In the past I have seen many complaints about at lot of Home Warranty services, most of them justified. So I thought that I would give a review about my latest call to HMS.
A few days ago, my hot water heater decided to go to that big appliance graveyard in the sky. Messily so. At 3am in the morning no less.
After cleaning up my ânew indoor poolâ, I called HMS. This was at about 5am. They said that they would locate a plumber when most of them opened and get back to me as soon as possible.
At 8:16am I get a call from HMS with the name of a plumber that could come over that evening and they put me through to the plumber on a three-way call to get all the details down.
Plumber came (Iâll do a review of them when everything is finished) at about 7pm and let me know that Iâll need a new hot water heater and that they will fax all the info to HMS in the morning.
I start thinking that this is going to be an uphill fight to get the hot water heater replaced. Most warranty companies will fix things with very little trouble, but put up one heck of a fight if the item actually needs to be replaced.
The next morning I get a call from HMS telling me that they have received the paperwork from the plumbers and that itâs going to âclaims reviewâ to see if they will authorize a replacement or not and that it might be 24 to 48 hours before I hear anything back.
I get a call from the plumber later that day telling me the same thing, and that they would call me when HMS updates them.
Next day I get a call from HMS telling me that the hot water heater has been approved and would I like the new hot water heater shipped to the plumber they chose or would I like to find another plumber, pay for repairs myself and be reimbursed?
I asked them to please ship it to the plumber and about how long would it take? The young man stated that he was very sorry, but since it was so late in the day, it wouldnât ship to the next day, meaning Thursday and that the plumber would most likely not get it until late Friday.
I was thinking that it would be at least 3 to 5 days for them to ship it!
And here was HMS saying that they were sorry that it was going to take one day to get the hot water heater to the plumberâ¦
I told him that the plumber getting it Friday was more than acceptable and better than I hoped for!
The plumber did, in fact, get it late Friday and will be here today to install it in the late afternoon.
HMS as already called me today asking if everything was going OK and that they would call again on Wednesday to make sure the install went well.
In the 5 years I have had HMS I havenât had any bad service from them at all. They have always been nice, polite and helpful.
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HMS Home Warranty is a Dud
Posted by M. on 2008-08-09
SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND -- As a single mother of one, I was elated to purchase my first home this past May. That pivotal moment in my life was quickly shattered after dealing with the never ending claims process with HMS. The home in which I purchased was older, modest, and had an abundance of charm. Due to the age of the home and appliances, it was highly suggested that I invest in a home warranty through HMS. After reviewing the companyâs website and speaking the family members and friends whom at some point in time were prior policy holders, I concluded to go forward with purchasing a policy to cover future problems. I felt an assurance that if anything went wrong with the home that the problems would be corrected expeditiously and in a reasonable amount of time. This assurance was put to the test when my washing machine, dryer, and dishwasher all decease to work June 6, 2008. I contacted the 24 hour HMS customer service number provided in my contract that evening to file a claim. After speaking with a customer service agent, I was given a claim number (5656005-100) and the name of the company I needed to contact to schedule a service appointment.
On June 8, 2008 a call was placed to the Appliance Repair Service Company and an appointment was schedule for June 13, 2008 between the hours of 8 -12 am. Once the appointment was scheduled, the representative from the repair company indicated that I will be contacted the day before to confirm the appointment date and time. The day the appointment was to be confirmed, I had not heard from them and placed a follow up call. It was at this time I was informed that HMS had not faxed over the work order as promised and they had no record of me ever placing a call to the company. I recalled the HMS customer service department requesting the work order be faxed again to the repair company. Consequently, due to the availability in the repair companyâs schedule, I was given a later service time between the hours of 10 -2 pm. I indicated to the individual at the repair company that the technician needed to be at my home no later that 2 pm for I had a meeting across town a half an hour later.
