Hi, I’m Stacy the secretary at City Wide Plumbing. As I receive a large quantity of calls from customers I hear a lot about home warranty companies from their perspective. Sometimes it’s good experiences and other times, it’s bad.
My mom for instance has a home warranty company, she had a great experience when it came to replacing her air conditioning unit. The ac company that the home warranty had contracted out was awesome, easy to deal with and everything was covered. My mom only had to pay $65 for the initial service call. She was thrilled.
Her experience on the plumbing side was a completely different story. Her water heater wasn’t heating, she called her home warranty company and they sent out a plumbing contractor (plumber “A”) to assess the situation. She paid the $65 service fee and plumber “A” told her the elements needed to be replaced and it would be covered under warranty. She had the work done and was satisfied. A few days later she had the same issue, her water heater wasn’t heating. So she again called the home warranty company and they sent out plumber “A” and informed her that if it wasn’t an issue with the plumbers work she would have to pay another service fee. She agreed and had them come out again. This time they said the thermostats needed to be replaced and the work would be covered under warranty but she would have to pay the service fee because it wasn’t “related” to the first service call. She again agreed and had the work done. Then a few days later she came home to scalding hot water coming out of her temperature and pressure drain line (T&P). She immediately called her home warranty company and told them she didn’t want to pay to have plumber “A” come back out again she just wanted it fixed. They sent plumber “A” out and told her that her water heater was old and it was “fried” and she needed a new water heater which is covered under warranty. They then proceeded to tell her that the T&P piping was “not to code” and would have to be redone but that was not covered under warranty and would cost over $400 to bring it up to code. She told them no and asked them to leave and then called City Wide.
We sent out one of our City Wide Plumbing technician’s to take a look. He discovered that the water heater failed because plumber “A” did not set the temperature properly on the water heater when he replaced the thermostats. Also there was no “code” issues found with the T&P piping. We replaced the water heater and everything has been working fine ever since.
Over the years I have heard similar stories about different companies techs telling customers that things need to be brought “up to code” and it’s not covered under warranty. Some cases have been true but most have not. Home warranty companies only pay their contractors a certain amount to service these calls. Some of these contractors try to up-sell the customer on additional work not covered by the warranty by telling them it’s “not up to code”. If any contractor gives you that line, shop around, get another opinion before you sign on the dotted line to have to work done.
We invite you to share your good and bad stories about your personal experiences with home warranty companies in the comments.