If you drive to work in North Texas you know how rough the roads can be on your car. That's why Stephanie Mata purchased an extended warranty for her 2008 Mercedes Benz.
Her manufacturer's warranty had already expired. So, her mechanic recommended that she purchased an extended warranty.
"That way if anything happens it was covered. And so that's what I did," said Mata.
She Googled "extended warranty for cars" and came across American Standard Auto Protection, also known as "ASAP."
She liked what she saw and decided to give them a call.
"One of the representatives, he was very, very informative, very friendly and very assured me that it was a very reputable company," she said.
Mata said she confirmed the warranty package she wanted and paid $1,700 over the phone.
"So, for the first year, nothing happened," she explained.
But earlier this year, she noticed a leak underneath her car.
"I decided better take it in because I don't know what's going on and it's an expensive car," she said.
When Mata took the car in, she said her mechanic called ASAP to verify her extended warranty coverage. But when he called, no one answered.
"He called twice day for two weeks, for two weeks he called twice a day. Then he finally called me and said 'look I'm not getting a response, you need to try it yourself,'" she explained. "So then I tried."
Mata said when she called the company, she was told her message would be forwarded.
"I was calling 10 times a day for almost a week," she said.
Mata started looking online and saw dozens of negative reviews from consumers in need of repairs, but ASAP was nowhere to be found.
Mata sent ASAP emails begging and pleading, hoping someone would call her back.
"To this day, American Standard Auto Protection has not called me," said Mata.
Her car is now sitting in the garage, and her $1,700 extended warranty now appears to be useless.
"Why don't you answer my phone," she asked. "I did my part. I gave you cash. I trusted in you. Where are you?"
To find that answer, we started in Delaware, where the company is licensed.
We've learned ASAP also goes by "Ultra Auto Protection" and "Motor Vehicle Service Contract Administrators, Inc."
According to the Delaware Department of State, "This entity is currently delinquent in its tax obligation and required annual report submission for 2017. Records indicate that the business also was voided for a short period in 2016 for delinquent taxes/reports."
We tried called ASAP to get its side of the story, but got this message instead: "The company is no longer able to take on new clients. ASAP cannot manage or maintain the obligations to their current customers."
"I'm mad," said Mata. "Us consumers got ripped off by them."
According to that recording, ASAP customers will receive a letter in the mail with steps on how to file a claim with the company.
We didn't want Mata's story to end this way.
So we contacted her bank, Bank of America, to see if there was anything they could do. The bank said it would take them some time to investigate.
Three months after we first heard from Mata, she said she got a call from the Bank of America informing her that the $1,700 she paid for the extended warranty was going back into her account.
Banks typically don't reimburse customers for purchases gone wrong, so we are very happy that Bank of America was able to help Mata out.
When dealing with a business you're not familiar with, here are Samantha Chatman's Solutions:
• Check reviews online.
• Only pay with a credit card.
• If you're considering purchasing an extended warranty, click here for tips.