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.
EDISON, NEW JERSEY -- This company deserves a negative number review. However, as negative numbers are not available, I am giving them a 1 star. This is the kind of people you hire, you vampires. He broke it as he was trying to replace the stove element. I spoke with one of their claims supervisors Saturday afternoon, June 25, 2016 after waiting for more than an hour, by the name of Teeyah, who told me that the claim would be forwarded to the member relations department on Monday, June 27, 2016. On Monday, June 27, 2016, after waiting for another hour, I spoke by one of their many managers who swiftly told me that I should get a buyback for $230.
Do these vampires realize that the glass cooktop that was broken cost close to $1,000, in addition to the money that will be spent to install it? They cannot be sued. However, I am filing an AG complaint. I'm writing to my senators, I'm writing to my news station and whoever else listens, because these people and this company should not be in business.
EDISON, NEW JERSEY -- I have a furnace with a cracked heat exchanger. The CHW contractor was in my home looking at my furnace and physically said it was clear it was not neglected in any way. He sent CHW photos upon their request and they immediately denied my furnace claim saying the system was neglected and in bad shape. They used words like "severe rust and corrosion" before they even received the photos! They were going to deny this no matter what was said.
After several complaints, they offered me $200 to make me go away. I will not accept their $200. It's an insult when I have to pay $3,000 for a new furnace. I purchased the home warranty to avoid this kind of major expenditure. I have been very diligent about maintaining this unit and have taken good care of it. I am disgusted they say it's neglected.
This company is shady at best and I strongly recommend you look elsewhere for a home warranty. I wish I had done more homework and read these reviews BEFORE I wasted my money. Learn from all the mistakes of the people on here!
EDISION, NEW JERSEY -- Have been a homeowner for over 20 years and have had home warranty coverage for over 10 with 5 different vendors - by far this is the WORST HOME WARRANTY COMPANY. Here are some of the reasons:
1 - Contract riddled with exclusions - Did you know CHW will not replace your water heater, they will not pay for wire trace and most of their contractors don't even show up. I had an incident over Christmas break with some of the lights not working, CHW assigned a contractor and when I called to schedule he clearly stated he doesn't service my area and won't be available for 5+ days, they have a lot of fine print.
2 - When I enrolled I was told there would be no cancellation fee, which is true but CHW charges you a $50 processing fee once you decide to cancel.
3 - I had 5 accounts with them and called to cancel 3 of them, 1 was already expired and another one expiring in 2 months. CHW insisted that they need to cancel the one that was expiring in 2 months and I would not be given a refund because of the $50 processing fee.
4 - When I did call to cancel CHW Customer Service (which was an absolute joke) stated that I and CHW have to come to a mutual agreement as to why I should cancel and it's written in the contract - Can you believe that farse!!
5 - When contractors are unavailable CHW does state that we can hire a contractor and have them call the help line to get authorization. I followed procedure to the bone - waited 60 days and the check still isn't here. When I cancelled CHW stated that they will stop processing of the check and I am ineligible for the $120 claim that I filed.
6 - All in all I am out $270 just because I cancelled the policies.
I DO NOT RECOMMEND GOING WITH CHW EVER. I have used 4 other companies in the past and by far CHW is the worst, would have given them a 0 star if possible.
EDISON, NEW JERSEY -- Stay away from this company. A judgment was recently brought against them by the Attorney General of NJ for unethical behavior. My AC quit cooling this summer. Choice sent out a tech on a Friday who said the compressor went out. On Tuesday, he calls me to tell me that the claim was denied. I called Choice to find out why they denied the claim. They said they didn't deny the claim -- the tech hadn't sent the report in yet, which was a total lie (it's an electronic submission through an iPad app which was done at my house). If he hadn't turned in the report, how could he know the claim was denied??
Long story short, Choice left me without AC for a week (in the Texas summer) -- keeping with their story about the tech not sending in the report. They finally told me my claim was denied (didn't see that one coming) stating a compressor can only fail for a few reasons -- improper maintenance, lightning strike, power surge, etc. None of those are covered under their policy. In other words, your compressor goes out, they always have a way to get out of fixing it.
The technician told me he wrote on the report that compressors are electric components and can fail at anytime for many reasons and it wasn't caused by improper maintenance. He wanted my AC fixed and wrote the report as best he could to get it approved.
As I mentioned, they have a judgment against them per the Attorney General's office. I submitted a dispute with them and the BBB of NJ. Choice finally agreed to refund the cost of my warranty ($400 is cheaper than $2000) but when I called to get my refund, they sent me papers I had to sign and get notarized stating I won't say anything negative about their company and if contacted by 3rd parties, I have to say the dispute was handled satisfactorily. So, they screw me out of a promised repair, and I have to be quiet? I refused their refund. Beware. This is a very unscrupulous company using scare tactics (notarized agreements) to silence people they've screwed over.
EDISON, NEW YORK -- I never review things because I don't have the time. But this company is a total scam. Stay away. My house is 15 years old and things were starting to wear down. My daughter had a great experience with American Home Warranty when she purchased her house and I figured I would try it too but AHW does not service my zip code so I thought I would try this. They were nice on the phone. You have to pay up front for a year which was over $500 with the options I wanted to add. I was a little hesitant but they said "don't worry. You can always cancel and get your money back."
Then I made my first claim. My washer was leaking water. Guess what? The seal on the front door is not covered by them. I said, "I want my money back. This is ridiculous." So they said they'll work something out. They paid $100 of the $400 job to fix my washer and did not charge me a service fee. Then about a month later I made 2 claims. 3 out of 4 burners on my stovetop weren't lighting without a match and the ice machine was not working on my very expensive sub zero refrigerator.
I call them and they say guess what - ice machine is not covered. Also they won't cover my stove top because this was a pre-existing condition. The burners just stopped working so why is that pre-existing? Because it happens over time. And it's 15 years old so it must have been going bad before I purchased the policy. Are you kidding me? This policy is supposed to cover old appliances. They don't even come to check out your appliances before they cover you. Every appliance starts breaking as soon as you start using it. So basically they cover nothing. A million exclusions in the fine print. Totally not worth it.
They were nasty on the phone and when I canceled the policy after 3 months they would only refund me $90 of the $500 because they charge a $50 cancellation fee. They charged me for $50 of each month and then they charged me for the coverage of the washing machine which I paid for. Once you cancel you cannot get through to them. I am fuming! Stay away! I wish the Better Business Bureau would get after them and close them down before other people get sucked into this scam.
EDISON, NEW JERSEY -- I recently had a leak in one of the cold water pipes running across the ceiling in my main bathroom. Called Choice Home Warranty and 24 hours later I was contacted by a service man. He removed a 2' X 2' section of sheetrock (soggy through and through), located the pinhole leak in the copper tubing, cut out a section and used a "shark" connector to connect the two pieces. Problem fixed.
The next day, I received a call from Choice Home Warranty telling me the leak was not covered as it was behind an obstructed ceiling (i.e. sheetrock). Their warranty says, "Note: HWA will provide access to plumbing systems through unobstructed walls, ceilings or floors, only and will return the access opening to rough finish condition."
I read them the warranty and asked how this wasn't covered. The first person I talked to said they don't cover obstructed walls or ceilings. I stated that the ceiling was not obstructed, the pipe was behind sheetrock. An obstructed wall would be like, for example, a bookcase in front of the sheetrock, and that in excess of 99% of all plumbing is behind sheetrock in any home. She said there would have to be a hole there first for it to be covered. Obviously, I was incredulous about that answer. I then asked her why they would cover the repair to the sheetrock 'access' opening to a rough finish condition if it was already open? She didn't have an answer for that.
I then asked for a supervisor and was connected to "Arkim" (first name only). He basically repeated what the first woman had said and that I "wasn't reading the warranty correct(ly)." I then asked to speak to his supervisor and his response was, "There is no one above me you can talk with." I would WARN anyone interested in using Choice Home Warranty about this experience. The warranty says what it says, not what the Choice employees (in their infinite wisdom) choose to interpret it saying an "unobstructed wall" is NOT the same thing as an "unobstructed water pipe."
EDISON, NEW JERSEY -- I went online to put in a claim because my air conditioner was not working properly. A repairman came out and did not know how to fix the problem. After he left, 6 hours later he calls me back claiming that a wrong part was in my unit. He came the next day and installed a part but after he installed it the air conditioner failed to supply any cool air to my house. I called Choice and complained that I didn't think the person they sent to repair my unit knew what he was doing. They said they would send him out to fix the problem.
