Scammy Warranty Company Closes Up Shop, Flees New Jersey

The cops are investigating a scammy “home warranty” company that was operating out of New Jersey until they abruptly closed up shop and fled the state, says the Star-Ledger.

United Home Warranty, which has disconnected its phones, taken down its Web site and left no forwarding address, has vanished, leaving an unknown number of policyholders holding worthless home warranties, authorities said.

Efforts to reach officials with the company failed. One executive, identified by law enforcement officials, hung up when reached by phone.
Mike Utley, a homeowner in Dublin, Ohio, said he came across United Home Warranty over the internet. But soon after buying two separate one-year home warranties last year, he could not reach the company.
“United Home Warranty contracted with me for two years of service and then rejected my first service request for a faulty freezer,” he said. “I called and sent e-mails requesting service and got no response.”
In April, he wrote a letter to the head of customer service whose name appeared on his contract, “Mr. Kyle Matthews,” but the letter was returned unopened, five months later.

Home warranties are not always scams, but the industry is largely unregulated and can be attractive to scam artists. Police are looking for these scammers, and believe they may have moved into New York:

“The phone numbers the BBB had for this company are disconnected, and directory assistance does not have a listing for this company,” the website said. “The BBB’s mail to this company has been returned as undeliverable.”
The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs said it has received a number of complaints from consumers about United Home Warranty and has determined the company is now operating out of New York City under a new name — National Home Protection, according to spokesman Jeff Lamb. Complaints are now referred to the New York State Attorney General’s Office, he said.

Department of State records in New York list United Home Warranty’s address as 42 W. 38th St., Suite 800, New York. Corporate records show the business is licensed to David Seruya, an Oakhurst resident.

National Home Protection also lists its address as 42 W. 38th St., Suite 800. Records show that both businesses are licensed to David Seruya.

Reached on his cell phone, Seruya refused to answer questions about the companies and abruptly hung up the phone. He also deleted his Facebook account, which featured pictures of himself and his bikini-clad wife after The Star-Ledger sent him e-mails through the website asking him about the home warranty businesses.

“We know (David Seruya) exists, and we know he is connected to these businesses,” said Lt. Steven Peters of the Ocean Township Police Criminal Investigation Bureau.

Peters has been investigating United Home Warranty since September after the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center alerted local police about complaints lodged against company.

Oh, no. You know things are getting rough when you have to delete pictures of your bikini-clad wife from your Facebook page.

Warranty firm probed for fraud [Star-Ledger]
(Photo:emilgh)

Comments

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  1. ViperBorg says:

    Oh snap! The feds are coming! The feds are coming! Run suckers. And never some back.

    Did I mention I hate scam artists?

  2. SkyeBlue says:

    The LAST time I ever bought an extended warranty, probably close to 20 years ago, it was for a TV and I didn’t find out the company had closed until we tried to contact them. I have not bought one for a prodcut since and never will again. Just for that exact reason. If they go out of business what can you do? Your money is just gone.

  3. WMeredith says:

    I’m not usually one to shill for corporations, but my wife and I have a home warranty from Old Republic and they are fantastic. I just paid to renew it for a second year, which was $450, so it’s not something I took lightly.

    We made three service calls to them during the last year and it was pretty much no-fuss every time. Someone was out within a week, fixed what was broken, we paid a $50 service charge, and that was that.

    They’ve fixed leaky pipes, completely replaced a water heater, and repaired my A/C blower motor. So it more than paid for itself. It also seems like the contractors they send out are good, as well, which I’m sure has a lot to do with it.

    Anyway, I’m usually all piss and vinegar on websites like this so I thought I’d pay a company that does well a deserved public compliment.

    That sucks about all United Home Warranty’s customers left holding the bag. I wish them luck and I hope the crooks at United are caught.

  4. FLConsumer says:

    Not a fan of the home warranty co’s. They usually hire the worst contractors in the area (who else needs/wants more work? Most good contractors are busy with their existing clients) and don’t want to pay to repair things the RIGHT way, just “good enough” so the homeowner won’t complain. Motor go out on something? Use a generic part. Find any way you can to deny the claim, etc.

    Classic one is my next-door neighbor. He has a home warranty through AHS. He thinks he’s getting a GREAT deal because they always send someone out. Nevermind that the hackjob done to his old AC costs him an extra $50/mo in electricity or that it’ll fail prematurely because of it. He still thinks its great!

  5. carterbeauford says:

    learn something: you cannot purchase a warranty. a warranty is protection offered by the manufacturer. anything outside of this is a service contract. car warranty companies, home warranty companies = misuse of the term. and they are all a waste of money.

  6. azntg says:

    Hopefully, people learned their lessons on home warranties. Which to me does sound like a bag of bull.

    Now there’s a candidate for the No-Fly list and at a list on Border Patrol. Get that scumbag!

  7. mjuevo says:

    Home warrantees aren’t necessarily a bad deal. I have one for the house I bought recently; it was purchased at the closing, and the real estate agent didn’t take a commission on it. I’ve had two service calls, one to replace the garbage disposal and one for the stove. The stove had been installed improperly and so wasn’t covered, but the repairman fixed it anyway. (He advised me that I might need to get a new one if the problem came back, but it’s been working perfectly for months now.)

  8. Squeezer99 says:

    anyone have the pics of his bikini-clad wife?

  9. Trai_Dep says:

    Fleeing from New Jersey? I thought moving to New Jersey was the usual punishment for horrific crimes…