Local News

Raleigh Woman Calls Five On Your Side For Help With Home Warranty Problem

Posted June 17, 2002 6:28 a.m. EDT

— Dishwashers eventually stop washing, stoves stop heating and refrigerators lose their cool, so that is why Gwen Graham bought a warranty from American Home Shield to cover household repairs. She paid the $408 yearly cost as part of her monthly mortgage, but in June 2000, Graham decided to discontinue the service and sent AHS official notice in writing.

"I thought it was taken care of, so I didn't give it another thought," she said.

Last year, Graham got a renewal notice, so she called AHS. A representative told her the company received her cancellation, but for some reason, it did not go through, so the money was still billed as part of her mortgage payment, meaning Graham had been unknowingly paying it all along.

AHS promised a refund within a couple of weeks. Graham expected hundreds of dollars, but she got a check for just $36.

"I opened it and I saw this, and I just couldn't believe it," Graham said. "I thought some funny business was going on and I thought this is a terrible miscalculation."

AHS agreed and promised another refund, but every time Graham called to check on it, she said AHS had an excuse.

"I'm sorry, it was a computer glitch. They're on a big back-up. You'll hear from us soon. Give it two weeks. If you don't hear anything, call back. Those are the sort of excuses I got every time," she said.

Finally after five months of getting nowhere with AHS, Graham called Five On Your Side. Five On Your Side called AHS and Diane Piper, head of customer service, blamed it on a miscommunication between AHS and Graham's mortgage company. Piper then sent Graham a check for $678.

Everyone's mortgage payments are usually adjusted from year to year because of insurance and taxes, so it pays to check and make sure your money is going where you think it is.