In addition to thorough coverage, providing competent contractors for plan holders is a priority for most home warranty companies, according to industry leaders.
American Home Shield, has a network of 11,000 professionals to service their 1.4 million customers nationwide. Company spokeswoman Nicole Ritchie says contractors are screened during the application process, including a background check.
"We believe our customers expect - and deserve - professional service at all times," she says. "However, in the unfortunate event that expectations aren't met, we encourage customers to make us aware of any issues, and we'll take corrective action as appropriate."
Contractors working for a home warranty company often have to meet set mandates before they can work on a customer's home, such as acting and dressing professionally and following specific guidelines for pricing jobs.
Eric Lipp, owner of Patriot Air in Tempe, Arizona, says he works with several home warranty companies and appreciates the business, but also understands he needs to keep costs down.
"When you're a startup company, it's a great way to get free leads," he says. "[Home warranty companies] know what things cost, and they reward contractors who have the cheapest ticket by giving them more work."
However, avoiding cost restraints is just one reason some contractors choose not to partner with a home warranty company.
"We've been approached by several of them, but it's really not advantageous for us," says Mike Fedor, residential service manager of WF Hann & Sons in Bedford Heights, Ohio. "They're very cookie cutter as far as repairs are concerned."
Dave Mejean, HVAC manager for B&W Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning in Speedway, Indiana, doesn't plan on working with home warranty companies either.
"Their pay scale is nothing we want to mess with," he says. "They're looking for people to work for little money and customers might not get good, quality work."
Editor's note: This is an updated version of an article originally posted on May 4, 2011.
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