If you’ve ever had to purchase a home warranty, you’ve probably wondered: are all home warranty companies scams? Let’s analyze this question using two companies as an example – one of the worst home warranty companies, Allied Home Warranty, and then the one that absorbed its customers after the shutdown of that company, OneGuard Texas.
Is Allied Home Warranty Really a Scam?
Allied Home Warranty was a Texas-based home warranty provider. It not only covered home systems and appliances but also offered several unique maintenance services such as HVAC tune-ups, carpet cleaning, and window washing. Immediate effectiveness of the policy, fairly low premiums, deductibles, and cancellation fees were among the factors that initially made this company so attractive to consumers. Also, Allied Home Warranty was accredited by the Better Business Bureau and had an A+ rating.
Despite these apparent strengths, Allied Home Warranty is now closed. It had been providing services for homeowners, homebuyers, and home sellers since 2004. In August of 2018, it was sold to OneGuard Texas, LLC and then ceased operations soon after that. Allied Home Warranty warned their customers in advance that their contracts would be assigned to the new home warranty service provider, OneGuard Texas, LLC. At the end of the contract term, Allied Home Warranty’s clients were able to continue coverage as a customer under OneGuard Home Warranty.
OneGuard Home Warranty
OneGuard Home Warranty was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. The company only offers its services in Arizona and Texas. It offers many options for homeowners and real estate professionals. Just like Allied Home Warranty, OneGuard covers a wide range of home systems and appliances, as well as other unusual home maintenance services, including window and carpet washing, landscaping, pest control, and A/C and heating tune-ups.
At first sight, both companies appeared reliable, but let’s take a closer look at Allied Home Warranty’s reviews and how the situation has changed with OneGuard Home Warranty.
Communication Problems & Good Communication
It’s not surprising that bad home warranty companies don’t care about improving their customer support. Quite unusually for the home warranty industry, Allied Home Warranty only responded to service requests during business hours. Many upset customers wrote in their reviews that they had to make dozens of phone calls before anyone would reply and that they had to wait for the company representatives for hours. Oftentimes, they were unhelpful and even rude.
However, the situation completely changed when OneGuard Home Warranty took over:
“My experiences with OneGuard have been extremely positive. The reps have been professional, knowledgeable, and helpful. They have always followed up with me and genuinely want to help me resolve any issues. I am very impressed with their service and would highly recommend them.” With a new company in charge, it was clear that things were turning around.
Repair Delays & Fast Work
Many bad home warranty companies want to save money by cheaping out on repairs, and will often delay repairs as long as possible. Allied Home Warranty was no exception. Customers described their negative experiences with this company on the BBB website:
“I have had multiple claims that I have had to resolve myself and opted not to even use the service. I had an oven claim whereby the vendor told me the could not give me a date as to when they could come because they were busy. They do not have a network of reliable and well related vendors that can provide timely servicing.”
That customer’s negative experience starkly contrasts with one of OneGuard Home Warranty’s reviews on ConsumerAffairs:
“When my heater at the house was not working, OneGuard Home Warranties sent someone the next day. He was very well-mannered.”
Allied Home Warranty wanted to attract more customers by advertising their contract as being simple and clear to everyone. They made a one-page contract aimed at making home warranty agreements easy to understand. Also, they removed obscure legal words and replaced them with simple language. The idea was great, but as it turned out, Allied’s one-page contract is vague and didn’t legally require that they do anything. This is what discontent clients had to say about the Allied Home Warranty scam:
“I bought this warranty because of their ‘one-page contract’ and good reviews a long time ago. I have had exactly one claim and they fought it all the way. Making claims like ‘our contract does not say it will pay 100%’ means they can make up any percentage they feel like.”
After switching to OneGuard, the contract became transparent and easy to understand, but still detailed and specific enough that people knew exactly what they were getting for their money:
“I love that a sample contract is posted under the plan options and you can see exactly what is covered and not covered. No surprise fine print! I can see right up front what I am getting. I love a company that allows transparency and full disclosure.”
Unexpected costs & Reimbursement
Since Allied Home Warranty offered a vague one-page contract, it wasn’t surprising that their clients reported home warranty scams. As a result, the clients had such problems:
“Repair reimbursement full payout was refused. Reason I was told $254 only out of $1700 plumber repair bill would be paid. Estimates from other plumbers are equivalent to the repair bill submitted. No plumber would have fixed my plumbing problem for what allied paid me back.”
On the other hand, one of the satisfied clients of OneGuard wrote on ConsumerAffairs:
“Our KitchenAid range hood fan stopped working, and, of course, there weren’t parts available. OneGuard replaced it with the current model which was around $1100. I was fully expecting a cheapo replacement, but was pleasantly surprised.” Once again, OneGuard’s new customer service policies were a dramatic improvement over the policies of Allied Home Warranty.
Unprofessional & Professional contractors
In some cases, a home warranty company doesn’t care about the quality of repair work and sends inexperienced contractors. Compare the reviews about Allied and OneGuard home warranties:
“I called Allied for a non-working heater. *** was the servicing company after each service visit the previous tech caused more damages to the system. And each tech would have to fix something that the previous tech broke.”
“We have had OneGuard for 7 years. We have NEVER had a bad experience. Repairs and pre-season tune-ups have been excellent. All service representatives have been eager to solve our problems. The contractors the company chooses are knowledgeable and skilled.”
Overall, Allied Home Warranty had predominantly bad reviews, while OneGuard Home Warranty’s customers are satisfied with the services provided by the company. Allied Home Warranty and OneGuard Home Warranty are great examples of some of the best and worst home warranty companies. This case study shows us that a change of ownership is not always a bad idea. In this case, customers received a much better quality service from the new company than from the old one.