This post is to inform others about our experience with the MaxCare extended warranty that is offered through CarMax. I understand that some of you may have had a positive experience with them. We, on the other hand, had a horrendous experience with this company. Read on to find out what happened.
We had a customer recently who had purchased a Mercedes through CarMax and decided to add the MaxCare extended warranty with it. Well, there was a problem with his transmission leaking fluid, and we went through normal procedure to diagnose the problem. We then notified the customer of the problem and what was causing the leakage. We then proceed to call MaxCare to get approval and an authorization number so the work could be completed and we could send the customer on his way. Well… it just wasn’t that easy.
We find out that MaxCare caps their hourly labor rate because we are an independent shop and not a dealer. Okay, that’s fine, but the labor rate they wanted to reimburse us was $33 less per hour than what we typically charge. And this wasn’t just a 1-hour job, it was more like a 3-hour job, so the difference is 3 hrs x $33 = $99. They said the customer must pay the difference out-of-pocket. Hmmmmm. So you’re telling me that the customer purchased this warranty for thousands of dollars for the purpose of having peace of mind, and he still has to pay a portion of the warranty repair out-of-pocket??? That just doesn’t seem right. After the MaxCare agent explains this over the phone (not to mention we were sitting on hold for a good 10-15 minutes before we even spoke to an actual person) we ask to speak to his supervisor. Nope. Not happening. The agent repeatedly refuses to allow us to speak to anyone who held a higher rank than he did. So what do you think he does next? Yep, he hangs up on us. Just hangs up. Plain and simple. And THAT is supposed to stop MaxCare from having to deal with us??? So, we call back again. Sit on hold for another 15 minutes. This time we get a different agent who claims he is a supervisor. He tries telling us that the repair to stop the transmission from leaking was not covered under warranty; he says it is normal maintenance. I’m sorry, but a leaking transmission is NOT routine maintenance, especially with less than 100,000 miles on the vehicle! We end up going back and forth some more, and he gives us his direct number to reach him directly, since he is reportedly a supervisor. We hang up with the supervisor so we can call the customer. We call the supervisor’s number later in the afternoon, only to leave a voicemail. Well, needless to say, we never received a call back from the “supervisor.”
The next day, we call the toll-free number again rather than the direct line for the supervisor. After waiting on hold for another 10 minutes, we explain to the agent that we spoke with a supervisor the day before but never received a call back. So, once again we are back on hold. After another 5 minutes, the agent comes back on the line and informs us that we are not to repair the car, and the customer is to take the vehicle to a particular Mercedes-Benz dealer to have the work completed (mind you, this particular dealer is located approximately 45 minutes away from the customer). Hmmmmm. Last we checked, it is the customer’s decision as to where the vehicle is brought for service. We ask if the customer has any sort of say-so in this decision made by MaxCare, and their response is, “Nope, not really.” Interesting. So much for the customer’s “freedom of choice” as to where to bring the vehicle.
We inform the customer of MaxCare’s decision, and at this point, the customer is completely fed up with MaxCare. The customer ends up calling MaxCare himself to explain his situation to them. About a half hour later, the customer calls us back to inform us that MaxCare will be calling us with the authorization number and will also reimburse us our normal labor rate, rather than the “capped labor rate.” Sure enough, a few hours go by and a MaxCare agent calls and authorizes us to do the work at our normal labor rate. They still didn’t approve everything, even though the work that wasn’t approved was fairly minor and included a part that was only a few dollars, and a four-wheel alignment. We were okay with this and so was the customer, so we went ahead with everything from there.
In the end, we could not believe how MaxCare operates and treats its customers (and the repair shop for that matter!). Based on our experience here, we do not recommend purchasing an extended warranty through MaxCare. They are not working in the customer’s best interest, and they could care less what the customer has to pay out-of-pocket, as long as they already have the customer’s money from the extended warranty purchase. After this incident, we did a little research online regarding MaxCare. Yes, there were a random few who said they were happy they had purchased the warranty through MaxCare, but a majority of people had nothing good to say about the company. Most of the reading we did was complaint after complaint after complaint about MaxCare. Now, take into account the fact that we are a repair shop and we deal with extended warranty companies on a regular basis. Most of the companies we have had to deal with are very cooperative and the process is very simple. Well, this was not the case with MaxCare and we just wanted to let others know of our personal experience. Hope this helps!!!