Every day new customers become Members with a Home-Tech Service Agreement. Hundreds of homeowners in SW Florida check into our GOLD and Silver Service Agreements and get a FREE Quote every month. There are lot of Service Agreement questions. We consulted with our President and CEO, Steve Marino, the originator of the Service Agreement product, and also the Service Agreement Department to get the answers.
Most Commonly Asked Service Agreement Questions
Can we make payments?
Service Agreements covering parts/materials and labor are regulated by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. Refer to Chapter 634, Part III, SERVICE WARRANTY ASSOCIATIONS. Home-Tech has held this license since 1985. All funds must be held in escrow. Ten percent of the premium is deposited with the State of Florida. So, for your protection these types of Service Agreements must be paid for in advance.
My appliances are older. Why should I purchase a Service Agreement?
- Over 50% of the repairs requiring parts made by Home-Tech are on units 10 years and older. Many of these repairs would not be made by the homeowner if they had to pay the full retail price, which forces upon the homeowner the inconvenience and cost of a replacement unit.
- When an older unit fails how would they know if it can be repaired, or if it’s time to replace? The service call with some diagnostic time (covered under the Service Agreement) would generally cost over $130.
- Probably the most cost saving benefit, as a Service Agreement Member you have access to Home-Tech’s Member Appliance Center where you can replace your non-repairable appliance at “Cost Discount“. That’s a purchase at our cost, which includes standard delivery & installation.
Are older appliances covered for replacement?
Home-Tech’s “Primary Service Agreement Package” offers FREE replacement on covered appliances under 10 years of age. And included in this package for appliances 10 years or older, our Members enjoy our “Cost Discount Pricing” with no charge standard delivery & installation. On covered AC systems under 10 years of age, Members receive a 50% discount on non-repairable systems. And with our New AC-EPO option, our Members enjoy full equipment replacement – 100% on systems under 10 years of age and AC systems 10 years and over at “Cost Discount” pricing. Generally, “Cost Discount” pricing means a 36% to 40% discount off “Member Pricing”. *See official Service Agreement for complete details.
On older appliances, are you just going to tell me they need to be replaced verses doing a repair?
First, Home-Tech must determine what the unit needs. Most older appliances are repairable, but when the cost to repair the unit exceeds the value, the unit is deemed “non-repairable” and must be replaced.
So how do you determine the unit’s value?
It’s all about Average Lifetime Expectancy (ALE). Home-Tech uses 4 resources to determine the average:
- The “National American Home Builders” report (NAHB)
- “Annual Portrait US Appliance Industry” report
- “Demesne Research” report
- 39 years of Home-Tech historical data
The value of the covered unit is based on its ALE.
We already have a “Maintenance Policy” with another company. Why would we need a Home-Tech Service Agreement?
Most Air Conditioning companies offer some type of “Maintenance Contract” which ONLY includes annual or biannual maintenance of your AC unit. We call these “Clean and Checks.” These Maintenance Contracts may also include some type of parts discounts sold primarily to get their Technician in the door to sell something. Maintenance Contracts ARE NOT full parts and labor coverage Service Agreements, like Home-Tech’s!
Maintenance Contracts have:
- NO licensing requirements
- NO consumer protection
- NO priority service
- NO emergency service
- NO parts coverage
- NO material coverage
- NO labor coverage
Are you a locally based company?
Yes and Employee Owned. Home-Tech, originally started in Lee County in 1981, is currently celebrating its 39th year. The Home-Tech service concept and process of priority in-home service spread to the adjoining counties of Collier, Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte. Home-Tech currently serves these counties from 2 office/Member Appliance Centers with service technicians in all 5 counties.
We have “newer” equipment. Why would we need a Service Agreement? These appliances should last for at least 8 – 10 years, right?
Maybe they will, but most do not. In our experience each appliance requires between 3 to 4 service calls in its lifetime. The Primary Service Agreement Package alone includes 11 possible appliances located within the Living Area of a covered residence: Refrigerators, Freezers, Ranges, Ovens, Cooktops, Hoods, Microwaves, Dishwashers, Disposals, Washers and Dryers. AC systems require even more service. AC systems are the most vital and expensive equipment covered under the Service Agreement. Primary customer service 365 days a year, parts and labor coverage “No Charge” and annual AC maintenance included. The AC coverage alone is worth the annual Service Agreement premium. After 39 years, we’ve found that the convenience, security and priority service have kept our Members renewing this product year after year.
Will you work on appliances and AC’s on a COD basis?
Absolutely! In fact most of our Service Agreement customers began as COD customers. It usually doesn’t take long for a COD customer to see the many benefits the Service Agreement offers.
Will a COD customer get the same consideration as a Service Agreement Member?
They will receive the same quality of service, but in scheduling, the Service Agreement Member always is our first priority. Remember, Home-Tech has a contractual obligation to our Service Agreement Members. That obligation simply does not exist with our COD customers.
My spouse and I both work. Do you run late night or weekend service? Will there be an extra charge for that?
We realize that today’s working family needs longer service hours that fit their lifestyles. Our Service Agreement Members enjoy non-emergency service Monday through Friday up to 8pm and Saturday until 5pm. Emergency service is offered 7 days a week and on holidays up to 10pm. No there is never an extra charge for these covered services under a Home-Tech Service Agreement.
