Pittsburgh homeowner wants warranty company to pay up

Pittsburgh homeowner wants warranty company to pay up

Warranty woes

COMPLAINT: Kenneth Hoffman, Pittsburgh

"I purchased my home in 2007 with a Home Security of America Inc. warranty. During a furnace inspection, Phillips Heating determined the heat exchanger was cracked. I contacted HSA, and they quoted me $562 to replace the furnace, if they performed the work. This price was for a lower-end furnace with an 80 percent efficiency rating and no allowance for the required duct work and chimney liner.

"HSA offered to perform the required duct work modifications and chimney liner through their contractor for an additional $800. We questioned their very low price. Phillips Heating quoted a price of $2,886 for a 90 percent efficient RUUD furnace, including all installation costs and a 10-year warranty. We opted to go with Phillips Heating instead of the HSA contractor, whom we'd never heard of. I'm left with a $2,374 out-of-pocket expense."

DESIRED RESOLUTION: "I want to receive the money as stated in the HSA warranty. It says forced-air furnaces are covered up to $1,500 aggregate."

RESPONSE: Jennifer A. Marchillo, senior service supervisor, HSA

"Phillips Heating reported their diagnosis to us, and HSA determined the failure reported did qualify for coverage. We explained [to the member] that he had the following options: to contact an HSA service provider who would install an 80-percent efficient furnace for an agreed labor rate OR choose a contractor of his choice and accept a cash-out in the amount of $512, which includes the HSA price of a new furnace and HSA's preferred installation price, minus the $50 deductible. Mr. Hoffman chose to have the furnace installation performed by Phillips Heating, and we issued the $512 check after we received a receipt of evidence for the work."

STATUS: Stalemate


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A red tag on a furnace, like this one, means the heating unit’s unsafe and can’t be used. An HVAC professional dropped off space heaters for this member to use until a new two-stage furnace could be installed and a bad switch on it fixed. (Photo courtesy of Angie’s List member Robert A. of Minneapolis)

If your heating system’s red tagged, or labeled unsafe, pay attention. Get a second opinion and, if the system is dangerous, consult a pro to get it fixed.

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