In addition, I conveyed that if the technician frayed from that scheduled time to please contact me so that other arrangements could be made. As the appointment time drew close to 1 pm, I contacted the repair company to find out the technicians whereabouts. I was told that the technician was running behind and would not be able to reach my home until after 3 pm. At that point, I expressed my discontent and asked if a technician could be able to come after the conclusion of my meeting. The individual stated that I should contact them when I was in route home. Following their instructions, I placed a about 4:30 pm and they stating that someone would meet me there. As the close of the business day drew near, I made numerous unsuccessful attempts to contact the repair company inquiring about the technician. During my final attempt I was able to reach someone and was told a technician would be there in less than thirty minutes. The technician arrived and asked to be directed to the appliances in question. In total he spent less than fifteen minutes evaluating all the appliances. Moreover, during that time frame he taunted me for purchasing a home with older appliances all the while on his cell phone. Clearly this gentleman did not attend customer service 101. After completing the work order form, he concluded that the washing machines transmission was irreconcilably broken and that I should place newspapers around it so that the transmission fluid and oil would not continue to leak across my laundry room floor. Furthermore, he stated that the problems with the dryer and dishwasher were a figment of my imagination and that all will be well in the morning. I paid my one hundred dollar deductible and he quickly rushed to the front door (while still on the cell phone). He proclaimed that he would submit my work order that night and HMS claims office would contact me in several days to replace the machine. Finally, a reprieve from the days scheduling mishaps.
A week went by and I had not heard from the HMS claims office. I contacted the HMS customer service department to find out the status of my claim. It was to my surprise that not only did they not have a record of my work order being submitted, but they had no record of me ever calling in a claim despite having a valid claim number. The customer service agent researched my situation and opened a new claim which was to include my previous claim number as future reference. Another week went by and still no word from the claims office. The following week I placed daily calls inquiring about my status. During each of my multitude of calls, no one could fin my claim nor find a work order. The experience had now become overwhelming and I asked to speak to a supervisor. Each time I was told a supervisor was unavailable and was instructed to leave a number so that I can be contacted. Consequently, no one returned my phone calls. Ironically, after nearly a month without a washing machine I received a call from someone in the claims office requesting the washing machines identification numbers.
I was told that I would be contacted shortly with repair or replacement options. It wasnât until July 13th, that I was contacted by the claims office with a resolution. I was informed of two options, either taking that machine that was âcomparableâ to my circa 1980âs machine or take the three hundred and fifty dollar pay out to find my own. The individual provided me the model number and referred me to the Sears website for detailed specifications. In stead I drove my local Sears to evaluate the machine for websites can be misleading. When I found the machine HMS offered, I discover that the washing capacity was smaller than my previous model and not energy efficient. Moreover, the non-sale price quoted was approximately one hundred dollars less than the pay out offer. I was floored. The same sentiment I felt after the repairmanâs departure I felt at that moment; belittlement, bamboozled and in sheer utter disbelief. As I stood and stared at the machine, I questioned the ethics of the company had I gotten myself involved in? I returned home and started off in the routine I have been doing for over a month; dragging a host of trash bags full of dirty clothesâ out of my first home, to the laundry mat down the street and spending the last few dollars I had to clean my families clothes. This in the middle of what most people are considering a recession. I had enough. HMSâs customer commitment pledge, âFeel safe, secure and comfortable with the trusted name in home warranty and E&O insurance. Your peace of mind is a call or click awayâ is no longer identifiable.
