James Hunter

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Homeserve USA (HEIS) and BBB Accreditation and A+ Rating

I appreciate all comments, feedback and suggestions and a recent comment by "Michael K" (privacy respected). I was encouraged by his recent experience and his neighbors. I hope my efforts, on this blog, have encouraged and motivated HEIS (aka Homeserve USA, Home Emergency Insurance Solutions, etc.) to provide improved service and coverage to their customers.

------------------------------------- Comment on Blog ------------------------------------------
Michael K********May 8, 2015 at 12:51 PM
It might be time to update your blog... I just looked up HEIS on the web site of the CT. BBB and its rating (as of 2014) is A+. I've gotten several of these letters over the last couple of years and thrown them all away. It's clear to me that it's not from the water district, but I can see how some people might be deceived. Plus, all the alarmist text makes it sound fishy. Then my next door neighbor had a leak. He had previously gotten the insurance. His $2800 repair was completely covered. They even upgraded his pipe from galvanized to copper at no cost. I think it's important to separate the criticism about the deceptive advertising from the criticism about the coverage itself. While I agree that the advertising should be more transparent, the coverage is pretty well defined, albeit admittedly of narrow scope. Based on my neighbor's experience I plan to get the coverage, as our houses are 50+ years old, and like a prior poster said - $59 a year is cheap peace of mind.

  1. I'm very pleased to hear they are improving not only their BBB rating, but providing excellent service to your neighbor. Several years ago that didn't seem to be true. I hope my blog helped motivate some of the improvement. I will check their BBB rating and see what comments are being posted in the press and update the blog, as appropriate.
-------------------------------------- End Comment on Blog -------------------------------

I checked Michael K's reference to BBB (Better Business Bureau) and a rating of A+, in 2014. Links from excerpts are provided to the BBB web site referenced by Michael K, so content can be verified.

I found the following that might place the comment in perspective:
  • Since Michael didn't provide a general location, his, other than CT (Connecticut) BBB, I have to assume the service and insurance claim occurred near Norwalk, CT. or did it occur someplace else?

BBB Accredited since 2014 for 1 year of continuous accreditation. 

BBB has determined that HomeServe USA Corp. meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.  

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services. HomeServe USA Corp. affirms that it meets and will abide by the following standards. 

"The customer review(s) below are un-filtered. These positive and negative reviews are not used in the calculation of the BBB Rating. If you wish to file a complaint and request a resolution to your issue please click here. This customer review section is not BBBs complaint resolution system. Customer Reviews are the subjective opinion of the individual who posted the review and not of Better Business Bureau. A customer review is not posted on a business if a BBB complaint on the same issue(s) is also filed. BBB cannot guarantee the accuracy of any customer review and is not responsible for the content of any customer review. Public comments are not customer reviews." 

It appears that over the last year the Homeserve USA BBB accreditation and rating appear to be misleading. The reviews are quite negative , Customer Experience-Negative 80% and Customers will Recommend - Negative- 86.7%.
  • It should also be noted that complaints and reviews are different things to BBB. The reviews cover the period of accreditation - 1 year. The complaints appear to cover roughly 3 years? There were 302 "complaints", of which 33 were not "customer not satisfied with business response", roughly 11% of the customers were dissatisfied. I suggest the interested reader read the, "Complaint Breakdown by Resolution". You can look at the complaints which are redacted to protect complainants privacy.There is also a link to the BBB Closure Definitions. It appears to me there is a bias towards closing complaints? Readers comments are appreciated.

Some conclusions

It's really hard to determine if there has been an improvement in Homeserve USA customer service/support, what does the A+ rating, new since 2/2014, really signify since it doesn't seem to represent the quality/value of the product or service? BBB evaluates a published set of criteria for rating a business which includes a fair and reasonable effort to resolve customer problems, honest advertising, etc.

BBB has also published a chart of customer complaints by type, display by clicking on "http://www.bbb.org/connecticut/business-reviews/water-and-sewer-line-protection/homeserve-usa-corp-in-norwalk-ct-87067998/complaints" then click the text link "View Complaints Summary by Type Pie Chart on HomeServe USA Corp", to display this pie chart:

It seems obvious that Homeserve USA needs to work on "Problems with Product and Service" and Advertising/Sales, which are a bit over 82% of customer complaints.

As a result of spending some time evaluating what the BBB Accreditation and the A+ rating that Michael K pointed out in his posting, I decided to try to find a bit more about Michael K. I should point out I've been working in the computer industry since 1967 and an Internet user since 1983, so I'm reasonably aware of publically available tools and how to use them for research. I found a Michael K who may have submitted the comment to this blog, was apparently employed by a California County in their IT Department, the County has a water district, the water district is a partner of Homeserve USA and gets compensated by Homeserve for each policy sold.  I hope that Michael K reads this and clarifies his comment a bit. Keep in mind Ian Fleming's novel Goldfinger, Moscow Rules slightly paraphrased "Once is an accident. Twice is coincidence. Three times may be a deliberate action". Just a guess that I hope is incorrect. Remember, "Trust first then try to Verify".

Contact BBB if you have a complaint about Homeserve USA (AKA Home Emergency Insurance Solutions (abbreviation HEIS), Home Serve HomeServe. Please click on the link below:


You may also submit a review to BBB regarding your experience as a customer of  Homeserve USA (AKA Home Emergency Insurance Solutions (abbreviation HEIS)Home Serve HomeServe. Please click on the link below:

I encourage customers, prospects and advertising recipients of Homeserve USA (AKA Home Emergency Insurance Solutions (abbreviation HEIS), Home Serve HomeServe. To submit either a complaint or review, as is appropriate.

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