Simple activation turns into frustrating ordeal for car owner

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- When a Linda Gunnufson’s husband passed away, she decided to activate the emergency call service offered by her carmaker. That way she'd always have someone close at hand if something went wrong.

But as FOX 4 Problem Solver Linda Wagar explains, the first thing to go wrong was trying to activate the emergency service.

This is a bizarre story because this is a service she used to have when her husband was alive. But now that she's a widow, the carmaker won't let her use it, even though she's more than willing to pay for it.

Wayne Gunnufson was a good man who liked to surprise his wife of 32 years. Last January he gave her a Hyundai Santa Fe that was fully loaded. It even has an emergency service called ‘Bluelink,’ that automatically calls for help if you’re in trouble. Bluelink costs extra but now that Linda Gunnufson is alone, she'd liked to use it.

“I wanted it on just for my well-being,” she said.

But what should have been simple activation has become a monumental task, despite multiple phone calls to Hyundai's customer service line.

“They wanted me to prove who I was. I said, ‘I am trying to pay for a service that's available to me. Why do I have to go through all this?’” she said.

She even asked the dealership for help. They tried calling Hyundai on her behalf and faxed over Ms. Gunnufson's husband's death certificate and a copy of the title. It showed the car was passed to her upon his death, but that still wasn't good enough.

“I also gave them the original paperwork of the sale of the car,” she said.

Hyundai still wouldn't activate Bluelink.

“I finally asked for a supervisor, ‘Why can't you do anything? I'm just trying to pay for a service,’” she said.

A Hyundai employee told her the only way to get Bluelink turned on was for her to sell the car back to the dealership and then buy it back as a used car.

“That's when I called you. I had never heard of anything so ridiculous,” she said.

We agreed that it shouldn't be this difficult. Case in point; when she wanted the emergency service in her GM vehicle activated, all it took was a single phone call.

So FOX 4 Problem Solvers contacted Hyundai on her behalf. The company is now in the process of activating her account. But what it couldn't do was explain to us was how what should have been a simple task turned into an ordeal.

All the PR spokesman at Hyundai would tell us was that it was a miscommunication. That was finally rectified by deleting her late husband's old account and starting a new one in her name. As a way of apologizing for all the hassle, Hyundai is giving her three years of free service.

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