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Question DetailsAsked on 6/11/2016

I live in League City Tx and have a American Home Shield Warranty. My evaporator core is shot on an 11 year old A/C

The tech says that he recommends a new Plenum, then he goes on to say that if I don't there will be up charges to attach the new evaporator core to the original Carrier Plenum, plus tape, etc. Advice Please!

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2 Answers

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Yes , some modifications will need to be done, they will not be covered by the warranty company, read the fine print. That said some companies use this as an opportunity to charge to much, since they are the ones you must use. Blame the warranty company for the very low rates they pay the contractor.

Source: www.bayareacool.com

Answered 2 years ago by MES

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Here are a couple of links to similar previous questions on home warranty A/C repairs -

http://answers.angieslist.com/To-repl...

http://answers.angieslist.com/Should-...

Generally, the warranty should pay whatever is necessary to repair the unit - which normally would not mean any modifications if same-size parts are available, but if say the original items are no longer available, might require some mods to fit the newer component. Unless the contract specifically states modifications to fit non-standard parts is not covered, it should be - that is part of making the repair - as is duct sealant mastic and tape and such as discussed in the above items. EVERYTHING to make the unit work correctly and comply with EPA (for A/C units) and code requirements is a necessary part of the work so should be included.

However - as BayAreaAC says - MANY of the contractors for box stores and home warranty plans seem to be contractors who cannot maintain a viable clientele on their own reputation so they take the low reimbursement rates from those type companies - hence they have a strong incentive to upsell and to nickel and dime by charging for additional items, or trying to charge separately for items that should have been covered by the warranty, like refrigerant gas reclamation and refilling and coil disposal and such. I remember helping one neighbor military spouse (husband was in Afghanistan) with a home warranty company claim - the vendor first tried to upsell to a new furnace (hence no home plan reimbursement), then when that was refused tried to add on about a dozen supplemental charges for things that "were not covered by the plan" - but when you read the fine print in the warranty there was nothing to that effect. After threatening federal fraud prosecution and getting the local base Adjutant General's office on their case the warranty company paid in full - but like pulling teeth on an alligator.

As BayAreaAC says - read the fine print in your contract. Unless specific types of items are expressly excluded in the original written contract, their contract is to get your unit working satisfactorily again - they cannot just say "oh, we don't cover that" or "we will send you a list of things we don't cover" - if it was not in the original contract, that is out and out fraud. Threaten them with a consumer fraud charge and they will typically back down.

And do NOT pay the contractor for anything that is not specifically excluded by the contract - a lot of them try to establish a contractor-client rerlationship with you, which is wrong - your legal relationship is with the warranty company - if the contractor thinks he should get more money, let him take it up with THEM, and if he says something is not covered demand he (as their representative) show you that specific exemption in your contract. IF it gets nasty, if you remind him that he is acting as THEIR representative and hence equally liable for fraud, the unscrupulous ones trying to up the bill (sometimes without the warranty or box store company even knowing about it) will back off quick after you call their bluff.

And remember - if he is trying to sell you something not in the contract or an upgrade, you do NOT have to use him - you can get competitive bids for that sort of upgrade.

That said - as BayAreaAC infers, most of these warranty plans are not worth the paper they are printed on - and if you looked at their warranty plan fee versus the normal electrical/plumbing/mechanical maintenance cost for a house, the only way they can make money is to deny a lot of legitimate claims - or have their contractors upsell clients and then get a cut of the take, which technically is an illegal kickback but district attorneys put little effort into going after these home and auto warranty scammers, having more important things on their minds.

But look at the scam and complaint reports on these companies (auto, appliance, and home), and with the exception of OEM extended warranty plans (direct from the original equipment manufacturer), I could not find a single one without beaucoup complaints and very few if any good comments. I know of the dozen or so I have run into (auto and home) ovear the years I have never found a single one except Sears which appeared to have any intention of fulfilling the client's reasonable expectations of what the plan would cover - and their warranty / service plan coverage quality appears to be related almost totally to whether Sears company staff or contract, and if contract to the ethics and long-term reputation of the contractor - sometimes terrible, sometimes the same company I would choose if I were looking for a repair firm.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD




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