IBJOpinion

HETRICK: Mundane matters of middle-class homebuyers

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Bruce Hetrick

I was going to tell you my oven story.

My wife and I bought a new home, you see. It cost a lot of money. So even though the seller signed the required forms saying everything was hunky-dory; even though an inspector went through the place on our behalf; even though the seller spent thousands of dollars fixing the things the inspector said needed fixing, we purchased homeowner’s warranty insurance at the time we closed on the property.

Allegedly, this insurance would cover our fannies should certain things fail after the sale. Allegedly, appliances were one of those things.

Months before we moved in, while we were still remodeling and redecorating the place, the oven started beeping.

Having had this problem at our previous home, we suspected the likely culprit: a faulty control panel.

We called the homeowner’s warranty company. They directed us to one of their preferred repair companies.

We set an appointment and waited through the proverbial four-hour window for the fellow to appear.

Naturally, the oven didn’t make a sound while he was in the house. He said there was nothing he could do.

Service charge: $75.

After we moved in last month, I turned on the oven to reheat some pizza—our favorite staple while unpacking box after box of material possessions.

I set the oven for 400 degrees. It got to 100—and shut itself off.

I set it again. It shut itself off.

I tried again. It shut itself off.

So we called the homeowner’s warranty company. They directed us to the same preferred repair company.

We set an appointment and waited through the proverbial four-hour waiting window.

This time, the repairman encountered the same problem I encountered.

He told us we likely needed to replace the oven.

Service charge: $75 and wait to hear from the homeowner’s warranty company.

After nagging the insurer and waiting through loopy voicemail loops and endless on-hold music, we eventually learned the warranty company didn’t like their preferred vendor’s diagnosis. They wanted a second opinion.

So they directed us to a second preferred repair company.

We set an appointment and waited through the proverbial four-hour window.

Repair doctor two encountered the same problem repair doctor one and I encountered.

But he said we needed a new control panel. Naturally, he didn’t have the part.

So we waited some more—without an oven—for the part to arrive.

After we and our real estate agent nagged the appliance repair firm and the homeowner’s warranty firm for several weeks, and waited for hours through loopy voicemail loops and endless on-hold music, the part was finally overnighted to the repair firm.

We set an appointment and waited through the proverbial four-hour window.

The repairman installed the new part. It failed like the original part. He said we needed to replace the oven.

But the homeowner’s warranty insurance firm didn’t like that diagnosis. They wanted to try a third control panel.

So we set yet another appointment and waited through yet another four-hour window for the fellow to appear.

He didn’t. So I texted him. He called to say his boss decided we needed a new oven. He said he’d report that to the warranty company.

After we and our real estate agent nagged the insurance company some more—and waited through more loopy voicemail loops and more hours of on-hold music—the insurer eventually agreed to replace the oven. They called after the fact to say they’d ordered one from the manufacturer. We checked the model number. They had ordered a Chevy to replace our Cadillac.

We and our real estate agent called to say this was unacceptable. We waited again through voicemail loops and on-hold music. Finally, a rude representative said it was too late to change because the order had already been placed. We asked for a supervisor.

Days later, we learned that that order had, in fact, been canceled, and if we wanted to match the oven we’d purchased with the house, we’d have to cough up a few hundred dollars because the insurer “had to draw the line somewhere.”

We’re hoping to have an oven in the house by Thanksgiving.

I was going to share this oven story. I was going to offer sage consumer counsel about home warranty firms that try to dodge claims.

But then I read about Tomisue Hilbert suing John Menard over alleged sexual advances; and John Menard sacking Steve Hilbert in an act of alleged retaliation for Tomisue’s refusal; and John Menard’s legal battle with Donald Trump’s wife, Melania, in some related action; and Melania’s angst that the whole mess would cost her millions.

