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!!!
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.
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.
I just bought my home warranty with FIRST AMERICAN HOME WARRANTY company this month, May 12, 2010. My ac stop cooling enough, I call customer service to make a claim around 4:00 pm, the lady told me the service provider will contact me within 24 hours to set up a visit. The next 2 hours I got the phone call (around 6:00 pm), the provider told me he have an opening the very next day at 10:00 am. He was next day checking my ac, he said they have to come back to get it fix, because one of the pipes was frozen and they cannot perform the job due to this pipe...
The very next day May 14, 2010 the technician was again in my house, and I was told the coil was dirty and it need to be clean for $165.00 plus the $55.00 service call... they fix my ac with no problem, and I have no complaint with it.. Also I got a second opinion from a local ac company, I was told to do this job they will charge between $400.00 to $500.00 dollars, and they will not recommend this job to be done. This other company want to change the coil for the amount of $1,700.00 .
I'm not an ac technician but my ac unit seems to need to be cleaned and recharged because is not cool enough only... I'M SO GLAD I BOUGHT MY HOME WARRANTY WITH FIRST AMERICAN, they save me a lot of money and headache. I paid the total of $220.00 and my ac is cooling like new again.
TEXAS -- Beware of this warranty company! Here is a copy of an email I sent repeatedly after the warranty company failed to respond in 24 hours (as their website promises) to my call for help getting repairs completed. (The repair has been incomplete for 30+ days!).
"Your service has been terrible so far! I had a plumbing claim about a month ago. All-Pro came out and removed a Jacuzzi tub pump, which they said would be rebuilt and reinstalled. I never heard from them again, despite several voice mails left when their voice mailbox wasn't full. I emailed you guys about it and never heard back, Then I called and someone said they'd take care of it, but nothing became of that. So this is my third time contacting you. I will save this email because it will probably go to online forums if nothing gets done. GET ME A PUMP INSTALLED!"
Watch out for these guys, they don't deliver as promised.
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA -- This is a company with significant assets and services and their home warranty is nearly fraudulent. We have been without heating and air conditioning for 30 days and 3 poorly qualified and service companies have come to our home and we have paid over $1000 OUT OF POCKET and the unit is still not fixed. I would be very interested in seeking collective damages against the company for misrepresentation and the filing of formal complaints to the Arizona Department of Insurance or the Atty General for relief. It is a crime for consumers to be subject to scam artists in an area where many retirees reside.
Do not buy this home warranty. We have not had heat in our house for weeks and we can't get any contractors in the area to work with them because they make it so difficult. The look for any technicality not to fulfill their obligations, even when it contradicts the official diagnosis.