CHICAGO (CBS) — Doing laundry isn’t a fun task, but it’s nearly impossible when your washer and dryer don’t work. Morning Insider Lauren Victory introduces us to a single mother trapped by a home warranty company.
Jenny D’Agostino has socks hung on banisters, blankets draped on chairs, and wet laundry hanging everywhere because her dryer is broken.
“This is crazy, and you know, people are walking in, and they see my laundry like this, and I’m embarrassed,” she said. “I’m frustrated. It’s aggravating.”
It’s not by choice. Her dryer is broken, and so is her freezer.
“I blame the warranty company,” she said.
She pays Select Home Warranty about $50 a month for what the company describes as “your best defense against sudden breakdowns.” For a “modest service call fee,” customers pay for a technician to come out and fix or replace broken appliances.
D’Agostino paid a $100 fee for her broken freezer on Jan. 28, and $100 for her broken dryer on Feb 12. She said the technician told her he had to order a part, but she never heard from him again.
She asked Select to assign another technician for her repairs.
“They’re like, ‘Don’t worry, ma’am, you won’t have to pay again,’” D’Agostino said.
That’s not what happened. She was asked to pay another $100 for the dryer and another $100 for the freezer, even though the original technician was missing in action.
“I just want my dryer fixed so I can do laundry,” she said. “I even threatened them, saying that I’m going to call news investigations. They didn’t care.”
Select Home Warranty has received a C- rating from the Better Business Bureau, and faced more than 2,400 complaints in three years.
The company did not respond to emails and faxes. CBS 2 tried to reach the company through the chat function on their website, but “Tracey” was no help, and finally admitted she’s a robot.
Similar home warranty companies also have less than stellar reputations. One company received 4,700 complaints, and a Better Business Bureau alert about advertising. Another was flagged for a pattern of complaints. One received a B rating, but also had more than 10,000 complaints in three years.
“I’m frustrated, because I don’t know what to do anymore,” D’Agostino said.
The Better Business Bureau recommended consumers read the fine print whenever signing up for a home warranty.
As for Select and D’Agostino’s broken appliances, CBS 2 will continue to push for answers.