Complaints & Reviews

uncooperative frauds

Three weeks after purchasing our home the washing machine sprung a leak. No problem, like fools we had purchased the hms masterpeace protection plan for $459.00 with $100.00 deductible... We knew the appliances were older.

My wife, who has much more patience than me... Spent two hours on the phone with various incompetent hms employees who assured her that we did not have the masterpeace plan or any other hms warranty. After moving up the food chain she finally found a person who was able to verify our coverage and assigned a local company to come out and inspect our washing machine. The local contractor (south jersey) has many years of experience and took one look at the machine and told us it was gone. Kaput, the replacement parts would be more than the cost of a new washing machine. He said he'd send a report to hms and we should start looking for a new washer.

Imagine our surprise when hms called and said our claim was denied due to a preexisting condition. We argued that we used the washer for three weeks without a problem and their contractor said we needed a replacement. Read the fine print was the reply.. We reserve the right to make all final decisions regardless of what our contractor recommends.

Hms peacemaker is now at war with me and they will live to regret this criminal act. My last stop will be barack obama, but I suspect we'll have this resolved before I have to make their collective lives miserable... The state of new jersey and my local congressman will be my first stop.

If you are considering this scam of a company... Understand this... I am 56 years old and this is the second complaint posting i've ever written in my life...

Hms home warranty is a complete scam... You have been warned... Help me put these thugs in their proper place... Down in the sewer with the rest of the rodents!

  • My
    mythought Aug 10, 2011

    and 2 years later, things still haven't changed with HMS! The sellers of my house purchased it for me (thank goodness I didn't) and it's been a joke. They have claimed everything is either "not included in the warranty, " or "they only cover mechanical items, " or like you said, "pre-existing condition." Stay away from HMS folks, far away!

    0 Votes
  • Hv
    hvactech73 Mar 15, 2014

    Lets be honest here, you got the policy because you heard you can get everything for free and when that doesn't happen, its a lie, they are sewer rats, in actuality you are the rat you got it well knowing what you had and were trying to exploit the system, down the toilet with you, i say

    -1 Votes

aggravated and disappointed

I am a design and maintenance engineer for the united states navy. Part of my responsibilities is application engineering and maintenance of mil spec hvac systems. I have also authored military performance specifications for several hvac systems currently being used in the fleet. Below is my documented experience that I had my lawyer review for a malfunctioning heat pump at my newly purchased home.

12/29/08: after receiving a $1000 electric bill for december, I realized that the house was being heated exclusively with the electric strip backup heat and not the heat pump for almost a month. I called hms to make a claim about my heat pump malfunction. The claim was made with an automated system, which gave me an hvac contractor to call, the deductible amount, amount a claim number. I called alvico hvac and made an appointment for 12/31.

12/31/2008: (because of the large window of time required to wait for the technician to arrive, I choose to have my mother wait for the technician so that I wouldn’t have to miss a day of work. Therefore, the morning events are based on a conversation that I had with the alvico technician on 1/2/2009.) the alvico technician arrived at my home at approximately 8:30am. He inspected my heat pump and found that the high-pressure safety switch had tripped and needed to be reset. He then inspected the evaporator fan air filter and found that it was dirty. He then reset the high-pressure safety switch, and restarted the system without an air filter. He observed the system run for 10 to 15 minutes. He left me a message at my work that the dirty filter had caused the high-pressure safety switch to trip. He left my home 30 minutes later at approx 9:00am. Later that day the temperature in the home became noticeable cold, and I noticed that the backup heat had been activated. I also noticed that the outside unit was not running. I continued to observe the operation of the system for the remainder of that day.

1/1/2009: my observations of the heat pump system had not changed from the day before and the house continues to be noticeably cold, the backup heat was running, and the outside unit was not running. The system continues to operate without an air filter.

