Couple Hot Over Gaps In Furnace Warranty

Response from American Home Shield:

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas did file a claim as part of the settlement agreement and as part of this process our team carefully re-examined the documentation they provided, as well as details surrounding their service request. They were notified by letter in November of the outcome of our investigation, which confirmed that their claim had been properly paid in accordance with the terms of their contract and the services they received. Background: Larry and Linda Thomas had a one-year home warranty plan with AHS beginning April 1, 2002 and expiring April 1, 2003. Our home warranties provide repair services in the event that covered items break down due to normal wear and tear. The homeowner placed service requests on three furnaces on or about March 24, 2003 and the onsite diagnosis found that all three furnaces had cracked heat exchangers. AHS authorized the replacement of the furnaces, but there were non-covered charges associated with the furnace replacements, as outlined in the terms of the agreement. Current concerns: In light of your tight deadline, we quickly reviewed readily available materials and could find no record of the homeowner expressing concerns about the permit process or quality of installation during the past 10 years. However, as a gesture of goodwill, we will be glad to reimburse the homeowner for an inspection performed by a licensed contractor of his/her choice and will share this with them in writing. Should the inspection find that the units were not properly installed, we will revisit the matter accordingly.

An Omaha couple upset over furnace replacements feels misled by a homeowner’s warranty. Judging by a lawsuit, they're not alone.

“Definitely didn't get what we paid for,” says Larry Thomas. Larry and Linda are doubting a warranty company properly handled replacement of three furnaces their home near 60th and State needs.

“If you don't have a city permit on something as important as a furnace that makes you wonder how safe everything is,” says Linda.

There's another reason the Thomas' need to vent their anger. The furnaces installed less than 10 years ago have MUD approval, but no record of city permits and inspection as required by code.

“There may be something else that MUD doesn't look at, whether it be the fan installation or how the coil ties to the duct work,” says Jay Davis, city permits and inspections director. “All those things need to be looked at as part of the code.”

The couple has taped over gaps on the furnaces, but see evidence that more is needed. The Thomas' are worried about installation of these furnaces now that they've learned there's no city permits. Often, they say they can feel hot air blowing out from behind. So the couple has joined a class action suit against the warranty company American Home Shield.

“We believe the warranty didn't do what it said it would do or what we were told it would do,” says Linda.

The Thomas’ want $2,400 back the warranty didn't pay and expenses to cover a service call since there's no permits to prove proper installation. Joining a class action suit against the company may turn up the heat on their complaint.

After Fact Finders looked into this, American Home Shield said it will pay for a heating contractor to inspect the furnace. If it's not installed properly, the company will look at the claim again.

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