Many people turn to home warranties as sort of an insurance policy against big ticket home repairs, but a North Texas woman said buying one was a big waste of money.
Last Fall, Lisa Trotter thought she was being smart.
"In November of last year I decided I want to save a little money and I shopped around," she told us. "I thought I was getting a good deal as a consumer, but now I'm starting to question my thought process."
In February on a warm day, Trotter needed to use it when her air conditioning went out. She filed a claim with her home warranty company, Choice Home Warranty, and they sent out a tech.
"He came out and looked at my system and he goes, 'I don't even need to go in your house,'" she said. "He said, 'You're compressor is not working.'"
Choice Home Warranty later told Trotter her the claim was denied because she hadn't serviced her AC. She sent them receipts showing her AC had been serviced as recently as December. She said the company then said a lightning strike caused the damage.
Trotter has been going round and round with the company ever since and she's not alone. The New Jersey Attorney General settled a lawsuit against the company last June. The problem, according to the New Jersey AG?
"Choice home warranty allegedly deceived consumers by refusing to provide the services it promised..."
The company agreed to pay $780,000 and have a compliance monitor for at least a year. Trotter wishes she would have known.
"I should've did my homework," she said. "I really should've took my time and did my homework before switching companies and before thinking I was getting a better deal."
If you are considering a home warranty, choose a company with a long history in our area. Make sure you know exactly what is and is not covered. And ask tough questions. Find out exactly what you need to do before the company will pay for a repair. And remember, many home warranty contracts require you to use arbitration if there's a problem, which means you can't take the company to court.
We contacted Choice Home Warranty, who told us Trotter's claim was not covered, but that they'll review the case in hopes of making a goodwill gesture. They added that the company likes to exceed customer expectations.