The Better Business Bureau is alerting Valley consumers to be cautious of a mailing sent by the company, Home Services USA. The mailer appears to be from the State of Ohio and offers a warranty on water lines going into the home.
The BBB has received numerous calls questioning the legitimacy of the letter. The mailing appears to be from the State of Ohio, the county and city in which the consumer resides. The mailer also states that the company accepts various forms of payment and urges those who are interested to respond by February 19.
The company's Reliability Report is under review pending the results of the BBB's current investigation of advertising issues.
The BBB offers the following advice to homeowners who may be considering home warranty coverage:
Verify the warranty company’s track record. Find out whether it’s a local or national firm and how long it’s been in business. Contact the BBB to find trustworthy businesses.
Do some comparison-shopping. Most policies cost between $300 and $395. But not all offer the same benefits. You may find that some of the lower-priced policies charge extra for coverage of water wells and some appliances, such as washing machines and dryers.
Consider the deductible. The industry average is $50 to $100 per claim. But some companies charge as much as $150 per call.
Ask the company who will perform the repairs. Most warranty companies have their own network of service contractors. But some do allow you to hire a contractor of your choice. Be sure you understand the company policy before you buy the service.
Get a detailed, impartial inspection of the house. This should be done regardless of whether you receive a home warranty. The inspection will alert you to any pre-existing problems, which may not be covered by the warranty.
Call the warranty company before you buy a policy. Ask questions, clarify coverage and most importantly, see how the customer service representatives treat you. If they don’t respond promptly and courteously before you buy a policy, odds are they won’t be very helpful after the sale.
Read the contract thoroughly. Make sure you fully understand what is or isn’t covered.