Shortly thereafter, I contacted the customer service office requesting to speak with the claims department to see why I was offered a smaller and non-energy efficient machine. Like each time before, I received what I have now dubbed, âThe HMS Two Stepâ. Trying to escalate a call to the claims department seemed harder than comprehending an NFL playbook. It wasnât until July 17th that I finally broke through the interference. I posed my concerns to the supervisor and he indicated that the machine I was offered was âcomparableâ to what I currently had and that the price difference was due to their discount with various service providers. It was if he equated my washing machine to a Roman chariot and what they were offering was a high end luxury sports car. Moreover, I questioned how long it would take to receive the pay out check should I choose to accept the offer. Surprisingly, he indicated that HMS does not directly give the home owner the money, but the check was to be written to the company in which the item would be purchased (i.e. Home Depot, Sear, Lowes, etc). Obviously HMS has less confidence that a home owner to be responsible enough to purchase a machine without the assistance or a third party than that are asking of the home owner to have patience in their Draconian processes. Furthermore, he stated that checks are only issued in the claims office on Wednesdays and mailed to the designated company the following Friday. If I decided to use the method it could take upwards to two to three weeks for a machine to be delivered. In the eleventh hour, he offered a program that would allow me to upgrade to a machine of my choice and the cost difference would be at my expense. I provided him three baseline energy efficient machines that I felt were in âcomparableâ size. It was stated that he would expedite the information to the research department and would call me with a resolution within twenty-four to forty-eight hours. Despite hear that resolution time frame dozens of times over the past month or so, my confidence was somewhat reassured. For this ongoing situation was in the capable hands of the companyâs supervisor and not the ground level customer service agent.
As of todayâs date, I have not been contacted by anyone representing the HMS customer service or claims office. Furthermore, I have spent approximately the same amount of money in which I was offered for a âcomparableâ machine in fees at the laundry mat over the past two months. NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO EXPERIENCE THIS FORM OF CONSUMER ABUSE!
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Poor Customer Service
Posted by Barry on 2013-07-04
BEL AIR, MARYLAND -- On July 2nd called about refrigerator being inoperative. customer service representative said 1st vendor could respond on July 9th. unacceptable, then left message for second vendor. I called 4 hours later for another vendor (no response from 2nd vendor) but was told I must wait 4 business hours and that the claim could not be assigned to another vendor. Plus the representative and supervisor said it was too late to get a response from other vendors (7pm that evening).
The following day the 2nd vendor called to say that his father in law has died and he could come out on July 9th. Called HMS and relayed same. The representative said no one could come out till next week. But they would forward to dispatch to continue to find a service vendor. At 9pm HMS called to say someone could come out on July 4th to ascertain problem ( already knew it was blown compressor and had informed same, but the sequence is for service tech to come out, tell HMS what the problem is and give price for repair, if HMS doesn't like material price, then they purchase else where and ship to service rep).
Funny the day before the supervisor said no one would respond after 7pm, so I had to wait 20 hours to hear that that I wasn't getting service. But the next day I get phone call that a service representative could respond on July 4th ( call was at 9pm).
At this point I had waited 30 hours to get a service call scheduled for an inoperative refrigerator. Then a wait from the representative to tell HMS what the materials would cost for repairs, and in the mean time hundreds of dollars of food lost. So knowing that a service call on July 4th and then a call to HMS if answered ( it is a holiday), for material approval, if not, then HMS will ship parts to service representative or approve a new refrigerator (this one is 8 years old). So basically looking at July 11th for completed repairs or replacement (at the minimum). So basically 8 days without a refrigerator. So HMS won the battle and we purchased a new refrigerator.
Have had HMS for 8 years and never had this bad of customer service!!!!!
We could live with bad service from HMS for an oven (could use microwave or BBQ grill), a dishwasher (could wash by hand), a dryer or washing machine (could do by hand or go to a laundromat), etc..But without a refrigerator could not keep stuff cold for the babies and grandparents, so we spent 1100.00 and had a refrigerator delivered the next day. Funny the same company who could not come out till July 9th, 7 days after the initial service request, but can deliver, remove and install a new refrigerator the next day!!!!
Also funny the supervisor on July 2nd at 7pm could not get a service representative to respond at that time of day, but the next day the representative found someone and called me at 9pm to say that thy had talked to someone.
