BARRY, Ill. — When David Forshey of Barry first saw commercials for CarShield, one of the nation’s leading vehicle service contract providers, he wasn’t confident that his Ford-150 would receive coverage since it had 289,000 miles on it.
But in June 2020, Forshey said he was approved for coverage on the truck’s engine, transmission and rear end at a cost of about $130 a month.
However, when the time came this past April to repair a blown timing chain, Forshey said he was denied coverage after a representative said there was sludge on the dipstick. He added that his truck was never put on a hoist for an inspection. Instead, pictures were taken of the truck’s engine.
“The bottom line is they’re trying to screw people out of money,” Forshey said. “There’s always going to be something that the customer has done.”
Forshey’s story is one of numerous complaints identified by the Better Business Bureau, who recently released a report identifying thousands of complaints against VSC businesses over the last two decades.
According to the study, BBB of Eastern and Southwest Missouri and Southern Illinois processed more than 15,000 complaints against VSC companies in its service area between 2000 and 2020.
Over the last three years in St. Louis alone, complaints jumped from 544 in 2018 to 1,402 in 2020, according to the study. These complaints were filed against 80 different VSC companies in the St. Louis region.
When he requested coverage in April, Forshey said he was asked to bring in service records and submitted records of seven oil changes in the last 12 months. At the time, the truck had about 321,000 miles on it.
“I take care of the truck,” Forshey said. “That’s why I had so many miles on it.”
Once he canceled his policy, Forshey said he received a check for $399 and a letter notifying him that it was a settlement for four months of premiums.
“For eight months, they took money,” Forshey said. “Nothing was wrong and they were making money.”
In a letter to Good Morning America in response to a story on VSC businesses, CarShield Chief Operating Officer Michael Carter alleges that the BBB’s local office within the greater St. Louis area has waged a vendetta against CarShield based on the actions of other now defunct VSC companies from the past decade.
Through most of CarShield’s history, the St. Louis BBB has given the business an “F” rating, which Carter said was in response to complaints onto the BBB’s website from CarShield customers.
Although CarShield has made changes in response to the BBB’s criticisms, Carter wrote that their rating remains at or around an “F.”
“Remarkly, the BBB has even complained about CarShield’s business practices that were put in place ‘at the request of the BBB,’” Carter wrote in the letter. “The BBB has demonstrated an unyielding bias towards CarShield.”
Last year, CarShield filed suit against the BBB of Greater St. Louis seeking damages and requesting that the BBB be prohibiting from issuing a rating to CarShield.
A motion from the BBB to dismiss was denied in January.
The case is still pending.