.com.
Momma L on 09/07/2006:
Penn Warranty- Anyone that has information on this company, please contact me. I am filing a complaint with the Attorney General's office. zeb234@comcast.net
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Transmission Repair
Posted by on
AUSTIN, TEXAS -- This warranty has no value.

We purchased this warranty at the time we purchased a used car for our son. First car, low dollars to get started, big bucks to keep going with no help from this warranty.

The latest was the automatic transmission. It did not work in "Drive" but did in the lowest gear. That is how we got it to the shop where we are all on a first name basis. A great local specialty shop with a great reputation. The diagnosis was get a new transmission. The warranty people wanted to see the exact failed part. The cost to find that part was $450 for 6 hours of tear down work. The warranty states owner is responsible for diagnosis. The problem was diagnosed by the professional car people at the shop. The Secured Capital manager, Kevin, said we were responsible for diagnosis and tear down.

A new transmission is about $1500 of which we didn't know nor could I get a straight answer from the company of the amount they would pay. So we were looking at about $2000 for this repair. Even if we had done the repair with them (Penn), there was not feedback from Penn about the time to get an adjuster on site so we'd be without a vehicle for an unknown period of time. Penn did say about 48 business hours to get an adjuster, that is 6 business days just to get a nod yes or no to the company.

I've read in other reviews about lost paperwork. I don't believe the paperwork is lost, only conveniently misplaced or ignored. Multi send-resends have the same result.

I canceled the contract via a scanned email attachment that asked for written confirmation of their action. I have not heard back from them as of this writing and do not expect to until after the next automatic payment has been made. At which time we will have another hoop to jump through.

If you are reading this prior to buying a used vehicle warranty...save your money. You can make better use of your money than an insurance company.
     
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DigitalCommando on 10/27/2007:
If we had a law that required the repair tech who does not do the job properly when repairing a part, must wear that part strapped to their back for a week. I'd bet we would never have an improperly built tranny driving out the door again.
moneybags on 10/27/2007:
Contact your bank and stop payment on the auto drafts.
tomo on 10/29/2007:
Thanks for the comments. The automatic payment is on a credit card so we have to wait until the charge arrives. I already called them. Regarding the tranny parts, the place we take the car stands behind their work period. A rare practice these days.
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Penn Warranty Corporation Is A Rip Off!
Posted by on
This is the first time EVER that I took the initiative to post something against a company because I felt so ripped off.

I spent about 2,000$ on an all inclusive auto insurance with PENN WARRANTY CORPORATION. After I went to a regular dealership as well as a good repairshop, this all inclusive insurance did not want to cover anything but a little tiny item on the bill. In a bumper to bumper insurance, you expect more than this.

After I canceled this insurance, I received only a portion back, and less the amount of the time they claimed to have 'covered' me.

This insurance is such a rip off. I just don't understand how companies like them can be in business. Neither do I understand how people make a living of such crime. I hope these entries will tell people about these malpractices and poor ethics.

DON'T BUY FROM THEM!!!!

RIP OFF.

Fritz Bohl


     
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saj80 on 05/17/2010:
They can be in business because consumers fall for their sales pitches. As a rule, secondary vehicle warranty companies are worthless, as they often go out of business, or, as you found out, don't cover anything (everything is deemed pre-existing). You're better off putting the the money in a savings account, where it is available for repairs.
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