HMS is basically out for themselves, no urgency from their employees and what ever hardships you are encountering is of no concern to them. They talked to me like I was a child and were very condescending. Looks like I will change to a new company next year, maybe they will be more customer orientated!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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HMS Home Warranty is a scam
Posted by V on 2009-03-30
In April of 2008, I purchased a home and moved in on April 25, 2008. The sellers of the house had purchased a one year home warranty for us through Homesure Services Inc(HMS Home Warranty). In June of 2008 our air conditioning unit went out so I called the warranty company and asked if the A/C unit was covered. I was informed by the company that it was covered and we scheduled to have Tuck Heating and Air come out and check out our A/C unit. Tuck Heating and Air was a company that we had to use because Homesure Services Inc require you to use one of there contacts. On June 11 2008, the technician from Tuck Heating and Air came out and looked over our unit and told us that the problem was with our clogged evaporator coil. The technician told us the it would be $400 dollars to clean the coil. I said that was fine since our warranty had a $100 deductible so I only had to pay $100 and the warranty company would pay the rest. The technician informed me that this repair was not covered under our warranty because it was considered maintenance.
I then excused myself and went outside and called my brother in law since he used to work in the field. I explained to him that we had an upflow unit in the basement and this tech wanted to charge me $400 to clean it. My brother in law told me that an upflow unit was a pain in the butt to clean because the unit had to be pulled out and cleaned and if I didn't know what I was doing he recommended that I pay the tech. After I got off the phone with him I went inside and got out the yellow pages, went upstairs and called a Trane store and asked what they would charge to come to our home and clean out the coil in an upflow unit. The representative at Trane told me that it would cost us about two hours in labor to fix that and with the service charge to come out he estimated that the price would be around $375-$425, at that time my wife came upstairs and told me that the tech for Tuck heating and Air would just charge us around $200 to clean it so I told him to go ahead and do it.
My wife and I went out to sit outside in the backyard while he was working, about 15-20 minutes later the tech came out back and told us that the job was done. When he told us this we both thought it would have taken him a lot longer and my wife asked him if that was all that was wrong with the unit and if it was working correctly now. He told us yes and told us that we were good to go. I walked over to a register in the kitchen and told him that there wasn't much air blowing out and it wasn't cold. The tech had some folded papers in his back pocket and he took them out and laid them over the register to show me there was sufficient air flow, well the papers didn't move, he then moved to another register and the same thing happened finally on his third register the papers moved a little and he said "See its flowing good." Well we gave him the benefit of the doubt, paid him and even tipped him $25. Later that afternoon my wife and I were talking and she told me that while I was on the phone talking to Trane, the tech had told her that the A/C unit was undersized for our home, I just blew it off because it had been working fine up to this point. That evening we still couldn't get the house below 80 degrees so I called Tuck Heating and Air and left them a message stating that the A/C wasn't fixed and that someone needed to come out ASAP. We didn't hear back from Tuck but the following day Homesure Services called us and told us that they had been informed that the unit wasn't working. Homesure Services then told me that they could have Tuck Heating and Air come back out but that I would be charged again to have them come back out. I told them that I paid them once and they didn't do the job so I wouldn't pay them to come back out and fix it again.
The representative at Homesure Services then told me that the tech had advised them that the A/C unit was undersized for our home. I told the representative that the tech had told my wife the same thing but that was BS since the unit had been working fine and keeping our home plenty cool. The representative then told me that under roman numeral 5 in the terms and conditions section of our warranty any unit that is undersized or oversized for the home is not covered under the warranty and therefore the warranty company was not responsible for having the unit fixed. That summer we had two separate companies not associated with Homesure Services Inc come out to our home and do checks on the A/C unit. The first company cleaned the coil and put all the debris that he cleaned out into a baggy for us and he could tell that the coil hadn't been cleaned in quite some time, but he also informed us that the problem wasn't with the coil but that the valves needed replacing. He also informed us that the fan blade had been installed upside down and he turned it back over for us. We then had another company come out and do a diagnostic check on the unit and this company also told us that the valves in the compressor were bad and the compressor was unable to cool. We put out over $1400 to have the non-functioning parts replaced in the unit and now it works and has been working fine ever since. Both companies also informed us that the A/C unit was the correct size for our size home.
