warranty fraud (posted by Robert Vallee)

[ASKNACHI]This question was posted on AskNACHI.org by Robert Vallee (from Royal Palm Beach, FL). [/ASKNACHI]Dear Sir/Madam:

We had our home inspected on 2/2/08 by Steven Hill from Accurate Property Inspection. The report was full of inaccuracies and misinformation. We’re not just talking about trivial errors, but rather substantial inaccuracies and discrepancies. Items listed in working condition which are not even present in the house. Then items reported as working which were anything but working. Other items shown as having been tested and functional, when we know for a fact they were not tested since they were not functioning. There’s a huge hole in the stucco in front of the house which was not featured in the report, etc. We have a list of some of those items on the report providing a comment which proves the inaccuracy of the report. We first contacted Mr. Hill via e-mail and US postal service on 2/21/08 after having reviewed the report. We followed up with several phone messages and e-mails, he responded to none. Finally on 3/25/08 he e-mailed us, this was his first and only response and he even misspelled my last name, so much for ‘accurate’. In the message (a month an half later) he stated he had technical problems with the program and that he would get back to us within 24 to 48 hours, we’re still waiting. Today is April 16th, 2008 and we have not heard from him since this e-mail message. I suspect he may be dragging this on waiting for the 90 day warranty to expire. We are asking and expecting a full refund for the home inspection portion of the fee we paid, in other words a refund in the amount of $285.00. We’re not even asking about the termite inspection or the mold lab fees. We actually paid him a total of $585.00 for everything.
We just found out he didn’t pay for the warranty, this is what the American Home Warranty Co. had to say:
"We have reviewed our records and find that this inspector neither purchased this limited warranty from us nor sent us the inspection data. Both failures, of course, are violations of our inspector agreement and thus we have no coverage for this potential claim. Mr. Hill’s last limited warranty purchase from us was on October 2, 2007, well before this inspection was performed.

The inspector’s failure to respond in a timely manner to Mr. and Mrs. Valee is unfortunate, but as he is simply a past customer of our company’s over whom we have no control, there seems little we can do to help the situation other than to send Mr. Hill’s file on to Operations for appropriate review and termination action.

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.
Robert Linder
Claims Department
American Home Warranty Company
I also found out that he is NOT Certified by NACHI, not a member, contrary to what he would have you believe based on his name dropping on his website. Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Mr Vallee… The following is my own personal opinion.

I think legal action is warranted. From your description, it would seem an act of fraud has been committed.
If you haven’t moved in yet, have the home re-inspected by a competant inspector, making sure you check his bona-fides. It doesnt matter which association he belongs to, or if he belongs to none, just as long as he can prove himself to be experienced, educated and trusted.
Others may soon answer here as well.
Brian Jones

Mr Vallee, first I would like to agree with the above post. I also use AHW in my business. AHW works with us on kind of an honor system. We issue the warranty certificate then tell AHW what we have issued and pay for them. It is a very good system, unfortunately it seems to have been abused by an unscrupoulus person (providing all the information you have given us is accurate). You must understand that that many people say things about their inspection that may be from an inaccurate veiwpoint or be out and out falsehoods. That being said :“Items listed in working condition which are not even present in the house.” “he stated he had technical problems with the program and that he would get back to us within 24 to 48 hours” I have had many software difficulties myself. That does not explain the issues. A competant inspector reviews (if not multiple times) their report before releasing it. In my opinion “Items listed in working condition which are not even present in the house.” would be obvious to catch upon review of the report. Besides the report problems, he could not be “waiting for the 90 day warranty to expire” since he knows he did not pay for it. I feel you should get legal counsel. Besides any reunds you may be due, I feel you have a good fraud case and possible punitive damages. I myself am upset that a non-member is stating he follows iNACHI SOP on his website. If I were you I would investigate who he is “certified” by. My state requires state certification. I don’t know about FL. All of the above is my personal opinion.

If I may. Please accept an apology from a NACHI Inpector on behave of the person who tried to represent himself as one. I would fiel with the BBB, check the local chamber of commerce ( If he is a member of the chamber maybe you might go to a meeting or two??? ) check to see if his business license is current and pursue any legal action you can in small claims court or further if everything you have described is documented. Have the home re- inspected to be sure and only if any form of visible microbial growth is present would I have a mold test done.