Beware of prepaid maintenance packages

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2014 Mazda CX-5 Touring AWD
When we purchased our vehicle in Fremont Mazda, the finance guy offered us prepaid maintenance. My immediate reaction was "NO". But my wife was more receptive, especially after he significantly discounted the cost and hearing promises that it will cover all scheduled maintenance until and including 60K. Eventually, we agreed.
However, along with the paperwork we got nothing to document what we paid for. There was no problem getting the "free" service at the Oak-Tree Mazda of San Jose, a location closer to us. Then, many months later, we found out that the maintenance is not as comprehensive as promised. In fact it is bare-bones basic, so bare that even a cabin filter is excluded.
We feel we were cheated into taking this plan through Fremont Mazda as there was no honest disclosure of what is covered and what is not. This is why we got no paperwork for this.

If you are thinking of a new car, I'd encourage you to no skip Fremont Mazda.
Also, I'd encourage you to skip prepaid maintenance. If you are still tempted, check and insist on getting plan documentation.

How can you tell if it is worth it to you?
The answer is that it probably is not, because they are a business and are trying to make money. Why will they lose money on this transaction?
To properly check this, you need to calculate the sum of all present values of all future expenditures (because you are giving them a free loan with your prepayment and money today is worth more than the same amount in a few years). Or, simply, say NO to it.
 
You can go online and Google the name of the Company providing the warranty. Then go to their web site and download a copy of the contract. Or, call the warranty company and they will email you a contract.

I assme you have something that indicates you have the coverage.

Finally, you can cancel it and they typically credit the remaining premium to your car loan. They may not give you a credit if you have used it. Need to check with them.

To get answers call the company not the dealer.
 

ColoradoDriver

Gen-1 Kodo Design
Contributor
:
Denver, CO
:
2014 CX-5 Touring
We feel we were cheated into taking this plan through Fremont Mazda as there was no honest disclosure of what is covered and what is not. This is why we got no paperwork for this.

Just curious, did you ever request this paperwork when you ultimately decided to get it? I feel like if they couldn't specify line by line what the package entails then why buy it?

My advice on the air filters...They are $10 on Amazon and take 2 mins to change.
 
When we purchased our vehicle in Fremont Mazda, the finance guy offered us prepaid maintenance. My immediate reaction was "NO". But my wife was more receptive, especially after he significantly discounted the cost and hearing promises that it will cover all scheduled maintenance until and including 60K. Eventually, we agreed.
However, along with the paperwork we got nothing to document what we paid for. There was no problem getting the "free" service at the Oak-Tree Mazda of San Jose, a location closer to us. Then, many months later, we found out that the maintenance is not as comprehensive as promised. In fact it is bare-bones basic, so bare that even a cabin filter is excluded.
We feel we were cheated into taking this plan through Fremont Mazda as there was no honest disclosure of what is covered and what is not. This is why we got no paperwork for this.

If you are thinking of a new car, I'd encourage you to no skip Fremont Mazda.
Also, I'd encourage you to skip prepaid maintenance. If you are still tempted, check and insist on getting plan documentation.

How can you tell if it is worth it to you?
The answer is that it probably is not, because they are a business and are trying to make money. Why will they lose money on this transaction?
To properly check this, you need to calculate the sum of all present values of all future expenditures (because you are giving them a free loan with your prepayment and money today is worth more than the same amount in a few years). Or, simply, say NO to it.

I think the problem was NOT with the dealership or the plan, but the fact that you purchased it without knowing, and getting in writing, exactly what you were buying.
 
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2019 CX-5 Signature
I never buy any prepaid packages from a dealer because then I would be "stuck" with no leverage if I'm not satisfied of the services. And also paying upfront for a service that I will get in 3 years makes no sense to me. In most cases, the package cost will be added to the lease or finance; so you pay interest on top of the package base cost. Thanks but no thanks.
 
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2019 CX-5 Signature Soul Red Crystal Metallic
I learned at the ripe old age of 21 when I bought my first new car that "lifetime oil changes" for 300$ on the purchase of a new car would turn into them trying to rip me off at EVERY.SINGLE.OILCHANGE.

I'd go in for a simple oil change, and they'd ALWAYS be pushing SUPER hard on unneeded services.

Thank god I'm not too gullible.
 
I learned at the ripe old age of 21 when I bought my first new car that "lifetime oil changes" for 300$ on the purchase of a new car would turn into them trying to rip me off at EVERY.SINGLE.OILCHANGE.

I'd go in for a simple oil change, and they'd ALWAYS be pushing SUPER hard on unneeded services.

Thank god I'm not too gullible.

If you're not gullible, then why do you care if they try to sell you unneeded services. In the meantime you missed out, since $300 for lifetime oil changes is a good deal.
 
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2017 Mazda CX-5 GT, 2016 Mazda6 iGT, 2014 Mazda3 sGT hatchback
To OP, I happen to know both dealerships and have been there and purchased Mazdas from both.
Personally, I like the service and new car prices of Fremont Mazda. I used to visit Oak Tree, but it has been going downward in service in my opinion... (long story on that).

