3 On Your Side

Home warranty company denies claim; homeowner frustrated

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Microwave oven caught fire while being used according to Gilbert homeowner. 13 Nov. 2017 (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News) Microwave oven caught fire while being used according to Gilbert homeowner. 13 Nov. 2017 (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News)
Total Protect Home Warranty. 13 Nov. 2017 (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News) Total Protect Home Warranty. 13 Nov. 2017 (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News)
Gilbert man says popcorn caught fire in microwave oven. 13 Nov. 2017 (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News) Gilbert man says popcorn caught fire in microwave oven. 13 Nov. 2017 (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

Mario Perfetti is Italian, and being Italian, he says food is love. "The marinara sauce. The pasta, the meat, the meatballs you know,” he tells 3 On Your Side from his Gilbert kitchen.

But recently, Perfetti wasn't up for a big Italian meal. Instead, he and his adult son wanted a snack.

So, they got out a bag of popcorn, threw it in the microwave oven, and hit the "popcorn" button. However, in just a moment or two, the unexpected happened. “So, you throw in a bag of popcorn and it catches on fire?” Gary Harper asked.

"Yea, it catches on fire," Perfetti responded. 

“That's crazy,” Harper replied.

“Yea, it is, it is,” Perfetti says laughing. 

Wanting to put the flames out, Perfetti says his son immediately pulled open the door and in the process, accidentally broke the door's hinge. As a result, the microwave doesn't work anymore.

"Well, I was going to go ahead and replace the microwave and my son said, 'Wait a minute, we have a home warranty. They should cover it,'” Perfetti said.

He agreed with his son. After all, Perfetti says he’s been paying around $38 a month to a warranty company called Total Protect.

After three years of paying his premiums, Perfetti says he's never even submitted a claim.

However, when he asked for his microwave oven to be replaced, he says Total Protect denied his claim. “Well [they said], 'we're not covering it because the hinge on the door is broken.' And, I said what does the hinge have to do with the microwave? The microwave is the one that caught on fire."

Perfetti says he's frustrated. Of course, the hinge is broken because his son was in such a hurry to get to the burning popcorn bag inside the microwave. “That really ticked me off. I'm like is this the way they work?" said Perfetti.

3 On Your Side got involved and we reached out to Total Protect Home Warranty about Perfetti's complaint.

They're currently looking into the issue and have agreed to send out another technician to Perfetti's home for a second opinion.

However, in the meantime, Total Protect Home Warranty has agreed to refund Perfetti his $125 deductible which he already paid.

Perfetti says he appreciates that, but based on his current situation, he's not sure he'll ever get a home warranty again.

"It isn't worth it to pay all that money and if something goes wrong, they don't want to pay to fix it? I don't need it," said Perfetti.

Total Protect Home Warranty says it's unlikely they'll pay to replace or repair the microwave because the problem was caused by a fire and they don't cover items damaged by fire.

When there's an update, we’ll let you know.

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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

Click to learn more about Gary.

Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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