MARYLAND -- UPDATED MARCH 28, 2008 (see new section below)
Total Protect is an absolute rip off. I will be reporting them to the BBB and to County, State and Federal officials as well as asking my Maryland Congressional offices to look in to what is clearly a "Total" unmitigated consumer fraud. I will be happy to join a class action lawsuit against them at any time. By the way, when they answer the phone they do not say Total Protect, they say HMS Real Estate Support Solutions so I assume HMS is hiding behind the name Total Protect to shield it from these numerous abysmal consumer complaints.
The HMS website says it sells new home warranties through real estate offices but I could find no mention of Total Protect Home Warranties whatever on their website and the Total Protect website does not mention HMS at all. I will ask regulators to look into that as well. My heat pump broke down in June 2007, during an extreme heat spell, and Total Protect could not have cared less. After 11 telephone calls over six months with not a single one returned, and after being outright lied to by several of their always-different yet always-incompetent representatives, I still have not been offered anything even resembling a fair settlement.
I just spoke to the "floor supervisor" who with the most obnoxious passive/aggressive "I am sorry you are not satisfied" routine, refused to let me speak to the head of the customer complaint unit. He ignored every request I made for reasonable follow-up on my previous 10 phone calls, gleefully repeating his mantra that they had made their offer (in other words take it or leave it, we refuse to negotiate at all), and then instead of attempting to help in any way insisted on giving me the address for the "disputes department" where I have to send in a lengthy written request. I can just imagine how much "Total" attention that will get! I asked for a telephone number for the disputes department and was told I could not have it.
My sad story follows: After sending several totally incompetent people out to look at my 15 year old heat pump (one of Total Protect's "expert technicians" stole the company truck and disappeared -- I couldn't make this up if I wanted too), and after several ridiculous arguments about whether the unit was repairable, Total Protect agreed to replace the unit, but only with a lower than builder grade model of their choice costing $2,100 (and labor was $700 of that price) when the exactly comparable Trane heat pump model cost $7,440.
Total Protect then helpfully pointed out that I would be responsible for a number of "additional fees" that would be charged by their "expert" installer, such as extensive rewiring that allegedly would be required. When I on my own had a reputable local dealer (with high grades from Consumer CheckBook), put in a Trane heat pump (since my other unit was a Trane model), I was informed that no rewiring was required. It appears that Total Protect was simply trying to get as much of their $2,100 back as possible.
Even after the installation was completed and when the company that did my installation had no need to comment at all they noted that Total Protect's replacement "offer" was totally ridiculous and in no way a good faith attempt to do a comparable replacement. Don't ever have anything to do with Total Protect. It warrants nothing but what it wishes to warrant, and It protects nothing but its own pocketbook, and its service is the absolute worst I have ever run into anywhere. I will check with the Maryland Attorney General's Office to determine whether it is possible to bring criminal fraud charges against Total Protect.
March 28, 2008 – UPDATE
I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Metro Washington D.C. The BBB wrote a letter to Total Protect dated January 29, 2008 on my behalf. In a letter dated February 19, 2008 BBB noted that they had contacted the firm and asked whether I was satisfied with Total Protect's response (as I noted in my earlier posting, Total Protect appears to be hiding behind a number of other entities as HMS of the Mid Atlantic States is the company that is rated by BBB in the Washington, D.C.
Area. Additionally, the claims correspondent who replied to the BBB noted that "HomeSure Services, Inc. has completed its investigation.") So what is the real company, Total Protect, HMS of the Mid-Atlantic States or HomeSure Services? In any event, I could not believe Total Protect's response. Relevant portions follow:
"The Company approved the replacement of Mr. ___ evaporator coil and air handler. The options offered were a 3.5 ton 13 SEER air handler Payne model PF1MNC04000, a 20kw heater model KFCEH3201F20 and the evaporator coil model B5248HX4QA."
"It was also explained to Mr. ___ that there were non-covered charges of $812.00 that were associated with the replacement of his evaporator coil and air handler. These charges were to be paid directly to the service provider... These charges include: Duct modification, disposal of the old air handler, air handler electrical upgrades and electrical upgrades which are not eligible for coverage under the Home Service Agreement."
