North Texas

Problem Solved: Home Warranty Hassle

A Dallas woman counted on a home warranty to help out when a pipe burst in her home. But she says the process of getting help was a bust in itself.

"You can actually see the water coming out," Connie Self said, watching video of the water captured on her cellphone.

Water could be seen spraying out of the wall between her bathroom and spare bedroom.

American Home Shield Home Warranty sent out a plumber, and despite what is seen in the video, Self said the plumber claimed the water wasn't coming from the wall but from under her home.

"It was gonna cost like almost $3,500 to tunnel under the hole to access the plumbing. And then American Home Shield said, 'We don't cover that,'" Self said.

She put her ear to the wall and could hear the leak. She just didn't believe the plumber, and American Home Shield couldn't get her a second opinion for several days.

She waited for nine days, but couldn't wait any longer. That's when she called her own plumber.

"He came out and exactly where I said it was, he cut the wall open and had it fixed in less than 10 minutes," Self said. "No digging under the house. It was exactly in the wall where I knew it was gonna be, like, exactly."

But she spent nearly $1,000 for the repairs and service fees. She felt like she deserved to get her money back since she has a home warranty.

Self wrote to NBC 5 Responds, and we reached out to American Home Shield. Self said she got a phone right after we stepped in.

A check for $960 came in the mail.

American Home Shield released a statement, saying: "We deeply regret the inconvenience that Ms. Self experienced. Once we learned of her frustrations, we quickly authorized reimbursement for the full cost of the repairs."

What happened to Self is common with home warranty companies. They have deals to work with certain contractors, and if something doesn't seem right you have the right to a second opinion, but you usually still have to use a company they choose.

If you go out on your own because the home warranty company takes too long, you must call them first, tell them what you're doing, how long you've waited, and ask them to pay for the outside person. It can be a tough fight, but keep calling.

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