Troubleshooter: Home Warranty

June 16, 2010 3:49:00 PM PDT
Mildred Williford bought a warranty for her home from Nationwide Home Warranty.

"I said let me be protected. And that's the reason I got it," she recalled.

Williford paid close to five hundred dollars for the policy and says she tried to use it when she had a leaky sink. But, the plumber Nationwide sent recommended a new faucet, which is something the warranty doesn't cover. So, she paid the $50 service fee and took matters into her own hands.

"So I called the handyman to inspect the leak, and it turned out to be a simple repair of tightening the drain base," she said. "I called Nationwide, and they advised me that they would send me a courtesy check of $75.

Williford waited but didn't get her money. In the meantime, she had a problem with her well.

"I had no water, so I didn't know what to do and I couldn't get them," she said.

Williford says she called Nationwide Home Warranty several times, but couldn't get through.

"I'd like to be able to get in touch with them," she said. "I can't do without water for more than a day or two."

Williford had to hire her own contractor, who fixed her well to a tune of more than three hundred dollars. She sent the invoice off with hopes the warranty company would compensate her.

"When I faxed it to them, they said they don't cover that," she said.

Now with two problems, Williford contacted ABC11 Troubleshooter Diane Wilson. We got in touch with Nationwide Home Warranty. It said the well repair is clearly not covered according to the policy, and that's why it got denied.

As for the $75, a representative said they agreed to it as a sign of good faith and sent Williford a release agreement to sign. But the rep claimed they never got it back, so that's why they didn't send the money.

Williford said she just got the release from and is in the process of filing it out to get her reimbursement for her $75.

The Nationwide Home Warranty rep they apologize for any inconvenience this process caused.

When it comes to signing up for a warranty for your home, do your research. A quick check with the Better Business Bureau shows they have an F rating. The BBB has processed 677 complaints against the company in the last three years. Of those, 276 were resolved.

Nationwide Home Warranty says those numbers are only a small portion of their customers.

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