GREENSBORO, NC -- You know it when you see it. It's the old runaround. You just want your money back-- or you want the service that was promised. But when you call, it's the busy signal..or the long hold time...or you're sent to voice mail...but you can't leave a message because it's full. And then it starts all over again. Ugh...it's frustrating. When a Triad man got tired of the runaround, he turned to Call for Action and Two Wants to Know's Lechelle Yates for help with his home warranty company.
The glow from a fireplace and space heaters - it was the only heat for Mike Day and Ella when their furnace broke. The one bright spot - his home warranty would pay for the repair....or so he thought.
Mike called American Home Shield, the contract said the company had to send the repair person but ... "They kind of gave me a little bit of a runaround and finally said we cant find anyone in Greensboro. I said this is a fairly large community aahh...," says Mike.
Mike says AHS then they gave him "outside authorization" to schedule a heating and air company himself. He did and sent AHS the service fee invoice for $225 but AHS rejected the invoice. The denial letter said, "We will not reimburse for service performed without our prior approval." Mike says, "I thought, 'Ok. Apparently, they didn't understand. so I emailed them and called several times. Contacting and talking to a real person was always a problem."
AHS told Mike to send the invoice again. He did. They denied it. Again.
Mike was done with the runaround and contacted Call for Action. We got his paperwork and got in touch with American Home Shield. Within a few hours, we got this email from Mike. It read, "You did it! I just got a call from AHS and they are going to straighten everything out...They asked me to call off the media ...." Mike says, "Thank you guys so much. That really helps out. And again it's more a matter of principle than anything else cause I hate getting the runaround."
Home warranties can be a great thing. American Home Shield ended up replacing Mike's furnace without any problems. But the FTC and AG's office do get complaints about some companies. Here's what you need to know:
- Check out the companies with the BBB.
- Do some comparison shopping. Most policies costs between three and four hundred dollars but some charge extra for certain appliances like washing machines.
- Consider the deductible. The industry average is $50 to $100 per claims.
- Ask if the warranty company picks the contractor or if it's your choice.
- As Mike can attest, call the company and see how customer service treats you. Can you get a live person on the phone?
- And as always, read the contract thoroughly...yes, even the fine print.