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    Thread: Home Warranties - Good/Bad Experiences?

    1. Member
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      10-05-2012 09:56 AM #1
      So, when you sell/buy a house nowadays, it is apparently customary for the seller to purchase a 1 year home warranty. We bought one for the folks who bought our house, the seller of our new home bought one for us.

      Haven't had any need to use the warranty until now.

      We have an outbuilding/barn/garage; basically my man-space. The electric out there worked perfectly fine for the past 8 months, but has now pretty much stopped working (getting enough to turn on a few lights, but not enough to run garage door openers, power tools under much load, etc.). I have someone coming out to look at it that will report back to the warranty company. They don't work directly for the company, more of a sub-contractor. I'm pretty sure the main line running underground from house to building has gone bad or is damaged and this will be a couple grand to have replaced.

      Doing a bit of internet research, it appears that these home warranty operations (or at least the one we have) are pretty much a scam. They will deny everything until you put up a massive fight. Then they might agree to pay half.

      All that being said, does anyone have good or bad experiences with a claim with a home warranty company? Am I in for a fight?

    2. Member barry2952's Avatar
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      10-05-2012 10:35 AM #2
      Home warranties are great if you're not handy. If you're handy they suck.
      Garmin Is My Pilot.

      I am confident you are wrong, but instead of illustrating why, I will just make disparaging remarks about your reading comprehension.
      -Zukjimpiphile

    3. Member
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      10-05-2012 10:44 AM #3
      I'm handy. Just not dig a trench, run/connect a line, fix a sidewalk, patch a driveway kind of handy.

      Hell, I'm pissed that I'm going to have to patch my lawn up.

    4. Member barry2952's Avatar
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      10-05-2012 11:10 AM #4
      It's like any insurance policy, it's legal gambling. You're betting something is going to ****-up, and they're not. Who's the rich one?
      Garmin Is My Pilot.

      I am confident you are wrong, but instead of illustrating why, I will just make disparaging remarks about your reading comprehension.
      -Zukjimpiphile

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      10-05-2012 12:04 PM #5
      We had a Blue Ribbon warranty on a house we bought years ago and loved it. Had a fridge crap out, a dishwasher, and the disposal. All were covered up to $2500, so we got a new fridge and the other items fixed for free. On our most recent house the sellers gave us an American Home Shield warranty which blew. Their techs would not call and they looked for anyway to get out of service. Had a water heater crap out and leak and had an emergency call put in. 3 days later they contacted me after I replaced it myself.

    6. 10-05-2012 05:14 PM #6
      We just bought our home a few months ago and the realtor got us a year of the American Home Sheild. We used it once to far without any issues. I am handy but the mrs doesn't like me being handy. She would rather have it done by a professional vs letting me tinker with it.

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      10-08-2012 09:17 AM #7
      Well, they sent out the contractor (who was very good, from what I can tell). He thinks that the issue is not underground, or at least the main issue is not underground. For my $60 "diagnostic" fee, he was there for about 3 1/2 hours. Narrowed it down to shoddy wiring (i.e., the hack previous owner probably ran it) and a likely issue in a junction box in the attic. He wasn't fitting up the access hole, so we called it a day.

      Still waiting on the warranty company to approve the repair. We shall see. Surprised that I haven't heard from them yet.

      At least if they don't cover it, I may get this fixed without digging up the yard and will be spending a lot less money. So there's that.

    8. Member
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      10-08-2012 09:49 AM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by WOB PB 377 View Post
      We just bought our home a few months ago and the realtor got us a year of the American Home Sheild. We used it once to far without any issues. I am handy but the mrs doesn't like me being handy. She would rather have it done by a professional vs letting me tinker with it.
      my wife fully expects me to go at it and when I have to call someone in or choose to, I get the "really?" look. I've learned a lot by being forced into figuring it out.

