Sunday, June 30th, my AC stopped blowing out cold air. We called the First American Home Buyers Protection Corporation to file a claim and have the AC fixed. No one returned our call. The following day, we called and got confirmation that Glatfelter & Sons would come out and service our AC on Wednesday July 2nd. A technician came out and put in so much Freon in our unit that his bottle froze up. We had to provide a bucket of hot water. Later that day, I came home from work and the AC unit was making a god-awful noise like metal on metal. I had to shut the AC off, call the home warranty company to get someone out to figure out what happened.
I called the AC technician too who did not return my calls. The warranty company assured me they would find someone immediately and they would call me back. Surprisingly enough, they did not. Thursday, July 3rd, I called the warranty company several times as did my husband to find out the status of the claim and to find out when a technician would be dispatched to resolve the issue. I have severe allergies and take prescription medication Xyzal, Nasonex and Arbuterol. With the windows open for 5 days, the grass pollen also being high, I have to take Benadryl on top of that medication (50 mg) every six hours making me zombie like an unable to function.
I made this a medical claim with the warranty company who assured me that they would get emergency dispatch to find us a contractor. Friday, July 4th, the second contractor came out and looked at our unit. He was extremely knowledgeable and competent. We told him what the first technician did and he was stumped. In all of his experience and his boss's experience (30+ years), he has NEVER heard of anyone using that much Freon on an AC unit. He told us the guy had blown the compressor and the condenser and evaporator coil would need to be replaced.
He called the warranty company who was only going to pay him for 3 hours of his time even though he had been at our house with travel time 4 hours. He lives in Lebanon and we are located an hour and a half away in Hanover. So, he left. Later that day, after much arguing, I was talking with ** (a supervisor with First American), who went back and said that they decided to approve the second technician after all. She had originally said that they were going to hire a third company to come out and give an estimate to fix our unit... which makes no sense when the competent technician was already there and could have got the process of repair started.
The hold up with the warranty company then became the paperwork. They needed to have the quote in writing to break down the cost of the job. Every day, for five days, the contractor faxed and called in the price. The warranty company kept claiming they did not have the information. Wednesday, July 9th - Spoke to ** (another supervisor) assured me that she would personally call the contractor and get the information, get the job approved and have our AC fixed. She assured me that a third technician would not have to be hired that they were going with the second company.
Thursday, July 10th - Spoke to ** (another supervisor) at the warranty company. They rejected the second company's bid and were going with a third technician. The third company would call us by EOB Thursday. ** would also call us back and let us know the status. Again, no one returned our call. We called again and spoke to a claims representative on the main number. All the supervisor extensions we have gone straight to voice mail. This person told us that a contractor (All Done Mechanical) was hired to be our third technician and would contact us by EOB.
** called and left a message that she was personally taking care of this claim and would have an answer and a technician for us... even though we were told by someone else that a third contractor was already hired. Friday, July 11th - We are currently on hold with a third supervisor on this one call (it's been 2 hours of arguing). They do not have a third company hired. They are going to go with the second company and want to call us back. We are refusing to get off the phone until we have an appointment to get the AC fixed. Now they are back on the phone saying they are trying to get a third company and are not going with the second one. FREAKING RIDICULOUS!!!
Sunday, July 13th - We still do not have an appointment set for a third technician to come out. We've spoken to **. We've left messages repeatedly with all of them including **. ** said she would call in 30 minutes, it's almost an hour. We had to stay at a hotel for two days because my allergies were killing me. Tonight we are back home and it's 95 degrees outside right now. I have 4 pages of all the calls logged just by myself. They do not include all the calls my husband has made for the last 14 days.
I am frustrated and confused as to how they are allowed to operate as a business. Their first technician destroyed our AC unit. The second one could have fixed it. They didn't like the price of the second one so they want to go with a third one but now are going back to the second one allegedly. The bottom line is that they said we can call our own contractor and get reimbursed by the warranty company. We are not going to do that, because I am pretty confident they will refuse to pay us.
VAN NUYS, CALIFORNIA -- First American Home Buyer's "Protection" Corporation are scam artists. I wish I'd gone with Old Republic. We have them for our other house and they've been great. The only reason we didn't use them this time is that First American gave me a hard sell, had lower fees for a duplex than did OR, and gave me a discount b/c we'd installed new central a/c (under the installer's warranty). They have been horrible from the start - not faxing the invoice to my title company so that the policy could get started, making me wait 8 hours for a customer representative call-back on a major plumbing emergency.