1/2/2009: I contacted alvico and spoke with the technician that had serviced my heat pump. He explained his findings to me, and we discussed the dirty filter. I informed him that before I purchased my home in november, a complete servicing was performed on the heat pump as a contingency of my contract, and that I had written documentation that the filter had been cleaned only a month earlier. I asked if he had taken pressure reading as part of his diagnosis. He told me that he did not see the need to hook up any gauges to the unit at that time or attempt any other normal diagnostics. I indicated to him that the heat pump had not been heating properly since he had left and inquired about him returning to continue troubleshooting the system. He admitted that the filter might not have caused the malfunction, since the system had now malfunctioned without an air filter installed. He advised me that he could not return until I requested a recall of my claim with hms and they contact him to return. I immediately called the hms claims department and explained the situation to the claims representative. The claims representative informed me that a report had not yet been submitted by alvico and that hms could not recall the claim until a report had been received. The claims representative made a note on my claim that my heat pump was still malfunctioning and that a recall had been requested. The claims representative stated that I should expect a call from alvico during the following week to set up a return visit.

1/6/2009: after not receiving a call from alvico, I called hms claims and requested the status my recall from the claims representative. The claims representative indicated that the recall had been refused because the problem had been caused by a dirty air filter which was a maintenance issue and not a repair issue. I reiterated my story about the heat pump continuing to malfunction after the filter had been removed, and again requested a recall on my original claim. The claims representative spoke with her supervisor and indicated that the supervisor was not willing to recall the claim, and that I would have to submit a new claim for the same failure, and then pay another $100 deductible to alvico when they arrive to continue troubleshooting the heat pump. I requested to speak with her supervisor.

1/6/2009: later that evening, I received a call back from the hms supervisor. After discussing my concerns, he agreed to recall the claim and have alvico return to continue troubleshooting the malfunctioning heat pump. He warned me that if alvico finds some other maintenance related issue that is causing the heat pump to continue to malfunction that I would be responsible for another $100 deductible paid to alvico.

1/7/2009: I called alvico and set up a service call for 1/9/2009. The alvico representative also warned me that if the technician finds some other maintenance related issue that is causing the heat pump to continue to malfunction that I would be responsible for another $100 deductible. During that day, I noticed squealing and grinding sounds coming from the hvac vents, and the floor in the bedroom and kitchen were rumbling and vibrating.

1/9/2009: I choose to take the day off from work, so I could observe the technician while he diagnosis the problem. A different technician from alvico arrived and asked for details of the problems with the heat pump system. I described for him the sounds that I had heard from the vents and the vibrations that I felt in the floor. The technician indicated that the sound and vibrations are consistent with a failing blower motor. I also described how the heat pump system had been running non-stop but blowing cold air most of the time. The technician attached pressure gauges to the outside unit of the heat pump and started the heat pump system. We both observed a system fault and then the outside unit shut itself down. The technician researched the fault code and found it was an overpressure fault from the high pressure safety cutout switch. The technician’s supervisor called the technician during the diagnostics and requested an update.
(I found out from the technician that his supervisor had performed the original diagnostics at my home.) the technician told his supervisor what he had observed and also what I had mentioned about the blower motor making noises and vibrations. The technician also told his supervisor that he was concerned by the erratic behavior of the pressures and suspected a bad tev (thermostatic expansion valve). The alvico supervisor told the technician that he suspected the dirty air filter to have caused the blower problem and that maybe the system had been overcharged with refrigerant which was causing the system to fault on overpressure. After the call had ended, I discussed with the technician the possibility that the failing blower was not moving a sufficient amount of air to remove the heat from the evaporator coil allowing pressure to build up and eventually tripping the safety cutout switch. He agreed and informed me that even though he was not able to hear the fan noises at the time of his visit, he was going to recommend replacing the blower motor. He also informed me that, on the advice of his supervisor, he was going to remove some refrigerant from the system to relieve pressure that would keep the system from faulting on overpressure and run until the new fan motor arrived. I expressed my concerns that removing some refrigerant without knowing the actual charge in the system may mask the real problem and cause the system to run inefficiently. He agreed and assured me that after the new blower motor was installed the system would be recharged. I requested that he weigh out the charge so that we would have documented evidence of the actual charge before he removes any refrigerant. He told me that he did not bring his scale and could not perform the common task. After some refrigerant was removed, we watched the system run for approx 30 minutes without a fault. I then showed the technician the suspect air filter that his supervisor had removed during the first visit, and asked his opinion about the filter. He agreed that the filter would be considered 100% blocked because no light is able to penetrate the filter, but indicated that 100% blocked does not mean that air cannot pass through the filter. The blocked percentage is an indication of how often a filter is to be cleaned or changed. He agreed that since the filter was a washable black foam core filter with black polyester mesh on both sides, it is very hard to evaluate blockage with the light test. The color and construction of the filter makes it hard for light to permeate even when the filter is clean. He watched as I cleaned the filter with a water hose. After some effort, we were able to see light though most of the surface area of the filter. The technician left and the heat pump continued to run throughout the day and night without fault.

