Throwing Out Invoices? You Could Be Throwing Out $$$!

February 19, 2009
By: Robert Silverman

When filing a lemon law or breach of warranty claim, there are two things you should have in your possession to ensure maximum remedy.

REPAIR INVOICES which clearly outline that you have continuously brought this matter to the manufacturers’ attention.  These invoices should outline specifically what you complained about, and the service manager should allow you to review the list of complaints before they begin service.  At the end of the service, a copy of this invoice should be presented to you, along with a verbal rundown of exactly what work was performed on your car.  HANG ON TO THESE PAPERS–TREAT THEM LIKE GOLD.  Essentially, they could make or break your case.

PROOF OF SERVICE that illustrates how you have kept up your side of the bargain, making sure your car was maintained and service properly according to the manual.  Make sure you are getting your oil changes completed regularly according to the schedule outlined in the owners manual.  And if you are one of those folks who likes to change your oil yourself, hang on to sales receipts and proofs of purchase for the oil, and write everything down in a log.  This week, we received a call from a woman who was especially proud of the way she had meticulously kept her 2003 sedan, and was shocked when the manufacturer told her she had to pay $9,000 for a new engine, despite the fact that her model was known for engine problems.  It turns out that she had no proof of an oil change between 5,600 and 14,800 miles, and that glaring hole allowed the manufacturer to point the finger at her, and blame her for the engine sludge problem she was experiencing.

Now, I know we all hate clutter, but it is imperative that you never throw out any invoices or service records pertaining to your vehicle.  Keep them in a file and make sure they are always at hand.  After all, you never know. One day, those papers you thought were trash could lead you to “a treasure.”

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