Local News

Five On Your Side Cools Down Hot Household Warranty Dispute

Posted July 9, 2002

— Many people have had to deal with a broken air conditioner, water heater or some other appliance. To avoid expensive repairs or replacement, some people pay for household warranties, but as one woman found out, those warranties do not always deliver the way you expect.

Box fans blow air, but they do not do a whole lot of cooling in really hot weather, but it is all Freida Powers and her 85-year-old mother had after Frieda's heat pump went out in April.

"I was so angry because it was very, very hot," Powers said.

Powers was angry because of what she went through to get the pump fixed. When she bought the house a year and a half ago, she bought a $395 warranty from Home Buyers Resale Warranty Corp. It is supposed to cover this type of repair.

Home Buyers sent out three different repair companies. Each said the entire unit needed to be replaced for about $2,300, but Powers said Home Buyers disagreed with their assessments.

"They just wanted somebody to tell them [that] we'll come in and put a compressor in for you,'" Powers said.

Powers said when no one would replace just the compressor, Home Buyers offered her $600 to find someone to do it herself.

"I said, 'No, No. I don't think so. You all [need to] replace this. You need to replace this whole unit,'" she said.

Powers called Five on Your Side. Five On Your Side called Home Buyers and the company immediately agreed to pay Frieda $2,300 for a new heat pump. Spokesman David Ruggin blamed the problem on a "miscommunication on both parts."

Powers said the air blowing in her house now feels good.

"Oh God! It's wonderful. It feels so good. It really does," she said.

Before you pay for one of these warranties, keep in mind that you give up a lot of control over how something is fixed and who fixes it. Plus, certain repairs may not be covered. Powers said she will not renew her warranty when it expires.


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