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Description

According to information provided by the company about its business products: What is Utility Shield? Utility Shield is a service agreement that provides repair or replacement of the essential, hard-working utility lines and systems throughout your home.  Utility Shield is a Manchester Group product. Who is The Manchester Group? The Manchester Group is part of IGS Energy - a privately held energy products and services company. The Manchester Group has entered into agreements with utility providers to offer customers the option to include Utility Shield charges on their monthly utility bills. The Manchester Group is not your utility provider. Utility Shield Overview - Utility Shield's utility line protection plans provide repair or replacement service if a protected line leaks or fails due to normal wear and tear or inherent defects in material or craftsmanship.  Utility Shield's system protection plans provide repair due to failure caused by normal wear and tear. You will receive protection only for the eligible lines and/or protected systems which you have enrolled, and only if the plan fees have been paid according to the service agreement. Utility Shield only provides service to failed lines or systems which fail due to a covered cause. Other limitations and exclusions apply. Please read your entire service agreement. Eligibility - You must own and be responsible for the single family dwelling, planned unit development, or mobile home to which the protected lines are attached. Further, you must be responsible for the upkeep of all the protected lines and/or protected systems. Participants certify that there are no pre-existing conditions affecting their utility lines or systems. All protected lines and protected systems must be attached to or located in a single family home owned by you, and for outside protection, you must own the land upon which your single family home is located.  All protected lines and protected systems must have been installed by a licensed contractor according to the applicable building code, and they must be in use and in good working order, without any leaks or failures at the time of your enrollment. By enrolling, you agree that you understand that you are purchasing a service agreement and not an insurance policy. Also, you certify that there are no pre-existing conditions affecting your utility lines or systems. Further, you agree that you understand and agree that lines or systems with pre-existing conditions are not eligible for protection under Utility Shield. Prior removal of material from your sewer line is deemed a pre-existing condition.

BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that The Manchester Group, LLC meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 16 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised the rating for The Manchester Group, LLC include:

  • Length of time business has been operating.
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size.
  • Response to 6 complaint(s) filed against business.
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business.
  • BBB has sufficient background information on this business.

Industry Ratings Comparison | Chart


Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

6 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 3 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 0
Billing/Collection Issues 2
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 2
Problems with Product/Service 2
Total Closed Complaints 6

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

2 Customer Reviews on The Manchester Group, LLC
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 2
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 2

Additional Information

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BBB file opened: May 22, 2007 Business started: 03/01/2006 in OH Business started locally: 03/01/2006 Business incorporated: 03/01/2006 in OH
Type of Entity

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Business Management
Mr. Bill Thomas, President Mr. Doug Austin, Co-owner Mr. Jason Moore, CEO of The Manchester Group Mrs. Monica Scharschmidt, Customer Relations Manager Mr. Scott White, Co-owner
Contact Information
Customer Contact: Mrs. Monica Scharschmidt, Customer Relations Manager
Principal: Mr. Bill Thomas, President
Business Category

Extended Warranty Contract Service Companies

Method(s) of Payment
annual check or credit card, monthly check (ACH) or credit card and in some areas utility billing.
Alternate Business Names
IGS Energy Home Services Utility Shield
Additional Information

This company offers service agreements, not insurance. Protection for utility lines is for the repair or replacement of: inside electric lines, inside gas lines, inside water lines, inside sewer lines, outside water supply lines from the street to your home or from your home to the well, outside sewer lines that go to the city sewer or septic tank. Protection for systems repair include: HVAC systems (air conditioner, furnace, heat pump, boiler) and water heater that are not operating properly due to normal wear and tear. 

