EDISON, NEW JERSEY -- Choice Home Warranty - Buyer beware. This company is a terrible company with a lot of small print to get them out of paying claims for almost every situation your home could have. I work as a Fireman full time and my part time business is construction. I have well over 30 years experience in construction and home repair. The last thing I want to do when I get home is work on my own stuff so I decided to look into home warranties. Knowing that my home is almost 20 years old and the AC units and some of the appliances are original to the house I thought it would be money well spent to insure these items. WRONG!!!
I chose to go with Choice Home Warranty because they said no pre-inspection and they cover items wearing out as well as offered Septic pumping for an extra fee. Last year I signed up with them on 12/22/2015 for monthly installments of $51.25/month. This is where the nightmare started.
First Claim 3/12/2016 - Toilet base broke. My first claim was in March 2016. We had a family event planned for March at our home where my wife's and my family were invited. The toilet in our main bathroom serving the living room and kitchen area of the home started rocking and was not secured tightly to the floor. I chose to have it fixed before the arrival of our company. I called Choice Home Warranty and made the claim. They sent out a company called Mr. Smith's Home Repair.
Mr. Smith himself showed up to make the repair. First off he said he would have it fixed in 15 min. Since I took off work to have the repair done I kind of needed to know an approx time I could go back to work. A few min into the job Mr. Smith asked if I had a drill bit he could borrow. I assisted Mr. Smith and gave him some bits. After approx 2 hours of messing with the toilet Mr. Smith came out and said he could not fix it but would have one of his guys that is better at these type repairs come the next day to fix it. I paid my 60 dollars and he left.
I went into the bathroom and looked after he was gone and the toilet was lying on its side in the middle of the floor and the pipe was open where the sewer gas was now coming into my house. The next day no one from Mr. Smith's Home repair called to schedule a time to make the repair. I called Mr. Smith and left several voice messages over the course of several days with no returned phone calls. I then began to call Choice Home Warranty who said they would get in touch with him.
So by now my event is the next day. I had the party and was so embarrassed that my main bathroom toilet was lying on its side and had to have all my guests use the other two bathrooms in the bedrooms. Finally one of Mr. Smith's helpers called and said he was going to come out to make the repair. My wife took off work this time to meet the repair man. Around the scheduled time she called me at work and asked me to come home, the repairman got there and she did not feel safe. I came home to find a guy with dreadlocks that looked like he just got out of prison working on the toilet.
After meeting the guy he was very nice and seemed knowledgeable of the problem. He apologized for Mr. Smith. He began to make the repairs. He instructed me that the wax ring under the toilet was an excluded item. REALLY WTF? How can you install toilets or repair them without a wax ring? I went to Home Depot to get one so he could get the thing fixed.
Well the good news is the toilet does not rock anymore. The bad news is every time the wind is out of the north we smell sewer gas in that bathroom and most of the tile around the toilet is chipped broke and coming up. The smell is coming from the base of the toilet verified by a gas detector I brought home from the fire station to find the smell.
Next claim. 3/12/2016 Septic pumping. My aerobic maintenance company advised me that my septic tanks were full and needed to be pumped out. I made this claim on the same day as the toilet claim. Choice Home Warranty was unable to find a company to take the job but they said they would continue looking. Several weeks later I again called Choice to find out why no one had been contacted to pump my tanks. They called me back shortly and said they found a company that would take the claim.
A lady from the company called me the next day and advised me it would be 2 weeks before they could work me in. She advised me to have the gate open and dogs put up and to leave a check in the amount of 60.00 for the technicians. I did as instructed on the appointment day. They showed up on time did the work and left. The next day I received a call from the same lady stating that Choice was not paying them what they charge for the pumping and I would need to pay the rest. A difference of 140.00 more.
She said that when they received the contract from Choice they did not realize that they would be paid so little (Fine Print). I respectively told her that that sounded like a problem between her company and Choice. I was never advised of the up charge prior to the doing the work nor did I authorize any other payment than the 60.00 co-pay which I had already paid. I still continue to get bills in the mail for the difference.
Next Claim Plumbing leak. On 6/13/2016 I walked out into my garage to find water on the floor. I bent over to move the door mat to find the mat was soaking wet with hot water. I tracked down the leak to find it was in the wall and it was in fact hot water. I turned off the hot water, the leak stopped. I and again called Choice. They said they were dispatching Mr. Smith Home Repair to my home. I immediately said, "OH HELL NO YOU'RE NOT!!!" Been there done that. Needless to say a week later I still had the leak. They said they were unable to find a plumber in my area that would take the claim. Maybe it's because Choice pays their contractors so little.