1/14/2009: I received a call from the hms supervisor, and he informed me that the report from alvico for the 1/9 visit indicated the heat pump system had a bad blower motor caused by the dirty air filter, and under my contract hms is not responsible to cover repairs for failures caused by insufficient maintenance. There was no mention of the possibility of a bad tev in the report. I informed the hms supervisor of my profession, and that as part of my job is to maintain and repair hvac systems. I continued by stating that in my professional opinion, since the heat pump system is approximately 13 years old and reaching the end of its serviceable life, that it is common for blower motors to fail after more than 10 years of use. The hms supervisor said that he was not knowledgeable about heat pump systems and had no information about the normal life span of a blower motor. The hms supervisor suggested that hms might want to get a different hvac contractor to inspect the heat pump system to get a second opinion about the blower motor. The hms supervisor informed me that he would call alvico and discuss with both the alvico supervisor and the technician my opinions about the blower motor and call me back later in the day. The hms supervisor called my back later in the evening and said that he was putting together a report about my situation for his supervisor to review. The hms supervisor said that he would call me the next day with the decision of his supervisor as to whether or not hms would pay for the replacement to the heat pump blower motor.

1/15/2009: I received a call from the hms supervisor this afternoon informing me that he was waiting for more information from alvico before he could finish his report. He would call me the next morning after he spoke with alvico with the decision.

1/16/2009: I received a call from the hms supervisor. He informed me that he would approve the blower motor replacement to be covered under my warranty contract based on information he had received from alvico. He continued by saying that he will not cover the blower replacement under the original claim, but instead he had taken the liberty of opening a new claim for this repair. He said that the original claim would be denied for the reason that the heat pump was malfunctioning due to a dirty air filter. The new claim will be approved for the reason that the heat pump is malfunctioning due to a failed blower motor. He also informed me that I would be required to pay alvico an additional $100 deductible for the new claim when they arrive to install the new blower. He also stated that I would have to wait another week to allow hms to locate a refurbished blower motor to supply to alvico for replacement. The hms supervisor also informed me that alvico invoiced hms $700 for the fan replacement and $60 for the original visit for which the hms claim had now been denied. The hms supervisor agreed that since the original claim was denied, the service call should be considered between the alvico and myself, and that I should only be responsible for $60 not $100. I mentioned to the hms supervisor that, from my point of view, it appears that alvico is collecting from the hms customers the full amount of their deductible regardless of what service is performed or whether or not a claim is approved. Since I had never been invoiced for the original visit, I called alvico to request an invoice. (the invoice that I eventually received was for $100, and not the $60 that hms had been invoiced.)

2/6/2009: I again took off the day of work so I could observe the technician. The alvico technician arrived in the morning and did not notify me of his arrival. He let himself into my crawlspace and replaced the blower motor while I was home unaware of his presence. After the replacement was complete, the technician closed up the crawlspace, returned his tools to his truck, and came to my front door to request the additional $100. I complied, and asked him if he replaced the refrigerant that he had removed during his earlier visit. He said that he had not check the refrigerant level, but the system appeared to be running normally and no further checks were necessary. He left immediately. I then went into the crawlspace to inspect his work. I found that he had left his trash and old fan motor lying beside the air handler and did not install all of the screws on the fan cover. The open screw holes were allowing cold outside air to enter the fan section through the screw holes to mix with the warm air used to heat the house. I installed the remaining screws that I found on the ground and cleaned up the trash he had left behind.