Additional Information

According to the Office of the Ohio Consumer's Counsel, these consumer warranties are also called line insurance. Line insurance is a program to help consumer's cover the cost of repairs to utility lines that run to or inside a home. For more information on line insurance, consumers may wish to contact the OCC at http://www.pickocc.org choose utility questions and select their tip sheet called "The Facts About Utility Line Insurance" at http://www.pickocc.org/publications/consumer_protection/Facts_About_Utility_Line_Insurance.pdf


Additional Locations

  • 6100 Emerald Pkwy

    Dublin, OH 43016 (800) 581-8729

  • PO Box 9060

    Dublin, OH 43017

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  • Advertising or Sales
  • Billing or Collection
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  • Delivery
  • Guarantee or Warranty

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Additional Phone Numbers

  • (888) 544-4541(Phone)
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Additional Web Addresses

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Additional Email Addresses

  • - eQuote
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Complaint Detail(s)

2/24/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: We joined ******* ****** to have our house covered since it is an older home and we don't know everything that might be wrong with it. We filed two claims and had repairs done with them and we thought things were going great. Then out of the blue we get a letter of cancellation. We contacted them and spoke to ****** ************. She stated that she was the one that made the decision to cancel the policy and refused to give any more imformation other than it was based on the experiences of the contractors and call center. She gave attitude and stated that if we wanted to know anymore that we would need to get in contact with their legal department. We haven't had any problems with either contractors. I offered to help both service teams that came by. The election and I laughed and joked around and there was no problems. The plumbers didn't seem to have any problems either. We have paid them on time. When we spoke to the person that sold us the policy we asked specifically would your company cancel us if there was to many claims done. She said no. It didn't matter how many claims that we filed there would not be a problem. After speaking to the Manchester Group legal department we were told that the Manchester Group had paid out thousands of dollars on this policy and that they were cancelling because we had had to many claims on too new of a policy. Both ****** and the guy from the legal department cut me off, showed attitude, and tried speaking while I was speaking.

Desired Settlement: I would like for them to reinstate our policy and back up what I was told they would do, which was not cancel for too many claims.

Business Response: I have attached the repsonse and service agreement.  Thank You

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

11/17/2013 Problems with Product/Service
7/21/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I called Utility Shield to cancel the service on 6/5/2013. I informed the CSR that I could no longer afford the service and that I am on a fixed income. He said that I would no longer be charged for the service effective 6/5/13 and would be covered until 6/30/13 and that there will not be any further charges. My July bill from ******** ***** still had the charges of $14.95 on it. ******** ***** refused to credit my bill for 14.95 and so did Utility Shield. This is a healthy issue because I can not afford healthy food choices. $14.95 might not mean much to you but it means the difference of protein or no protein given that I am on a fixed income.

Desired Settlement: Credit my ******** ***** bill of $14.95

Business Response:

The customer contacted our office 6-5-13 to cancel coverage, and was advised that no NEW charges would be sent to ********.  We sent our charge of $14.95 to ******** on 6-1-13.  ******** doesn't necessarily bill at the same time we send our charges to them.  They accepted the $14.95 charge on 6-21-13 and the customer saw that charge on her next bill, again this is the charge we sent to them on 6-1-13.  We do not have access to when they bill each customer, but we didn't send them any NEW charges.  The representative explained what took place and why the charge showed on her current bill, unfortunately the customer hung up on the representative before we could offer refunding the $14.95 as a courtesy (we even tried to call the customer back).  

We are unable to place the $14.95 credit back on the *******'s bill, but we will mail the customer a check for $14.95, which can take up to 30 days. 

 

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

12/4/2012 Guarantee/Warranty Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I purchased what I thought was insurance to cover any breaks or repairs that with cover the main drain pipe from the house to the city main this was what the brochure was advertising this was done over two years ago.On the 19 of Oct this year my wife had to call ***** ****** due to the waste water spilling over the clean out drain .***** ****** than proceed to run their cable through the clean out drain to clean out the roots from the drain .When the repairman was retreiving the cabled got so entangled with the roots he was unable to get the cable out. It was than necesery to have to dig up tne ground to cut the cleanout drain and install another .The total cost to replace the cleanout pipe and dig to get to it and replace a new pipe totaled came to $3144.40 .I called the Manchester Group and had the Supervisor speak to the agent to explained what was needed and hou it happen when he c gave the phone back to me the agent from the Manchester group told me they would not cover this because it was a prior problem. I told her that this was not a prior that it was always necessary to have **** ****** come to clean out the drains at least every two years because of the trees roots pentrenting the drain pipes that this was normal She stated that it was a prior promplem and that they would not cover it I than also asked if the drain pipe and cracked and broken would they cover that and she said no that again that was a prior problem.In other words I was paying for insurance for nothing.I strongly believe this is a ripoff on the consommer and that they should pay to cover what they advertise.In this case $3144.40 or refund what I payed in the last two plus years.

