Couple demands answers after warranty company leaves them without heat

DAVENPORT, Iowa – Anna and Henry Holmes say they’re freezing as they go into their seventh day without a furnace at their home.

When the couple bought the house earlier this year, they said they wanted to make sure they would be covered if a major appliance were to break. So, they bought a one-year warranty from American Home Shield.

Now, they say that company has no sense of urgency in getting their heat turned back on.

“I’m just getting so frustrated because every time we talk to them on the phone we get a run-around,” Anna Holmes, one of the homeowners said.

Anna says she and her husband, Henry, reported their broken furnace last Friday, Nov. 8. American Home Shield sent a contractor to check out the furnace, but the Holmes’ say that meeting didn’t end well.

“We probably wouldn’t be able to get it fixed because the parts wouldn’t be available because its such an old heating system,” Anna said the contractor told her.

A second contractor visited the house on Monday Nov., 11, as snow and record-cold temperatures set into the Davenport area.

“Since then I’ve had no way of plugging in more than two space heaters and I am running my oven for heat,” Anna said.

With no easy fix in sight, they’re getting worried about their health.

American Home Shield, a company that has been around for 48 years and has a “B” rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), did not return our request for comment on Nov. 13.

The Holmes’ say representatives told them that a next step cannot be made in the repair process until a “diagnosis” was given by a contractor.

“Evidently the guy who came out on Monday is not getting his paperwork done and we’re sitting here in the cold,” Anna said.

Now, the couple has spent around $500 on a warranty to fix their broken furnace but have not seen any repairs.

“I just wonder how long its going to be before we get a furnace or some type of heat in this house,” said Anna.

A couple stuck waiting for answers and for heat.


UPDATE: American Home Shield has released the following statement regarding this incident:

“We take great pride in providing quality service and valuable protection to our customers. If we fail to meet these expectations, we work to do the right thing and ensure the situation is properly resolved.

We sincerely apologize for the delay in resolving the Holmes’ matter. They placed a service request on Friday, Nov. 8 around 3:30 CT and we dispatched a contractor to their home the following day. When the contractor arrived, he found the furnace was a gravity furnace, which is an uncommon type of unit that few technicians can service. The team worked over the weekend to locate a contractor who could service this unit. On Nov. 11 another contractor went to the home and found there was no power to the unit and an electrician was needed to repair the main circuit. The team then worked to locate an electrician who could service the circuit. We are investigating this matter further to understand the delays.

We did have an electrician onsite today to resolve the electrical matter. We truly value our relationship with the Holmes’ and hope to have the opportunity to be of continued service.”

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