I am only here part time. My appliances aren’t used enough to spend the money on a Service Agreement.
Home-Tech has thousands of Service Agreement Members who are part-time residents. Why do they become Members?
- MORE repairs are required on idle appliances. (Home-Tech’s busiest season is October/November due to returning homeowners finding inoperable appliances.) So more usage does not dictate breakdowns with major appliances.
- Your Air Conditioning System DOES operate all year long. Your AC system is not a convenience, it’s a necessity in Southwest Florida.
Throughout our history we have seen thousands of damaged homes due to mold, mildew or water as a result of a failed AC system.
- As a part time resident you should always have your AC system cleaned and checked before you leave – which is included in our Service Agreements.
- A Service Agreement will address any breakdowns in your absence.
- Make arrangements with a local “home watcher”, friend or family member to check in on your home regularly. When problems are found they know who to call, even in your absence.
Why do you need to know the age of some equipment? How does that effect my price?
Generally that’s on add-on equipment and AC systems that may have certain parts warranties that do affect the premium price. The age also effects the AC-EPO option which allows for either Free replacement (under 10 years) or large discounts (36% to 40%) on systems 10 years and over. The AC-EPO is priced by specific age and is not available initially on units 12 years and over. Inspections may also be required before approval on the AC-EPO option.
Can I choose which appliances to cover? I have new kitchen appliances but will be replacing our other equipment. Do you offer a Service Agreement for individual appliances?
No. The primary Service Agreement package relates to the “conditioned space” (living area) within the residence and includes the appliances within that space. Under the GOLD Service Agreement you can purchase “Appliance Only” or “AC Only” (not available under the Silver Service Agreement) but the full coverage under the GOLD and Silver is the best value.
Do you offer discounts if I cover multiple properties?
Generally no. The Service Agreement price is based on each individual residence and filed with the State as such. In the case of multiple properties located in the same building or location, discounts may be considered.
Do you offer discounts for paying for multiple years up front?
Home-Tech is one of the few providers that do offer multiple years (up to 4) at the same current annual price. By holding the current price for each additional year, our customers save approximately 5%-10% per additional year depending on the “cost of service” which generally increases each year. So yes, your savings come from locking in your rate!
I was with your company a few years ago and had a bad experience with a repair. It took the technicians multiple trips to fix our (appliance). Will I run into the same problem again?
This situation is the exception and not the rule at Home-Tech. There are many reasons for “multiple trips” or “return calls”:
- misdiagnosis or incomplete diagnosis
- defective replacement parts
- wrong parts ordered or received
- factory issues
Return calls are a reality in the service business. Home-Tech’s “return call” percentage falls between 3% to 6%. This is extremely low in the in-home service businesses. Our low percentage rate of return calls is a direct result of our commitment to continuing education. We strive for perfection, but the reality is we’re close.
I can’t stay at home all day waiting for service. What are your time frames? How long does it take to repair a unit after a technician arrives?
Through Home-Tech’s state-of-the-art scheduling program, we are able to arrange 2-hour time frames successfully for our Members. Once we arrive, the average time spent on a repair falls between 45 to 50 minutes.
Do the technicians carry most of the parts on their trucks?
Home-Tech does complete about 70% of our service calls (many requiring parts) on the first trip. However, appliances today require specific and costly replacement parts such as control boards. This not only drives up the average appliance repair cost, but increases the possibility of a special-ordered part. We make every effort to maintain an updated truck stock particularly for emergency situations and we expedite all special-ordered parts.
My appliances are high end. Do you replace with the same high end type?
Yes, Home-Tech refers to high end as “premium.” The “premium” definition is noted under “Definitions”, item 2 on the back of the official Service Agreement. All replacement coverage found within the Service Agreement refers to “comparable replacement” and is defined in item 7 as “Units similar to quality, features and efficiencies.” Home-Tech makes every effort to also match the brand, but cannot guarantee an exact replacement due to conditions beyond our control.
Why does Home-Tech require an inspection of an Air Conditioning system 8 years of age and older when purchasing the AC Equipment Purchase Option (AC-EPO)?
Repairs and/or system replacements are expensive in equipment, materials and labor. Unfortunately, the quality of an AC system is only as good as the installation. Poor installation methods (found in many low bid situations) such as the size of ductwork, drainage methods and location of outside units near sprinkler heads play a major role in premature failure, regardless of age. Home-Tech does reserve the right to make inspections on AC systems before any coverage is approved.
When replacing a covered appliance, whether free (under 10 years) or at Cost Discount (10 years and over), do you replace it with the same brand?
Not necessarily. This basically applies to the free replacement (under 10 years). Members with a covered appliance over 10 years can choose any covered replacement at “Cost Discount”. The Service Agreement defines replacements as “Comparable Replacement Equipment” which we further define as “equipment similar to quality, features and efficiency.” Many products are no longer available. Home-Tech may not be able to purchase certain brands (closed dealerships). So Home-Tech will make every effort to provide a replacement as close to the original as possible.
We hope these Service Agreement questions and answers have been helpful. If you wish to learn more or have additional questions please call our Service Agreement Department at (800) 800-8356 ext. 3. Our experts will be happy to speak to you.