In part one of our investigative piece “Are you risking your Client Relationships by Recommending a Home Warranty Company?”, we discussed what many disgruntled customers had to say about their home warranty providers.
After scouring through the thousands of complaints available online we began to see some common trends among the largest providers, many of which could turn away a consumer permanently.
Now, after compiling this data, we aim to answer this question: Which of these providers can a consumer trust?
The one company which seemed to stand above the rest was Home Service Club Warranty, at least on paper. With an A rating and only three complaints in three years on BBB.org, 5 star rating on ConsumerAffairs.com, 4.5 star rating on HomeWarrantyReviews.com, and 0 complaints on RipoffReport.com it appears that few people have bad things to say about HSC Warranty.
After talking to a representative at HSC, the reason behind this became a little clearer. The representative highly emphasized the company’s interest in customer care, pointing out that they pride themselves on interaction with the customer.
This interest in customer interaction seemed to be lacking in other companies we looked at though. When asked what made their company better than the others, a representative at American Home Shield was more than happy to tell us about how large their market share was, the fact that settled over $1.6 billion in claims over the past five years, and how the company has over 13,000 contractors nationwide. In all this talk about how large the company was, the representative seemed to forget what mattered most to a consumer – customer satisfaction.
While many warranty providers do suffer from negative reviews online, there are still many RE agents who speak highly of these companies. One RE agent we spoke with said he had suggested Old Republic Home Protection for years and had only received one complaint, which was promptly settled after contacting his representative. While the homeowner had issues in settling a claim over the phone – speaking with someone they had never met or talked to before – the agent had no issue in resolving the problem with the warranty representative he had known for years. This may be the key though, the level of interaction one has with a home warranty provider.
Agents generally have a closer connection to their home warranty representative, having a direct line to call when there’s a problem. Too many of the complaints online talk about struggles communicating with the warranty provider, and this does not seem to be as common of a problem for brokers and agents.
So is there really one home warranty provider that surpasses the rest? It’s truly hard to tell. The best thing you can do though is research these providers yourself – targeting their performance in your area – and be there for your clients when they need you. If your clients aren’t satisfied with the provider you suggested, they won’t be happy with you, and that’s bad business for everyone.
As an agent it’s your responsibility to provide your clients the best service possible – whether it be helping them buy or sell a home or finding an honest home warranty provider – so keep this in mind when suggesting any service to your clients.
Have you experienced any of these problems with the home warranty providers you have used? What are your thoughts?