It is quite obvious to us that there is collusion between the warranty company and their contracted companies that come out and do the work. This tech from Tuck Heating and Air told us he checked the system but what he didn't notice the fan blade was on upside down and didn't check the compressor or valves. He charged us what he knew was maintenance related issues that the warranty company would cover and then told them that the unit was undersized knowing that they wouldn't have to cover that. When I later contacted Homesure Services Inc and told them that we brought out two independent companies and had in writing that the unit was not undersized for our home they told us that they would only take the advice of their contracted companies as to the unit being under or oversized. Don't be the next consumer to be ripped off by this company.
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HMS Delays, Delays, Delays in AC Repair in Hottest Part of Summer
Posted by Bryan on 2009-08-14
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA -- Last Friday evening, my air conditioner failed. First thing Saturday morning, I called HMS to place a claim. They told me that someone would be calling me later that day to make an appointment to check the unit.
Late that afternoon, no one had called yet, so I called HMS back again, and was given a different company. When that company did not call me back either, I called HMS yet again and was told they would cover whatever company I would select.
I found a local contractor who agreed to come out first thing Sunday morning. While he was a little late, he quickly diagnosed the problem as a burned-out fan motor. He called HMS, as requested, to report the problem and request permission to do the work.
Here begins the procrastination of HMS. They said they would have to wait until business hours (M-F) to approve the claim -- even though the temperature on Sunday was forecast to reach 98 degrees in high humidity.
I called them each day, not getting anywhere. On Wednesday, I was told that my contractor was approved to do the work, but that he would have to use HMS's part, and they would need 24-48 hours to locate the part. Of course, the claims department is sleeping in air conditioned houses and has no real motivation to get the work done.
I called back today (Friday) since it has now been over 48 hours without any return call. I asked to speak with a supervisor, waited on hold for about 15 minutes, and was finally hung up on by one of their employees. (I was not rude in any way, just persistent.)
I called back again (after waiting futilely for a return call) and was allowed to speak to the claims department. The man there is the least kind person I spoke within this whole experience so far. He did say that HMS would agree to pay me for the contractor's labor plus the cost they (HMS) had for the part. When I asked how much money that would be, I was told that only the parts department would have that information.
I asked to speak to someone in the parts department. He told me that this department does not speak with customers! I was incredulous at this reply. Perhaps even more frustrating, though, was his promise (I made him promise) to call me back after he spoke with the parts department to get the cost of the fan motor. Of course, that was three hours ago, and I have yet to hear from anyone at HMS.
This has actually been a pattern. In spite of repeated promises, they have NEVER called me. They have hung up on me, but not returned a call -- even when they have the word (four different times!)
From my admittedly limited perspective, I believe this company is nothing but a sham. Their goal appears to make me wait so long that I give up and pay for the work myself. They also appear to want to make the process as painful as possible to accomplish that goal. I would recommend that you stay away from this company.
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Do Not Purchase Any Warranty From This Company!
Posted by L on 2009-06-05
VIRGINIA -- This is my story and what I reported to the Better Business Bureau...
My husband and I purchased a home in Feb. 09 and a home warranty was included in our purchase price. We also added a pool warranty with this purchase. This warranty purchase was set up through the re-location company and the previous owners' real estate agent.
On June 2, 2009, we opened our pool. At this time the pool was not working properly due to wear and tear. We contacted our warranty company to find out if the broken pump was covered. We were told yes. They then sent a technician to check out the pool pump and such. He was at our house for maybe a total of 15 minutes and charged us a $100 deductible at that time. He told us that the pump and valves did need to be replaced and he would make that aware to the warranty company. We then were contacted by the warranty company and were told that it will not be covered due to "Lack of Maintenance" on the pool.
We moved here only 4 months ago and were told the pool worked fine when we purchased the home. We have tried arguing the issue but have not reached any solution. The technician that was at our home will not return our phone calls, and we believe that he has called our number once and hung up on us on the evening of June 5, 2009.
We have spoke with a number of customer service representatives with HMS Home Warranty. During those phone calls, we were told the pre-existing conditions were not covered. On the other hand, we were also told that a warranty could not be purchased if the pool was not in good working condition. I think that contradicts what they said before. How could we possibly have a pre-existing condition if the approval of a pool warranty was made in Feb. 2009?
On top of all of this, we have contacted the previous pool company that maintained the pool in the last year and located their office to gather proof of maintenance. We sent this documentation to the warranty company. We also have documentation of a pool inspection that was done on September 23, 2008. This inspection shows that the pool was in working condition and no remarks were made on the pump or valves. This is proof that there were not pre-existing conditions at the time of purchase. We have faxed all of this information to the HMS Warranty Company.
We have not yet heard any positive feedback from the company. We were told that we would have an answer as soon as possible. The representative that we are working with keeps giving us the round about answer. I feel they have also been very rude when we call and do not hear us out. We are often interrupted when speaking to this customer representative.
I feel that we have gone above and beyond what a customer should do when making a warranty claim. I'm not quite sure what else we should do to address this issue. I feel that we are being scammed. No one will give us a direct answer and we have tried numerous times to be helpful and make a connection with the warranty company on this claim. We were also told the $100 will probably not be refunded to us if the claim is not approved. I do not feel that makes any sense.
What is a home warranty company for? What do they cover? I feel like our purchase was a waste of money and that any time we have a claim, they will find a new way to take money from us. Their warranty states "mechanical parts and components as follows: above ground accessible plumbing lines leading to and from the unit; air pumps; blower motor filters (free-standing housing body, laterals, pressure gauges, back flush valves); gaskets; impellers; internal spa pack heater; internal switches; primary circulator pump and motor; and relays." The items that we are requesting to be replaced are in this list of covered items. The warranty also states "We agree to pay the covered costs to repair or replace the items listed as covered on your Agreement Coverage Summary if any such items become inoperable during the term of this Agreement due to mechanical failure caused by routine wear and tear."
I feel that we have stated the facts to the best of our ability. We should be refunded our warranty purchase money and the $100 deductible that we paid on this "so-called" claim.
In the meantime, our pool is not in the best condition, leaving it open during the heat with algae and what-not growing on the liner and in the water. Where does this leave us????!! Feeling SCAMMED!!!!!!!!
I also stated that...
I would like to have a full refund of the contract price as well as a refund of the $100 deductible I paid their technician for service that was not resolved.
I also would like to terminate my contract with this warranty company as soon as I am refunded what I am owed.
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Will Find Any Reason To Deny A Claim
Posted by Sarah on 2009-05-08
DALE CITY, VIRGINIA -- Incident = we purchased a house that had been vacant for quite a while. Between November (when we put the bid in on the house) and March 11 (when we went to settlement) we visited the home several times, had two inspections (including one for fha) and had many items replaced. The bank selling this foreclosure replaced the hot water heater, furnace, some windows and a toilet. We also moved in with our new washer and dryer, dishwasher, stove and refrigerator. We used the central ac immediately upon moving in so as to have air circulation while painting (every wall needed to be painted in the house). When the weather got warmer towards the end of April, we noticed that the air coming out of the vents wasn\'t strong, and although cool, it wasn\'t cold. We contacted the HMS Home Warranty company to have someone come out to look at the system. The man that they sent from air breeze was rude and abrasive. He told us that the system was extremely old and not working, he told
us that he didnât think that the company would approve having this fixed. He submitted paperwork and a couple of days later (after calling into the office to inquire several times and not hearing anything because their system was down for upgrades) we were told that the claim was denied because the problem was pre-existing. We were told that we could send in the inspection report and dispute the claim, so we did that and then were told that it was still denied because no inspector can check an ac unit in January when the temperatures are cold. I contacted the state corporation commission and was told to contact their contact person with hms. I called linda montriul on may 4th and was told that their system was down again for upgrades and that she would have to pull what information she could and get back to me after reviewing it. I called again the next day (may 5th) and heard nothing back until later in the day, when I received a voicemail from her telling me that sh
e had other cases to review and would get to ours when she could. I received a call the following day (may 6th) from ms. Montriul telling me that after reviewing what they had with the managers, they were still going to deny the claim because there was no reason for us to run the ac unit when the ambient temperature was below 70 degrees, so the ac unit was obviously broken prior to our purchasing the policy. She said that if we wanted to dispute it again, we could send her our electricity bills so she could verify that we ran the unit prior to calling hms.
