INDEPENDENCE, Ky. — Homeowners purchase a home warranty for peace of mind and to avoid unexpected repairs that can cost thousands of dollars.
But, too often, customers complain they have to fight to get a repair properly done.
In Cammie Penrod's case, it involved a serious health issue and indoor temperatures reaching 90 degrees.
Penrod lives in Independence, Kentucky, and appreciates every little thing in life these days, like the flowers in her yard.
That's because she has been bravely battling a brain tumor, which has required surgery and hospitalizations, for nearly a year.
But she was also battling her home warranty company, HSA, at the same time.
"I was angry; I was frustrated," she said.
Struggled to get failing AC unit replaced
When temperatures soared into the 90s early this summer, the AC failed at her home.
"When I got home after a few days away, in the house, it was 92 degrees," Penrod told WCPO.
She called her home warranty provider, HSA, which sent two different crews on two different days, she said.
The first repairman added coolant, but Penrod said that did very little to improve things.
The second repairman, a week later, then changed the power capacitor, but despite that, the house continued to get hotter and hotter.
"My grandparents brought us fans," she said. "Then my aunt and uncle brought us an air conditioning unit" to give a bit of cooling.
But she said her attempts to get a whole new AC unit from HSA went nowhere.
"I called from 7 in the morning to 7 at night trying to speak with a supervisor and get some help," she said.
Finally, after WCPO got involved and contacted HSA, the warranty company sent out a new HVAC company — Comfort Air of Erlanger.
"They came out and in less than two hours diagnosed that our heating and air system was completely shot," Penrod said.
Comfort Air replaced the entire system, including compressor, evaporator, and cooling lines, with a new Goodman system.
Home warranty company apologizes
But it has 14,000 complaints over the past three years, many with similar claims of having to fight to get a repair done properly.
An HSA spokeswoman told WCPO that, "in the Penrods' situation, we did not live up to the standards we set for ourselves. We sincerely apologize for the delay. We are reviewing the Penrods' situation to see how best to learn from it in the future." (See HSA's full statement below.)
Cammy Penrod wonders why a repair should take such a fight, especially when you are fighting for your life with a major medical issue.
"It doesn't seem right," she said.
We're happy to report that the Penrods' home is now cool, and she is doing well right now, though her mounting medical bills have forced her to turn to GoFundMe for financial help.
A home warranty can help you avoid expensive repairs, and many homeowners swear by them.
But be sure to check ratings and reviews of home warranty companies, so you don't waste your money.
Full Response from American Home Shield/HSA:
"We take great pride in providing quality service and valuable protection to our customers. If we fail to meet these expectations, we work to do the right thing and ensure the situation is properly resolved.
In the Penrods' situation, we did not live up to the standards we set for ourselves. We sincerely apologize for the delay in resolving the Penrods' situation. Our customer care team is in contact with Mr. Penrod and he is aware we are replacing the unit tomorrow ,which should fully resolve the matter. We are reviewing the Penrods' situation to see how best to learn from it in the future.
We deeply value our relationship with the Penrods and look forward to serving them in the future."
Don't Waste Your Money" is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. ("Scripps").
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