The actual plumber didn't call till at least 24 hours after THAT call. I had another licensed plumber there when the representative called (I'd called him b/c we know he's highly skilled and honest and I'd forgotten that the issue might have been covered by the warranty). I explained to the representative this could not wait and said could they reimburse me if I paid the guy who was there at that point. They said absolutely not (OR would've done this - have done it in the past).
I said in that case I wanted to cancel my policy. They said they wouldn't let me!!! I asked to speak to a supervisor, and the guy said he WAS a supervisor and actually laughed at me! I'd had it only a week or 2 at that point and they'd told me in their sales pitch there was a 30-day no-questions-asked cancellation period. They've already collected their 2nd payment from my credit card (3 weeks after the initial payment!). I've closed my credit card to prevent them from stealing any more money. I'm going through the BBB and fighting them. They are truly scam artists. STAY AWAY FROM THEM!!!
VALLEY VILLAGE, CALIFORNIA -- The Heat is Off. 12-19-08 ** called First American, who sent a Technician from Kravetz Co. that afternoon. Technician said that he had to order a part which should arrive the first of next week and be installed on Tuesday (Dec. 23). 12-22-08 ** called Kravetz to ensure that part had arrived, left message. No return call. 12-23-08 ** called First American, spoke to ** after a 45 minute wait on hold. She was very nice and said she would look into it and call back. Gave her extension so we would not have to wait if we had to call her. 12-24 through 12-29-08 No call back from **. Left numerous messages.
12-29-08 ** called First American again. Waited 45 minutes on hold. Talked to **. She said she would talk to her supervisor and call back before the end of the day. She did not. 12-30-08 Left messages for **. No return calls. Called Kravetz Co. who said that First American was responsible for getting the needed part.
1-2-09 Called First American again. After another 45 minute wait, talked to **. Still trying to find the part. Spoke to her supervisor ** who said the part was ordered but wouldn't be installed until the 5th or 6th because the Kravetz technician was on vacation. Asked if another technician from another company could be found, he said that that was against policy and could take him hours to arrange. I replied that I thought that was First Americans job; to provide service and he said that he would get back to me. He gave me his extension, at my request, but with two digits reversed. Never heard back from him.
1-5-09 Called First American again. Another 45 minute wait. Talked to ** who said the part hadn't been ordered because "they didn't know the brand of the heater". I told him that it was a Lennox heater. He promised to call back, but never did. ** was able to find an a e-mail address for ** in media/public relations. He e-mailed a brief history of our experience to date and expressed our dissatisfaction. Later, ** called ** again who said the matter was now "in the hands of upper management" and gave us the number for **.
1-6-09 ** phoned ** at First American, who said that our case had come to the attention of the company president and that Ted would let me know what was happening. He called back and said that he was checking with First American purchasing but was also going to contact Kravetz Co. to see if they could get the part. He did not seem to know that they had already said that they could not. He promised to call back, but did not. We called him back at 4:00 P.M. but were only able to leave a message. 1-7-09 10:00 A.M. Left message for ** to call with an update.
2:45 P.M. After no return call, we called ** who said the part had been found back East and would be shipped priority (3-5 business days). We said that this was not acceptable and asked why part could not be shipped overnight. He said he would check with purchasing and call back. He did not. 1-8-09 1:10 P.M. Left message for ** requesting call back on part status. No response.
1-12-08 8:15 A.M. Talked to **. He said that part should be at Kravetz Co. and that he would check with them. If they don't have the part he will check with his purchasing guy, who has a tracking number for the part. If Kravetz does have the part he will try to schedule the install today. Said he would call back and let us know. 10:30 A.M. Returned from an appointment. No call or message from **. Called Kravetz Co. They do not have the part yet and had no call from First American about it. 1-13-09 2:07 P.M. Left message on ** voice mail requesting phone call or e-mail about status of part needed to get heater fixed. No response as of 6:00 P.M.
1-14-09 10:13 A.M. Left another message on ** voice mail requesting status of part. Left our phone number and e-mail address. 2:00 P.M. Still no response from **. Left another voice mail.