    9. Member Roadkilled78's Avatar
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      10-08-2012 11:08 AM #9
      We had one thrown in with our house purchase, I think it cost the seller $400 for one year.

      We used it twice. $30 co-pay for the visit each time. Once it was something stupid that I would have figured out from the manual if there wasn't a warranty company for my wife to call after poorly describing the problem to me while I was at work. Other time they claimed marginally related preventative maint. wasn't done on time (it was, but no paperwork) and refused to cover anything.

      We didn't renew.

      Then a year later we got a check for $43 as part of the class action lawsuit because they were found guilty of not covering claims they should have. Surprise. They also bombarded us with junk mail for quite some time so about half the time I found their 'please renew!' flyers in my mailbox, right next to it was a notice on the proceedings of the class action suit. The marketing dept had some ****ty timing, that's for sure.
      Quote Originally Posted by Hogan View Post
      What kind of ass backwards world do you live in where your Miata is broken and your Alfa is your reliable source of transportation?

    10. Member barry2952's Avatar
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      10-08-2012 11:27 AM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by Bladecatcher View Post
      I'm pretty sure the main line running underground from house to building has gone bad or is damaged and this will be a couple grand to have replaced.
      Nonsense. If it's in pipe, pull the wires out and inspect them. If it's a bad UF cable you should be able to find the problem and fix it with the proper tracing gear. Simply ask if they have it. Our repairs are typically under $500.00. It's far less disruptive to your yard to dig one hole rather than trench the whole length.

      Why would you have wiring for your garage in your attic?

      Take a picture of the box where the wire enters the building and take a picture of the back of the house. That should show where the power to the garage comes from.

      It really just sounds like you have a loose connection at one of the outlets, possibly the first on in the string.
      Garmin Is My Pilot.

      I am confident you are wrong, but instead of illustrating why, I will just make disparaging remarks about your reading comprehension.
      -Zukjimpiphile

    11. Member
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      10-08-2012 01:34 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by barry2952 View Post
      Nonsense. If it's in pipe, pull the wires out and inspect them. If it's a bad UF cable you should be able to find the problem and fix it with the proper tracing gear. Simply ask if they have it. Our repairs are typically under $500.00. It's far less disruptive to your yard to dig one hole rather than trench the whole length.

      Why would you have wiring for your garage in your attic?

      Take a picture of the box where the wire enters the building and take a picture of the back of the house. That should show where the power to the garage comes from.

      It really just sounds like you have a loose connection at one of the outlets, possibly the first on in the string.
      In the attic, as in, above the dry walled ceiling. Most likely, it is a bad/loose connection at a junction box along one of the runs. It just needs to be found and repaired. If it's not that, they'll probably have to go outlet by outlet to find the problem like you said.

      The guy that used to live there likely did all of the wiring himself based on stories from the neighbors and other half-assed stuff we've found in the house itself. Nothing dangerous. Mostly cosmetic DIY shoddiness. Apparently, he wouldn't pay anyone to do anything.

      Example - The outlet for one of the garage door openers is a non-grounded outlet. As in, it only has two holes. He cut the ground plug off of the garage door opener and another light that is plugged into it. The building was built in the past 15 years, and there's no way that would have passed inspection. Can you even buy those anymore? It's the only outlet in the entire building like this, so why he installed it is beyond me. I shake my head at least once a week at the stuff I find.

    12. Member XClayX's Avatar
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      10-08-2012 09:08 PM #12
      We had one for a while. They replaced our furnace under the home warranty. Not an easy experience IMO. You needed to fight to get them to pay for anything. It took several home mechanics calls (50ish a pop) and one 911 call before they red tagged the furnace. Firemen actually red tagged it as a safety hazard not the home warranty people. Long story short, mechanics said it looks fine, 911 said its pumping CO2 into everywhere like a firehose. Not to mention all the times it died 3-4 completely and we had to wait for the service guy to show up when its -20 out..

      I think cost wise we broke even. They replaced the furnace with a standard heater.

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