"A second option offered was a claims credit of up to $2,107.65, towards the replacement of a new air handler and evaporator coil. This amount represents the cost the Company would incur had they effected the replacement of the air handler and evaporator coil."
"Regarding Mr. ___ statement that the Company did not offer him a comparable unit, please be advised that this statement is unwarranted, per the terms and conditions of the Homer Service Agreement, the replacement item offered will be a base model that meets all applicable federally mandated minimal manufacturers' standards, performs the same primary function, and has a capacity comparable with the covered item, when available with domestically assembled units..."
"Mr ___ also requested reimbursement of $7,440.00 for the replacement of his heat pump system; the Company respectfully denies his request. The Company has agreed to reimburse Mr. ___ a claims credit of up to $2,107.65, this amount represents the cost the Company would have incurred had they effected the replacement of the air handler and evaporator coil."
"Also, should Mr. ___ require assistance or wish to speak with a Total Protect customer service representative, he can contact our Customer Service Department at 1-800-474-4047..." Signed Corinne Georges, Claim Correspondent."
In other words folks, Total Protect will not provide a nickel more than it offered from the outset, $2,107.65 which apparently covers a below-builder grade model that my own heating/AC company said no reputable company would recommend. And, of course, if you subtract the $812.00 in totally bogus charges, Total Protect would have been out $1,295.65 for an entire heat pump system, including installation costs. Does that sound like a fair deal to you? Does that match Total Protect's rhetoric (still on its website) that "Total Protect Home Warranty protects you and your family from costly repairs and replacement of your vital home systems and appliances."
Adding insult to injury they also advertise a "$15,000 total annual aggregate cap on claims." And a "Special Limited Time Offer: Increase my annual aggregate claims cap from $15,000 to $50,000 worth of repairs and replacements for all of your covered appliances and systems for just $2.00 more." Those claims alone should justify a class action suit for consumer fraud.
Of course, I replied on March 13, 2008, in a five-page single-space letter and told BBB that the Total Protect response was totally unsatisfactory and that "Total Protect simply took the same arrogant, condescending and unjustified position it has taken for the beginning -- accept our one and only offer because that is all you are going to get from us."
I ended the letter to BBB with, "If you are indeed in the business of warning consumers about companies that do not stand by their commitments, that defraud and deceive, that do everything in their power to mislead and lie to cover up their own incompetence and fraudulent activities, then I suggest you have found a prime candidate to add to your list. And, yes I would ask that you go back once more and see if you can move them off their intractable position, but I have to say after all this I don't think even the Better Business Bureau will be able to do that."
It appears as if I was absolutely correct. Last Thursday, March 27, 2008, my wife received a call from Total Protect saying they were desperately attempting to get in touch with me and they left a number and contact to telephone. When I called that number a very pleasant lady said she was responding to the BBB complaint and she wanted to know if I would be willing to accept the $2,107.65 offer. I asked if she were joking. I asked why I would now accept an offer that I found inadequate, fraudulent and totally unfair. She asked if I could hold for a supervisor. I said yes.
After waiting for about 15 minutes, she came back on the line and said she was sorry but the supervisor unexpectedly had been called to a meeting on her way to speak to me. I asked what I was supposed to do. She said the supervisor suggested that I call customer service.
I said do you mean you are suggesting I contact the same customer service department that I have spoken to over a dozen times, where I never had the same representative twice, where I had to explain the situation from the beginning each and every time, where their incompetence was only exceeded by their arrogance, and where never once, not once, did they have the courtesy to return one of my calls -- and she responded yes.
I asked if this was just a call to check the box so they could say to the BBB that they had honestly and in good faith attempted to resolve the dispute. She did not respond. I told her I now intended to escalate the issue by bringing in local State and Federal insurance regulators and consumer fraud authorities. I also told her it was my fondest wish to join a class action lawsuit that might close this company down. When it was clear that she couldn't have cared less, I said goodbye.
I can't wait to hear back from the BBB so I can report to them in detail Total Protect's good faith effort to resolve the dispute. By the way, the BBB rates HMS of the Mid-Atlantic States in the following fashion, "Based on BBB files, this company has an unsatisfactory record with the Bureau due to unanswered complaint(s). They also report 105 complaints against this company over the last 36 months and 31 complaints processed over the last 12 months. There also apparently is a BBB listing in Florida under the HomeSure name.