And having read about the problems rich people have—and, oh by the way, The Indianapolis Star’s report that 80,000 children are going hungry in Indianapolis—I figured that, frankly, no one would care about some unbaked middle-class warning over homeowner’s warranty insurance.•

__________

Hetrick is an Indianapolis-based writer, speaker and public relations consultant. His column appears twice a month. He can be reached at bhetrick@ibj.com.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • One bad apple
    You had a bad experience, but please don't assume all Warranty companies are as bad as this one. Next time use RWS, a locally owned nation wide company. No voicemail loops, real people who answer the phone and a much higher level of customer service. Good luck.
  • Which company?
    I am reaching home warranty companies. Could you give the name of the company?
  • MS
    Appreciate this tale - first, to know one is not alone in these 4-hour waits, bad 'solutions' and the rest. And knocking it into proportion ;)

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Good Day I am Mr (Victoria Wright) from United state of America, i stayed in NEW YORK, and i have a broke up business, until i found this company email who help me to gain a loan for business,, and now i want to used this short medium to congratulate the below company for the fast and safe money they loan to me without any form of collateral, i loan 500,000USD from the company to save my business and lots more, i saw their mail on the internet, everyone always give testimony for what they did, so i quickly contacted them and they all did everything for me without stress and my money was sent to my account just 3 days later, i was surprise and i feel so glad, now i have a standard business control agent who help me, now i will advice those who need urgent loan to contact him at the bellow email:zenithfirm12@gmail.com

  2. NOTICE:This is to inform the general public that Vampires are real. My name is James Franklyn.,am an agent of vampire,am here to introduce our new world trend to you,a world of vampire where life get easier,we have made so many persons vampires and have turned them rich,you will be assured long life and prosperity,you shall be made to be very sensitive to mental alertness,stronger and also very fast,you will not be restricted to walking at night only even at the very middle of broad day light you will be made to walk.In case you are wildly oppressed by some unscrupulous persons we can still help you fight them.Your protection is assured immediately you join.Just contact the bellow email if you are interested we are here to attend to you anytime you want us. Contact the bellow email for more details. Email:vampirescreed@hotmail.com Sincerely: James Franklyn.

  3. Bravo! Someone else that is willing to speak the truth! Bravo!_____NBCSN is available in almost 2 MILLION more homes than just a few years ago, but Indycar STILL gets less total viewers than it did just a few years ago when NBC took over Versus. Attendance and ratings cratered with the end of season races (just when the title battle got "interesting" HAH!__________And now...new race in Basilia, where Miles celebrated the "rich history" of Indycar racing there. Rich history? What, 7 events in the 100 years of AOW? Yep, some history. Well, at least its an oval. It's not??? Are you kidding me??? Gosh darn road racin furriners.

  4. PURITY RAY LOAN OFFER........ Have you been denied by your banks,or are you in need of of an urgent loan to pay of your bills we are capable of giving loans @ cheaper rate to interested individuals, student, companies and members of the public in need of finance to settle bills, we do offer considerable loans which you can count on. For more information on our various types of loan,then you will have to contact PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM, to help you achieve your desire LOAN APPLICATION FORM TO BE FILLED BORROWERS INFORMATION * Full name:………………………. * SEX * ……………………………. * Country………………………….. * State:……………………………. * Land:…………………………….. * Occupation:…………………….. * phone number:…………………. * Telephone: ………………………….. * Age:………………………………. * Amount needed as loan:……… * Loan Duration:………………….. * Propose of Loan:……………….. * Annual revenue:………………… * Monthly Income:……………….. * Guarantee:………………………. * Payment: monthly or annually Email.....purityrayloanfirm@gmail.com Thank you and God bless Mr Purity Ray PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM we tend to serve you better

  5. Problem: most of the people responding to this article don't know about this service AT ALL! Why? Lack of awareness. This isn't IndyGo. This is CIRTA: might as well be the mattress company because they are asleep at the wheel - something like 3 directors over the last year? Playing with federal grant money is great! This "region" wants commuter rail service, has spent MILLIONS on Transportation studies yet can't even support a commuter bus line? This is largely for suburban riders to get to downtown - not for "service people to work in our hotels and restaurants" ! Get your head out of your backside!! These are professionals, students etc. that don't want to fight traffic, save some money on parking, gas, stress.... if CIRTA would put their federal money into widely promoting the sevive to Greenwood, Fishers & Carmel instead of finding directors and studies - this would be a successful service. Our family uses(d) it daily for the last several years - but the recent uncertainty & now unreliability due to cuts from Carmel has been a problem. Now, costs us an additional $350/month for gas & parking ( $4200/year) plus vehicle wear, service, environmental impact ... YES - this REGION needs this this type of service in order to keep growing and getting the people it needs to fill skilled positions in downtown Indianapolis. Think outside of your own car !!!

ADVERTISEMENT