In this ongoing series of articles we share alerts from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and other organizations involving home warranty companies. In most cases links to the original information will be provided. If you find a broken link please take a moment and contact us so we may fix it.
Please note that sharing alerts and consumer cautions is a courtesy to our readers and in no way constitutes advice regarding a particular home warranty company.
In a July 2011 alert the BBB provided information about calls received from consumers confused by marketing materials sent to them by HomeServe USA, a home warranty company that was previously reviewed in one of our other home warranty company profile articles.
The July alert from the BBB stated that many consumers had believed initially that the home warranty marketing materials were actually official documents from their local utility company. Though HomeServe USA cooperated with Attorney Generals from the states of Kentucky and Ohio in 2010 there was never any admission of wrongdoing by their company. The confusion found to have resulted from the overall appearance of their home warranty marketing materials did not constitute a breach of any law or regulation apparently and the company id not receive any significant reduction in their overall BBB rating though they were temporarily not rated.
Home warranty companies sometimes have third party companies underwrite their home warranty plans. In the case of this BBB alert the company underwriting the home warranty plan from HomeServe USA was identified as AMT Warranty Corp. a trade name of Warrantech Corporation which has a BBB rating of C- due to a series of determining factors. Whether or not the BBB rating of the company underwriting the external water line coverage that HomeServe USA is offering is a matter for consumers to be concerned with was not stated in the alert from the BBB.
The greater matter of concern in the alert seemed to be comments from the President of the North Alabama BBB that a number of elements are listed in the fine print of the HomeServe USA contract that would exclude repair coverage responsibility and that are not disclosed elsewhere in the marketing materials. Though it is not unusual for marketing language and fine print to be separated from one another the concerns were elaborated on and some of the exclusions might be enough to cause a consumer to no longer be interested in buying the coverage.
If you would like to read the full text of the BBB alert you may do so by clicking here.