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Law Pro
Law Pro, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 23605
Experience:  20 years experience in consumer advocacy, debt collection violations, contracts, construction
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I have a dispute with American Home Shield, a home warranty

Resolved Question:

I have a dispute with American Home Shield, a home warranty company, over replacement of a central AC unit. They are willing to replace the unit only but not willing to cover the required additional part to make the unit function properly. What can I do? I've been battling them for over a month trying to resolve this issue!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.

Welcome to JustAnswer! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete excellent answer for you.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm going to assist you with your question.

Please bear with me if you believe my answer isn’t coming fast enough because I’m also working with other customers too. I apologize for any seemingly late response.


What is this part that's needed?

The old AC unit didn't have it? If not, why not?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The part that AHS won't cover is an "upgraded condenser coil" which will be an out-of-pocket cost of about $2240.


Yes, the current AC unit has a condenser coil. This is an essential part to make the AC unit function.


 

Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
Do you have a copy of their contract with them?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes. I can forward it via email for your to review.

Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
That takes awhile - let me see if I can pull the contract off-line.
Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
Why are they saying they won't replace it when it's a necessary component of your AC unit to operate?
Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
Did you get their denial in writing OR only by telephone from them?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Phone

Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
OK, you should contact them immediately and demand their denial in writing - that's the first thing you should do.

You should get the name of the person you talked to, their title, and make note of such.
Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
Is this your contract - although it says "sample"?


http://www.ahs.com/homeowners/pdf/3X3%20Sample%20Contract%20-%202013.pdf
Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
Is this what your contract states:

AIR CONDITIONING AND HEATING NOTE: Coverage available on Heating and Air Conditioning units up to a 5 ton capacity.
AHS will pay up to $1,500 per contract term for access, diagnosis and repair or replacement of any geothermal and/or water source heatpumps, glycol, hot water, or steam circulating system. Customer is responsible for payment of any costs in excess of $1,500.
Where covered repairs require access to Air Conditioning and Heating ductwork, AHS will provide access to ductwork only through unobstructed walls, ceilings or floors, and will return access openings to a rough finish. If the Air Conditioning and Heating
ductwork is accessible only through a concrete floor, wall or ceiling, AHS will pay up to $1,000 per contract term for access, diagnosis, repair or replacement of such ductwork, including returning access openings to a rough finish. Customer is responsible for payment of any costs in excess of $1,000. If a leak is detected as a result of legally mandated diagnostic testing, AHS will repair and replace only accessible and unobstructed ductwork.
1. AIR CONDITIONING INCLUDING DUCTWORK
COVERED: All components and parts of the following air conditioning systems: Ducted central electric split and package units –Geothermal – Wall air conditioners – Mini-splits. When air conditioning system replacement is necessary, coverage includes upgrading of duct connections, plenumsand indoor electrical lines up to and including the disconnect, including when required to maintain compatibility and compliance with SEER, HSPF, and refrigerant standards. In regards XXXXX XXXXX the following are covered: Plenums – Dampers – Damper-only controls – Leaks or breaks in
ductwork (sheet metal, duct board, and flex duct including vapor barrier) from heating and/or air conditioning unit(s) including registers or grills.
NOT COVERED: Outside or underground piping, well pump, and well pump components for geothermal and/or water source heat pump – Window units – Water towers – Chillers, chiller components, and water lines – Legally mandated diagnostic testing when replacing heating or cooling equipment.
NOTE: AHS will pay up to $10 per pound per occurrence for refrigerant.
Customer is responsible for payment of any costs in excess of $10 per pound
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


No, the sample plan's language is different than mine. Maybe because the sample plan is not for the "3x3 combo. plan."

Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
OK, then fax or email your contract toXXX@XXXXXX.XXX attn: Law Pro

They will forward it to me for review.

It takes a little while for them to forward it on to me.

Thanks!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Thank you. Will forward via email immediately.

Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
OK, great. Sometimes it takes them awhile - sometimes up to 4 hours depending on the volume.

Again, thank you for your patience.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I understand.


 


Thank you for your help and advice.

Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
You're welcome. As soon as I get it I'll let you know.
Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
I did receive the contract you sent.

So whenever you get an opportunity please respond. Thanks!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Anxious to hear your opinion about the AHS contract.


 


Thanks.

Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
Hi! I'm not an expert HVAC person but it would appear to me after reading the contract you forwarded that they don't cover your problem.

It specifically states that it covers all components and parts . . . .


The part that AHS won't cover is an "upgraded condenser coil" which will be an out-of-pocket cost of about $2240.


Yes, the current AC unit has a condenser coil. This is an essential part to make the AC unit function.



Now my question is - why do you need the "upgrade" why can the same be used (albeit a new part but the same)?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

According to the HVAC experts, the current condenser coil would not be compatible with any new condenser unit. That's why a new "upgraded" one is essential to the proper functioning of a new unit.

Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
Then if it's not a "chiller" (again I'm not an HVAC person) then they do have the responsibility and liability to pay for the condenser coil.

I would remind them when you next talk to them that there is an "insurance bad faith" cause of action beyond just a breach of contract.

Insurance bad faith is a legal term of art unique to the law of the United States (but with parallels elsewhere, particularly Canada) that describes a tort claim that an insured person may have against an insurance company for its bad acts. Under the law of most jurisdictions in the United States, insurance companies owe a duty of good faith and fair dealing to the persons they insure. This duty is often referred to as the "implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing" which automatically exists by operation of law in every insurance contract. If an insurance company violates that covenant, the insured person (or "policyholder") may sue the company on a tort claim in addition to a standard breach of contract claim. [Wikipedia]


I think, after review of the contract, that they are liable for the cost of the new condenser if they can't find an AC unit that will work with the current condenser.





If you have any further questions, please feel free to let me know…

You can always ask for me in your question, “This question is for Law Pro . . (then on with your question) . . . .

Please press the Accept Button(and the Smiley Face if prompted :) if I have helped you today so I am credited for my time assisting you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Don't understand what you mean by "chiller."


 


Please refer to specific part of contract that supports my claim for a new condenser coil.


 


Thanks so much.

Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
The specific part would be:

Page 5, E. 3x3 Systems Plan then 1. under that.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

You've provided 2 different answers. First was that the additional part was not covered. Second one was that it was covered. Which is your final opinion?

Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
I didn't provide to different answers.

The answers are the same but conditional.

The contract states that it covers all components and parts . . . .

If they have to replace your AC unit that condenser coil is a component and part.

If you are "upgrading" your AC unit in any way shape or form - they don't have to pay for the upgrades. They just pay for a "like-kind" replacement.


Law Pro, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 23605
Experience: 20 years experience in consumer advocacy, debt collection violations, contracts, construction
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Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
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