KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV)
A Kansas City woman warns it’s easy to pay a monthly payment for a home warranty but getting any real response when an appliance breaks down is a mess.
Louella Henderson’s battle with Choice Home Warranty began when her air conditioner broke down.
The company sent a technician to her home who filled out a form indicating “normal wear and tear” is why the air conditioner broke down. The company excludes intentional damage, but the company soon told Henderson “normal wear and tear” is different than a part breaking.
But, Henderson spent more than a month arguing for coverage that included her moving out of her home and contacting KCTV5 News’ investigative unit. She calls the entire process ridiculous and began recording her phone calls.
Choice Home Warranty: The tech may describe that as due to age. But age itself is not a failure.
Henderson: Normal wear and tear! It’s on all your report!
Choice Home Warranty: There is a difference between age and something is wrong with the system.
Choice Home Warranty is based out of New Jersey. A quick check of court records revealed dozens of other unhappy customers who have dragged that company to court over their warranties.
KCTV5 asked how wear and tear are different than parts breaking. The manager declined to speak on the records, but the manager called Henderson back. In the end, they agreed to disagree, but Henderson was paid the maximum payout which was $1,500. A new air conditioner cost her more than $3,000.
Henderson was stunned at her lack of coverage because the home warranty policy emphasizes repair or replacement. But, if you read all the fine print, you can find policy limits on page 13, section F, subsection 19.
Henderson cashed her check with the company and then canceled her policy.
Here’s advice from Consumer Reports regarding home warranties:
- Check to see if you already have protection? If you paid for your appliances with a credit card, you may be covered.
- Factor in the cost of the policy. It may not be worth it end the end. Henderson was paying $33.75 a month for $1,500 worth of coverage.
- Make sure you are clear about what the warranty covers. That means read the fine print and loopholes.
- Check if a broken item can be repaired or replaced. Different policies have different rules.
- Know the limit to your policy.
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