What is the point of purchasing insurance or a warranty, if not to be able to have items that are covered, repaired or replaced when something goes wrong? How is a homeowner to dispute any pre-existing clause when they are arguing days with a large corporation? When a person or family purchases a home, they entrust the inspector (or inspectors as in this case) to verify that items are in working order. How is a warranty company, who only sends out one contractor, able to make a determination on what is or is not pre-existing? I feel that this company took the premiums for the policy and are intentionally denying the claim in order to not have to service that policy.
Damage resulting = nothing has been done, the ac unit is still broken. With warmer weather on the horizon, I am afraid that we are looking at laying out several thousand dollars out of pocket, even though we purchased a policy to cover things like this.
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Buyer Beware of HMS Home Warranty (HomeSure)
Posted by Jim on 2007-05-21
If you are buying a home, and your realtor recommends to you that you get a home warranty: RUN QUICKLY IN THE OTHER DIRECTION! The home warranty is a rip-off. While your realtor may tell you (and the literature from the warranty company may tell you) that everything in your house will be covered, once you get the service agreement from the warranty company, you will find that it is not.
I chose to get the home warranty on my new home purchase because I was getting some used appliances from the seller. Once I got the service agreement from HMS Home Warranty, and reviewed the coverage, the terminology is worded to basically say that everything in the house is covered until something goes wrong, then they have the ability to non-cover the claim because it is not within the terms of the agreement. For example, (as quoted directly from my contract with HMS Home Warranty):
Description of Covered Items: Standard mechanical parts or components located within the perimeter of the outer load bearing walls consisting of: main breaker or fuse panel/box; interior standard light switches, receptacles and general line voltage wiring; ceiling fan motors and their controls; door bells and chimes.
Examples of Items/Conditions Not Covered: Attic, bathroom, and/or whole house exhaust fans; fire and smoke alarm systems and batteries; direct current (DC) wiring and systems; exterior wiring and components (except main panels mounted to exterior wall); exhaust fans; intercom or speaker systems; lighting fixtures; load control devices; low voltage systems including wiring and relays; telephone systems; timers; touch pad assemblies; utility meter base pans; and wall fans. Failures and conditions cause by inadequate wiring capacity, circuit overload, power failure/shortage or surge, and corrosion caused by moisture are not covered.
OK, now let’s use some logic to follow what they cover. They cover standard mechanical parts and components of the system including outlets, switches, wires, and the fuse box. But, they don’t cover these in the event of inadequate wiring capacity, circuit overload, power failure, or surges. Now, we’re talking about an electrical system here. What could go wrong in an electrical system besides capacity, overload, power failure, or power surge? Uhm, nothing. Yeah, that’s right. They cover the ENTIRE electrical system, unless something goes wrong. Then it’s not covered.
Also, let’s look at the deductible/service fee. The deductible is $100 per service call. If it takes 3 service calls to complete the job, you’re out $300. That is probably more than it would cost to just have it fixed outright. And you have to use their contractors. Let me tell you about the contractor they assigned to me:
I was given the name and number of Renovations, Etc., which must be one man with a cell phone. I would call this man, and he would always say “I’m in the middle of something, let me call you back.” It took me a week to get hold of him to actually explain what my problem was. He told me he would be subcontracting it. I got one phone call from the subcontractor, and it went to my voice mail. I tried for a week to get the subcontractor to call me back. I FINALLY got a response after I called the next week and threatened, saying that my freezer had completely defrosted and leaked all over my carpet because the circuit was completely dead. The guy came in, moved a wire from one circuit to another, removed an outlet (but didn’t replace it because he didn’t have one with him), and basically “patched” until he could come back. This was on a Monday. He said, “I’ll come back later this week and fix it.” He asked for the $100 deductible upfront. As he was walking out the door, I asked him what that service would have cost me if I had had the service done directly instead of through the home warranty (trying to figure out how much I saved). He said, “Eh, about $100.” In other words, he just wanted my full $100, and didn’t itemize or anything. For what he did, it probably wouldn’t have even cost $100 if I had it done privately.
