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Xcel’s HomeSmart basic program charges $2 less per month appliance repair center than CenterPoint’s Service Plus. The major difference is that CenterPoint offers immediate coverage at sign-up. Xcel customers are covered after 30 days. Xcel customers who initiate a service call before 30 days can still request a technician but are charged regular rates for the trip.

Consumers frustrated with the contract may get better results posting a complaint online than asking to speak to a supervisor. HomeSmart and Service Plus supervisors monitor the Yelp and Google comments and sometimes post a phone number to call them directly. Many people commenting mention wait times of 20 minutes or longer to speak to a representative.

1. You may still be charged after you move or want to cancel.  Few customers probably realize their service plan is a 12-month contract that cannot be canceled on a whim. Even customers who have moved to a rented apartment or to a different state have found themselves still paying for service on appliances they no longer own. Canceling the utility service when moving does not automatically stop the service plan because HomeSmart and Service Plus are separate companies from the utilities and are not publicly regulated.

Even a phone call may not be enough to cancel the service. Xcel requires the cancellation be done in writing. “I tried to cancel my service in November and was told I could not cancel until May,” wrote one person who commented about HomeSmart on Google. “ I was then told I would have to cancel in writing.” CenterPoint Service Plus members can call 1-877-477-1664 to cancel, according to CenterPoint spokeswoman Alyssia Oshodi.

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