Finally, BBB says this business operates under the following names: Cross Country Home Services; Haa of Virginia; HMS Home Warranty; HMS of the Mid-Atlantic States; Home Warranty Service; HomeSure of America, Inc., HomeSure of Virginia, Inc. And HomeSure Services, Inc. The address is HMS National, 1625 NW 136th Ave. Bldg. E-200, Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, FL 33323. I will update this posting as I do not intend to let this company get away with this. BUYER BEWARE!
OLIVE BRANCH, MISSISSIPPI -- Our story. Our air conditioner went out on a Thursday. We called TotalProtect to get a tech out to see why. They arrived on Friday. The unit was approx.. 20 years old and needed replaced - completely. The tech said we can have it completed by Monday. Great! Or so we thought. The cost of the replacement (via the tech TotalProtect sent out) was around $10,000. WHAT!!! We called TotalProtect on Monday to see when our unit would be replaced. They said they hadn't gotten the paperwork from the tech's company yet. I called the tech's company and they said they would send it right over. We called TotalProtect on Tuesday to see when the replacement would be installed.
We were told it would be 48 hours for their people to "investigate" prices for a new unit and for approval. Fine. 48 hours later we called again. We were told then that the unit would arrive in 3 days. Fine. We called Fri to ask what type of unit was ordered and where it was coming from so we could be ready for it. We were told that no unit had been ordered and that there was a problem with the pricing. Now in the mean time the temps here were in the mid to upper 80's and we have 5 dogs that get hot fast and fight when upset. We are cooling our house using fans.
We finally talked with a "supervisor" that said TotalProtect would only cover just over $900.00 for a new air conditioner/heating system. WHAT??? $900 for a complete system? I then called a air conditioning company that we use at my job and they had a unit that could be put in for $5500. After over a week without air we finally got TotalProtect to agree to send us a check for the $900+ and got the local company to install the new unit.
Now it is time for another payment to be made to TotalProtect and we have decided to cancel the service (which we were told we could do at any time). The Customer Service Rep told us that we could not cancel the service for 3 months because we were under contract for a year. WHAT CONTRACT? WE NEVER AGREED TO ANY SUCH THING!! We are now going to stop the automatic payments from the bank and to Hell with TotalProtect.
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA -- They have about 3 names: Total Protect, Home Sure and one more. It should be a law against this. In mid-summer I have been dealing with them over 27 or more days. They are full of crap. Tried to get me to pay them 260.00 or 210.00 service man did not put it on paper. I paid him 75.00 after I refused to pay him that other fee that he asked me for. He said he charged the freon and it was OK.
I asked him to use a thermometer on the vent to see if it was cooling and he told me it was cooling and I gave him the 75.00 check and he had the nerve to ask me for my driver's license and I refused. He lied and said I didn't pay him the 75.00. He spent more time on the phone with Total Protect trying to set us up. That Monday they sent out another company and he said "I am sorry I can't help you." When they contacted me again they said my portion to fix the ac was 500.00 plus, then they went down to 350.00 last week.
I called an attorney and after copy the contract he could not understand why they would not live up to their agreement. I kept a record of how many times I called them to be talked to like a piece of crap. I and my 75 year old husband with numerous health issues have been traumatized. I call two other people very reputable, and both said that the compressor is gone. They are liars and who wants somebody like that in their homes? I am out of fees to get two other opinions and lawyer fees and my unit is still. I also let my mortgage co. know they are promoting and deducting for a bogus co. It is a shame that this happens. If I did something like this I would be in jail.
They would not even respect or deal with my attorney. We will have to replace air conditioner because the price of repair would be 2,700 and they offer me 663.00 and I was told that would come nowhere near fixing our unit. Please take a few minutes to tell of your experience it may make you feel and I really wish I had taken the time to read their negative review.
We're sorry you're having issues with a claim. Thank you for letting us know. We'll reach out to you directly to discuss your concerns.
FLORIDA -- I put in a service call on Monday morning for 2 toilets that wouldn't flush and for black water coming up in my shower. We plunged till we had blisters. Total protect gave me the number of a company over 40 miles away who would not be able to come until 4 days later.
