5 On Your Side

Wake Forest woman steamed over air conditioner problems

Posted June 24, 2008
Updated June 25, 2008

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— With temperatures heating up this time of year, a broken air conditioner can be trouble. If the unit breaks, the goal is getting it fixed within a reasonable time.

Pat Lewis, a Wake Forest homeowner, said she waited months for her air conditioner to be repaired. Upset with the lack of progress, Lewis contacted 5 on Your Side.

Lewis’s second-floor air conditioning unit had been broken since March because, she said, she has had trouble getting the unit repaired.

She pays $455 a year for a home warranty from HomeSure of America. Lewis said the company sent a repairman from A-1 Heating and Air Conditioning to her home in early April. The man replaced the Freon, but the unit stopped cooling again a few weeks later. A-1 sent someone out again.

After a needed part for the unit arrived a month later, Lewis said A-1 wouldn’t replace it, claiming it was too hot in the attic that houses the unit.

Lewis said that since then, she and her husband have called HomeSure twice a day.

“Oh, I think it's absurd. I would come home from school and I would get on the phone and I would spend two hours either on hold or arguing with them about getting it fixed,” Lewis said.

To cope with the heat indoors, Lewis and her family have put aluminum foil on windows to reflect the sun. She has also placed fans near the windows.

“We bought three more fans to suck the hot air out at night up here because it would get up to about 100 degrees,” Lewis said.

The family has been sleeping downstairs in an attempt to get cooler.

After Lewis called 5 on Your Side, parent company Cross Country Home Services sent a statement calling the delays an "unfortunate series of events" and "not representative" of customer experience. They also agreed to install a new system.

When contacted by 5 on Your Side, A-1 Service Manager Mike Rhodd said the warranty company initially ordered the wrong part. When they got the right part, he said he only sent the service rep to recharge the system because he had other customers he needed to get to first who didn't have any air. Rhodd also said he didn't want his service representative to pass out in the attic because of the heat.

Lewis said the new air conditioner was installed Friday and is working great.

When purchasing home warranties, investigate the company before buying.

HomeSure of America, for example, has had 105 complaints filed against it with the Better Business Bureau over the last three years.

Home warranty buyers should also learn exactly what is not covered. You should keep in mind, too, that warranty companies are more interested in repairing, rather than replacing, broken appliances.

10 Comments

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  • makeyourself Jun 27, 2008

    I have had the worst experience with home warranty companies. I do not waste the money on them anymore. They always use the cheapest and sleaziest mom & pop type places, and this is especially true with heating and air companies.

    I am now a Service Experts customer and couldn't be happier. They are extremely professional, dependable, thorough, easy to work with, offer all sorts of services, and all of the technicians are trained very well. My engineer husband is even impressed! I recommened them to everyone.

  • Deacons Jun 27, 2008

    well, if you get your power from a North Carolina electric Coop you are paying too much, they pay another company millions to simply buy some power when they need it.

  • momof3inNC Jun 26, 2008

    My husband works for a Heating and Air company and there is no way he or anyone else there could ever tell someone it was "too hot" to fix their problem. My husband spends most of his days in 140+ degree attics. The company they used must have been some hole in the wall company if they used that excuse & also if they "had to get to more important customers first". This story really blows my mind! The family should have raised 'heck' when the company came up with that lame excuse!!!

  • davidgnews Jun 25, 2008

    They should have bought a couple of window units and charged it back to the warranty company in the meanwhile.

    I agree with lbnblakesmom - the service business is the service business, and the attic being too hot is no excuse. They can carry a fan or something up there, or schedule for a cooler time earlier in the day.

  • IzzMad2016 Jun 25, 2008

    We've used Old Republic for about 5 years and have no complaints. Remember! It pays to renew that home warranty every year. It's paid for a new water heater AND a new heating and air unit with minimal out-of-pocket to us.

  • lbnblakesmom Jun 25, 2008

    Most of the times these home warranty companies have only certain repair places they deal with. My husband is in heating & air, and working in hot attics is part of the job. I also worked as the controllor for a heating & air company and I never once told a customer it was too hot to work on their unit. What a stupid thing to say! If you're in that business, you work in the extreme heat and cold. If you don't like it, get out.

  • jse830fcnawa030klgmvnnaw+ Jun 25, 2008

    The owner should have gone with Triangle Services Group (TSG) for her air con needs. TSG is based at Wake Forest. If she had a problem with TSG, it is easier to deal with a local company and she could have also complained to the mayor of Wake Forest if her problem is unresolved. TSG is also a partner in the local electric co-op.

  • JAT Jun 25, 2008

    Doesn't she have an exhaust fan to pull the heat out of the attic?

  • FragmentFour Jun 25, 2008

    If anyone else has a problem with this company (Home Sure of America and it's assorted relatives), it might help to visit this page and share the story -

    http://www.thesqueakywheel.com/complaints/2008/APR/complaint24799.cfm

  • FragmentFour Jun 25, 2008

    I ran a simple Google check on this company, and came up with a remarkably similar report from 2006.

    Check it out at: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/208/RipOff0208885.htm