State: Home warranty firm used deceptive practices
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - State officials say a central New Jersey company that sells home warranties used deceptive tactics to refuse consumers' claims for product repairs or replacement.
Consumer affairs officials announced Monday that they have filed a complaint against the CHW Group, an Edison-based firm that does business as Choice Home Warranty. It seeks restitution, civil penalties and other damages.
Officials say the firm induced consumers to buy "comprehensive" coverage for various appliances and home systems, then used numerous tactics to deny claims. This forced customers to pay out-of-pocket for air conditioning, refrigerator or other repairs that allegedly should have been covered under their warranties.
Company officials said they "unequivocally dispute" the state's allegations and said the firm was working with its lawyers to resolve the issues.
"We are disappointed that the State has chosen to file this lawsuit (and) intend to vigorously defend against them, and are confident that we will ultimately prevail," the company said in a statement issued late Monday afternoon.
"Choice Home Warranty has fielded thousands of warranty claims from our customers, resulting in claims payments of tens of millions of dollars. In fact, many of the complaints referred to by the Attorney General's office, were resolved long ago, to the satisfaction of the consumer," the statement said.