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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Review: First American Home Buyers Protection

I was very pleased that my home came with a 1 year Home Warranty from First American. Unfortunately, I found out exactly how much it was worth: nothing.

We had a water heater break down in the in-law unit. Since we were planning to rent it out, we had to fix it. Pardo diagnosed the problem as being a 120V water heater hooked up to a 240V line (yes, the contractor who wired things up was an idiot --- unfortunately, it was owned by the previous owner), and the heating element was burned out. On-line, a 240V heating element didn't cost that much, but since I had a home warranty, I thought I should use it.

I called First American Warranty, told them what was wrong, and where, and they immediately sent a plumber out the next morning. The plumber showed up, charged $55 for the visit, and then proceeded to tell us that he was a plumber, not an electrician. He further called First American and told them that the inlaw unit wasn't covered by the warranty.

I ended up calling a contractor (the same one who worked on my house's flooring), and buying a 1500W 12V heating element from Amazon for $7.99, and he charged me $50 for the repair.

Needless to say, I do not recommend First American Home Warranty, for picking such stupid contractors, and charging for a visit where nothing got done, when the repair could easily have been done for the same amount charged. I am one unhappy customer, and if you're buying a home and the seller offers you a warranty from First American, I recommend that you either deduct the price from the house (as the warranty is pretty useless), or buy your own insurance.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

This company is a rip off. I have been a Realtor for 24 years and personally used them on a residential purchase less than 1 year ago. I purchased a homebuyer's protection policy. My 50 gallon natural gas direct vent water heater kept going out. I called for service and a plumber came out and changed the thermocouple but wasn't sure that would fix the problem ($60 service call to me). The fix lasted about 40 days and they the problem kept occuring. Another $60 service call and the plumber said I needed a new water heater. First American said they would only cover the cost of the water heater ($500). There is an additional $650 of miscellaneous costs that I must pay to replace the failed water heater. Pretty crazy. $120 service calls and $650 additional fees. It would have been less expensive to NOT purchase the coverage. I have called serveral times and each time I encounter very rude people. When I ask to speak with a supervisor (2 times) each time they have said they would call the plumber to find out what the additional $650 in fees are, and have promised to call me back. To this date, I have NEVER received a call back. DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY.