Home Warranties Now Available For Water Services, Sewer Laterals

By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | January 2012, Vol. 67 No. 1

“Our contractor certification process includes significant pre-qualification that can include auditing licensing and insurance coverage, background checks, drug testing, and onsite inspection by our field managers,” he said. “This process can also involve the service provider signing a contract with HomeServe and receiving training from us.

“Following a service call, customers sign a document indicating that they are satisfied with the work performed. In addition, 48 hours after the work is completed, HomeServe contacts the customer to conduct a satisfaction survey of the service process. Portions of this survey also measure the performance of the service provider from the customer’s perspective. Finally, HomeServe has a comprehensive escalation process should a customer express dissatisfaction with any aspect of the service. The internal team with this responsibility has broad powers to take the necessary steps to resolve customer issues.”

One of the final questions that HomeServe asks the customer is to rate their overall satisfaction with the service offered, said Meehan. It is the response to this question that is the basis for the claim that 97 percent of HomeServe customers receiving service rate it satisfactory or above.

Marketing issues
However, HomeServe has had problems resulting from allegations of misleading advertising, specifically mailings sent to prospective customers that appear to be from utility providers and are mistaken for a bill due or a mandatory charge for service.

Consumer complaints to the Kentucky and Ohio attorneys general alleged solicitations that were mailed to consumers offering water line repair services generated confusion and numerous complaints from consumers and public utility officials due to its design and wording, which suggested that the service was a mandatory fee imposed by the utility company.

One of HomeServe’s utility partners in a different part of the country, who asked not to be identified, experienced the same problem with complaints filed with another state attorney general.

The Southeast Florida Better Business Bureau (BBB) -- HomeServe’s operations headquarters is in South Florida -- record for the Kentucky and Ohio cases documents that: