3 On Your Side
3 On Your Side

Home warranty may not be best option for repairs

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(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

Phyllis and Tom Ropacki say it's been tough keeping their home cool. Their air conditioner broke down, but they said they weren't overly concerned because they purchased a home warranty to help cover repairs. 

"Getting into the retirement age, when we were going to be moving into this home, we thought about the necessity of having some kind of home protection so that if anything catastrophic happened we'd have something to fall back on," Phyllis Ropacki said. 

The company they had the warranty through is called Choice Home Warranty, which sent out a repair person to check out the A/C unit.

“A gentleman came out, inspected the unit. He simply said it was a failure in the compressor; it was a bad compressor and it needed to be replaced," Phyllis Ropacki said. 

The couple expected Choice Home Warranty to pay for the repair, but they were shocked when the company declined to do so. 

“And simply it was a phone call from a Jessica, and she stated that it was not a covered problem, that they felt that it was due to lack of maintenance," Phyllis Ropacki said. 

The denial isn't surprising. 3 On Your Side discovered Choice Home Warranty was recently sued by the New Jersey Attorney General's Office, claiming the company "used deceptive tactics to deny consumers' claims."

“We have been paying warranty companies to cover our home a significant premium yearly, thinking that we were covering the ultimate crisis, and it didn't happen," Phyllis Ropacki said. 

In fact, some experts recommend not even paying for a home warranty. Instead, it's suggested that consumers take the money they would have spent on a home warranty and put it aside to pay for repairs when needed. .
  
However, if you do go with a home warranty company, make sure you read carefully to see what its maintenance clauses are.
  
In the Ropackis' case, Choice Home Warranty denied their claim, saying the couple failed to properly maintain their A/C unit, which they said isn't true. However, after 3 On Your Side got involved, Choice Home Warranty changed its mind and agreed to fix their air conditioner after all. Choice Home Warranty sent out technicians and replaced the broken parts on the A/C.
  
The repair job was right around $1,800, money the couple didn't have to come up with because Choice Home Warranty changed its mind.
   
The couple said they couldn't have done it without 3 On Your Side.
 
“Had it not been for Channel 3 and the news crew and Gary Harper, I know that this never would have been resolved. My solution was 3 On Your Side," Phyllis Ropacki said. 

Copyright 2015 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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