Home warranty companies pledge to protect you from expensive, unforeseen repair bills and give you peace of mind when something goes wrong with your home appliances and systems. However, you can’t always count on their promises. Getting a home warranty company to reimburse repair costs can be a real hassle, and companies often find sneaky ways to avoid paying their share. Alternatively, everything may work fine for years on end, and you’ll still have to pay the expensive annual premium.
For some homeowners, a home warranty can be the key to easy and inexpensive home maintenance. For homeowners who don’t have an emergency fund, a home warranty can act as a buffer. It also makes sense for those who don’t want to worry about looking for a contractor when a home system or appliance breaks down.
If you’ve ever read through home warranty reviews, you might have noticed that most of the home warranty providers have mixed reviews and dubious reputations. Many among them, even the largest and longest-running companies, have a record of complaints and dissatisfied clients. However, you should pay attention to the number of complaints and whether or not they are resolved. Remember that while a high proportion of complaints can be a red flag, it’s not necessarily a guarantee that the company isn’t any good. A dissatisfied customer is more likely to leave a review than a satisfied one, so reviews aren’t always a representative sample. Despite that, reading through reviews can be a good way to get a sense of a company’s practices and reputation.
Home Warranty Leaders and Their Reputation
There are almost no companies in the home warranty industry that have zero bad reviews, so how can we sort out the good from the bad? Moreover, how can we tell which of the “industry leaders” actually deserve to be trusted? Many Americans look to the Better Business Bureau as a reliable verifier of companies, although it’s been proven by many customers that the BBB cannot always be trusted.
Let’s take a look at the best home warranty companies:
Is American Home Shield Scam?
American Home Shield is one of the biggest and oldest companies in the home warranty market. Although AHS claims to own almost half of all home warranty contracts in the USA, their consumer reviews are mixed. American Home Shield is accredited by the Better Business Bureau with a B rating. However, most BBB reviews of AHS are negative and complain about a American Home Shield scam experience. The most common complaints have been slow responses to filed claims, poor customer support, and unprofessional/incompetent contractor services:
“First tech said it is broken, need to order a part, second tech arrived with part almost 3 weeks later and said I needed a plumber to turn a valve off, paid $100, plumber said there was nothing he needed to do, tech came back to fix part, he replaced part, dishwasher still leaked, next guy said I needed another dishwasher part. 6 weeks later, I’m still waiting…”
Some users mentioned in their AHS reviews that they had to make numerous phone calls to get a response from the company’s representatives:
“Having placed four calls to their sales department and being put on hold for extensive periods and hanging up in frustration, and after leaving our call back number twice with no response, we decided that whatever saving they could provide wasn’t worth the hassle and we bought elsewhere.”
The contract states that services will be initiated under normal circumstances within 48 hours after the service request has been made, but many customers complain that it takes much longer than that:
“Heating unit stopped working in the middle of winter. The earliest AHS could get a contractor to look at the unit was 5 days. Two weeks have passed, I am still waiting with no idea how long this will take. This company cannot provide reasonable timely service.”
Is First American Home Warranty Scam?
First American Home Warranty is one of the veterans in the home warranty industry being established in 1984. The company has been providing services to millions of households all across the USA.
Despite all these positive indicators, First American Home Warranty’s reviews are predominantly negative. Their rating on the BBB is B+. Many unsatisfied customers mentioned communication problems in their reviews on the BBB:
“Extremely frustrated with First American Home Warranty customer service. My covered appliance has been ‘repaired’ multiple times over 14 months and still not working. Replacement was approved many weeks ago but it’s ‘on back order’ so I’m left hanging with nothing. I’m told representative handling this isn’t getting my voicemails, and they haven’t called me recently. Very poor service!!”
First American Home Warranty’s clients were not satisfied with the repair delays:
“3 days to respond to non working refrigerator. 7 days later repair is still under review. How are people supposed to live without a working refrigerator.”
Quality of service has also not been a strong point for First American Home Warranty:
“When I first got First American, they were really good. They would have a technician out right away, and I never had to wait very long for the issue to be fixed. Lately, however, their quality of service has fallen to the wayside. I’ve had two service requests go unresolved just in the last two months. For what I’m paying for a service fee, I expect these requests to be resolved.”
Is 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty Scam?
2-10 Home Buyers Warranty has been serving clients across the USA for almost four decades, which suggests that the company is reputable and well-regarded by their customers. The company has an A rating from the BBB; however, there are still a lot of negative reviews about them online. Many of them complain about the 2-10 Home Warranty scam that they suffered through, and say they had problems reaching the company and that representatives were rude and unhelpful:
“We have been dealing with your company and being treated less than kind by every single staff member for 3 months now over an electrical issue! We just talked to the 15th person we have talked to over many many calls, and she told us our claim was closed! The person who initially took this claim was horrible in customer nature to talk to and on top of it detailed the claim incorrectly so we have to describe the situation to each and every person we talk to.”
2-10 Home Buyers BBB reviews also complain about repair delays:
“Terrible response times. Gas hot water heater has been broken since Jan 18. Two days for the contractor to assess the problem. Today [Jan 22] I learned that they need to order a new water heater which may take 3-5 days to receive?? At that point it will be 7-10 days without hot water at my house!”
Is Fidelity Home Warranty Scam?
Fidelity Home Warranty has been in business since 1995 and provides its services to clients from thirteen states. The company has an A+ BBB rating and accreditation.
According to the reviews on the BBB site, Fidelity’s clients have had a hard time reaching company representatives:
“My heater stopped working three weeks ago and I contacted Fidelity. They informed me that I would need a new heater after looking at it. Days passed and I had not heard from them so I called them multiple times over the three weeks only to be placed on hold or told they would call me back once they received authorization.”
Contractor incompetency is also mentioned many times:
“They hire inept service providers, are unresponsive when THEIR vendor installs a cooler incorrectly, TWICE, caving in my ceiling. They sent the SAME guy out who did it wrong the first time, to remove and replace the unit the second time. And now, I’ve had TWO ceiling cave ins, and they will do NOTHING about it. Oh yeah, and I still don’t have a working cooler.”
Another review complains about the Fidelity Nation home warranty scam that they experienced:
“I’d give 0 stars if I could. No compassion and money hungry. We had an emergency situation and they did nothing to help. Miscommunication left and right, changing the ‘rules’ midway through. Worst home warranty company I’ve dealt with ever.”
A home warranty can be the solution to some of a homeowner’s maintenance concerns, but it’s far from the perfect scenario. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether or not investing in a home warranty policy is the right choice for your home. Be sure to do thorough research before you sign any contracts. As we’ve learned, even the best-rated home warranty companies may turn out to be home warranty scams.