ED Magedson – Founder
OneGuard Home WarrantyPhoenix, Arizona USA
OneGuard Home Warranty Guarantee / Warranty Issues, Problems with Service, Shady Policies Phoenix Arizona
We purchased a home in October 2013 in Benbrook and in that purchase received a OneGuard home warranty – we upgraded to their highest level of service including a pre-existing condition clause. In November we had issues with our heat (a/c heat pump) and called OneGuard. We called the day after thanksgiving and Oneguard got someone out the next week. The technician told us we had a leak in the evaporator coil. Oneguard called me and asked for our inspection report which I sent to them. The authorization person wanted more information about an item on our inspection report calling out a discrepancy with the unit. The inspection report stated a low temperature differential and recommended the unit be serviced by a licensed HVAC contractor. Which we had done as a condition of sale. At closing we received a paid receipt showing all units working normally. Fast forward to week of thanksgiving- its freezing in North Texas and our heat isn't working and Oneguard denies the claim stating it is a pre-exisiting condition that was not repaired. So much for their no fault per-existing condition coverage!
I did a little research on temperature differentials both the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors AND the Inspection News websites indicate that temperature differentials (TD) are not written in stone and that there are no hard and fast rules surrounding them. The information indicates that there are multiple variables that could affect the TD. Our inspector also noted that "Unusual conditions such as excessive humidity, low or high outdoor temperatures, and restricted airflow may indicate abnormal operation even through the equipment is functioning." We had a home inspection and we were at the house with the inspector the day he performed the inspection. The inspection was done on September 19, 2013. The weather could have affected the reading…The longest warm spell for the DFW area was from September 3 to September 20, constituting 18 consecutive days with warmer than average high temperatures and humidity. The warmest month in 2013 was September, with an average high temperature of 92°F. A dirty air filter could have affected the reading…Humidity could have affected the reading. The point is that a low temperature differential is possibly an indicator of something else or maybe nothing – it is not a diagnosis.
I was completely frustrated as to how they could deny it because I had done everything I could based on the inspection report and the paid receipt from the licensed HVAC person hired by the seller. Oneguard said “The unit was initially noted on the inspection report as deficient, recommending service from a licensed professional.” The inspection report did not mention anything about rust, or oil stains, or leaks in the coil. It said there was a temperature differential . The inspection report said to have the unit evaluated and serviced - which we did.
As the home buyer we took that recommendation from our inspector as a priority and required the sellers to have the units serviced by a licensed HVAC contractor per the inspection report. The seller agreed. They or their agent hired, supervised, and paid the contractor and provided to us at closing the paid invoice as proof the job was completed.
OneGuard stated in a denial email to me - “The invoices we have received from the contractor who serviced the unit do not show proper repairs were made, and did not provide sufficient information that the unit was fully evaluated.”
What are “proper repairs” based on an inspection report that showed a low temperature differential? I have not found anything that states the root cause of a temperature differential is a bad evaporator coil. I asked OneGuard if they had documentation that states that a low temperature differential = leak in the evaporator coil. OneGuard is placing a value on “proper repairs” that I could not possibly have met as the home buyer with the information provided to me.
In fact, I have provided generous documentation that proves temperature differentials are inconclusive indicators of a more serious problem. The fact is we did take the inspection report seriously and required the units be serviced as recommended. If we do not own the home and do not hire the contractor to perform the service, we cannot ultimately know what was done or not during his evaluation and servicing. There is a level of trust that the licensed HVAC contractor does what they are required to do in order to service and evaluate the unit. AND further, when we received an invoice stating all operating normally- we have to trust and assume this is a true statement based on his evaluation of the units. There was nothing else to cause us concern that he did not act the way OneGuard expected.
OneGuard continues with - “When the service provider assessed the unit, he found issues that had been in existence prior to the effective date of the home warranty. If the unit had been fully inspected, the long-term problems with the evaporator coil would have been detected.”
The No Fault policy states “covers breakdowns caused by unknown pre-existing conditions” and further defines what kinds of pre-existing conditions apply to this policy which includes- “Improper repair so long as the mechanical failure was not known.” Based on the information given to us as the home buyer, the units were serviced and operating normally. The mechanical failure was not known until November 29, 2013 when we made our first call to OneGuard.
When the OneGuard service provider came and inspected the unit (Dec. 3) it was the first time we heard this appeared to be a longer standing issue. We had no previous statement or documentation that mentioned rust, oil stains, or evaporator coil issues. The statement from OneGuard regarding – “IFthe unit had been fully inspected, the long-term problems with the evaporator coil would have been detected.” If ifs and ands were magic wands we'd all have magic powers. I do not have magical powers nor do I know the specific details of HVAC servicing and repair that would equip me with broader knowledge in line with that of a licensed HVAC contractor. It was not until the weeks following Thanksgiving that we discovered the problem as identified in the reports and pictures from Patriot AC (December 2) and Master Tech (December 23). The evidence the two HVAC contractors OneGuard sent out only confirms that they both agree to the diagnosis it does not prove we had knowledge about this specific issue prior to closing on our home. We cannot be held responsible for shoddy repair work by the licensed contractor that the sellers hired. I am not a licensed HVAC person, nor do I have any knowledge in that area. Why would I question a receipt from a licensed HVAC person that said the systems were working normally?