First American Home warranty has failed to honor their claims and seems to only work with unreasonable, or incompetent contractors. I have had an open service claim for my stove since late last year, and it is now mid August. Initially the contractor (L & S) refused to schedule service outside my work schedule (7 am - 2 pm). They said I would have to be home between 8 and 5 and would not be more specific or flexible in any way. The warranty itself, as well as the customer service recording when you are on hold, says "Service is available 24 hrs. a day 365 days a year. This is a false claim.
When I decided to cancel my policy, I was contacted by a representative who apologized and assured me the matter would be resolved. On July 1st, another technician was dispatched, from the same company, who now mysteriously was able to schedule until 9 pm. The technician came out, the service fee was paid, and I was told a part had to be ordered. I also had discussed with him another issue which I suspected would not be covered and he was going to find out and let me know how much it would be to fix. When they called to let me know the part was in, I requested the same technician and was assured he would be the one sent out.
Instead, another guy showed up. The new technician, looked over the unit briefly and then went outside. I did not realize that he just left and never even said a word to me. The stove was not fixed and no one ever called me from the contractor or First American. Several weeks later, I put in a new request for service on my air conditioner, and an inquiry on the existing service request for the stove with all of the details of what transpired. I received an email reply that I could not respond to, and it had nothing to do with the stove.
It said that a complete diagnosis for my "air conditioner" had been requested, that the contractor said they were unable to locate parts and that if they couldn't get the parts, a replacement would be covered. It seems no one knows what is going on, as when I made another telephone inquiry to customer service, I was told that notations were not made to my account about the matter and I will be called back. Nice.
CA -- I purchased the home warranty protection with 1st American, upon the suggestion of my realtor. I filed 3 separate claims over the 1st few mths, not surprising as the house was built in 1977 & a foreclosure. The claims were: 1- electrical stemming around what turned out to be a ceiling fan. the guy they sent out said he saw nothing wrong. I hired an electrician, who upon removing the fan immediately said the motor was extremely hot & the fan needed replacing, which he did
2- my upstairs air condition, set to hold at 82º, changes degrees itself 3 or 4 nights a week to 78º, 67º, or 55º. The repair guy said something like I dont see anything wrong & if I dont see it then there is nothing wrong & actually asked if I was sure. To which I pointed out the degrees change at night & apparently it is the thermostat. He repeated there was nothing wrong & it was just my imagination.
3- pool valves can not be turned. according to my previous pool guy were rusted from age & lack of use. He is a rather strong guy & could barely turn 1 or 2 of the 5. Im a female 63 yrs old & cant even budge them. The repair guy 1st American sent went back & said he had no problem opening & closing the valves, which was not true. I stood there watching his attempts & he told me these valves are very old, put in when the pool was first install, which is probably about 25 or 30 yrs old. We will have to take them out & put in the newer types of valves. All claims were denied!! So I filed a complaint with the BBB (Better Business Bureau).
VAN NUYS, CALIFORNIA -- Recently we bought a house in Texas that my wife fell in love with. First American Home Warranty was "recommended" by the seller's realtor some we mistakenly went with them. Last week we called them about some electrical issues in our home. Some outlets had quit working in a couple of rooms. After we called FAHW, an electrical contractor finally came by a week later. The electrical apprentice spent more than a hour at our house. He really didn't do much but check a few outlets, take some pictures and write a report. I thought, what the hell are the photos for? He'd assured us he'd be back in a day or two to run some new electrical wires.
Had to pay the guy $60 for basically nothing. Allegedly some wires had burned out behind one of the walls (?). How that happened he couldn't quite explain. That's when I started to get a bad feeling about FAHW and their electrical contractor, Allsafe out of Desota, Texas. The repair cost was allegedly going to be rather high... Four days later, nothings happened. Finally five days later AHW called us to let us know the claim was denied. The denial had nothing to do with the issue of concern. The denial was based on some some additional electrical lines the home's previous had installed near the service panel.
Thought the lines were not active and had in no way been connected to the breaker box, AHW denied the claim. Also, some screws were missing from some face place - another reason to deny an honest and fair claim. Please be advised that AHW and their contractors are not interested in fixing your home problems - their job is to find any angle they can to deny your claim. I called a guy from Craigs list the same day, he showed up the next morning and fixed the problem within an hour.
It cost us less than the service call we had to pay to the AHW contractor - who did absolutely nothing but collect a check from us and make some promises about coming back in a day or two to fix the problem. It actually took less time for the second electrician to fix the problem than it took for AHW's contractor to write his report and take his pictures. AHW is a dishonest and unfair company. Their motto is to analyze the issue and deny the request based on each and every condition that deviates in any way, matter or form from the strictest regulations and criteria that can be enforced in your County, City or State. If you don't want to disappointed and ripped off - don't use AHW.
CALIFORNIA -- On May 31 of 2008 we closed on our first home, which was provided with a home warranty from First American Home Buyers Protection Corp. Our first negative experience came a month into the warranty when FAHBPC sent us a bill for for $100 for service from March (before we owned or even put an offer on the home). It took 4 separate phone calls to FAHBPC @ about a 30 minute Hold EACH TIME! to deal with it. My first 2 half hour wait calls ended up with me speaking to someone for about 3 minutes who hung up on me! My 3rd call had me talking to someone that transferred me to another hold that I gave up on after 10 minutes.
On the 4th call I got a lady who listened and said "no problem, we will just write it off". No more bill. Well after about 10 more months we finally needed (our first) service, on our pool - which was specifically included in the Warranty bought for this home. They sent a service tech. who came into my back yard, disconnected every part of the pump, disassembled the pump into about 20 pieces, and after about 10 minutes of being there stood up and said "we don't have the parts". He asked for his service fee, when I gave it to him... He left - with my pump in pieces and now my pool leaking from the disconnected parts.
After a few days we called and were told that they had to order a part and would be back in about 2 to 3 weeks. I stated that that was unacceptable, we are in Memphis where you can Fed EX anything in the world here in 2 days! We even offered to pay for the priority shipping, also waiting 2 - 3 weeks of no pump or filtering of pool water will RUIN the POOL (we consulted 3 other companies)! Well it turns out that the 2 weeks for shipping a part is coincidentally just after our policy expires!
Both the service tech. and FAHBPC basically said that it would still be 2 - 3 weeks and they would do nothing to service the pool in the meantime. We told them to Forget it and bought a new pump ourselves. THEN! it gets better. Turns out that the $100 bill that was never ours, that was "written off" is showing up as past 60 days late write off on our credit report which has lowered our near perfect credit score. Our year warranty with FAHBPC cost us countless cell minutes, wasted time, destroying our pool pump, flooding our back yard, lowering our credit score, and extreme frustration. Afterwards they asked me to pay my bill to renew the policy... No way in Hell!
First American was great until the last 2 years. I have had 3 different run in myself and one for my mother. On my mom case they left a 68 year old women without air for 2 1/2 months in 115 degree weather. Yes that is right, they sent 3 different contractors, each one of the contractor said it was broke. The first guy came and left, after collecting the $ 55.00 dollars, saying its broke. Never to be seen again. The next two wrote up estimates for a new a/c unit and said they forwarded it to First American. I felt that First American did not like being told they needed to honor the claim, so they kept sending out people, to delay the claim.
They were called daily, each time by me. I was told they had no paperwork, that the tech had not made any comments, I had the paperwork it was plain as day. Unit is no longer functioning, recommend replacement. I contacted, both companies that came out and was told, they had forwarded it to the company yet the company did not have it. They forwarded it to my office and I sent it a total of 5 times myself. They did not pay for the unit my mother did out of pocket. They told us after more than a dozen calls: There is no ac units in Las Vegas therefore we have none to install. They failed on her behalf.
On the 3 times I had a run-in saying that there is nothing wrong with the ac unit even though the coldest it ever got was 96 degrees. Outside it was 114, and there was nothing wrong. We paid the $55.00 just to be told there was nothing wrong! The next company sent on the same problem actually spent more than 17 minutes on the roof and said the fan motor was going out and seizing up. He changed it we were fine.
Hot water heater issue they put in the last one, it is flushed once a year. We told them the heating element was going out. There tech said we had the hot water heater turned down too much. Two weeks later we had no hot water, and they sent someone else, who said that we must turn it until he looked at the setting and said we burned it out by having it too high.
Now is this anyway to treat customers? They really could careless, it please hold, please hold.. One time the call center thought she had placed me on hold to ask her manager a question for service, and she did not. I heard about her weekend with her boyfriend for 3 to 4 minutes. When she came back to me she said, her manager was not available and I continue holding (now more than 30 minutes) or they could call back.. Don't let them call you back they will not.
