Hundreds of people contact NBC 5 Responds for consumer help each week and, so far, we have gotten more than $87,000 back for our viewers.
Many of the complaints concern residential service companies, which provide home warranties.
Francine Willard wrote us because her home warranty company refused to repair or replace her broken microwave. After NBC 5 Responds contacted the company, Willard received a check for $350.
Lisa Trotter also was having trouble with her residential service company after her air conditioner stopped working.
"We were sitting in the house, and my husband goes, 'This air is not blowing cold,'" she said.
Trotter had an issue with a different home warranty company that refused to fix her air conditioner. After NBC 5 Responds contacted the company, they promised to make it right. Two weeks later, the company paid for a new air conditioner and installation worth $3,576.00.
If you have an issue with a residential service company, you can reach out to the Texas Real Estate Commission — the agency that regulates them — at 512-936-3000 or www.trec.state.tx.us. The commission has a special ombudsman who you can reach at 512-936-3049 or firstname.lastname@example.org. They typically respond within 12 to 24 hours.
The ombudsman will reach out to the companies for you before you file a complaint. You can also file a complaint with the commission. The commission also has a wealth of information about companies, and FAQs you should know before choosing one.