'What you are doing is wrong.' Home warranty company gets 'F' from BBB

A company hired to protect Georgia homeowners is accused of taking their money, but not providing any service. An 11Alive investigation tracked down the owner's criminal past and a warning for customers who don't know they're potential victims.

A company hired to protect Georgia homeowners is accused of taking their money, but not providing any service. An 11Alive investigation tracked down the owner’s criminal past and has a warning for customers who don’t know they’re potential victims.

“I don’t know where this is at, but something between the motor and the sensors,” Jason Ponzio points out the problem that caused his garage door to stop working at his Newnan home last summer.

He thought he was covered.

He’d purchased a $700 home warrant from Atlanta-based Delta Home Protect months before.  For two years, the warranty was supposed to pay any repairs for nearly everything inside his home.

 “Ceiling fans, house fans, attic fans, water heaters, plumbing, electrical, dishwasher, washer dryer,” he detailed the promised coverage.

The door malfunction should have been included. “That should have been covered,” he said.

Ponzio says Delta Home Protect authorized replacing the garage door, but months later the company never paid up.

That list of costs never paid also includes paying an electrician to repair this attic fan and a washing machine.

“A month later we were getting notices of not being paid and he was threatening to send us to collections,” Ponzio said.

He isn’t the only one complaining.  An 11Alive Investigation uncovered customers with similar claims from coast to coast.

Gabriel Neila in Austin, Texas, says Delta Home Protect wouldn’t fix a leak in his bathroom. “They were not returning calls, they were not contacting people, they were not fixing everything,” he said.

Elizabeth Nickens in Oakland, California, cancelled her contact after Delta refused to fix her dishwasher.  “I was told these were fully refundable contracts,” she said. “Except I never received a credit on my credit card bill.”

Mike Boynton with the Atlanta Better Business Bureau said the company’s rating reflects those complaints.

 “We gave them the BBB rating they deserve and that’s an F rating,” he said. “It’s a business like this that gives the industry a bad name.”

The Atlanta BBB received more than 1,800 calls and complaints from Delta Home Protect customers.  While the BBB issued a warning about the company last year, customers continue to report problems today.

Customers looking for answers from Delta Home Protect have been met with silence. Their website is shut down and their listed phone number doesn't work. But, the 11Alive Investigators did uncover one of Delta Home Protect’s owners has a long history of deception.

According to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, the registered agent for the company is Yitty Shteierman.

The company’s official address is listed as an apartment inside a DeKalb County complex.  According to court documents, Shteierman owes $2,100 in unpaid rent.

She was convicted in 2010 for stealing $200,000 in New York.  And in 2012, she was arrested in DeKalb for theft.

Ponzio wished he had known about Shteierman’s past before buying his warranty.  And, hopes she’s is watching this story. “What you are doing is wrong. It hurt us. It hurt my family,” he said. “At least acknowledge what you did is wrong.”

The Georgia Department Consumer Protection confirms it has an active investigation into Delta Home Protect, but does not know where the owners are located. They’re encouraging anyone impacted to file a complaint with the agency at this link.

Some customers are considering a lawsuit. To do that though, they may have to find the owners first.

A man identifying himself as Yitty Shteierma’s son contacted 11Alive News to say he’s the real person behind the company. He initially agreed to provide documentation proving that and an on-camera interview.   But, he cancelled just hours before the interview.

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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