I was highly disappointed with both hms and alvico and would not recommend contracting either company in the future. After 6 weeks of arguing and another $1000 electric bill, my heat pump seems to be working. Unfortunately, I cannot replace the two days of work that I would not have needed to miss if the problem had been properly diagnosed during the first visit. At my pay rate, two days of leave is worth $600.in the end, I paid $800 for a $700 repair. I would have saved $100, an unknown amount of electricity, and a lot of headache if I had just called an hvac contractor myself instead of hms.

  • Hv
    hvactech73 Mar 15, 2014

    Just out of curiosity, if you know the lifespan of a heat pump to be of a determined age, why use your knowledge you have accumulated over your civilian naval career, to try to exploit the warranty company to replace your heat pump and then to try to get litigation involved? hmm, sounds pretty auspicious to me.

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    Maintenance Engineer Mar 15, 2014

    @hvactech73
    Lucky for the HMS? I did discuss with the HMS supervisor the possibility of replacing the heat pump with a new system due to age. His response was that Alvico would have to condemn the system (which they would not) and HMS would find a refurbished unit of the same capacity for Alvico to install. The supervisor also stated that, as a warranty company, they have replaced entire heat pump systems when the repair would be more costly, to HMS, than a replacement system. He continued to say that the systems that they install are the least expensive systems that they can locate. I mentioned to him that an inexpensive heat pump system would most likely be less efficient than my existing system and cost me more from electric usage in the long run. The supervisor agreed. As I stated, I had my lawyer review my experience and the HMS contract. The conclusion of the lawyer was that HMS was acting within the contract and legal action against HMS would most likely be unsuccessful if pursued in court. What I had hoped you took away from my experience was that HMS is not on the side of its customers and that they will side with their contractors if there is a dispute. Also, Alvico is quick to blame the customer for improper maintenance regardless of the situation.

    0 Votes

refusal to perform service/coverage

I am sick of being jerked around by hms. They lied to me and said that I had sent a revised address form to them so my renewal form never arrived and by the time that I called them, they said that I had missed the deadline and was no longer covered. When I asked to see this document that they said that I sent and signed, they couldn't produce it because it didn't exsist!
Our dishwasher overflowed. First $100 deductible visit, the plumber couldn't find anything wrong. The 2nd $100 deductible visit, the plumber moved the drainage line. The 3rd visit, the plumber lectured us not using a dishwasher cleansing fluid. The 4th claim and another $100 deductible, I insisted that a different plumber be used. This plumber showed us the drainage hole which had so much build up on it that the water couldn't drain fast enough. Also, he showed us that the drainage line was not positioned correctly and that is the "101" of plumbing for the dishwasher. Mind you, with $400 paid in deductibles, we could have had a new dishwasher installed and our wood floors in our kitchen were now destroyed.
Now we are dealing with the lies from hms on our toilet. We have had 5 visits/$100 deductible each in the past 3 years because a toilet is not working properly. The last two plumbers said that the toilet needs to be replaced but hms said that it was not covered by the policy because in their records, they had that the toilet was "cracked." the plumbers never said that "cracked" crap to us so after many phone calls and being put on hold, a supervisor spoke with the plumbers and low-n-behold, the toilet was not cracked! The supervisor apologized, admitted the error (falsifying documents) and said that a plumber will be out in three days to replace. Surprise, surprise, a plumber never showed up. We called hms and they have no record of the conversation with the supervisor and the approval for the toilet replacement. The agent showed on her document that the toilet was cracked.
The lies and run-around that hms is ridiculous!

