On Wed, 03 Dec 2003 01:08:49 -0800, Alexander Grant
According to a friend who is the finance manager at one of
the large Ford dealers, the published price on the ESP plans
is about 100% over cost. The cost of the plan is many times
used as a bargaining chip. That said, the ESP is backed by
Fomoco and does pay exactly what your contract includes
unless the dealership is unscrupulous. Unlike a couple of
other plans which have recently gone underground, the ESP
plan will likely be there if needed. Unless it has changed
recently, the ESP plan is either transferrable to subsequent
owners of the vehicle or, the remainder of the premium is
refundable to you prorated on the time remaining on the
contract when you sell the vehicle. This is where many
dealers make out like a bandit because you have to request
the refund. All that said, I would not generally recommend
buying the extended warranties unless this is the only way
you can financially protect yourself from a catastrophic
repair bill. A second choice in extended warranties if you
feel it necessary would be your own automobile insuror.
Many of them have this type coverage available.
I've had three Tauruses (93, 95, and 97 -- still have the 95 and 97) and I
purchased the extended warranty from Ford each time. My plans had a $50
deductible. I was also fortunate to have dealt with two reputable dealers
who have decent service departments Syosset Ford of Syosset, NY and Tower
Ford of Great Neck, NY. The warranties were honored without question and the
repairs were made without fuss. I know a lot of people feel the extended
warranties are often too expensive to be worth it, but consider the cost of
components and repairs. I would also only buy one that's backed by the
manufacturer. You're not going to wake up one morning and find that Ford or
GM has gone out of business. Unfortunately, you also have to depend on their
dealer network. Some dealers are excellent. Many should have had their
franchises revoked years ago. Like most things in life, it's a crap shoot.
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