Desired Settlement: For the Manchester group pay for the cost of the repair which is $3144.40 and refund the amount that I payed for the last two plus years as they made it necessary to go through all of this and the problems it has caused me and my wife to come up with this money as we both are 80 years old and are struggling with our fianceing.

Business Response:

Please accept this as The Manchester Group, LLC’s response to BBB Complaint ******* filed by Mr. ******** ****.  On December 7, 2010, Mr. **** enrolled in Manchester’s Utility Shield Complete Protection plan by filling out the attached enrollment card.  Upon enrollment, Mr. **** was provided with a Utility Shield Service Agreement for Single-Family Homes.  Pursuant to the Service Agreement, protection begins fifteen (15) days after enrollment, which gives the enrollee an opportunity to review the full Service Agreement.  In addition, enrollees are given a thirty (30) day “free look” period during which they can cancel their agreement and receive a full refund of any payment made by the enrollee provided they have not yet made a claim under the plan.  A copy of the Service Agreement is attached for your convenience. 

 

On October 19, 2012, Mr. **** telephoned our office to report a claim related to his outside sewer line.  At Mr. ****’s request, a representative from our office spoke directly with an employee of **** ****** at that time.  **** ****** had been hired by Mr. **** to address the sewer line backup, and was on the scene when Mr. **** called to report the claim.  During the conversation, the individual from **** ****** stated that Mr. ****’s sewer line was infested with roots, and that, in fact, it was so infested with roots that a camera could not be inserted, and that the **** ****** cable had gotten stuck in the line. 

 

When Mr. **** returned to the telephone, he advised our claim representative that it had been necessary to clear the roots from the line approximately every two (2) years for “as long as he could remember.”  This is important, because if material has been removed from the sewage line prior to enrollment, then the line was breached prior to enrollment, and coverage is specifically excluded by the Service Agreement.  The exclusion is found under, “What is not Covered,” on page 7 of the Service Agreement.  Bullet point number two (2) states:  “Leaks and failures which first occurred before the Effective Date of your Protection Plans.”  Because Mr. ****’s lines had been cleared of tree roots on multiple occasions prior to his enrollment with Utility Shield, his roots were a pre-existing condition, and therefore coverage was properly excluded under the plan.

 

While the Service Agreement explicitly excludes coverage for pre-existing conditions, that fact is also made very clear from the beginning.  The following statement appears just below the signature line on the enrollment card: 

 

By enrolling, I understand I am purchasing a service agreement and not an insurance policy.  Also, I certify that there are no pre-existing conditions affecting my utility lines.  Further, I understand and agree that lines with pre-existing conditions are not eligible for protection under Utility Shield.  Prior removal of material from my sewer line is deemed a pre-existing condition

 

(emphasis added).  Therefore, Mr. ****’s knew or should have known that his outside sewer line was not eligible for coverage under the plan, and that claims related to his outside sewer line would be denied because of the pre-existing condition exclusion.

 

That being said, Manchester feels badly that Mr. **** enrolled for protection for which he was not eligible, and wishes to provide him with a refund.  Instead of simply refunding only the portion of his payments related to his outside sewer line protection (which would amount to approximately $88.00), Manchester has decided to refund Mr. **** the entire amount he has paid since enrollment for protection through Utility Shield ($328.91).

Consumer Response: As I have stated in my phone call on 12/3/12  to you I have not heard or received anything from the Manchester group since I accepted the resolution that you sent me by e-mail in which the Manchester group stated that they were going to refund me what I had paid for coverage in the amout of 328.98. I want to thank you for all the help the BBB has giveing me.I hope we can get all of this resolved soon...Thank you 

Consumer Response:

Mr. **** called 12.3.2012 and said he received settlement check and matter is Resolved.

BBB's Final Determination: Consumer accepted resolution offered by the business.

9/5/2011 Billing/Collection Issues
9/2/2011 Guarantee/Warranty Issues
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