I requested another person come to help me but they said another person would not be able to get there for a few extra days and they said the previous repairman's work was guaranteed. When the repairman came back out, he told me there was nothing he could do to fix the problem and instructed me that Choice would contact me.
At that point, I called them and had extremely long hold times contacting the service department. When I finally got the 1st person they switched me to a supervisor and I waited over an hour for the supervisor to answer the call. This person told me that the problem was MY fault and if I wanted my unit fixed I would have to get the work done at my expense by a company I had to find.
I have called around and had 3 companies come out tell me that I now need a new air conditioner. I was quoted a price of $5200 for the cost of a new unit and installation. I checked my claim online and Choice had closed the claim. I reopened the claim and now they want me to pay another fee to have another repairman come out. This is not a good company to use and they do not get the air conditioner fixed. With the money you waste with them you could call a repairman and pay for quality work yourself. Do not use Choice. You are wasting your money and your time. They do everything to keep from giving you the service you deserve.
EDISON, NEW JERSEY -- I purchased a 5 year home warranty from Choice Home Warranty (CHW) last November. One of my units failed a week ago. They sent out the service provider (SP) who said the fan motor and compressor need replacing. After I contacted SP, I was told CHW would only cover the $200 for the fan motor and because the fan motor failing caused the compressor to fail they wouldn't replace the $800 compressor.
I have not been contacted by CHW. Their hold times are over 4 hours. The sales staff pick up the phone on the first ring. The new claims reps will answer, but don't have access to any info. I have been without AC for a week in 95F temp and without any help from CHW.
The only mention in the warranty regarding the compressor is that there may be an additional disposal fee from the SP. No mention of cause and effect other than misuse or poor maintenance by the owner. The broken unit is 10 years old and has been serviced regularly. It is very likely the compressor was nearing the end of its useful life and only required minimal stress to finally fail. I purchased the CHW warranty for the AC unit that failed because I knew the unit was old and could fail.
CHW claims the coverage of the compressor is not covered according to excerpt from clause F-19 in the contract: "You also agree that We are not liable for consequential, incidental, indirect, secondary, or punitive damages." According to a claim representative I finally was able to talk to, says the compressor is a "secondary event" and is therefore not covered.
CHW hides behind vague statements in their contract. They will find any way possible not to pay for claims. I've had other warranties from competitors (2-10) and never had these issues. While they were more expensive, they paid for claims. Ultimately, you get what you pay for.
WINSTON SALEM, NORTH CAROLINA -- So like the many others I see listed in the reviews here, I too have had a terrible experience with Choice Home Warranty. I have had 3 claims denied out of 3 claims filed in the 9 months I've had my house. Previous owner had the warranty and transferred to me as part of my home purchase, wish they hadn't so my realtor could have gotten me with someone worthwhile.
Discovered claim history that 5 claims had been filed for AC leak issues since 4/2015 and the service techs they sent babied the system along. Well my claim in 6/2016 had a tech they assigned who wouldn't take calls from me to schedule an appt., so after 9 days of my claim submittal and 2 subsequent requests for a new tech who would show (both denied cause they couldn't find anybody in Winston Salem, NC area) their guy showed. After 35 minutes the guy packed up and left saying my system was low and CHW denied repair until I had a leak test done at my expense.
Their guy said he wouldn't come back for another 8-10 days, so I went to find my own tech. 2 large reputable HVAC area companies refused to do work associated to CHW, I found a 3rd on personal referral and he only agreed to work with me directly as CHW hadn't paid him as a contractor since 1/2016 and he was having to file lawsuits against all the customers he serviced that CHW hadn't paid him for over the last 6 months. He completed my leak test, found my evaporator coils failed due to wear and tear. Also he found the other tech bypassed the safety fuses on my contactor on the outdoor unit and it was burnt out and needed replacement too.
CHW denied my repair on the basis the copper coil had rust on it... Like all the other reviewers, I had my HVAC guy and 2 other HVAC guys tell me that was expected on a 10+ year old coil. I paid the $1,700 to fix my system out of pocket and after I continued to question CHW, they agreed to pay up to $110 for the contactor IF I could get my HVAC guy to provide me receipts and a detailed invoice for the part and labor of the contactor. I've yet to see that payment...