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  • Report:  #2640

Complaint Review: First American Home Buyers Protection - Van Nuys, California

Reported By:
- Hayward, Ca,
Submitted:
Wed, July 12, 2000
Updated:
Mon, May 02, 2005

First American Home Buyers Protection
P.O. Box 10180 Van Nuys,, 91410-0180 California, U.S.A.
Phone:
1-800 444-9030
Web:
N/A
Categories:
Warranty Companies

After being encouraged by this company's rep to use their service as it is now affliated with my real estate firm I put polcies on all of the condos in the large complex I live in (520 units, and where as a realtor I do most of my business. Oh, they promised me the moon, and were so ready to take the premiums. But when it came time for a claim, they stalled, lied and refused to answer my calls. It took me two months to get a stove, and then they ruined my kitchen floor. My clients with much needed repairs are still waiting. My office manager has been very supportive and phoned the regional manager who was also very professional, however her sales rep thinking I went above her head has been harassing me for the past month. Phoning me at home, accosting me in the office, and even in the parking lot, accusing me of all sorts of things. It got so bad

that today I was forced into the emergency room with high blood pressure.

I even offered to not use them at this complex as all the appliances are 21 years old and are beginning to break down, but no they wanted the business. Other realtors in my firm have also had trouble getting them to keep their word. This is the worst home warranity firm in my 12 years as a realtor I've ever worked with.



6 Updates & Rebuttals

John

Winnetka,
California,
U.S.A.
You Have A Choice

#2UPDATE EX-employee responds

Mon, May 02, 2005

I too am an ex-employee, and I believe that the company worked hard to do the right thing. I used to work in a department that handled complaints, so I am quite familiar with these types of complaints. What these claims related issues really boil down to are do you want to spend the money yourself and have it done in an hour, or do you want to save the money and have the Home Warranty Company fix it? It's really very simple. Here's a good example: I bought a Maxtor Hard Drive for my computer several years ago. It broke. I called Maxtor, and they shipped me a new hard drive. It took about a week to receive it. That means I was without my computer for a week. I had a choice: Either wait for the new Hard Drive, or buy a new one. I chose to wait. There are certain times when call volumes are extraordinary (like August in Texas). If your Air Conditioning breaks down, you are one of thousands of people who have that problem. Again, you can deal with the delays, and have the Home Warranty fix it for a cost of $45.00 (or whatever the service fee is currently), or you can hire a company from the phone book. That company will most likely come out, tell you you need a new unit, hand you a bid for $3,000.00, and tell you that they can schedule you in sometime later in the week. You should be aware however, that FAHBP does make extraordinary efforts to provide service for emergency situations. I've seen them offer services that, if the decision were mine, I wouldn't have offered. In summary, First American is a good company and they try to do right by their customers. If I can be of any assistance, please email me at [email protected], and I'll be happy to offer any help that I can.


John

Winnetka,
California,
U.S.A.
You Have A Choice

#3UPDATE EX-employee responds

Mon, May 02, 2005

I too am an ex-employee, and I believe that the company worked hard to do the right thing. I used to work in a department that handled complaints, so I am quite familiar with these types of complaints. What these claims related issues really boil down to are do you want to spend the money yourself and have it done in an hour, or do you want to save the money and have the Home Warranty Company fix it? It's really very simple. Here's a good example: I bought a Maxtor Hard Drive for my computer several years ago. It broke. I called Maxtor, and they shipped me a new hard drive. It took about a week to receive it. That means I was without my computer for a week. I had a choice: Either wait for the new Hard Drive, or buy a new one. I chose to wait. There are certain times when call volumes are extraordinary (like August in Texas). If your Air Conditioning breaks down, you are one of thousands of people who have that problem. Again, you can deal with the delays, and have the Home Warranty fix it for a cost of $45.00 (or whatever the service fee is currently), or you can hire a company from the phone book. That company will most likely come out, tell you you need a new unit, hand you a bid for $3,000.00, and tell you that they can schedule you in sometime later in the week. You should be aware however, that FAHBP does make extraordinary efforts to provide service for emergency situations. I've seen them offer services that, if the decision were mine, I wouldn't have offered. In summary, First American is a good company and they try to do right by their customers. If I can be of any assistance, please email me at [email protected], and I'll be happy to offer any help that I can.


John

Winnetka,
California,
U.S.A.
You Have A Choice

#4UPDATE EX-employee responds

Mon, May 02, 2005

I too am an ex-employee, and I believe that the company worked hard to do the right thing. I used to work in a department that handled complaints, so I am quite familiar with these types of complaints. What these claims related issues really boil down to are do you want to spend the money yourself and have it done in an hour, or do you want to save the money and have the Home Warranty Company fix it? It's really very simple. Here's a good example: I bought a Maxtor Hard Drive for my computer several years ago. It broke. I called Maxtor, and they shipped me a new hard drive. It took about a week to receive it. That means I was without my computer for a week. I had a choice: Either wait for the new Hard Drive, or buy a new one. I chose to wait. There are certain times when call volumes are extraordinary (like August in Texas). If your Air Conditioning breaks down, you are one of thousands of people who have that problem. Again, you can deal with the delays, and have the Home Warranty fix it for a cost of $45.00 (or whatever the service fee is currently), or you can hire a company from the phone book. That company will most likely come out, tell you you need a new unit, hand you a bid for $3,000.00, and tell you that they can schedule you in sometime later in the week. You should be aware however, that FAHBP does make extraordinary efforts to provide service for emergency situations. I've seen them offer services that, if the decision were mine, I wouldn't have offered. In summary, First American is a good company and they try to do right by their customers. If I can be of any assistance, please email me at [email protected], and I'll be happy to offer any help that I can.


