MoneyDon't Waste Your Money


DWYM: Cancer patient battles home warranty company to stay cool

Home warranty company lags in fixing broken AC
Cammie Penrod is enjoying the simple things in life
Posted at 11:27 AM, Sep 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-03 12:34:15-04

When the air conditioning goes out in your home, many people turn to their home warranty to get it fixed.

But one cancer patient found it wasn’t so simple.

Consumer reporter John Matarese has a caution about home warranties so you don't waste your money.

Homeowners purchase a home warranty for peace of mind.

But often, it's a fight to get a repair.

And in this case, it involved a serious health issue.

Cammie Penrod appreciates every little thing in life these days, like the flowers in her yard.

"These are dahlias,” she says.

That’s because she has been battling not only a brain tumor, but her home warranty company HSA.

"I was angry, I was disappointed," she said about them.

When temperatures hit 90 at her Independence, Ky., home, the air conditioning failed her.

"When I got home in the house, it was 92 degrees," se said.

Penrod says the home warranty company sent two different crews on two different days to try to fix the problem.

They first adding coolant, then changing a capacitor, but despite these reapirs, her house kept getting hotter.

"My grandparents brought us fans," she said. "My aunt and uncle brought us an air conditioning unit."

But her attempts to get a whole new unit from HSA went nowhere.

"I called from 7 in the morning to 7 at night trying to speak with a supervisor," she said.

Finally, after we got involved, HSA sent out a new AC company who replaced the entire system with a new one.

"They came out and in less than two hours diagnosed that our heating and air system was completely shot," Penrod said.

HSA has a "B" rating from the Better Business Bureau, but has been named in 14,000 complaints.

An HSA spokeswoman told us: "In the Penrod's situation, we did not live up to the standards we set for ourselves. We sincerely apologize for the delay. We are reviewing the Penrod's situation to see how best to learn from it in the future."

Cammy wonders why a repair should take such a fight.

"It doesn't seem right," she said.

We're happy to report that the Penrod house is now cool, and Cammy is doing OK.

But read reviews of home warranty companies, so you don’t waste your money.