As someone already put it, the problem you face is rooted from the fact that you bought *something* from the finance guy. I never did, and never will. When I walk in his/her room, I would tell him/her that I will not buy anything he/she tries to sell me. So, let us save time for both and begin signing papers.... In and out in 10 mins max.
 

7eregrine

The man, the myth, the legend
:
Land of Cleve
:
2016.5 CX5
You can go online and Google the name of the Company providing the warranty. Then go to their web site and download a copy of the contract. Or, call the warranty company and they will email you a contract.

It's not a warranty, just the maint package. Like all the preventative maint you should do. That's how I read it.
 
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2014 Mazda CX-5 Touring AWD
I never buy any prepaid packages from a dealer because then I would be "stuck" with no leverage if I'm not satisfied of the services. And also paying upfront for a service that I will get in 3 years makes no sense to me. In most cases, the package cost will be added to the lease or finance; so you pay interest on top of the package base cost. Thanks but no thanks.

That's exactly right.
We were not happy with the Oak-Tree Mazda service. Multiple service issues, e.g. like overfilling oil, not answering their phone, needing too many unnecessary appointments and more. In the last visit, I found out that they never checked the cabin air filter. AFAIK, it is probably the original, as it was not covered by the plan. What piece of mind do I get with "full circle" inspection, knowing they failed to check the filter? What other things did they fail to check?
However, we were a captured audience, all other dealerships in the area will require us to sit in traffic to get there. We take the other cars in our household to a local mechanic, which is honest and does everything quickly.

I will likely replace the CX-5 next year. Coming back to Oak-Tree for service, even only for warranty work, just gives me the shivers. A good enough reason not to get a new Mazda. On the other hand, we have 3 Honda dealerships all within reasonable distance, even more if you are willing to drive longer.

We did not finance the car. However, prepaid maintenance means you finance Mazda / give them a loan, which they return to you over time through service they provide to you.
We used up almost 5 years worth of this plan, so I don't feel that bad. However, I do feel cheated for getting a non-comprehensive plan with no paperwork, which was a simple bait-and-switch scam on the part of Fremont Mazda. Promising one thing then selling you another, then hiding the facts, by providing no plan documentation.
 

Avoidin Deer

Zoom Zoom, baby
Contributor
:
Central Virginia
:
2019 CX-5 Reserve
However, I do feel cheated for getting a non-comprehensive plan with no paperwork, which was a simple bait-and-switch scam on the part of Fremont Mazda. Promising one thing then selling you another, then hiding the facts, by providing no plan documentation.

How can that happen in California, of all places???

I get the impression they are hyper pro-consumer in all areas.
 
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13' CX-5 and 16' Mazda6 both Touring w/Tech/Bose
I learned at the ripe old age of 21 when I bought my first new car that "lifetime oil changes" for 300$ on the purchase of a new car would turn into them trying to rip me off at EVERY.SINGLE.OILCHANGE.

I'd go in for a simple oil change, and they'd ALWAYS be pushing SUPER hard on unneeded services.

Thank god I'm not too gullible.

I once purchased an oil change/rotation package only because I came out ahead. Today, I have the resources (tools/garage, ect) to do both myself. If the dealership wants to sell me a maintenance package now I tell them wait this is for me to save money? How about I not purchase the plan and make you guys more profit...but not really :)
 
My CX-5 has lifetime maintenance. My gripe is they change the oil and filter and rotate the tires every 7500 miles. But the Mazda recommendation is the tires be rotated every 6000 miles. My dealer says if I want them rotated at 6000 miles it is on me.
 

Chocolate

Harpy Eagle
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2019 CX-5 AWD
My CX-5 has lifetime maintenance. My gripe is they change the oil and filter and rotate the tires every 7500 miles. But the Mazda recommendation is the tires be rotated every 6000 miles. My dealer says if I want them rotated at 6000 miles it is on me.

How much was the "lifetime maintenance"?
 
I also bought my CX5 from Fremont Mazda and paid $2100 for prepaid maintenance - 75000 miles, 60 months. I got a maintenance certificate/letter stating those terms. My maintenance package is called "ultimate 3 / sched 1 / synth oil". You should look for that letter, or ask Fremont Mazda what happened. Also if you are certain you paid for it, you should see a line item in your invoice stating payment for that.
 
I also bought my CX5 from Fremont Mazda and paid $2100 for prepaid maintenance - 75000 miles, 60 months. I got a maintenance certificate/letter stating those terms. My maintenance package is called "ultimate 3 / sched 1 / synth oil".

Ouch, you got ripped off.
That plan is for 10 oil changes/tire rotations, 2 cabin air filters and 2 engine air filters.
So you are prepaying $2100 for only ~$500 worth of maintenance.

Car Buying 101...
Never buy anything in the F&I office. Nothing. Decline everything, no matter how much they discount the price.
No extended warranties, maintenance plans, undercoating, scotchguard, paint treatments, blah, blah.
This is where the dealer makes their profit on new car sales.
 
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