By: Revanche

Financial Foolishness

August 27, 2006

Perhaps I’ve mentioned this before, but I have a tendency to just naturally screw things up. I compensate by trying to keep meticulous records and keep due diligence, but I inevitably make mistakes that cost me money. I’m sure you all have experienced something of the sort? Please feel free to share, I’m feeling particularly foolish today, as I attempt to plow through all the necessary paperwork to clear things off my desktop.

Foolishness #1: Car Troubles
When I bought my car 3 years ago, I was silly enough to not have really done my homework. Big mistake. I bought, in addition to my car, the useless GAP insurance and the Road Hazard warranty because Toyota does not insure tire damage. *sigh* I cringe, every time I say that out loud. Yes, folks, I was SO unsavvy that I thought getting my tires covered by this road hazard insurance was a good idea. Ok, in theory it’s a good idea. BUT I should have asked to see all the claim paperwork to see how many millions of hoops you have to jump through, which judges you have to bark at, and in what order the above must be done. Years down the road, I’m determined to recoup that loss by USING the insurance, because MaDucky got a record 3 flats in a row driving my little car to and from work. Theoretically each of those flats should have been covered fully because she ran over nails. In practice? I’d never used the road hazard insurance before, so I had no idea who I had to call first, what I had to fill out, and I don’t know how much more information I needed to have before the claim authorization was considered complete.

I’m going to make one last final effort to put all this information together to get just ONE of the tires covered, but haven’t got very high hopes for this at all. You may have won this one, Beacon, but I’ll know better next time!

Moral of the story? You’re MUCH better off just saving $20 a month, or even $10 to cover any road hazard tire problems you encounter. That and have a good, trustworthy, reliable mechanic to go to for any other car problems.
If you really want to use their insurance? You’ve have about ten flat tires in the last two-three years? ASK QUESTIONS. Ask for the claims forms. Ask for the authorization requirements. Ask for the administrating company’s contact information: name, address, phone number, hours. Heck, as for the selling company’s point person who will help you submit any claims you need.
As for me, I’m going to look into the other “services” that this company offers: Dent & Ding Protection to repair the dings or dents that Celeste has collected over the years, and see what little I can recoup from there.

Foolishness #2: Failure to maximize rewards, assuming you can get it next time around
I have had the Citi Driver’s Edge card since September of last year, and I’m coming up on the last month of 6% rebate goodness [gas, grocery, drugstore]. I should have immediately enrolled in the Drive Rebates Program the instant I got the card to make sure that I had both Drive Rebates AND regular purchase rebates to help pay off the bills from Foolishness #1.

One reason I let things slide was because Citi did NOT make their enrollment form available online. I searched, I called, I emailed and kept getting the same Miles Submission forms that I could get online. Finally I was worn down and just used that form to submit. Lo and behold, both “submissions” were rejected because I had not yet enrolled. This is after calling FOUR TIMES to ask for enrollment forms and getting the wrong ones. Extra moral: The more I do business with Citi, the less I like their lack of customer service.

Moral of the story? Don’t become the victim of attrition. Time and the credit card companies are not your friends, they are depending on you to drop the ball so they don’t have to pay you the rebates they offer.

2 Responses to “Financial Foolishness”

  1. Chuck says:

    Everytime I hear the speal about a warranty, I immediatly think of that Simpsons episode where they are trying to make Homer dumber and realize he is at the right stupidity level when he says “extended warranty… I can’t lose!”

  2. 🙂 I know, I was writhing with shame when I realized what I’d done. Still am, in fact. Oh well … I’ll definitely never make that mistake again.

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