Frustrated, I tore the wall out to find the leak was at floor level right at the concrete. I called Choice again. This time they said the repair was not covered. My policy did not cover slab leaks that if I read the policy slab leaks are excluded. I told them that it was not a slab leak it was at the slab not under the slab. Again claim was denied. I fixed it myself with an 80 cent copper coupling then repaired the wall. (fine print, wall repair is not covered even if it's a necessary to make the repair).
Next Claim 8/6/2016 Air Conditioner not cooling. I made the claim on Saturday when my almost 20-year-old AC stopped blowing cold air. To my surprise I receive a phone call from Bock Heating and Air on Sunday morning stating they were on their way. The technician showed up as scheduled. Quickly found the problem. Locked up compressor. He stated that since my unit was a 1997 model and used R-12 refrigerant a new compressor was not available since lawmakers made R-12 illegal. He stated that I would have to have my unit replaced with a newer unit that uses R-410A. He said he would contact Choice to have the claim reviewed.
Well I received a phone call today 8/8/2016 to tell me that my claim was denied. They said it was for lack of maintenance. They stated that the compressor locked up due to overheating. It's been 104 here every day for the last week. Hell Yea it's hot. This is total BS!!! Lack of maintenance. I have both units on my house serviced every spring and fall. Filters changed regular a minimum of every 30 days, condenser washed every time I mow my grass. I was told by a very rude woman that sorry they made their decision there is no dispute process.
I asked for the cancellation dept. After about a 15 min hold another very rude woman came on the line. I spoke my piece told her it was BS. The unit was nearly 20 years old had always been properly maintained which I have records of. I explained to her that The US Dept. of Energy states that the life span of a Central Air unit is 16.9 years. During the 15 min on hold waiting to speak to this rude person the voice on the recording kept saying that Choice Home Warranty will be there for you when things wear out because things do wear out. I was told by the rude lady that she would send me a cancellation form. Sign it, send it back, then she will send me 250.00.
Guess that's to try to buy my silence or in some way make me feel better since they stiffed me on replacing my AC unit like I understood they would. So it appears when they are looking at a $4000.00 plus claim they just deny the claim for some made up BS reason and let you out of your contract with no early cancellation fee and give you $250.00 as a token of their appreciation.
LAFAYETTE, LOUISIANA -- As noted by another customer of Choice Home Warranty, they do not live up to their policy or their message on their phone question. Their repairmen, past and present, note, they do not replace items, such as heating and cooling systems. They did pay me for $300 to replace a new washer but after 2-3 months of haggling (and I'm an attorney who represent insurance companies), I wanted to get out of it, but I would have to reimburse them the $300.00 and other repair work they did. They lack communication with their customers and their vendors.
You will be on the phone with them for at least one hour but normally two, waiting to speak to a representative, then to 2-3 specialists and then you get a manager or two. One manager, after being on the phone for 1.5 hours, informed me that she will call me back after I informed her that no one has been calling me back. She guaranteed me she will call me back in an hour. After 4 hours, I called back and it was a miracle I got her on the phone. She stated she went to lunch and forgot about me. They are simply horrible.
I contacted the sales representative who made the sale and he just seemed paralyzed to do anything. Or really didn't want to do anything. Also, it's difficult for them to find vendors because they seem to screw the vendors as well. When they can't find one, they say for you to find one and get quotes to match Choice Home Warranty's cheap reimbursement and then they may approve the tech you spent time to get out there. In other words, they want you to do their job, cause delays and you still may not get a final resolution.
If you are a customer, insist they do their job. I'm still waiting on a heating replacement. They offered me either $205 or $250 (they can't get it straight) to go towards a replacement that their team will find a wholesaler to buy the system. I asked how much is the system and replacement of same. One said $6000 and the other said it was $1500. I confirmed with the vendor it was $1500. But this is an example of how they do not want to live up to their obligation. If I were to take the $250, that would close their claim and I'm stuck with paying $1250 which should have been their obligation.
I informed them now that they will have to continue repair the heating system and the warranty on the repair is 30 days. I call within 30 days to inform them it's not working again, because it's not. Thank god I have a fireplace to keep some warmth in the house. So they recognize the best thing to do is to replace the system but they do not want to expend it and they try to con you into believing that you should take some money and do it yourself. As I said, I represent insurance companies and I know a little about negotiations.
I think when you see most reviews, they are fake. I've yet to find anyone who has had positive experiences. Based upon my experience, I really suggest one to stay away from this company and don't let them have you think it's a great or even decent deal. It's not worth it at all.
