Choice Home Warranty / water heater
I was looking to switch home warranty companies because the one I was with raised their rates substantially. BIG MISTAKE! It's true that you get what you pay for. So I called Choice Home Warranty in March 2009 and spoke with a representative. He told me that for $330.00/year everything would be covered. I remember even questioning the hot water heater issue because I've had a couple of them go out on me before and he assured me there would be no problem with replacement. Well my water heater went out on me in August, on a Friday evening of course, so I called CHW and spoke with a dispatcher. She gave me the number to a designated service contractor, which I called and he ended up calling me back 45 minutes later - great customer service. The plumber came out at 7:00 am the following morning and stated that the tank definitely needed to be replaced as it was leaking from the bottom. The tank was purchased & installed in 2001. He called CHW to give them the diagnosis and they told him they will only authorize $100.00. WTF? $100.00 doesn't even cover the labor to install a new water heater. He said he spoke to a couple different individuals and was told CHW's corporate offices were closed on Sat/Sun and he reached the dispatch service and they could only authorize $100.00. So he gave me a choice: I could either wait until Monday to see what CHW would actually authorize or I could give him a check for $450.00 ($550.00 was the total amount for the water heater & installation/labor) and he would hold my check until he or I heard back from CHW. So I chose the second option of course; I didn't want to go through my entire weekend without hot water! The plumber then informed me that I would also have to pay the $45.00 service call fee. I forgot to mention in the beginning of this complaint that when I signed up w/CHW, I was told that since I paid in full that day my first service call fee would be waived. When the plumber called the dispatch service to verify this, they had nothing on record to confirm this - of course. He replaced my water heater and I gave him my $450.00 check hoping that the $45.00 service fee would be waived. He also told me he would contact CHW first thing Monday morning to give them the information and he in turn would call me with their resolution.
He contacted CHW and got the run around - someone will call him back after the claim was reviewed. About 4 hours later, I called the plumber to see if anyone called and he said no. I proceeded to call them three times and got the same response. Finally someone did call me back, a gentleman but I didn't get his name. Long story short - they will not cover the water heater because it clearly states in the contract 6.3.3. Water Heating: This agreement covers all modules, components and parts of the water heating system necessary to the functionality of the water heater systems. This agreement does not cover the following list of modules, components and parts relating to the water heating system: holding tanks, storage tanks, fuel storage tanks, vents, flued, drain pans, drain piping, pressure reducing valve, internal flue, draft hood, flue baffle and tempering valve.
Are you kidding me??? This is completely contradictory to what they said they would cover in the first sentence! Basically, they don't cover anything to do with the water heater except the functionality parts, which is basically the entire water heater. They did, however, live up to their promise that my first service call would be free so I didn't have to pay $45.00. But I had to pay $450.00 + my $330.00 annual fee to get a new water heater! So I got a brand new water heater for $780.00 - what a great deal, NOT! This company is a complete rip-off and will tell you anything to get your $330.00 but then will not cover anything. Do yourself a favor and DO NOT go with this company.
Oh yeah, I was also told when I first signed on with Choice that since I was paying in full not only would they waive my first service call fee that they would also extend my contract from 12 months to 14 months for no additional fee. Guess what? When I finally got my contract from them, the contract expiration date was April 2010 and it should have been June 2010. So I called up Choice and informed them of this and they said they would send me a new contract immediately reflecting this information. Guess what? I NEVER received a new contract. I even called them a month later requesting a new contract and STILL never got a new contract. Surprise, surprise!
I base this complaint also on the fact that my previous home warranty company did in fact pay for the replacement and installation of a brand new water heater when I had one fail in another home of mine; all I had to pay was the $50.00 service fee.
Choice Home Warranty are a bunch of crooks and I cannot wait for my contract to expire so I can find another company, hopefully an honest one. By the way, take a look at the BBB grade on this company; it's a D-!
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