I called Total Protect back and told them it's unreasonable to expect 2 seniors to go 4 days without a toilet or shower. They called the company and then told me they arranged for an emergency call and that the company would call me and let me know what time they'd be at my home. They did not call or come. I called Total Protect back around 6 pm and spoke to another person. I asked for a supervisor and after being on hold I was told they couldn't find one.
Now they say they'd find another company who could come this evening, and would call me back. I am still waiting, it's 9:15 pm. I suggested they cover the cost of a night in a hotel, since the water in the shower has a very sour odor. They won't cover that. If I find a plumber on my own, they won't cover it. This company will tell you anything they think you want to hear.
Thank you for your feedback and we sincerely apologize that you experienced a longer than usual wait time for a getting a service partner to diagnose the failure to your plumbing. We were able to locate a service partner that was able to got out to your home (6/25/13) to diagnose the failure with your plumbing .
We strive to provide the best service possible to all of our customers
FORT LAUDERDALE AND OTHER STATES, FLORIDA -- I let a joint marketing effort by Wachovia/Wells Fargo (my current bank) and TotalProtect Home Warranty (this company is known under many other names – on my checking account statement it is listed as Cross County Home Total Protection) get the best of me; I did not do required due diligence by going online and searching for information. If I had done the proper research I would have never done business with this TotalProtect; which engages in deceptive practices (LOOK AT THE MANY ONLINE NEGATIVE ARTICLES COMPLAINTS AND A RATING FROM 365 CONSUMERS OF 1.5 OUT OF 5 STARS).
I'm an 84 year old senior citizen who lives with his 86 year old wife; we are both on a fixed income and can't afford to be ripped off like this. Shame on you Wachovia/Wells Fargo for partnering with this horrible company and betraying my trust. I'm now considering closing my Wachovia checking, money market, way2save, and Wells Fargo financial services trade account. This is what happened:
In Late November of 2010 I received a joint mailer between Wachovia Bank/Wells Fargo and Total Protect Home Warranty advertising two plans for a home warranty with the ease of being endorsed by Wachovia and the money being taken directly from my checking account. Read through the information I was sent and decided based on the marketing material and a one month free offer that it sounded like something worth trying and had nothing to lose. I mailed in the acceptance form and chose the higher pay option; $49.95 a month with a $75.00 dollar deductible on repairs/replacement.
Approximately one month later (late December) I received the warranty booklet and plan information advising me that the coverage would start on January 11, 2011. Part of the plan I signed up for offered a quarterly (4 times a year) preventative maintenance. This was without cost to me and was offered quarterly; I could choose from a list of covered appliances or systems. I called the 800 phone number listed on may warranty booklet on January 28, 2011 to arrange for a maintenance inspection on my air conditioning unit. During the last few weeks I noticed that my home was not cooling as quickly as it did before.
During the phone call to TotalProtect a service claim was opened for me and I was given the name of a local Miami, Florida company called Penguin Air that I could call to arrange for the service and was given a reference number. I called Penguin Air and they arranged to have someone come to my home on Monday, January 31. I was explained that if the service person finds something wrong with the unit he will call TotalProtect and a new claim number will be opened for a repair/replacement claim.
When the service person from Penguin Air arrived and inspected the unit, he advised me that it's low on Freon and he also detected a leak. He told me that it would not make sense to do maintenance work on it since it requires replacement parts for the leak. He said that a call will be made to TotalProtect; to which he did, and was advised to collect a $75.00 dollar deductible towards the new replacement part claim and a new service/replacement claim number was given to him. I paid the $75.00 cash to the service person; since up to that point it seemed to be in sync with the plan information I was sent.
On Tuesday, February 1, 2011, I was left a message to contact TotalProtect via the 800 number and reference my repair/service claim number. I called and spoke to ** who kept putting me on hold telling me she had to refer to the “notes” on my file. After the third or fourth time, she came back and told me that my claim was declined because they deemed it a pre-existing condition.
At this point I quickly realized that what I had been sold was deceptive and worthless since anytime I make a claim they can always use the pre-existing condition clause and nothing will be covered. So I asked ** about the $75.00 dollar deductible I was now charged for a repair claim they have now rejected. She told me that it was not refundable to me. Imagine my surprise, I'm now out $125.00 between the $49.95 monthly fee and $ 75.00 deductible and NOT one stitch of work had been done.
