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BUSINESS
By Liz F. Kay, The Baltimore Sun | June 13, 2010
Your home is your castle — but even a palace would be unpleasant if it's drafty, leaky or crumbling. Under state law, new homes built in Maryland are protected by a one-year warranty, and they're guaranteed against structural defects for two years. This coverage can help buyers who discover defects after they move in. But persistence will be required, as Thomas Brower and his parents discovered. Their builder, Ryland Homes, had fixed several problems, such as a leaky gas fireplace, on the Rosedale house they bought in August.
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BUSINESS
By Liz F. Kay | August 5, 2011
I was really shocked at the promises made to consumers in advertising and sales pitches by U.S. Fidelis, once known as National Auto Warranty Services and Dealer Services. The Maryland Attorney General's office just issued a final order against the company and its owners, ordering them to pay more than $25 million in restitution and penalties. But since the company is in bankruptcy, customers may only receive a small percentage of what they paid. Many of the customers received mailings that implied they were coming directly from their car's manufacturer, and that the company would be extending the manufacturer's warranty, when in reality these were third-party service contracts.
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BUSINESS
By MICHAEL GISRIEL | June 5, 1994
Q: My husband and I will be closing on a house soon. Should we purchase a homeowners' warranty at settlement for $395 to cover the appliances and the electrical, heating and other mechanical systems?Leslie Sullivan, ColumbiaA: Although the standard real estate contract does contain some express warranties and although the new seller disclosure law in Maryland does provide some protection to home buyers in the event of misrepresentation or fraud, it is generally accepted in Maryland that there are no implied warranties in the resale of a completed residence.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Liz F. Kay, The Baltimore Sun | August 4, 2011
The consumer protection division of the state attorney general's office has ordered a Missouri corporation and its owners to stop marketing vehicle service contracts and to pay roughly $25 million in penalties and restitution to Maryland customers. But the company has filed for bankruptcy and its owners are facing felony criminal charges in Missouri that include theft and insurance fraud, so Maryland customers will likely recoup only a small percentage of what they paid, Philip Ziperman, deputy chief of the consumer protection division, said Thursday.
BUSINESS
By DAN THANH DANG | October 30, 2007
Marquette Brand's tenacity came in handy when she tried to get computer maker Gateway Inc. to fix her broken laptop under warranty. Almost every other response she got was "No." Where most people would have given up or coughed up any amount of money just to be rid of the problem, Brand demanded fairness. "I just didn't like the way I was treated as a customer," Brand said. "I know I didn't buy a million dollars' worth of computers from them, but that doesn't mean I don't deserve to be treated with respect."
BUSINESS
By DAN THANH DANG | July 13, 2008
I nearly broke my neck one evening a couple of Fridays ago, running down the stairs to grab the ringing cell phone I left in my living room. Thinking it was an important call, I unleashed a slew of obscenities when a threatening robo-voice told me that my car warranty is about to expire and if I don't act "immediately" on this final warning then I would live to regret it. I'm exaggerating ever so slightly, but the nuisance call is not the first I've...
BUSINESS
By Dan Thanh Dang | February 17, 2008
Think twice before you dial the number on those official-looking postcards or letters warning that your car's warranty is about to expire and urges you to call a toll-free number to ensure you're covered. Those mailers are advertisements aimed at pressuring you into buying an expensive service contract, the Washington state attorney general's office says. State agencies throughout the country have noticed an increase in consumer complaints about out-of-state companies offering extended warranties through the postcards.
BUSINESS
By Andrew Leckey and Andrew Leckey,Tribune Media Services | December 23, 1994
A holiday gift is always a joy, and these days exciting new electronic gadgets or appliances often appear under the tree.But because things can and sometimes do go wrong with products, both the shopper and the recipient should understand warranty protection. There are coverage differences, and whatever you wind up with, you should know how problems will be resolved.Every American has had some dealings with warranties.When I bought a projection television set several years ago, the salesman put a hard sell on buying an extended warranty to be serviced by that retailer.
BUSINESS
By Maria Mallory | September 12, 1990
After taking the plunge into automotive warranty underwriting four years ago, Baltimore insurance giant Maryland Casualty Co. is exiting that business, leaving behind a wake of red ink.As of Oct. 15, Maryland Casualty will cease underwriting extended service warranties sold to car buyers, said George F. Cass, Maryland Casualty executive vice president in charge of corporate underwriting.The insurer took over as primary underwriter to General Group International, an independent California-based marketer of the additional coverage, in 1986.
BUSINESS
By New York Times News Service | July 16, 1991
Sears, Roebuck and Co., seeking to bolster its share of an increasingly competitive market, said yesterday that it would offer warranties against wear and tear on children's clothing and give discounts to frequent shoppers.Discount stores such as K mart and Wal-Mart have aggressively entered the children's clothing market with inexpensive, private-label clothing and some brand names.And specialty stores like the Gap (Gap for Kids) and Toys 'R' Us (Kids 'R' Us) have been rapidly expanding the number of their children's wear stores.
