Ask Finney: Canceling automobile service contracts, buying Amtrak tickets, fence repair liability

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7 On Your Side's Consumer Expert Michael Finney answers your consumer questions.

7 On Your Side's Consumer Expert Michael Finney answers your consumer questions.

Question 1:

Valerie from Martinez asked: How can I get a $1,300 refund for a service contract which I paid extra for, but never used? I sold the car after having it for under a year.

Answer 1:

To get all the money refunded, you must cancel the contract within 60 days for a new car and 30 days for a used car. After that, you get a partial refund. This should go smoothly, if not complain to the California Department of Insurance. It oversees these contracts.

Here is a link with more information on service contracts.

Question 2:

Owen asked on Twitter: When is the best time to purchase Amtrak train tickets? Like day or week. Or is there a third party site?

Answer 2:
Train tickets mirror airline tickets. Wait too long, and you will pay more. Ticket prices go up when fewer seats are available. You should buy at least 14 days in advance, otherwise many of the potential discounts don't apply.

Here is a link to Amtrak's website.

Question 3:

Bill asks: Who is responsible when a fence in our backyard needs to be repaired? Me or my neighbor?

Answer 3:

California passed the "good neighbor fence act" back in 2013. It says both neighbors are responsible for the cost to repair a shared fence. But the devil is in the details, as always. If one of the neighbors can prove they have financial hardship, they may not have to pay. Here is a link with information about the "good neighbor fence act."

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