From the One Guard website:
“No Fault Coverage - Undetectable pre-existing conditions are covered. In fact, we're the only home warranty that covers all unknown pre-existing conditions, such as rust and corrosion, lack of maintenance, shoddy repair work and mismatched systems. 24-hour emergency service is available for conditions that threaten your safety, Whatever your home service needs may be, OneGuard Home Warranties strives to provide no-hassle, quality service every time. Hassle-free with no hoops to jump through.”
The OneGuard policy states:
“The contract holder must have all known pre-existing defects repaired by a service professional and deliver to OneGuard any paid invoices evidencing the repairs before item can be covered.”
We had all “known” deficiencies addressed per the recommendation of our home inspector. The known deficiency was a low temperature differential. Recommendation from inspector- “have a licensed HVAC contractor service the unit.” We did. We provided the receipts given to us and we believed we had fully operational units per the invoice received at closing that stated such. What else could we have done? Why doesn’t this fall within the boundaries of the contract we have with OneGuard?
Their no fault pre-existing clause even states it will cover
1. Insufficiently maintained systems,
2. Improper installation or repair so long as the mechanical failure was not known, would not have been detectable by a state certified home inspection, and was not caused by the contract holder.
I think the actions we took as home buyers were followed in a way that should protect us. At what point will OneGuard recognize that I did address the deficiencies listed in the inspection report? At what point will OneGuard acknowledge that the home sellers addressed the deficiencies through the licensed HVAC contractor they hired? At what point will OneGuard accept that the home seller who hired, supervised, and paid the HVAC contractor ultimately was responsible for the service and evaluation of the units and that the HVAC contractor gave a report back on the paid invoice stating that units were serviced and working normally? Why then would this not fall under the “shoddy repair work” of OneGuard’s policy?
OneGuard is ignoring the licensed HVAC contractor, his evaluation, and statement that the systems were operating normally. The previous owners presented at closing a statement via an invoice from a licensed HVAC contractor that the systems were operating normally and he did not identify any major mechanical failure or evidence thereof, therefore the mechanical failure of a leak in the evaporator coil was not known. That one piece of information – the licensed HVAC contractor the previous home owners hired - this one ignored step of this story, should be part of this claim and should (because the previous home owner was responsible for the hiring, supervising, and paying) fall under OneGuard’s "shoddy repair work" clause.
The inspector that performed our inspection stated that the report from the licensed HVAC contractor would supersede his report and be of a higher authority, yet OneGuard is ignoring and not even recognizing that invoice presented to us at closing stating the units were operating normally. OneGuard is choosing to only view and decide on this claim based only on the inspection report. Why is that? I received a document stating the required servicing had been completed and that the units were operating normally - I believed the sellers licensed HVAC contractor that they hired, supervised, and paid addressed all of the "known" discrepancies from the inspection report. And that no mechanical failures were identified.
In all honesty, I don't know what else I could have done. I was told all systems were operating normally. So in my view all the items identified in the inspection report had been addressed. No mechanical failure was identified to me from the invoice from the licensed HVAC contractor -Nothing except that the units were operating normally - there was no identified "mechanical failure”.
I would like to further share additional information with you to the living conditions my family has had to endure the last two+ months since we made that first call to OneGuard the day after Thanksgiving. The DFW area has seen some of the coldest temperatures on record in the last month. In fact in early December the actual air temperature did not rise above freezing for multiple days, it stayed in the low to mid-teens for those days. Several days the area was covered with 3-4 inches of sleet and ice. During those days we were homebound…with outside temps barely rising into the 20’s. We continue to have below average temps and most days begin in the 30’s.
In addition, I have spinal muscular atrophy a lifelong neuromuscular disease that among many challenges I use a motorized wheelchair for mobility, I have a compromised immune system, and I have – on the best of days - poor circulation because of the immobility. When I cannot maintain a warm temp in my own home it creates additional issues for me personally to sustain an adequate body temperature. Not that any of this should make a difference, because every family should be treated equally, but the strain on my body to try and regulate a warmer temperature is taxing. The strain and stress this has caused is exhausting.
I am completely frustrated and think OneGuard isn't standing up to their own policy. What a sham to promise something in a written policy and present it as genuine, but then not stand behind that promise. I continue to ask what kind of corporate values are those?
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/05/2014 10:31 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/OneGuard-Home-Warranty/Phoenix-Arizona-85027/OneGuard-Home-Warranty-Guarantee-Warranty-Issues-Problems-with-Service-Shady-Policies-1121103. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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