VAN NUYS, CALIFORNIA -- In our opinion: A very normal, simple pipe started a small leak, so we do the prudent thing and call FAHW. They set up a plumber appointment who did not arrive. We called and were told that plumber does not service our area (an issue we raised with FAHW at the beginning when we saw the plumber's "foreign" area code but FAHW assured us the plumber would be here and that they had "a satellite office serving our area". That was one day wasted with FAHW. (Is your time worth something to you?)
Second day, second plumber... came, saw pipe leak, had no problem with the job and started in to work... he removed the pipe, said he would be leaving to get (small) replacement parts after he telephoned FAHW from his truck -- and then they "denied the claim," why? The plumber would not wait for us to reach FAHW, saying that "the insurance company acts like the Mafia: they collect your money and refuse to fix your pipe leaks..." He indicated he'd had issues with FAHW before. We call FAHW they say, after much fumbling, that the claim was denied because "pipe or nut holding it together was found by plumber to be starting to loosen."
Comment: of course it was, that is why it started to leak (it does not take a rocket scientist OR a professional plumber to figure this out!)... Second day wasted with FAHW. Another call to FAHW and they agree that the denial made no sense... they sent a third plumber (third day) with the advisory that he would be prepared to fix the pipe. He arrives, inspects, indicates no problem fixing it after he buys the small parts to fit, sets up appointment to do the job later in the day. Time for appointment arrives and passes, we get call from third plumbing company that FAHW "denied the claim" again. Third day wasted with FAHW over a very simple two hundred buck (or less) job.
Call again to FAHW... nice lady says claim denied because "pipe was found to have been removed on arrival" by third plumber. Of course it was removed, that was where the second plumber left it after he Vamoosed (he really should have replaced it but he was upset having been sent on a non-paying call by FAHW and he left in a fast hurry). Result of three wasted days: a small leak which actually disabled nothing is now made worse: it is now a removed pipe, rendering the drain unusable.
And all we keep getting from FAHW is nice ladies on the phone attempting to make sense of garbled, illogical notes (that they even admit make no sense)... and more delays and wasted days... So, a very ordinary and very leak repair job indeed a remarkably simple and straightforward little plumbing problem that happens all the time ... and three days of the customer's time wasted by FAHW (plus the time of their contract plumbers also appears to have been wasted by FAHW, at least they surely were not happy with FAHW!)
We do NOT want to try to repair even this simple thing ourselves, we have been paying FAHW for the services of professionally-trained, real plumbers all along to have the work done right each time... and now... This, after customer paid for this insurance for nearly 10 years. We are very, very disappointed with First American Home Warranty and will definitely NOT be using them in future on any property we may own. Sincerely yours for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year (and some other, better home warranty firm)...
PORTLAND, OREGON -- First American Complaint (Warranty not insurance = Not Regulated by your State Insurance Division). Sure, I have a story. A month into this claim and no oven repair. 1st Tech said, Parts no longer available, need to replace unit." They sent for a second opinion. Second tech said no parts available, but he could retrofit from other ovens. Next day, claim denied due to pre-existing problem. I sent them a copy of the home inspection that stated that the oven worked. I called first tech., he said oven could break at any time, through normal use. First tech offered to have First Am. call him to confirm. First Am. said, denied, denied, denied.
I have phone calls recorded, kind of funny when you listen and hear conflicting information from the representatives. If I get emails, I will post it on the net as a podcast or youtube for you listening pleasure. I got an attorney and also made a complaint with BBB as described below, currently the tech is waiting for parts First American promised to send him that Hotpint/GE said, do not exist anymore. First though and important NOTE!! First American Home Buyers Protection Corporation is not an insurance company. They are NOT REGULATED! They sell a warranty. You can sell a warranty too! No insurance license needed.
This means that your state's insurance division is powerless. Call them, they will tell you. Your State's Department of Justice has a little bite but mostly they can gnaw, but have no bite. Better Business Bureau. This will help to some degree. If you make a proper complaint, a First American representative will contact you. IMPORTANT: You must make a complaint with the BBB in their home town. Here is a link for Better Business Bureau that they belong to: http://www.labbb.org/. First American Home Buyers Protection, P.O. Box 10180, Van Nuys, CA 91410-1980,**.
P.S. There are 1019 complaints in the last 36 months. That's over 306 a year, Better Business Bureau complaints. How many people have time for this?? Most will just replace or pay Sears to fix it out of their own pocket.