She proceeded to tell me that if the service person had not detected any problems with my unit and had done maintenance work then I would not have been charged the $75.00 deductible. So, in essence; work done = no fee, no work done = $75.00 deductible. I told her that a deductible is an amount paid by a policy owner on a covered claim that is in excess of total repair amount. ** and I went round and round; she was robotic and seemed to have rehearsed the terms and conditions many times before.
I asked to speak to a Supervisor. She reluctantly obliged and I was connected with a Ms. ** (unsure of the spelling). She proceeds to tell me the same thing ** told me. I told her that this was deceptive and did not make any sense to me and I obviously signed up for a plan full of loopholes to the detriment of the consumer. I'm skeptical of any insurance/warranty plans but was misled to believe that this was legitimate since it was cobranded with Wachovia/Wells Fargo Bank.
I asked Ms. ** to cancel my policy and as per the free trial offer, refund the January charge I was assessed. She told me that she needed to transfer me to Member Services. She transferred me to **. I asked ** to cancel my plan and she wanted to know why. After explaining to her how I felt this was a deceptive plan and how I now have to pay for a deductible when absolutely no work was done, she told me that she can cancel me but I will not be receiving a refund. I told her that I signed up as a trial offer and should not have been charged. She proceeded to tell me that my trial offer started on December 11 (that's when they received my enrollment request).
I advised her that after sending in the enrollment form in late November I never received any correspondence from TotalProtect until I received my warranty booklet in late December advising me that my coverage would begin on January 11, 2011. How in the world would I have known I was covered If I never received anything in the mail until late December advising me that my coverage would begin on January 11, 2011? This is plain deceptive and an outright fraud!
I was placed on a free month trial without ever receiving any information, policy, contract, or contact information. When I finally received my information and called for service I was on my paying month, so now after cancelling I will not receive my monthly premium refunded. I was charged a $75.00 deductible based on repair/replacement work needed on my unit. This deductible was collected at the same time the preventative maintenance was supposed to be done. I was then contacted and told my claim was denied and I lose the deductible.
I'm out $125.00 without any work being done; this is a fraud and is full of deceptive practices, steps, loopholes. Their intent is to get you passed a trial period you don't even know you are under and then charge you the first month, they then offer quarterly maintenance without a fee. When a repair/replacement issue is at hand they then claim it is a preexisting condition and deny the claim. Shame on you Wachovia/Wells Fargo for partnering with this shady company. TotalProtect is a fraud and has stolen my money!
MURFREESBORO, TENNESSEE -- I read the other reviews of Total Protect Home Warranties, mine was sold to me by CountryWide home Finance, I thought it was a good deal for forty bucks a month, WRONG. My AC unit went out in July, 2008. I called it in, they were going to send me to a company 125 miles from my home, I said no, then they had me call a company who works out of their back yard and the guy who came out to inspect my unit was wearing women's clothing and makeup, said I needed a new unit and he would call it in. The temps was running in high 90's and due to health problems I needed my AC unit to work.
It took them a week to approve the replacement, then another week to send the unit to their repair company, the repair company told me I was going to have to pay them another 700 dollars as they were going to have to rebuild the air box because the new coil was not the same.
I went on line and found a the same coil I had from the company who made my old unit and a new unit like mine right here in my town, Total Protect said I had to accept what they sent and their install company said their charge was for the disposal of the old unit, disposal of freon and rebuilding the air box, I informed them that I was AC certified and would remove the old unit and dispose of it and do the rebuilding of the air box myself, I was informed by Total Protect that I would not be able to do that and the install company said that was their bread and butter and would not allow me to have the new unit to install it.
I finally went out and checked the unit myself, found that all it needed was a new fan motor, went and bought one for 56 dollars, changed the blade and installed the parts left off by the install company, my AC works great and blows ice cold. I paid my deductible when the girl/boy first came out to inspect my unit, he decided it needed to be replaced, and after I made many, many, many heated called and being put on wait for a supervisor who never was around, I finally had enough, Total Protect employees are some of the worse I have ever encountered in customer service.
