Hoxie city officials notify residents of consumer alert

Published: Feb. 8, 2012 at 3:48 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 8, 2012 at 10:53 AM CST
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HOXIE, AR (KAIT) A consumer alert has been issued by the Arkansas Attorney General after a letter circulates to residents in Hoxie about water-pipe warranties. The city says they're trying to get the word out.

"The people were suspicious of it," said Hoxie City Clerk Katie Smith.

Suspicious about a letter residents received in the mail titled "Important Information Regarding Your Water Service Line."

"We had customers come in and ask us about these letters. They though the city had sent them and we told them we did not know anything about this, but we would check into it.," said Smith.

The letter appears to entice homeowners to buy into a type of warranty meant to provided protection for the waterline system to their home. The Mayor contacted the Arkansas Attorney General to get answers, who responded with a consumer alert.

"It seems that there's no value to this for the homeowner," said Smith.

Smith says the coverage is somewhat deceiving , and maybe throwing money down the drain. "A closer look at the coverage exclusions show the homeowners are rarely covered for common types of problems related to waterlines," said Smith.

Exclusions such as freezing and thawing of the pipe, acts of god, pre-existing conditions, and typical wear-and-tear. So you could end up paying for coverage, but never really be able to file for a claim. The letter from the Attorney General says consumers should be leery of water-pipe warranties because of the lack of protection. It's also important to read the fine print.

As for Smith, if people do question whether or not a letter is connected to the city, there's always one guarantee. "Anything we send in the mail is going to be stamped with the city of Hoxie on it," said Smith.

The letter from the Attorney General also says many times the water line is already protected as part the consumer's existing homeowners insurance policy. Smith says if anyone is interested in getting a copy of the letter from the Attorney General to just come by the Hoxie City Hall.

Copyright 2012 KAIT. All rights reserved.