SAVANNAH, GEORGIA -- Before you choose to purchase this home warranty program please read the following: I am a combat veteran who just returned from my fourth deployment overseas. During this deployment, my HVAC system ceased operating while I was away. I originally purchased Choice Home Warranty's program back in December 2014 under a three and a half year contract that all those appliances installed at my home at the time the contract was initiated were covered under the warranty regardless of age.
Under this contract, Choice Home Warranty was obligated to repair or replace any appliance at fault including those which cease to function due to common wear and tear over time. My HVAC system is from 1996 and was fully functional at the time of the contract. Choice Home Warranty's first breach in contract with me happened when my HVAC system ceased functioning in the summer of 2015, at which point I called and a repair man was dispatched immediately.
After talking to the repair man, he explained to me that my evaporator coil had a leak and that the ONLY REPAIR CHOICE HOME WARRANTY AUTHORIZED HIM TO CONDUCT was to simply refill the system with more Freon. The evaporator coil was never repaired and this turned out to be a temporary solution to simply buy time which is also illegal as it violates the Montreal Protection Act as the Freon is just continuing to leak into the atmosphere.
So less than a year later the system again ran out of Freon as the evaporating coil continued to deteriorate due to its age, after a repair man was dispatched, he told me the same story that Choice Home Warranty refused to authorize any repairs under a fabrication that the system had rust and the contract does not authorize repairs for appliances that accumulate rust. Rust was never the issue with this system, it was a complete lie that the company generated as a scapegoat to prevent them from having to replace my old HVAC system.
Thankfully the repairman added some more Freon to buy me a couple of more weeks to cool the house down a little. This company is a complete scam, they will barter you for your money and then find every excuse and lie to not deliver on their contract obligations when time for a claim arises. I have already filed a complaint with the Attorney General of the State of Georgia and I encourage others who have experienced such malpractices from this company to do the same so we can build the case for a class action suit with a law firm that I am already consulting with on this issue.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- I live in Orlando, FL. We just bought our home 2 months ago and I called everywhere looking for the right warranty company. My main question to everyone was, "this was a previously owned home, if my AC goes out will this be something covered?" (Very important living in Florida.) Seeing as how I do not know the history of the unit. Choice Home Warranty said ABSOLUTELY, if the unit is in working order and passes your inspection then there will be no problems. (I called a bunch of warranty companies and most of the responses were unknown. They said it would depend on how it was maintained.)
Seeing as how I had no idea how it was maintained since the home was new to me, I even asked Choice, "I have read a lot about warranty companies not covering due to maintenance or wrong pieces installed, I do not know what has been used. Will this be a problem for our coverage?" I even purchased the best warranty plan they had to offer and paid it in full. Not installments.
Our AC went out over this past weekend Saturday. Someone came out Sunday to evaluate the problem. We got a call this morning saying our claim was denied due to improper maintenance. So I call the technician that came out to our home, and he said that in his report he even stated that the coils were clean so he is not sure why they would say improper maintenance. Other than a few leaves around the system which may have been what they saw in the pictures.
I have called and spoke to a few people who just refuse to reconsider our claim. Especially when I was told this would not have been an issue. I am so frustrated and HOT! I do not recommend to anyone. We have 5 kids and we did everything to make sure that our first home would be protected and obviously this is something out of our control. Very disappointed!
EDISON, NEW JERSEY -- I bought a warranty on a house I am selling as a selling point to any prospective buyers. I explained that to the sales representative I spoke to on the phone. He also convinced me to add my current home at a discounted rate. Two weeks after my policies became effective, the heat pump in the empty house stopped cooling. I had a friend check it for a capacitor problem which has been a recurrent problem with this unit. The capacitor was fine as well as the refrigerant. He suggested it could be an expansion valve.
I called Choice Home Warranty and they opened a claim, telling me who to call to set up an appointment. I made an appt for 2 days later since the heating and air company was booked until then. We had an appt for 10 am and he showed up after 4 pm, saying he had car trouble. He did call before 9 am to tell me he would be late but not that late. He was a young man who, unfortunately, didn't know how to connect up his own meters and immediately told me my unit was 'bone dry'. I explained just the day before it was fine. He then said there could be a leak.
He called CHW and wanted to add refrigerant (9 lbs). CHW told him no, he had to do a leak test instead. Obviously, with a full unit, he couldn't find a leak and CHW denied my claim saying it had to be a pre-existing condition for 9 lbs of refrigerant to leak out in 2 weeks. At my own expense, I hired another heating and air company for a 3rd opinion. He said the unit was full and it was probably an expansion valve. I wrote an official appeal to their decision with documents to back up everything I said.
They still denied my claim as being pre-existing, added their policy doesn't cover valves or filters, then said they also do not cover empty houses. At that point, I told her I specifically told the sales representative it was for an empty house that is for sale. They did cancel the policy but I have doubts they would have covered anything anyway. DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY!