ac unit

Hms home warranty is a scam company big time!!! We bought our townhouse in june/2008. Two months later I get water draing from the ceiling and down the side of the house which is coming from the ac unit in the attic. Called hms and they state I must either wait up to 14 days for them to send someone out to check it or I must call the service company myself and try my luck at getting them over sooner. Of course, being the peak of august, I call the service company and try to get them over asap... Didn't work! Anyway, when the company finally send someone over, the technician states it's too hot in the attic for him and writes in his report that "the problem is the condensation pan which the customers broke themselves"... A little detail on this statement is that we had never been up the attic!!! He then stated that we had another option, we could pay him one thousand dollars on the side to fix the ac condensation pan or else he would turn in the report stating we broke it. I ordered this man out of my house, threatened to call the police and I immediately called hms to make a formal complaint and inform them that this man was dishonest and wanted our money on the side! Hms' response was even more interesting... They stated that they'd have to wait for the report to come in from the service provider which blew me away and then when they finally did receive it a week later, they stated that we had cracked the ac condensation pan and therefore we were not covered!!! Well, let me say this... We don't even know what an ac condensation pan looks like or where to find it even if we wanted to break it or fix it!!! I'm a nurse, I fix people's health and I certainly don't know the first thing about ac units up in the attic!!! That is why we pay for home warranty! So we don't have to know about ac condensation pans!!! This company accused me of breaking this when I don't even know what it is!! This company was not even worried that their service provider was blackmailing me!!! This company is dishonest and should be closed down!!! These people should be put in jail!!! I cancelled my home warranty and got whatever was left after the fees and charges they decided to put on top of the pro-rated amount!! I will never have home warranty again especially with hms... This company specializes in taking your money and then calling you a liar when you put in a claim!!!

fraudsters and cheaters

I'm not trying to entertain anyone, it is unfortunately real life. Hms sells your home insurance for 1 year after you purchased your home. If you need any coverage for something broken such as (in our case) heating system, you would be fullished by paying their $100 deductible every time they send someone to 'find out' what is wrong. What they really do is getting your money and declined your claim.

Our main heater did not work to begin with for injectors (they don't work with propane) were improperly installed in 2006 - two years prior our purchase of the house! The hodge brothers hvac - contractors of hms came twice not giving your any invoices for what they thought was wrong. They recommended us to clean the system, change filters. We did everything possible even cleaned vent pipes inside! To make this story short - winter was pretty cold inside since second small unit was not designed to heat 2/3 of the house. Temperature was about 55f inside our home. How would you like to be sleeping in the house? I know - anything is possible.

  • Sc
    scharpervision Jun 05, 2009

    ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! We have been so disappointed with HMS and their antics. The burner in our cooktop malfunctioned, causing the glass to break. The cooktop unit is sold as a whole, and there is no replacement glass part available. The cooktop is NOT usable since the glass is broken. HMS refused to pay for a replacement, saying that the glass top is a "structural" malfunction, not a mechanical one. The glass cracked because the burner malfunctioned!! This is a cause-effect situation. HMS refused to pay. I think a class action lawsuit is in order, given the tremendous amount of consumer dissatisfaction with this organization.

    0 Votes
  • Hv
    hvactech73 Mar 15, 2014

    why not pay to do it right yourself, oh i know because you can sue anyone for anything, i think we should sue those who want to sue everyone else

    0 Votes

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no coverage

After reading other complaints on this board I decided to share my complaint with the others. I am a real...

a waste of money

I have been a customer of hms for several years, and every time I use them, I am frustrated by their terrible customer service and slow response times. They prey on people’s fears, but I will not be victim to them any longer. I live in a town of 25, 000 people. There are plenty of repair companies in my phone book. But every time I call hms with a claim, it seems they only have one repair company in the area, and that company is booked. I have asked them several times to work to have more contractors lined up, but they haven’t. Today, the customer service rep I spoke with named “quantina” told me that they only have one service company in my area. I asked her why not more, and her response was “a lot of companies don’t want the hassle of dealing with us. They would rather work on their own.” well, if they experience the same frustrations with hms that I do, I can understand why. So here I sit with a plumbing leak and no one here to fix it. Meanwhile, hms has the $450 I paid them for my contract and hasn’t done anything to make sure I get the timely service I deserve. The only thing I get from their warranty is a guarantee I will be frustrated.

  • Sn
    snickerdoodle Feb 20, 2009

    I agree wholeheartedly. I had a stove that needed to be fixed. They kept telling me that they had faxed the work order to the company that was supposed to fix it. However, the company said that they did not. This went on for about ten months and I was certain that it was HMS that was stalling. (The repair company had in the meantime done other work for me and they were always pleasant and on time.) Finally, I called and told the service person at HMS that if the fax didn't arrive this time I planned to file a complaint with the BBB, the FTC, and the Local and National realtors associations (as well as a few other consumer agencies). What do you know!!! The fax arrived at the repair service this time. The people that serviced my stove told me that it needed to be replaced (which I'm sure that HMS already knew or suspected) and that they had sent in the order for that.
    HMS then denied my claim and told me that they wouldn't pay for it. I am in the process of drafting the aforementioned complaint letters and an appeal.

