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How long is too long to wait for a home warranty repair, even when it's considered an emergency?

Posted at 7:22 AM, Aug 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-20 10:22:11-04

As the Valley continues to set heat records, more people are dealing with A/C units that just can't keep up. That has led to several complaints from home warranty customers saying their company has made them wait too long for repairs, despite what they consider emergency circumstances.

Rick Piper says despite having an Old Republic Home Warranty and temperatures reaching above 110 degrees for several days, it took two weeks to get his A/C working properly.

"It shouldn't have gone on this long," said Rick. "I mean, the work order said this was an emergency."

But what exactly is an emergency to a home warranty company? Recently, The Let Joe Know Team has gotten dozens of complaints from people with various home warranty companies. Many of those complaints were for A/C issues that weeks later we're still not fixed.

You'd think with temperatures around 110 degrees, that would make the repairs a priority. In Rick's case, his wife is a transplant recipient who relies on a service dog for assistance. With the rising temperatures, Rick says the dog was distracted just trying to keep cool.

"At least call me and say, hey, we got an emergency request. Please tell me what's going on," said Rick.

Rick says he even offered to pay out of pocket to get the parts he needed to his home faster. He says the contractor told him that was not allowed.

As for hearing from the company, Rick says Old Republic never contacted him about why he filed his service request with an emergency status and that it didn't seem to speed up his repairs in any way. "I mean, it was just a question that they kind of had to fill in the blank," said Rick.

Now, Rick wants reimbursement for $1500 he spent on a portable A/C unit and nights they stayed in a hotel. We're still waiting to hear back from Old Republic on that.

In the meantime, we reached out to other home warranty companies who service the Valley about what they consider an emergency and just how quickly they can respond to a request for service.

American Home Shield Says:

As a provider of home warranty plans, our company connects customers to independent service professionals that repair and replace major home systems components and appliances. These plans are designed to provide convenient access to qualified professionals, as well as budget protection against unexpected repair costs.

When a customer needs expedited service, we work with that customer to find a service professional who is available to diagnose the breakdown and address the issue as quickly as possible. During this process, if we are unable to secure a professional within a reasonable timeframe, we can authorize the customer to secure a provider outside of our network.

Our contracts, which are delivered to our customers, state that we will make reasonable efforts to expedite services; however, we do not specify a timeframe to complete repairs – nor can we, for various reasons. Scheduling service and completing repairs often depends on the availability of both the customer and the qualified professional, as well as the availability of necessary parts. Our goal is always to accommodate customer needs to the greatest extent possible.

Old Republic and First American Home Warranty have not responded to our request.