ARIZONA -- I got this contract with Choice Home Warranty in Mar 2016. In May 2016 my washer had a code on the face of it. I called CHW to have it repaired. CHW sent out a repairman to fix it. It was fixed for 3 weeks and got the same code on face of the washer. So I called CHW back to have them send out the repairman again so that I could get it repaired once and for all. The repairman said he would have to replace the brain of the unit and would have to get CHW approval to order the part.
Next thing I know CHW called and left a message for me to call them. When I called them back they said they would not fix my washer and were ready to settle this claim and offered $300.00. I was floored. Where can I find a front load washer for $300.00. So over time I decided to accept the $300.00 and then cancel my contract with them. I finally got my $300.00 check after 3 months. I called today to cancel my contract.
I was told that the $300.00 check that I received would be added to the months that has gone by plus the $50.00 cancellation fee and that I would not be receiving any refund of remaining months of this contract. The guy I talked to said "Let's read the contract" that it is spelled out in the contract clearly under section L. Here is what section L says:
"This is a maintenance agreement for repair, replacement, or partial replacement of the products listed that are deemed manufactured or sold by the manufacturer. This is not a contract of insurance, residential service, warranty, extended warranty, or implied warranty. You may cancel within the first 30 days of the order date for a refund of the paid contract fees, less a $50.00 administration fee.
"This contract shall be non-cancelable by us except for: 1) Nonpayment of contract fees, 2) Non-payment of Service Fees, as stated in Section III, 3) Fraud or misrepresentation of facts material by You to the issuance of this contract, 4) Mutual agreement of us and you. If cancelled after 30 days, you shall be entitled to a PRO-RATED REFUND OF THE PAID CONTRACT FEE FOR THE UNEXPIRED TERM, less a $50.00 administration fee. All cancellation requests must be submitted in writing."
Nowhere in this cancellation policy does it say that money I received from them for a replacement item covered under this contract will be added to months expired. This company is a big scam and run far far away from CHOICE HOME WARRANTY, PLEASE.
EDISON, NEW JERSEY -- Choice Home Warranty did not cover my ice-maker (which I paid extra for), ceiling fan or dishwasher. I could get them fixed if I wanted to pay an exorbitant price for materials to have them replaced. Effectively, I could have purchased the products and had them installed for the price that Choice was giving me to fix them. All of these appliances were covered by contract but they refused.
By the way, they will not put into writing (email) the reasons why they refused to fix the appliance as it would be too easy to take them to small claims court, they will only tell you over the phone. My fault for not checking with the BBB first as I would have seen everything I needed to decide not to pick Choice. They were fined more than $800,000.00 in 2015 in NJ alone! Unfortunately, the BBB story in my State is the same. Do not make the WRONG Choice, Choice Home Warranty.
Stay away from this Choice Home Warranty company as it's waste of money. They say they will cover most but they don't cover as for each and every thing, there will be a special condition somewhere that you don't read. I ended up paying more money when I went through this warranty for my refrigerator repair and moreover it costed more to cancel the policy also. Funny thing, I was told that they will give me the prorated money when I cancel the policy but they said the policy that I got was on discount so they deducted more monthly premium than I paid. Total waste of time and money... Stay away from this company.
PANAMA CITY BEACH, FLORIDA -- I have had two properties for over three years with Choice Home Warranty. They have yet to repair any of the items. Nothing seems to ever be covered under their "Contract". Buyer beware! American Horror Shield is 100% better at repairing claims, and that isn't saying much. How Choice Home Warranty legally stays in business is a surprise to me. I wouldn't be surprised if a Class Action Lawsuit is in the making for falsely representing repairs they claim to cover upon signing up for their services. Seriously, don't let their "lower priced, more coverage, even your roof" advertising fool you. They literally cover nothing. Best to put that monthly payment in a piggy bank.
EDISON, NEW JERSEY -- First tech person brought no tools, didn't look at back of refrigerator (losing coolness). Called next day said, "Probably wasn't resolved." He said freezer rack was in backwards & he reversed it. Said, "Turn off refrigerator for 6 hours." It never regained coolness. Called company, they returned my call late next day, said no one was available to return to look at the unit. Next tech person came a few days later (I live in NYC & was told there are hundreds of tech people to fix things available, at least when I was signing up that's what they said.)
Next tech support came 5 days after the last one, he did look at the back of the refrigerator, said new compressor was needed, also computer board and coils cleaned. CHW denied claim, said it was my fault it happened. Tech support offered to fix it for $550. Then Choice Home Warranty offered $100. No more bad money after good.