Home warranty - if you can wait 20 days to get your fridge fixed

37 Replies

Looks like the home warranty my realtor put in the contract is somewhat worthless.  My tenant's fridge was limping along for the last 10 days and finally went out spoiling all their food.  Landmark home warranty offered $100 toward renting a fridge which is basically again worthless.  Apparently they think being without a fridge for 20 days is acceptable.  The only way I would consider home warranties is if I was on site and had an extra fridge and 3 portable AC units that I could deploy the same day.  They were ok for fixing a garage door and a clothes dryer, but anything mission critical - forget it.

generally speaking they are worthless, if they weren't profitable they wouldn't be offered. Unless you get lucky and they cover a big ticket item, they're not worth much. So many exclusions to and the hassle of them trying to repair vs replace...

I had a similar situation. It took a $100 deductible, several trips by the maintenance man they sent (he was not good, and that's a whole story in itself), a second maintenance man (keeping his number handy), and some spoiled food for my tenants. In the end, I gave tenants $100 off next months rent for food and inconvenience, but the home warranty company finally paid up and I got my tenants an $750 new fridge. It was a complete headache, cost me $200 total, and I was ever so close to just buying my tenants a fridge (but less than the $750 one that was delivered). 

IMO home warranties by design are effectively worthless. If something breaks I want to get it fixed by my chosen people on my timeline, not whoever and whenever the warranty co sends out. 

Originally posted by @Anthony Wick :

I had a similar situation. It took a $100 deductible, several trips by the maintenance man they sent (he was not good, and that's a whole story in itself), a second maintenance man (keeping his number handy), and some spoiled food for my tenants. In the end, I gave tenants $100 off next months rent for food and inconvenience, but the home warranty company finally paid up and I got my tenants an $750 new fridge. It was a complete headache, cost me $200 total, and I was ever so close to just buying my tenants a fridge (but less than the $750 one that was delivered). 

 Once you factor in your time you could or probably gotten a used fridge from used appliance store (with warranty) for not much more than the 200

@Derek Janssen It is the undercarriage protection and scotchgaurd treatment for the home buyer .

So here's the update.  Found a $25 fridge on craigslist in town that will get us by.  Tenant has a truck and is willing to pick it up.  I'm throwing him $100 for the spoiled food, $100 for picking up the fridge, and $25 for the actual fridge.  I still think I'm out of pocket cheaper than even a used fridge delivered.  Win-Win for tenant and me.

Home warranty is $65 for the visit.  They will lose money on the deal.

$160 wouldn't even get somebody on the phone in CA...

You can also get way better deals from regular seller on Craigslist or OfferUp/Facebook...

But a shop with warranty is little less risky if you aren't personally inspecting the unit. Plus if you paid by credit card you could always dispute if it didn't work..

And I think some insurance companies cover food from bad appliance. Also for anyone that gets new see if your utility company offers a rebate for new one ...

"somewhat worthless"? Try completely worthless. Maybe for your personal residence, but not even then...They always use the cheapest stuff they can to fix your issue, and they always leave themselves all kinds of escape clauses so they don't have to fix anything.  I'm pretty sure I see used appliance stores all over the place in the "hood". Be careful of roaches and bedbugs with used appliances, though. 

@Matt K. Well, I wouldn’t go that far. Yes, it was a pain. But the new fridge I got is better than any used fridge, and certainly better than $200. I guess it all depends on what kind of rental units a person has.

So get this, Landmark called the contractor doing the repair to ask him if it's worth fixing.  Guess what the guy who is incentivized to fix things is going to say...

Originally posted by @Derek Janssen :

So get this, Landmark called the contractor doing the repair to ask him if it's worth fixing.  Guess what the guy who is incentivized to fix things is going to say...

 I need to order this part (that takes forever to get here) and test it out.... and they'll do that. Then the home warranty company will reassign it, before the vendor gets the part.... and it'll start all over again lol.

Source: Went through this almost a month on a washer and about 2 weeks on a stove (which I ended up telling the tech how to fix by reading the service manual lol).

@Derek Janssen Agreed 100%....WORTHLESS.. same experience as you...fridge, AC, water heater....10-15 days for final resolution... Same as with a brand new refrigerator and the manufacterur warranty same exact problem it's totally useless... I will never ever buy a home warranty or an extended warranty on an appliance for the rest of my life...

What's funny is that when I was buying a car, I declined the extended warranty and the salesman was asking me why and if I'd had a bad experience with extended warranties.  I didn't take the bait, bc I'm sure any reason I would have given him would have opened the conversation up to negotiation and refuting my experience as "that was a different company".

@Derek Janssen they Are all terrible, only people that defend them normally are newbie landlords

home warranties are peace-of-mind insurance. They are a tax on buyers who don't know better. Dump it, self insure.

since we are on the topic, nearly ALL insurance is a redistribution of wealth from the poor to the rich. Always self-insure when possible.

Warranties have never been included in my deals.  I bought them afterwards and I consider it to be the single biggest mistake I've made.  Added to the disappointment was realizing the extent I had to go just to cancel the contracts which I'd accidentally set up for auto-renewal.  I had to threaten the warranty company that my next letter was going to the state attorney general.  They cancelled it immediately.  I shudder just thinking about the money I wasted.  

Originally posted by @Max Tanenbaum :
@Alexander Felice

I ditched my ripoff insurance on the Ferrari. If I crash it I’ll just get a new one.

correct, if you can't afford the toy without insurance,  you can't afford the toy. 

I had a home warranty on my personal residence as it was included in the sale. AC compressor went out. Took them 4 days to call me and ask if I was willing to pay the charges for removing the old refrigerant and pumping in the new. What? Shouldn't that be part of replacing the compressor? Apparently not. In addition the unit was out for 3 weeks by the time they got it fixed. The same year, the garage door broke (stress fracture). They'll cover the opener, but not the door? I declined to renew. Not worth the hassle.

Just to be clear from what I did post earlier, around here, asking for a home warranty is pretty much standard in the purchase agreement. So, the seller pays for it. I would NEVER buy one for my own home. But, if something major goes in that first 12 months, it is nice to not have to worry about capex. Yes, a complete headache, but not as big of a headache if your furnace or AC goes and the warranty covers that. 

Originally posted by @Matthew McNeil :

Warranties have never been included in my deals.  I bought them afterwards and I consider it to be the single biggest mistake I've made.  Added to the disappointment was realizing the extent I had to go just to cancel the contracts which I'd accidentally set up for auto-renewal.  I had to threaten the warranty company that my next letter was going to the state attorney general.  They cancelled it immediately.  I shudder just thinking about the money I wasted.  

 Don’t beat yourself up. This business is ripe with learning situations like this. I call it experience.  It would be boring to go thru life being an inexperienced landlord.

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