All Business, Good & Bad

Sometimes, an awful consumer experience. Let's call them out. Okay, mostly. But sometimes awards. Yes? All the accounts are truthful. The names have been changed to protect the innocent and guilty alike. Email me with your stories and I'll include them.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

HMS Home Warranty: How to Cook a Client

How are you? Sorry I haven't been here like I promised. I'll make it up to you - I know, I know, but Daddy's been busy with a new house and all; just sing the Wal-Mart is the Devil song...

This is another one filed under "Here's an example, but use it as a warning for all industry" (see banks, credit cards, cell phone providers).

Note: In the following account, Sibcy Cline Realtors and Fast Fixes Home Services are mentioned, but they are exemplary of quality customer service. Only HMS Home Warranty has the certificate to lick the sweat off my ....

I'm sweating my ass off right now. Really. The rivulets are having a "Clothes Soaking Party" on my shirt and in my pants. And HMS Home Warranty is letting this happen.

As some readers know, I moved to the lovely city of Cincinnati last month. I love the town. I love the house: it's 60 years old or so, plenty of character, and a good home warranty should anything go bad. The home warranty was purchased from HMS Home Warranty (Homesure Services, Inc.).

The tale: Thursday afternoon, our central air wasn't central airing the way it should. By the evening, the thermostat was set at 72F, but the temperature was 81F. The next morning, the situation had not improved, so it was time to call HMS. I get up before 6am so I made the call and the claim was taken in, totally automated. I got a phone number and left a message on an answering machine that said "Due to the immense number of repair calls...." Danger Will Robinson: That's not a good sign.

On Friday, Cincinnati was hot, pushing 90's, humidity flourishing, and it was not comfortable. As a home worker, it sucked. A couple hours into the day, I called HMS again to make sure something was going on. I asked for another provider. And through another phone call (explaining that I really needed something done because the weekend was approaching - when most services would be unreachable) and a couple hours later, I actually got them to call a service company to come out Fast Fixes. The service provider said: I've got good news and bad news. Good news: you'll save some electricity this weekend. Bad news: your condenser's shot.

Since I was not expecting much movement on the weekend, I let Friday disappear, Saturday sweat, and Sunday singe.

Monday morning I called (gist only)
Me: So, what's going on?
HMSHW: Oh, we've got the information...
Me: Okay
HMSHW: It's going to take some time
Me: Can you expedite it?
HMSHW: We'll expedite it. It may take up to 24 hours.
Me: Huh? You realize there's a heat warning out.
HMSHW: It's hot everywhere, sir.
Me: I have a daughter and wife and myself who can't sleep for sweat and animals who are miserable if not in danger.
HMSHW: We understand.
I'd love to go through blockquote conversations for the whole process, but heat makes me impatient, so I'm going to bullet it.
  • Monday
    - Call 2: What's going on? "It's not through purchasing yet." Make it so. "We'll do what we can." I need to talk to someone else. "Someone else" (Chuck) says he'll take care of it.
    - Callback: What's going on? "You're OK'd for a replacement, but Fast Fixes gave us information, we're trying to verify it, doing research, and it doesn't match exactly. They'll have to come out again."

  • Monday - Fast Fixes comes out again at 5pm, looks at the unit, verifies their previous information.

  • Tuesday
    - 5:30am to HMSHW: What's going on? "They never called us back." Fine.
    - 6am to Fast Fixes: What's going on? No one called. "We called them as soon as we were done, specifically had to call someone back, left Chuck a voicemail."
    (Note: Chuck gets off at 5.)
    - 6:30am to HMSHW: They called you, left a message with Chuck. "We can't access Chuck's voicemail, but we'll put a note in to Chuck so he'll call you back."
    - 9:30am to HMSHW: What's up with Chuck? "I can't actually reach him, but I'll put in a note to have a supervisor call you in the next 2-4 hours"
    - 12:00pm to HMSHW: What's up with Chuck? "You were told..." No, I need this resolved. (hold) "He's just cleared his voicemail and is now working on your claim."
    - 2:30pm to HMSHW: What's up with Chuck? "He's still working on your claim." I need to speak to him. and...voicemail.
    - 3:00pm to HMSHW: "Chuck doesn't speak to homeowners." WTF?
    - 3:30pm I got the number and called the Sibcy Cline rep at HMSHW and she was aghast, said she'd help.
    - 4:50pm called the rep again and she said she couldn't access the file because it was locked. But it's been worked on since noon! Again, aghast.
    - 5:05 to HMSHW: Need to speak to a supervisor. "I can't locate a supervisor." Then try again. Put me on hold. And if it takes ten minutes, I'll call back and we'll do it all over again. "Chuck's finishing it up." Not good enough. I want a supervisor. Super: "We're doing things as quickly as possible...blah blah bullshit bullshit." Can you have the service company call me today? "Yes." Then that'll have to do.

And that's where we're at.

Bug bug bug until you hear something satisfactory, because right now I have to tell my daughter why she's going to have to sweat through the evening again, probably not get so much sleep.

Pain on them.

For the record, Fast Fixes and Sibcy Cline have been nothing but wonderful in the process. HMSHW is the devil.

Updates, official complaints, and responses will follow. But right now, I'm too sweaty, to angry to continue.

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  • At 1:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    HMS warranty is a rip-off and they are crooks. They will find anyway not to cover the expenses to repair the problem. I had to pay the $100 deductible even though the problem was not covered under the warranty. I paid the repair company the money to supposedly fix the problem and to find out a couple of days later, it wasn't fixed. I contacted HMS and they said the claim has been closed and in order for me to make a new claim I would have to pay another deductible. I tried telling HMS that I shouldn't have to pay another deductible when the repair company never fixed the original problem. They gave some bs talking about symptoms and failures and that I would still have to pay the deductible bc it could be a new problem as a result of the repair man coming out before. I tried telling HMS that they are making no sense and they are ridiculous but they wouldn't budge. So after hanging up on the supervisor I contacted the repair company and stated they never repaired the problem and they should come back out to fix the problem without me paying a service charge. She said since it was sunday I would have to call back tomorrow and she would see what she could do. I am hoping they stand by their guarantee bc I sure as hell know that HMS does not. I would not recommend this warranty to anybody buying a new home, nor would I probably recommend a warranty at all as they seem to find a way to charge you more money than necessary. If in doubt just google their name and you will see all the horror stories people have put up with through them.

  • At 12:37 AM, Blogger AMT Warranty Corp said…

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