A Mesquite family spent $400 per year for a home warranty that was meant to give them peace of mind and pay for home repairs but when their air conditioner broke, they were stuck in a battle to get it fixed.
So they reached out to NBC 5 Responds.
Kathy Louis has a stack of receipts, all about one big problem: Her air conditioner, which stopped working July 9.
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"As soon as we walked in the door, I mean the heat just hit you," she said.
The repairs are covered by Louis' home warranty, so she gave them a ring hoping for a quick fix. It took a few days but choice home warranty sent someone out from their list of vendors.
"They were only here for about 10 minutes," she said. "They came back inside and said 'Oh, it's fixed.' They said it was just the breaker. So if that's all it was, that's great."
Louis paid a $45 service charge hoping it was fixed. But the next day…
"Came home and it was 95 degrees in the house," she said.
And so began Louis' battle to have her air conditioner fixed. For five weeks, she went back and forth with Choice Home Warranty. First she was told it was the breaker, then they said it was an electrical problem and then they said it was the wiring.
"Then they say, 'Well we can't really do anything. That's not covered, the wiring. You're going to have to get an electrician and pay out of your pocket because that's not covered by your home warranty,'" Louis said.
Louis eventually had another air conditioning company come out and inspect it. They said she needed a new unit. So she paid out of pocket — more than $3,000 — and reached out to NBC 5 Responds.
We called the warranty company, and they said they were working with Louis on the issue. Within two hours of our call, they contacted her to tell her they would expedite a check.
The home warranty company sent Louis a check for $1,700. It will help pay the bills, but only half of what it cost to replace the unit because the vendors the warranty company sent never said it needed to be replaced.
In the Texas heat, Louis said 5 weeks was too long to wait.
"It's insane to have to live like that when you pay an insurance company," she said.
Louis said instead of paying for a home warranty, she's going to set a little bit aside each month in case anything in her home needs a fix.
There are more than 2,000 filed complaints on Choice Home Warranty's BBB page from the last three years. Many say they are due to warranty and service issues. We asked the company for a statement, but were not provided with one.
The Texas Real Estate Commission regulates home warranties. If you have a problem, you can file a complaint on their website. You can also call their residential service company ombudsman at 512-936-3049.