I was in management for many years and I would never of let an employee treat a customer as I was treated by Total Protect and by Countrywide when I called them to complain of the warranty company they sold me on their letter head. I was misled into thinking this was a company owned by Countrywide, of course it is not, it is a very low sub-standard company who is only interested in ripping off the people who they are supposed to help. I wasted my money paying into this rip off warranty, I cancelled it and I am glad I did.
I would advise anyone who is thinking of buying a home warranty with Total Protect or Cross Country, or HMS to put your hand in your pocket on your money and run as fast as you can away from them, they will screw you every time. Look at their reviews on Total Protect Customer Reviews. On a scale of 5, they have a rating of 1.6 with a total of 321 reviews, 99 percent terrible. That tell you that the company is a Rip Off. The company needs to be disbanded and the people put into jail, they are all criminals ripping people off as they do every day. STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY FOR YOUR OWN GOOD.
NAPLES, FLORIDA -- I had Total Protect coverage for my AC, ceiling fans and garage door. My garage door broke and would not open. They sent out a company to look at it and I was informed I needed a new garage door opener. Total Protect then told me that I wasn't covered. I said I was covered for my garage door and they said yes but not the garage door opener. My garage door does not open so therefore does that not mean the door opener is broken, or did they just mean they covered the actual opener and would cover for a new battery? This company completely scammed me... I paid 6 months of coverage and when I needed them they bailed. STAY AWAY from them!!!
DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA -- We have had TotalProtect for 4 years. Each month we pay by them drafting from our account. The last two times that we needed major work done, they tell us that it not covered. Each time we have had to pay a service charge for someone to come out and tell us that the problem is not covered. We could have used this money towards fixing the problem. We had a water leak in the water line at the pressure control valve. It was not covered.
I asked the guy how much would it cost because we need it fixed. He said about $200.00 plus we would have to pay the service charge. We have paid way over this amount in the 4 years we were with these bums. We canceled our membership. Never again. We will just set aside something each month to cover home problems that might acute. We are praying that there will be a class action lawsuit against this company.
Dear djustthink953 , I'm sorry that the outcome of your claim decision was not what you expected and you have cancelled your warranty with us. We do appreciate that you were a long time customer and value your business. I've investigated your claims to ensure that you received every benefit your warranty affords and tried to reach you by phone on 12/22/2014 to address your concerns. I will try to reach you again. Otherwise, please email me at email@example.com and let me know the best time to call you. Sincerely - Stephanie
PO BOX550247. JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA -- This company is nothing but a call service. They find a way to get out of paying anything!!! We purchased two warranties one on a rental home and another on our personal residents. We pay a total of $100.00 a month. When I called with a claim on the rental home air conditioner they did get the serviceman out, however we were told our coils that had been cleaned a month before was dirty.
We ended up paying a deductible and for cleaning coils a total of $170.00. We have no doubt that we ended up paying for the entire service. It seems the companies that work for the warranty companies do so for referrals. They then find some reason that it will not be covered and ask you to pay more money than it would have taken for you to personally call a serviceman. Why pay a warranty company for this?!!
My husband got so mad at one service man that the man told my husband he had worked for them for five years and had never known them to pay for anything other than the cheapest things! Never a compressor or unit. I would not waste my time if I did not want to keep other from getting into this trap. You can pay for years and still be told it is not covered. What in the world have you been paying for?
One of their biggest tricks is to tell you the coils are dirty. My husband always has our coils cleaned, however most people never do. That is an automatic way out for them. DO NOT BUY FROM ANY HOME WARRANT COMPANY!!! You can call the serviceman yourself.
MIDWAY, GEORGIA -- Total Protect is a total rip off. I will be reporting them to the BBB and to my Congressional offices to look into what is clearly a "Total" unmitigated consumer fraud. They are very deceptive giving the wrong extension to their clients, lying about when they receive your paperwork so as not to give you timely service. They are vultures, bandits, thieves, the scum of the earth. I will be happy to be part of a class action lawsuit against them at any time. They have so many names it's not funny.
TOTAL PROTECT, CROSS COUNTRY, HMS Estate Support Solutions. Why all these names? What are they hiding? And why are they using Bank Of America to get homeowner to sign up for their service? Something is very fishy with both of them. We need the regulators to look into both of them.