The next Friday (not the following, but the next) I called him to see when he was going to come back and finish, and to tell him that his “patch” had not resolved my problem. Let me tell you too, I was going to fight tooth and nail if they thought they were going to get another $100 out of me for a separate service call. It’s not my fault that an electrician didn’t have enough sense to bring supplies with him on a service call. Anyway, he basically told me that there was nothing more he could do except replace the entire breaker box, and it would not be covered by HMS. So right now, I have loose, live wires exposed where an outlet used to be, a dryer that blows the circuit half of the time, I paid $100 for this, and the home warranty does not cover it because they do not cover defective wiring or circuit overload.
Complaint filed with Better Business Bureau:
I would like to have a full refund of the contract price ($395) as well as a refund of the $100 deductible I paid their contractor for service which did not resolve the problem.
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Poor Quality & Lack of Adequate Coverage
Posted by Connie on 2008-06-25
MARYLAND -- As a consumer, I look at posts from others and take it with a grain of salt, thinking perhaps the individual may be leaving details out. However, after my experience with HMS and reading other posts, I wish I would have known this prior to paying a $445 renewal fee last month.
I filed two claims within the past year. The water dispenser on our refrigerator failed to work. Contacted HMS who gave me a contractor. The contractor never called back. At that point, my wife and I just said forget it.
The most recent claim is what really got me going. This was filed in May 2008. Our air conditioning unit was making strange noises where the fan blades would stop and attempt to restart, over and over. Keep in mind our unit is only two years old and in our area we were having a heatwave of near 100 degree temperatures daily. Contacted HMS who gave us the name of a contractor, Alvico. Left two messages and they never returned. Finally, HMS gave us another company name, Viking Mechanical who showed promptly. Had to pay them a $100 deductible and the problem diagnosed by Viking was:
"Found unit running high head pressure - unit does not match Euap coil. Recommend replacing Euap coil and cleaning line set".
Rec'd a call from HMS informing me that our claim was denied because of improper installation. Please note that we have only lived in our house for one year and had nothing to do with any installation. HMS informed me that according to Section V, #2 of the warranty that this is the reason the claim was not covered. I argued that we would like to have a second opinion. Told that if a second contractor came out and concluded the same diagnosis, we would be fully responsible for the fees of that contractor. Also told that it wouldn't matter if another contractor came out because our a/c unit model number does not match the euap coil model number so this pinpoints the denial.
I asked why does HMS hold current customers responsible for details they had no influence on? In addition, how can we tell if these contractors and HMS are in it together to diagnose things which they know aren't covered. To highlight that point, I had another company, independent of HMS, come out who diagnosed something totally different than the coil. I explained this and was told it doesn't matter b/c they were not a HMS recognized provider.
I hope people take this and other posts on this site seriously. I will not only post this on other consumer reporting sites, but sending a complaint to the BBB. It is my duty to report companies such as HMS in order that they provide quality service to its customers. We will be cancelling our warranty with them and going with a competitor at a cost of $25 cancellation fee. Enough is enough with companies like this and the service they provide.
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Home Warranty gone bad/Crooks
Posted by Trinda on 2007-02-03
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND -- I purchased a home warranty for my home. My heat went out this winter and I called the warranty company to come out and service it. When the contractor came out he told me that I needed a new boiler and the warranty company should replace it ha. That wasn't the case the warranty company found every excuse in the book not to replace it. It has been over 2 months now and I'm still fighting them to do the right thing. This warranty company will lead you on like they have your best interest at heart, take your money and then tell you to kiss off when they supposed to honor what the contract says. Be careful and tell everyone not to sign a contract with this company. I am a single mother with 2 kids and I asked the of the supervisors does that mean anything to them at all and they said well sorry your claim is still denied.