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Forum Index » Legislation, Licensing, Ethics, and Legal Issues
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Nathan
King
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Joined: 06/17/2014 09:32 PM EDT
Messages: 5236
Location: Carmel, IN
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Yelp doesn’t want you to know that Residential Warranty Services is the Best Home Warranty in the World by Far.


My name is P. Nathan Thornberry and I am the sole shareholder in Residential Warranty Services, one of only a handful of Home Service Contract Providers licensed throughout the United States. We take care of clients in incredible ways and it starts with our policy, which is indisputably better than every other in the market. I know this to be true because I personally obtained every single policy and drafted our policies myself, ensuring that in every single category we covered everything that all other policies do plus many of the items that our competition excludes- plus the very first line of our policy states, in summary, that if anything covered by another policy isn’t by ours that we will cover it. This leads to another thing I know to be true since some of our competitors are publicly traded companies...we have lower profit margins by about half. We’re proud of our lower margins because we deliver for our clients. Of course we run our business profitably, but reasonably so. I’m in the unique position in my industry of not needing to impress shareholders or pay on debts as a debt-free company for nearly two decades. Our reserves are a multiple of what is required by the various Departments of Insurance and our investment strategies have put us in the position of being very likely the most financially sound Service Contract Provider in history.

Our competition does not deliver for their clients, and their reviews demonstrate that. Just on Yelp alone Residential Warranty Services has over 250 five star reviews, while American Home Shield had 5. It should concern you that a company with $2 Billion in sales and 2000 employees generated 5 great reviews in 3 years while Residential Warranty Services, a company just over 1/10th the size when you consider the number of employees, has over 50 times the great reviews. When you account for size, Residential Warranty Services gets 500 great reviews every time American Home Shield gets 1, proportionately.

The attached spreadsheet is a full analysis of every review submitted to Yelp for American Home Shield, Choice Home Warranty, Cinch (also known as HMS or Total Protect), Home Warranty of America, Amazon Home Warranty, Old Republic Home Protection, and of course Residential Warranty Services.

Let me tell you why literally all of our competitors have ratings in the low 1 star range while Residential Warranty Services, Inc. has 3.729 on average (when all Yelp Reviews are considered...more on this topic later): Our policies are designed to cover unexpected failures and we deliver on that every single day. Other policies are designed to cover very little and the practices our competition often engages in with regards to working with contractors on set per trip rates disadvantages the clients in an extreme way. If you want real home warranty coverage, get a policy from Residential Warranty Services. If you want to very likely add yourself to the list of the over 4,000 horror stories from my competitors with virtually zero responses or attempts to satisfy the client (or the 10’s of thousands you’ll find at other sources like Google, BBB, etc.), then purchase one of their garbage policies. Again, this isn’t about systems or even people. I’m sure they all have some great people committed to customer service. The problem is solely that their policies are garbage. I suppose it doesn’t hurt that our policy is to reach out to every single client who is dissatisfied. We certainly can’t please them all and most issues are out of our control (i.e. a contractor selling unnecessary system replacements or an overall lack of contractors in some rural areas), but when we mess up we’re happy to admit it and at times when we did everything right it can pay dividends to go the extra mile.

To be clear, it does NOT please me in any way that our competition is selling garbage. It’s not good for consumers and it’s not good for our industry that we’re the leader in. I would rather all of them improve their policies to even half the effective coverage of Residential Warranty Services tomorrow. I would rather a couple of them get very competitive and write a policy that covers even more than what the best policy in the world from Residential Warranty Services covers. If they spent just a small fraction of the money they spend on consumer direct and internet advertising (we do zero of either) on coverage for things that affect homeowners in real ways like roof leaks, ice makers, frozen hose faucets, underground sewer lines, and garage door springs (all are things we cover that our competition specifically excludes), the immediate effect on customer satisfaction would be overwhelming.

If you’re one of my competitors reading this with the garbage policies as mentioned above, take this as a challenge! Write a policy better than mine. Improve the industry. I invite you to compete on or above my level because very candidly I like a good battle and it’s become far too easy to take your clients and referring real estate agents away from you and I’m getting bored.




Why this matters to every business owner!

Now for another topic that, if you’re a business owner, may affect you as well and I’d like to bring your attention to it. If you go to Yelp and you look at the listings for all of our competition, you’ll find they have 1 Star Ratings. You can go through all of their reviews, as we have, count them all up including the “Recommended” reviews that actually go into the calculation and those that are not recommended. Either way you calculate it, our competitors are all at 1 Star.

Residential Warranty Services on the other hand has a 3.72906 Star rating when you consider all ratings, but a 2.5+ Star Rating according to Yelp’s Algorithm that somehow decided to only “Recommend” 28% of reviews, eliminating many if not most of our 5 Star Reviews, while Recommending 45%-72% of the reviews from our competition.

Why would Yelp hide that the reviews from Residential Warranty Services were nearly 4 times as good as literally all of their competitors in the marketplace?

This is a question we’ve been asking Yelp and there has been no rational response, just a “We get these calls frequently. Unfortunately this is part of an algorithm we have no control of. Would you like to advertise with Yelp?”. We’re excited to find out the real answer, which is why we will be suing them in a Federal Court and compelling testimony on this matter from all of their programmers and staff involved in their “Algorithm”. It’s not something I want to do necessarily, I’d rather spend my time on more enjoyable things in my life, but once this data was presented to me by my research team I couldn’t help but imagine all of the business owners, adversely affected by Yelp, who aren’t even aware of the issue. All of the prior lawsuits against Yelp have failed, as all have been focused on the reviews themselves. We believe our data-driven position that their algorithm is beyond prejudiced against non-paying businesses, ones that never asked Yelp to create a profile or steal traffic from the brands they poured their hearts and souls into, puts us in a good position to correct the issue through litigation.

Could we lose? Sure, but we don’t care. By the time we get through depositions and discovery and publicize the scheme, at the very least Yelp will lose some credibility that is driving their attacks on small businesses in this country that don’t give in to their extortion tactics. We win even if we lose.


If you’re a small business owner that is ready to participate in a class action, in the not so unlikely event the data from the discovery efforts show this to be a systemic and intentional issue, keep an eye out on this thread or email me at NThornberry@RWSwarranty.com to be added to an email list for updates.
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P. Nathan Thornberry
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scottlseaton
RockStar!
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Joined: 06/19/2014 09:39 AM EDT
Messages: 124
Location: Bourbonnais, Il
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While Yelp has never a force in our market, I did fall for the Yelp pay to be promoted program. Super pricey, and guess what? Not even one single lead that led to an inspection. There are far better ways to get exposure. The reviews we got were never posted unless it was a paying Yelp client, and the only one I can recall was a review from an unhappy client that refused our offer to refund their fee and they could get another inspection. Whatever their review rules are and how they are implemented, I would suggest they toss them out and start all over. The chances of that happening are zero to none, but it never hurts to ask.
My history with the RWS warranty program blows the door off all the other warranties. I get calls from buyers explaining how they are having nothing but trouble with a claim and can I please help. I wish they would have used RWS but that is another story for another post.

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