I usually never take the time to write a review on a company or service unless I either have exceptional service and want to praise the company or, unfortunately in this case, the complete opposite, very poor service and I feel it is my duty to warn the community about such a company. The old adage that it seems too good to be true duped me into buying this service in the first place. I had been using another home warranty service for 2 years but each year the premiums rose, and after the third year I started to look for something a little more reasonable in price. On paper Sensible home warranty looked great, however there were quite a few very negative reviews, which I tried to weigh evenly against some of the more positive reviews, I wanted to give the company the benefit of the doubt and come to my own conclusions, which I certainly have.
The specific details of my claim are simple. I had an issue over the summer with my air conditioning unit I called the home warranty company and requested service unfortunately they were unable to provide me with a technician within a reasonable timeframe. After waiting approximately 8 hours for technician to come in the unbearable heat of my home, which is also where I work, I called them back and enlisted my ability to use my own contractor and have the work reimbursed to me using the deductible service that this company claims they provide. I received both verbal and email confirmation that service would be acceptable and I proceeded and was able to get the service repaired later that afternoon. The total bill for the service was only $125 after my $45 deductible I was entitled to an $80 check reimbursed to me from the home warranty company. I submitted through email a photo copy of the invoice from the technician along with written instructions to mail me a check for the $80 difference that the home warranty company agreed to pay over the phone with me, as they instructed. This is where the headaches began. After waiting several days I received no acknowledgement through email or phone that my claim had been received. I called to make certain I had followed their vague yet simple instructions properly and was told to simply resubmit the email and invoice copy. 48 hours later I did received an email notification that my claim had been accepted and that an $80 check would be mailed to me within 4 to 6 business weeks, which I felt was a bit of a long time to wait but was happy as long as I received the check. After the six weeks had passed I still had not received any check in the mail and I called to inquire. At this point my level of apprehension started to creep up as previous stories from other reviewer of their troubles started to reverberate in my mind. I still wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt but I quickly got the feeling that I was getting a run around and that my money would never arrive. Even though the amount was less than $100 it seemed like pulling teeth to get any sort of confirmation or guarantee or even anything in writing that would acknowledge that payment was being processed and/or being mailed to me.
After my second call and detailed explanation of my issues the customer service agent assured me that they would then place another request order to have my check processed and that it would go out the following Friday (the first Friday of the month) as they quoted this is the timeframe when all checks are issued and sent out and then I should receive it then within two business weeks. So the 4 to 6 business weeks really depends on if your claim gets submitted and approved before the first Friday of the month, otherwise it could be more like 8 to 10 business weeks!
So, after that following 2 weeks and still I had not received a check I called back for a third time and was given a similar run around. They claimed the check had actually been shipped out, and it was odd that I had not received it yet. They told me they would place a rush order on another check and that I should now receive a check within 7 to 10 business days. At this point I felt I had been lied to long enough and that I would like to cancel my policy effective immediately and receive my pro-rated refund. They told me that I was unable to cancel my policy because I had an open claim and that a check was already being issued and mailed to me. I told them that I no longer wanted to $80 claim amount, to please close the claim and simply process my request to cancel and refund my policy. The agent could not honor that request and reiterated that because there was an open claim I could not cancel my policy. I tried to let her know that I no longer would accept the $80 payment and to please close the claim but she was unable. I was told that I had to submit an email to their billing department to request the policy cancellation, which I had already done before making this last phone call. She was not able to tell me if the company received my formal request and that I had to wait 24-48 hours to get any response back at all. I was concerned since the amount refunded is pro-rated, so that every day that goes by I lose an amount of my refundable premium. She could not help me beyond this point. I tried repeatedly to speak to a supervisor, who was never available, nor was I able to speak to any other individual including anybody from the billing department. I fear that my on-going run around will simply continue until such time that my policy will have run out and I will not be eligible for any refund at that point. The individual agents are nice enough people that simply are script readers and have no real power or capabilities to do much more than send an email for requests and take the brunt of customers’ frustrations.
Please do not dilute your common sense with delusions that this may not happen to you. It will and seems to me is how this company makes the majority of its income. They do not seem to operate within any sensible ethical policies and have poorly written language in their contract that enables them to tie you into a repetitive loop of waiting with no honest chance of receiving any payment. Worst yet, they do not even allow you to read the actual contract language prior to making a full annual premium payment and agreeing to their terms in the contract, even though they claim that you have 30 days to cancel the policy and request a refund, which I imagine they have no intention of ever actually giving back. I hope by writing this I can convey my level of trepidation and frustration with this company and I hope that my story helps others in their choice in choosing a home warranty company.
Monetary Loss: $297.