Family learns the downside of a home warranty

Posted at 5:54 PM, Feb 17, 2016

A family has gone more than a week without a working furnace, because they are waiting for their home warranty company to pay an expert to repair it.

As a result, Steve Jongewaard is learning one of the downsides of some home warranties. They offer peace of mind when you purchase them, but when you try to use some of them, it is another story.

His furnace has been out more than a week.

"It's been awful, this is the worst thing I've ever seen,"he said.

Waiting For Warranty Repair

Jongewaard has been trying to get his home warranty company  to fix his 8 year old Carrier furnace.

But he says it's been a nightmare.

"We've called multiple times.  My wife and I have been on the phone a minimum of 10 hours," he said.

Typically if your furnace, heat pump, or air conditioner goes out, you call a local repairman and he comes right out. 

But with a home warranty, you need to call the warranty company, so they can call their repairman. If you jump the gun and call your local repair shop, the warranty company may not reimburse you.
He says the repairman they finally sent  tried replacing the circuit board, but "then said there's more problems than we thought, we don't know what it is, you need a Carrier expert, we're going."

Now he's back on the phone trying to get them to send another repairman, who actually knows the intricacies of a modern Carrier unit.

Consider the Pros and Cons

A couple of years ago, Travis Hileman complained to me about his central air going out.  He, too had to deal with the warranty company's repairman.

And in that case, he was told the unit was too old, and was excluded for warranty coverage.

We're not saying home warranties are a bad thing.

They can save hundreds of dollars on a repair, even giving you a new furnace or appliance in many cases. Many people are happy with them.

But you should know that:

  • You typically cannot choose your own repairman.
  • Many won't covered existing problems.
  • Many won't cover if poor maintenance is to blame, or if the unit is out of its serviceable life (such as older than 20 years old)

So know the downsides before you purchase, so you don't waste your money.

That way you don't waste your money.

Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.

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