Pamela

Huntsville,
Alabama,
U.S.A.
FA representatives are inept

#5Consumer Comment

Fri, December 17, 2004

For all of you FA representatives who love to spout off Holier-than-Thou diatribes, I have READ THE POLICY!!! My A/C went out, and I called FA to report it. 2 weeks & several calls later, a service tech finally showed up. He couldn't figure out what the problem was, so he brought his father out (who had 30+ yrs experience) to diagnose the problem. He said that the unit needed to be replaced. Praise be to FA! Until another week later when no one ever contacted us. So we called their lovely 1-800 number only to be told that they are sending a second opinion out. Like I said, I've read the policy, so I was expecting that. Note on Customer Service, it's usually polite to let the customer know when such an occurrance is going to take place. The second tech was 5 hours late and said that the computer board was the only item that should be replaced. I asked about outdoor motor fan, because it sounded like it was going to take off and take the house with it. He said that it didn't have anything to do with whether or not my A/C cooled. Ok...Then why is there an outdoor fan? All A/C manufacturers are mistaken because 1 knucklehead says so? So I saw where this was going. I called FA yet again. They couldn't tell me anything until they had gotten said knuckleheads report, which they didn't have on file until 1.5-2 weeks later. By this time, because the unit was vibrating so badly due to the OUTDOOR MOTOR FAN, the heat went out. FA sent another service tech out. They affirmed that the unit needed to be replaced. FA has disputed this claim. They say that their report said that is could be repaired. I call the service tech again. No, they told them that it needed to be replaced & they called FA again. I call FA again & they said that it could be repaired per the service tech's report. I call the service tech again. Guess what? He notified FA 5 times that we needed a new unit. An FA rep said that my options were the following: have them repair the unit, take the cash out option for $800, or fix the problem on my own. I was told that FA does not replace items based on the homeowner's recommendation. The people I've talked to have been so inept. They keep bringing up a claim that I have about my pool. I don't HAVE A POOL! There is no such claim! To all FA reps,employees,whatever, don't defend what you don't understand. One day, you too will be a home owner. I hope against all hope that your a/c goes out during the summer and your heater goes out in the winter as my unit has done, and you have to look your child in the eyes and explain why they can't be warm in December. We are not all claim numbers, we are people. And more importantly, your company has been paid for a service that you will not uphold. One day, someone will whisper "Class Action", and the masses will answer.


Marcy

Odessa,
Texas,
U.S.A.
This info should help those who think its a rip-off

#6UPDATE EX-employee responds

Sat, October 16, 2004

the contracts are simple and in plain english. if you have any questions then ask. do not assume anything. thats the biggest problem. the call center is open 24 hrs that does not mean the contractors work 24 hrs. people have contracts read all of it and the fine print. they have a 30 day recall period. it has to be the same problem w/in the 30 days. if its a completely different problem then yes you do have to pay another service fee. it states that in the contract! the biggest mistake is not asking questions. they will mail you another contract if you misplaced it. just ask. yes in fact the contractors do have to submit a report. how else will first american know what was done. they arent mind readers. they will work with you if you are willing to let them. people say that its a rip off because they get mad and they dont get what they always want. the bottom line is.... if you arent sure whats going on then ask. there are procedures that have to be followed. they cant just jump the gun and do whatever makes you feel better. people need to take into consideration that they are doing their job at first american like you do your own job.


Danielle

Livermore,
California,
U.S.A.
How to effectively use a home warranty- First American HBP

#7Consumer Suggestion

Mon, August 04, 2003

I've just read a post regarding First American Home Buyers Protection, posted from what seems to be a very aggravated customer. I thought my opinion might be helpful, because I was at one time a renewals agent for First American. I fielded questions and complaints on a daily basis, sometimes from people with legitamate issues and MOST of the time from consumers who were not supplied with the proper information. One might think being an ex-employee I would be blasting the company, but to the contrary, First American is a great company and I will tell you why. Firstly, A home warranty is so extremely important, especially if you are on a budget. First American's profit margin is something close to 2%... they're not scam artists looking to deny every claim. This consumers claim of being lied to, Im pretty sceptical since FA does not engage in behavior which is illegal or unethical, otherwise they would be sued. As for this persons claim of the sales rep hounding her, calling her at home and "accosting her in the parking lot"... I wasn't there, so I can't dispute that, As far as the agents that deal with the homeowners directly, the call center is in Santa Rosa CA, and the agents deal with such a high volume of calls it would be a waste of their precious time to hound anyone, plus it's obviously counterproductive. At any rate, First American is the HIGHEST rated warranty company, not only by consumers, but by AM Best.. which is to home warranty companies as JD Powers is the the automotive industry. The largest source of consumer fraud in the US is in home repair... ABC Plumbing is probably going to rip you off, and you have little to no recourse. First American is going to pay out on any and all claims that are legitamate. My advice to anyone looking at home warranies is... READ YOUR CONTRACT!!! read the fine print, ask questions, the better you understand the contract the happier you will be. Lastly, the statistics for First American are - 92% Customer satisfaction rate, out of the 8% remaining, 5% unsatisfied is due to misinformation.... leaving 3% of millions of customers with legitamate issues. I had one consumer scream obscenities at me because we didn't pay for him to have his lawn sprinkler system replaced, and even though it clearly states we covered items within the walls and foundation, he still told me to "f*** off" and screamed for a half hour that First American ripped him off. First American does a service to their customers, protecting them from unforseen and costly repairs, and from the real rip-off artists, the plumbers and electricians in the phone book.

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