New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Files Complaint Against Bergen County-Based Home and Motor Vehicle "Warranty" Company That Allegedly Defrauded Consumers and Refused to Honor the Terms of its Contracts
Division Received 97 Complaints Directly From Consumers, and 498 Consumer Complaints from the Better Business Bureau
NEWARK - The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs has filed a Complaint against Englewood Cliffs-based Stanley Warranty LLC d/b/a Stanley Safe Club (“Stanley Warranty”) and its owner and CEO, Alpine resident Stanislav Mankovsky, alleging that the company defrauded consumers in New Jersey and in other states to whom it sold contracts for the repair and/or replacement of home systems and appliances, and/or motor vehicles.
The company allegedly used deceptive tactics to sell its so-called “warranties” – which were actually residential or motor vehicle service contracts. It also refused to respond to consumer claims for the repair or replacement of items covered by residential contracts. As a result, consumers paid up to $2,400 per year for coverage that, according to the Stanley Warranty website and other advertisements, were supposed to provide “100 percent” cost reimbursement for the repair or replacement of covered items. However, many customers ended up paying out of pocket for repair claims that Stanley Warranty ignored or refused to honor.
“We allege Stanley Warranty was responsive to its customers only when taking their money and signing them up for contracts that allegedly turned out to be deceptive and hollow,” Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said. “This is our second action this year against so-called home ‘warranty’ companies that advertised comprehensive coverage for home systems or appliances – but then stonewalled consumers who tried to obtain the coverage they’d paid for. Any consumer who is tempted to enter into such a contract should check whether customers have filed complaints against the company offering the contract.”
Division of Consumer Affairs Acting Director Steve Lee said, “Stanley Warranty advertised that its service contracts will ‘reduce your costs, reduce your stress, and reduce your frustration.’ In reality, the experience was expensive, stressful, and frustrating for consumers when the company allegedly refused to honor its contracts.”
The State’s Complaint, filed by the Division of Law on behalf of the Division of Consumer Affairs, alleges violations of New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act, Service Contracts Act and Advertising Regulations, based on the following:
- Conducting business under the name “Stanley Warranty,” implying that the company sells warranties, when it actually sells residential service contracts and motor vehicle service contracts;
- Advertising that the defendants’ so-called “home warranty” program “has you covered 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year” and “will reduce your costs, reduce your stress, and reduce your frustration” when such is not the case;
- Representing on the Stanley Warranty website that consumers can call the company’s claims department 24 hours a day and that the company has a network of more than 90,000 service providers across the country to respond to service requests, when such is not the case;
- Representing to consumers who requested service on a home appliance or system that a service provider would contact the consumer within 48 hours, when such was not the case;
- Requiring consumers to hire their own independent out-of-network contractor for repairs, when Stanley Warranty failed to arrange for a service provider;
- Instructing consumers to make out-of-pocket payments for home system repairs or replacement with the promise of reimbursement but then failing to provide reimbursement;
- Continuing to charge consumers’ bank accounts or credit cards, after consumers cancelled their residential or motor vehicle service contracts; and
- Failing to respond to consumer inquiries for several weeks, if at all.
This is the first action filed by the Division alleging violations of the recently enacted Service Contracts Act.
Investigator Brian Morgenstern, of the Division of Consumer Affairs Office of Consumer Protection, conducted this investigation.
Deputy Attorney General Mark E. Critchley, of the Consumer Fraud Prosecution Section within the Division of Law, is representing the State in this action.
The Bergen County Office of Consumer Affairs also assisted in this matter.
Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse, can file an
online complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its
website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504- 6200.
Follow the Division of Consumer Affairs on
Facebook , and check our online calendar of upcoming
Consumer Outreach events.