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Consumers with Home Warranties Find Repairs Hard to Come By

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San Diego, CAFor many people who purchase home warranty insurance, there is peace of mind in knowing that if something goes wrong with an appliance or a system in the home, their finances will not be drastically affected. That is why they buy an extended warranty in the first place. But complaints against home warranty companies show that as far as some consumers are concerned, the situation can be more complicated than that.

Among the issues that some consumers cite are problems getting a repair done in a timely manner, which can cause a host of problems. People without a home warranty can generally choose their own repairperson, book an appointment at a (somewhat) convenient time and wait for the repair to be done. With a home warranty, however, the home warranty company generally books the appointment with one of its approved repair people. And it can take a long time to get an appointment.

Jerry C. (real name withheld) writes to Lawyers and Settlements about his issues with a home warranty company that include not providing a competent contractor to repair a kitchen faucet and hot water dispenser. “Contractor either does not show up or shows up outside of appointment hours,” Jerry writes. In addition to showing up for one appointment two hours early - when there was no one available who could make decisions about repairs to the home - the contractor simply failed to show up for the second appointment. “[The home warranty company] then unilaterally closed the claim because it had been more than 30 days since the claim was filed,” Jerry writes.

Other companies are accused of unilaterally changing the terms and conditions of their contracts, finding ways to avoid paying for repairs that consumers say should have been covered by their home warranty. Frank R. (real name withheld) writes to Lawyers and Settlements that his claim for repair or replacement of his swimming pool pump was denied due to a lack of maintenance records and because he didn’t tell them for a couple of weeks about the issue.

“I explained to them I notified them as soon as I found the problem and that it might have not been working for a couple of weeks unknown to me because my filter runs from 2 a.m. til 8 a.m. to conserve electricity,” Frank writes. He says as soon as he noticed the issue, he contacted his warranty company. Furthermore, he says he does his own cleaning and maintenance for his pool, but was told such maintenance had to be done by a licensed pool contractor, even though Frank says his contract does not specify that requirement. “Bottom line is they tried every angle they could to justify not honoring my claim. There has to be a way to put a stop to these kind of business practices.”

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