Thursday, November 12, 2015

Home Warranty Ridiculousness

So when we bought our house back in May we received a home warranty with it through American Home Shield (AHS). Back in early October the garage door spring snapped and we checked our policy. There were some exclusions related to the garage door but they all said that was in regards to the garage door opener and it looked like the actual door and its mechanisms should be covered.

We placed a service order through the internet webpage for AHS for our garage door spring (not related to the garage door opener at all). Five Star Garage Door was the company contracted by American Home Shield who phoned us back. They stated that our policy did not cover the garage door spring, although we have no way of knowing or confirming this. Even though it's not covered they told us they could still come out to fix it for a charge of $150 total and they would cancel the service call through AHS. We agreed and they came out a few days later.

The technician ended up calling the day of service and asking to come a few hours early so I changed my plans, left a playdate, and obliged. He ended up even earlier than what he requested and so he arrived before I did. As I  walked up to the door, he got out of his truck and I led him inside to show him the area. Before entering the house he asked, “Did your husband talk with you about the price?” I found it an odd way to start a conversation considering he hadn't said anything else to me yet and it was referencing my husband instead of just asking if I was aware of the costs. I said indeed and confirmed that it was $150 total. The technician then said that the repair was $150 and there was a $60 Five Star service fee on top of that. I was confused and let him clearly know that this was not discussed with us and the total price was quoted as $150. I stated that we weren't okay with the sudden hidden charge and asked for the technician to call back and speak with whomever we had originally spoken with. He said it was him although the voice did not sound at all the same. He didn't offer any sort of response but just stood there and asked if we were going forward with it. When I asked how this sudden $60 fee was saving us any money, which was the exact line the person giving us the original quote used, he stated that the home warranty service fee was $75 so they were saving us $15. We felt quite duped as when the original $150 quote was given we checked local prices and that was the exact amount being quoted elsewhere and those places confirmed no hidden fees or service charges. It seemed like bait and switch and the company by offering a slight measly $15 difference expected people to just deal with it.

I stated that we did not want to move forward with the work. I'm not a fan of rewarding shady business practices with my money but of course I didn't say that to him as I was being professional. The technician became upset, angry, and unprofessional. He puffed and pouted and murmured under his breath then said, “well you'll owe $75 still and your home warranty will bill you.” I told him that wan't what his company had told us on the phone as we were told the service call had already been canceled. This seemed like petty retribution and from his response it seemed like he knew the process and this had happened before. I had the choice to pay their $60 service fee and the $150 to get it fixed or go elsewhere and pay $150 to have it fixed and still get billed the AHS service charge ($75). I stated that I wasn't okay with being billed for a cancelled service call and the only reason work wasn't being done was because they changed the quote upon arrival. He then left our property having never touched the garage door but only after placing a bill for $75 in our mailbox and then sitting in the driveway for 15 minutes.

We had the garage door fixed that day from a local company for $150. My husband phoned American Home Shield (AHS) that evening to describe our incident. The representative listened to the issue but stated there was no way to make a dispute for a claim or have our case looked at. He was told there was no complaint process at AHS regardless of what happened.

After that call the same evening our phone rang and it was Five Star Garage Door. There was a female receptionist on the line and she asked if we wanted to schedule an appointment to repair the door making no mention of the days incident. She then stated it was covered by our AHS warranty plan and would be $75 total. At this point we had paid the $150 to another company to repair our door after they told us it wasn't covered. 

Since this issue I've looked up reviews of Five Star and see numerous people having similar issues all being referred to the company from home warranties. Today a bill from the American Home Shield showed up for $75. I called in, again explained the situation and got no where. Their technicians recite the exact same phrases and state there is absolutely no way to dispute a charge or have a service fee waived and there is simply nothing to be done regardless of how poor the service you receive is. I asked to speak to a supervisor or management and was placed on hold for 35 minutes. The next person who answered recited one single section from the home warranty and wouldn't actually acknowledge the poor service or provide any sort of notion that they might understand how wrong this whole situation was. We have no dispute process and no one else for you to talk to was all I was told. Apparently only shady service companies can cancel service calls and they only do so if you agree to their misrepresented prices. Beware if you're purchasing a home warranty and use caution in whom gets sent to your place for their service calls. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Meal Plan Monday

Need some dinner ideas? Here is our plan for the work week.

     - Asian Pork Soup with noodles

     - Taco Tuesday with refried beans

     - Vegetable Korma over rice with homemade Naan

     - Lasagna Soup 
     I put this on our meal board as "Italian Soup" because years ago I made a "white chicken lasagna" and labelled it as lasagna and my hubby, whose favorite dish is lasagna was so disappointed it wasn't the regular kind. Now I only use the word lasagna for our regular version!!

     - Chicken Pot Pie
       for an easy version frozen mixed vegetables, cream of chicken soup, and Pillsbury ready made pie crust over a casserole dish gets you a tasty meal without much effort. I usually make our sauce from scratch but we'll be using the ready made crust this time.