eCost / Service.net / Bait and switch
(NOTE: this is an edited version of a full complaint filed with the AG's office and the BBB). Purchased 2 YEAR extended IN HOME service warranty. One year ago I was offered a two year, in home, service warranty from eCost that covered 100% of all cost - including any repairs, shipping or replacement. I purchased it. My purchase receipt does NOT state any service provider - just that I have purchased a "Television Extension Plan: Covers all HDTV, LCD, Front/Rear". I saw a company called "Service.net" listed on the web site and, on June 12, 2008 I sent out an email to service.net as eCost does not have any service after you have made a purchase. I received an email that evening saying what my contract number was but not much else other than to contact them. I call Service.net on June 30. I was set up with a claim number and told (This is on a Monday) that by Wednesday someone would be contacting me to come fix the LVM-37W1.
Tuesday, July 8. At about 2:30 I decide I should call Service.net because nobody has bothered to let me know what is going on. I am put on hold and told that the repair shop has "someone in the area and will be there in the next hour". I ask if Service.net has informed them that this is IN HOME service and that they are coming to FIX THE MONITOR, not just pick it up. I am assured they know that and not to worry about anything because EVERYTHING IS 100% COVERED NO MATTER WHAT via my extended warranty. I am ASSURED that if they can not repair the monitor I WILL GET A NEW ONE AT NO COST. If the monitor needs to be shipped somewhere, again, not to worry because I am 100% COVERED - ALL COSTS, NOTHING TO BE PAID FOR BY ME.
When they come to repair the monitor expect him to simply go down to the truck and bring up a power supply to do the repair, not only was it confirmed but when the service call went out from Service.net it said "Power supply". But instead he says he needs to take it back to the shop and repair it because the part needs be ordered and that Westinghouse parts are very hard to get and it could take up to three weeks before they arrive. He packed up the monitor, handed me a claim check and left.
July 18. Service.net calls. Matthew tells me that a claim had been put in and Service.net had STOPPED THE CLAIM because IT WAS VERY EXPENSIVE, almost as expensive as the cost of the set WHICH IS THE ONLY AMOUNT ALLOWED FOR REPAIR OR REPLACEMENT. He also informed me that I had ONLY two choices - if I allowed the claim I would not have any more money for service over the next year should something happen or to deny the claim and they would issue me a check for under $600.00 towards the purchase of a new TV. According to Service.net website on the FAQ section it clearly states the following:
Q: Will I have to pay a deductible or any other 'hidden costs'?
A: Out-of-pocket expenses will be eliminated for all covered repairs! We will pay 100% of covered parts and labor (beyond the manufacturer's warranty).
Matthew refused to hear any of what I said and added on that IT DID NOT MATTER IF I HAD EVER SEEN IT OR NOT (This new "repair only up to a set amount" stipulation) because that is the warranty I purchased. I quickly informed him that until a month ago I had no idea who Service.net was and clearly I did not knowingly purchase a limited 2 year warranty. I asked for a supervisor and was told "That won't help you and it won't change anything" and as the conversation continued I had to forcefully demand I speak with a supervisor and was told "There is not one available" I should point out that Matthew did say that I would still have a warranty in effect for the full two years, however if this claim was approved there would only be $16.61 on it and if something happened that would not cover anything.
So buyer beware, just don't buy anything from eCost if you expect any service, warranty or not, and if you ever see Service.net related warranty do not buy it.