A free year of home warranty service came with the purchase of our home in Alpharetta. A shrewd move on behalf of the home warranty folks and well, it was free, so we were happy too.
Several years later we were still with them, but it was a relationship that was going sour and like many bad relationships we had hung on trying to salvage what we could. It was our own fault - we should have got out of this when we saw the first warning signs.
So this is how it works when something breaks down in your home if you don't have a home warranty service.
You call a service provider and they come to your house and fix it. They are usually there in a day or two and it is probably going to cost a fair bit. But it is fixed.
This is how it works with a home warranty company. You call them. They tell you they will assign someone to your "case". Several days later you may( or may not) receive a call. You call them back. They will probably schedule you out a week or two down the road. When they do turn up they will have to order any parts you need - add another week or two. It seems that the companies that work for home warranties don't make a lot of money out of it and that means they really don't care if your entire family has squeezed inside the freezer trying to stay cool. And that is why we spent several weeks without air conditioning this summer. When someone finally came out we were told that we needed a number of items to get our air up and running, I think one of them was a flux capacitor. The warranty company called me and asked me to turn my attention to page 3074 of our contract where I would see that the flux capacitor, and pretty much everything else was not covered. So, sorry but we were on our own. But lucky us, the company the warranty folks sent out said they would do the repairs at a great price if we paid ourselves. Something about the laundry list of items that needed replacing just didn't seem right. I decided to call for a second opinion. Surprise, surprise almost everything on the list was something that we already had ( in perfect order) or something we didn't need.
I really believe that the warranty companies try to wait you out, to see how long it is before you will crack and go and hire someone yourself. We are very resilient . But this year they cracked us. At the beginning of week five of no cool air we called another company on our own dime. They were at the house that afternoon. We needed a new unit, we knew that. To avoid replacing it, the warranty company had been " band-aiding" the thing for years and even when it was running it was neither cooling nor cost effective - our power bills were ( literally) through the roof. The new company gave us a great deal and even though it was still a boatload of cash we knew it was time to bite the bullet. The house is now cool and our power bills have been cut by a third.
Have to place some on the blame on ourselves. You see it is very satisfying to think that you might be getting a bargain. Home warranty companies charge an annual fee but the initial call out charges are fairly minimal and the promise is that if they can't fix it they will replace it. So we put up with bad service and shoddy repairs year after year in the hopes of scoring a good deal. But you know what they say about "getting something for nothing" and all that. If you can put up with long waits for repairs and , as was so often in our case, inferior workmanship, well, it might work for you. It took us a while, but we finally decided that it was time to let go.
So, once our contract expires we are done. It's kind of a relief.
If you have home warranty horror stories I would love to hear them. Misery truly does love company. I would also like to hear if anyone has had a great experience - Somebody? Anybody?