FORT LAUDERDALE AND OTHER STATES, FLORIDA -- To: Wachovia Bank/Wells Fargo
To: TotalProtect Home Warranty and your Various Other Business Names
To: Florida Office of Insurance Regulations
To: Channel 7 – Help Me Howard – Consumer Division
To: Better Business Bureau To: Florida Division of Consumer Services
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 maintanance 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 Margaret 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 Margaret 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. Margaret 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 recluctanctly obliged and I was connected with a Ms. Shulman (unsure of the spelling). She proceeds to tell me the same thing Margaret 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. Shulman 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 Dolly. I asked Dolly 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 mantainance 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!