    0 Votes

customer service???

Do not use hms home warranty. We had (and still do) a problem with our blower within the furnace/ac. We have a high efficiency hvac unit and the blower motor went out on september 12th. So.. No a/c. After fighting with them for three days to get a service provider out to our area [the closest one they have in their system is one-hour away], they finally agreed to a "one" time approval for a local service provider. Our local tech called in the order for a rather expensive motor due to the system being a high-efficiency model. They questioned his expertise and questioned on whether we needed such an expensive moter. To make a long story short, they sent the wrong part, said they would re-send the part overnight... It has been 5 days later and no part. It is now september 29th asnd we have been without a/c for three weeks. I'm not sure we will have the blower motor anytime soon.
They absolutely suck!!! We have been lied to, their customer service sucks # and their upper management will not return any phone calls. Do not use this home warranty company!!!

  • Ho
    housekeys Jan 14, 2009

    I agree with you, If you ever get back to this site please read what "housekeys" has to say about HMS and their "warranty". The glossy flyers, the snappy brochures, the "HMS tents for property on the market" is all fine and good untill the seller or buyer has an issue. Please read all of the very fine print whether its HMS, AON, Home Sure, etc... I wont ever use them again.

    0 Votes

do not use – absolutely horrible

My husband and I bought our home 3 wks ago. The 2nd day in our home, our a/c broke. It was 100 degree...

they are a joke

I wish I would have done some consumer research before renewing my hms warranty twice after buying my first...

customer is never right - only licensed technician is

I was a customer of HMS for three years and had only called them once for a stove problem. Recently, I called them for a problem related to groceries freezing up in refrigerator. They sent a technician which came in and without any running diagnostics, ordered a replacement for thermostat. He did change the thermostat but it didn't resolve the problem. The problem never went away. I called back and was asked to pay another $100 for a new service call even though the problem was same.

Well, I cancelled my warranty with HMS. I would rather give business to a company who does not have these kind of dishonest practices.

predator

Hms takes your $ and provides nothing but false promises and anguish in return. Contractually, there is no specific performance disclosed as to timeframe for them to take corrective action... They can take forever. My ac, manufactured in 1967, died. They have now spent 3 weeks looking for repair parts. Like that's going to happen. On the phone they are polite as they lie to you about elevating your claim or placing a rush on it and yet every time you call back you will get the exact same song sung to you. Arbitration clause prevents recovery. Stay away! Bottom feeder.

  • St
    Steve AD Sep 17, 2010

    I hear you. I got HMS (partially paid for by seller) with my new house here in Virginia. Two months later my GE Monogram fridge died. HMS threw 3 different companies at this and every large part (control board twice, compressor, some switch, now a sensor). I asked them after 4 weeks without refridgerator in my kitchen when they would stop throwing people and parts at this if they apparently cannot fix the unit and replace it. I talked to first line support, 3 people in the escalation group (office of the president - cool title - means nothing).
    Here is how they operate/make money as far as I was able to ascertain:
    1. Supplement the premium with a relatively high deductible
    2. Order cheap parts from manufacturers they have volume business with to ship to their contractors to use in the repair (take also longer to ship)
    3. Pay the contractor only if he fixes the problem (found out from one of my service techs). They only get paid $60 (30 min worth) for a diagnosis and then need to get approval for every 30 min increment (typically not given). My contractor actually ate $300 worth of time like this.
    4. Delay, hang up on people, talk softly, promise to escalate, but ultimately do nothing.
    The fact that these warranties have no remedies as such or service level thresholds (3 attempts, 2 weeks max), etc. is amazing. Imagine you would wait that long to get reimbursed for dental work...
    In summary, they are good with fixing little things that are easily covered by the $100 deductible and items on a service tech's truck BUT for big fixes (often requiring full replacement of unit) - they will try to screw you. I cannot wait to see how this ends. I am already posting everywhere online, next will be BBB and Facebook.

    0 Votes