BUSINESS
By Liz F. Kay, The Baltimore Sun | October 30, 2010
How long do you think a lifetime warranty should last — as long as you live, or at least as long as the product should reasonably last? Turns out that the wording of some lifetime warranties may limit that time to a just few years. Some states even set minimum lengths for "lifetime" warranties. It's three years in California. Maryland law doesn't define how long a product's lifetime should be, but a short-term warranty described as a "lifetime" warranty would be misleading and a violation of state consumer protections, regardless of disclaimers a manufacturer or business provides, said Karen Straughn, from the Maryland attorney general's office.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | August 16, 2010
The consumer protection division of the Maryland attorney general's office has sued a Missouri marketing company and its owners for selling auto repair warranties that didn't provide the coverage promised, the state announced Monday. Officials said U.S. Fidelis Inc., which used to operate under the name National Auto Warranty Services Inc., sold warranties that were supposed to extend the manufacturer's warranty and provide comprehensive coverage. Instead the warranties, which cost $500 to $2,000, provided only limited coverage and consumer claims were often rejected, the state said.
BUSINESS
By Liz F. Kay, The Baltimore Sun | June 13, 2010
Your home is your castle — but even a palace would be unpleasant if it's drafty, leaky or crumbling. Under state law, new homes built in Maryland are protected by a one-year warranty, and they're guaranteed against structural defects for two years. This coverage can help buyers who discover defects after they move in. But persistence will be required, as Thomas Brower and his parents discovered. Their builder, Ryland Homes, had fixed several problems, such as a leaky gas fireplace, on the Rosedale house they bought in August.
BUSINESS
By Nancy Jones Bonbrest and Nancy Jones Bonbrest,Special to The Baltimore Sun | January 25, 2009
When Wayne Williams listed his Carney home for sale last summer, he decided to add a home warranty plan as an incentive to prospective buyers. Although he had maintained the house well during his 26 years of ownership, it still had the original furnace and heat pump. Williams knew a home warranty would not only elevate the house in a tough real estate market, but would protect the buyers during the first year. The warranty also shielded Williams from covered repairs during the listing period.
BUSINESS
By ILYCE GLINK and ILYCE GLINK,thinkglink.com | November 9, 2008
I am thinking about purchasing a house built in 1909, and I would like some advice. The house is structurally sound and has very sturdy oak floors and solid walls. The roof is only about seven years old and still in good condition. There is a bit of old water damage on the ceilings, but it is more cosmetically ugly than anything else. The wiring is up to date, but the plumbing is in bad condition. The house has six bedrooms, two bathrooms, two living rooms (both with fireplaces), a sunroom, kitchen and dining room, a partial basement and a full attic with a tall ceiling.
BUSINESS
By DAN THANH DANG | August 3, 2008
Bradley Joyce was preparing for grave disappointment. Shortly after purchasing an $8,724 Thruxton motorcycle from Clinton Cycles in Camp Springs, the geographic information systems manager said he felt "a significant and dangerous feeling wobble" in the bike at speeds over 45 miles per hour. Several attempts to fix the wobble got him nowhere. He was without his bike for more than a month. Joyce feared that his journey into warranty hell would only lead to no good and an eventual lemon law claim.
NEWS
By Marja Mills and Marja Mills,Chicago Tribune | June 9, 1991
MACHESNEY PARK, Ill. -- Along with the standard diploma and handshake, the principal of a high school near Rockford, Ill., passed out something unusual at its recent graduation ceremony: a warranty.Spelled out on a wallet-size card, the warranty promises that the Harlem High School graduate who earns it can make it in the workplace. If not, employers can send the teen-ager back to the school, free of charge, for more training."We're putting our money where our mouth is," said Nelson Pyle, principal of the sprawling, brick high school in the blue-collar community of Machesney Park, just north of Rockford.
BUSINESS
By JANE BRYANT QUINN and JANE BRYANT QUINN,1991, Washington Post Writers Group | January 5, 1992
New York -- If you buy a new home today, it might carry an insured warranty. If the house has a defect specified by the warranty and the builder won't fix it, an insurer supposedly stands ready to step in.All too often, however, that dream of security turns into a nightmare because the warrantor won't pay.You don't buy new-home warranties yourself. Instead, the builders buy them, to cover the houses they construct. Workmanship and materials are insured for one year (so you can get broken tiles and sagging door jambs fixed)
BUSINESS
By DAN THANH DANG | July 13, 2008
I nearly broke my neck one evening a couple of Fridays ago, running down the stairs to grab the ringing cell phone I left in my living room. Thinking it was an important call, I unleashed a slew of obscenities when a threatening robo-voice told me that my car warranty is about to expire and if I don't act "immediately" on this final warning then I would live to regret it. I'm exaggerating ever so slightly, but the nuisance call is not the first I've...
BUSINESS
By DAN THANH DANG | May 6, 2008
THE Q: Whether you love them or hate them, swear by them or avoid them like the plague, we still manage to spend a whopping $15 billion on extended-service warranties every year in this country. While there has been much debate about how much value such warranties really offer to consumers, Donna Beth Shapiro of Bolton Hill had a more specific concern, not about the product she purchased but about the company responsible for maintaining the warranty sold to her. "I just purchased an HP notebook and paid $429 for a four-year extended warranty from a company whose future I doubt - Circuit City," Shapiro said.
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