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Home Warranty Companies "Horrible"

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San Diego, CAWhen Jennica S. purchased a home last December, her realtor had the seller include a warranty from First American Home Warranty. Jennica says she had no choice in which home warranty company was included in the closing documents when she purchased her home but was forced to deal with a four-month ordeal in getting her air conditioning unit fixed because the company kept denying her claim. Throughout her ordeal, Jennica says she suffered migraines and nausea due to hot summer temperatures, all while trying to get someone to fix her air conditioning.

"In May, our air conditioning wasn't working," Jennica says. "We thought that there were problems with the duct work, so we made a call [to the home warranty company] and had someone come out. The first technician said that the problem was that the air conditioning was missing screws and zip ties, and when those were put on it would be perfect again.

"I got another company to come out and give me a quote, because the home warranty company said missing parts were my fault, so they wouldn't cover that repair. The company I called said the screws weren't the problem and putting some in wouldn't fix things. I called First American Home Warranty and they confirmed with the first technician that the problem was missing parts, so they wouldn't cover the repairs. So, I sent the estimate from the second company to the warranty company as a second opinion, so they could see the screws weren't the problem. They said they would send another contracting company to look at things.

"This new company put duct tape over the ducts in the attic and told me the air conditioning should work fine. A few days later, I turned on the air conditioning, but it wasn't getting cold in the house. I called the warranty company back, but they told me they were waiting for the technician to call back to confirm the work he had done. I called them every day for two weeks, meanwhile it was more than 100 degrees.

"So I called another company to fix the air conditioning. They gave me a quote and were set to fix the air conditioning but the home warranty company told me they wouldn't reimburse me for the work, so I had to cancel. Finally yesterday [August 16], someone came out from the second company again. They told me that something was unplugged in the attic. They fixed it and the air conditioning worked.

"The original claim was filed in May and the air conditioning was finally fixed in mid-August. So it took a long time, and when they were done they had unrolled cords in my backyard that I had to tape up myself. Every time I called the warranty company, they gave me the runaround. They were always waiting for the technician to call, so they could take the blame off themselves. They even kept assigning me different case managers. I would have to call their extension, but the case managers don't answer calls or phone me back. I've had five case managers since May.

"This was the first time I've dealt with First American Home Warranty and it lasted four months. This whole time, I was talking to them at least once a week. You call and you're on hold for 15 to 40 minutes before you get a person. Everything about them is horrible.

"If we hadn't paid for the warranty, I could have paid someone myself to fix it. It would have been taken care of and it wouldn't have taken four months."

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