Pool sweep problem gives good lesson about warranties

January 15, 2013 11:00:27 PM PST
Home warranties are supposed to give those who buy them piece of mind. So when a customer feels like they haven't gotten what they paid for, or they're not being treated well, it can be very frustrating.

Home warranties are wonderful when everything goes just right, but when there is a problem and you are dealing with an out-of-area company, it can get frustrating.

Madeleine Dadgari has a beautiful backyard pool at her home in San Jose. Now the automatic pool sweep is running well and the water is crystal clear, but a while back there was a problem.

"The pool servicing guy sent us a message: 'The pool sweep broke and the pump that operates the sweep broke also.' So he said, 'Would you like me to replace it?' I said, 'Don't worry about it. We have a home warranty,'" explained Dadgari.

She called her warranty provider, Sensible Home Warranty, and after a few conversations and missed connections, she was told to go ahead with the repair.

"The young girl must have read the notes on the computer screen and had no qualms about telling me, 'Get it fixed yourself and send us a bill. Fax it to this number.' I said, 'Fine,'" said Dadgari.

The bill came to $972.28. She sent it to the warranty company, but wasn't paid. She said, "In the end, I got just so frustrated, I decide to call. 'I am going to call 7 On Your Side,' so I sent a message and here I am."

We contacted Sensible Home Warranty and Dadgari received a check for $368.28.

"Any which way I looked at these figures, there was no portion that added up to what they covered. So it wasn't the booster pump and the labor, less the sales tax. There was no combination. I do not know where they got that number from," said Dadgari.

On the repair bill, the numbers listed for various items were: $258.75, $559.00, $84.00, $70.53. We contacted the warranty company again and it offered an additional $131.72. Which brings the total to $500, which is the amount specified in the home warranty contract. And in the future, Dadgari will leave the pool out of the home warranty.

"I am just going to pay our pool servicing guy to do whatever needs doing," said Dadgari.

The Better Business Bureau gives Sensible Home Warranty a "D-" rating.

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