TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Replacing their busted water heater inside their Tolleson home was an unexpected expense for Juanita and Melvin Allen. "It's been out since about three weeks ago," said Juanita.
Across town, Joginder Singh was dealing with his own home repair. His air conditioner on top of his Tempe home broke down and it couldn't have happened at a worse time. "Right now, the temperature in the house it shows is 93 degrees," he said.
While the two families have never met, they share a common frustration with a company called Choice Home Warranty. That's because both Singh and the Allens bought a home warranty assuming any repairs that popped up would be covered. "I said, 'OK, give me the total plan then. In the total plan, he said everything is covered 100%," said Singh.
It sounded good but Singh says Choice Home Warranty is not paying to repair his air conditioner. And the Allens say Choice Home Warranty refused to pay to fix their hot water heater. The reason Melvin says are exclusions in Choice Home Warranty's contract. "They said they do not cover the whole hot water heater, cover inside the hot water heater," he said.
Singh took issue with Choice Home Warranty as well. "I am not happy with them. I believe that I was tricked into buying the policy that does not cover anything here," he said.
As a result, Singh had to pay nearly $800 out of pocket to have a repair company fix his air conditioning. And the Allens had to pay out of their own pocket for a new hot water heater. "I have the highest coverage and they denied my claim," said Juanita.
3 On Your Side is very familiar with Choice Home Warranty. In 2015 the company was sued by New Jersey and ordered to pay $779,913 because it "... deceived consumers by refusing to provide the services provided."
And in 2019, the Arizona Attorney General's Office filed a consumer fraud lawsuit against Choice Home Warranty, claiming the company "... provided a 'service contract' riddled with exclusions, denied claims for spurious reasons and paid consumers a fraction of the cost of repair or replacement, if anything."
The AG's Office tells 3 On Your Side the lawsuit is still "ongoing" and not resolved. The Better Business Bureau has logged more than 7,582 consumer complaints about Choice Home Warranty over the past three years. So, what does Choice Home Warranty have to say? Apparently, nothing because they haven't responded to 3 On Your Side's numerous inquiries. "I'm not going to use them anymore. I'm going to get another warranty," Juanita added.