Local couple’s fridge needs to be fixed, but they have problems with home warranty company

Updated: Oct. 16, 2020 at 6:52 PM EDT
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CHERRYVILLE, N.C. (WBTV) - It’s hard to imagine not having a working refrigerator in your home.

But for Stuart Beam and his wife, they’ve just had to make do with what they have. For over a month, they haven’t been able to get their fridge fixed through their home warranty company, American Home Shield.

“You feel lied to. You think you have a valid contract but you can’t get anywhere with it,” said Stuart Beam.

Beam signed up with American Home Shield warranty company in October 2018.

In August 2020, he noticed his freezer wasn’t working. Beam says he contacted American Home Shield September 2 and says they contacted All Star Appliance to come out on September 10.

“Someone from All Star Appliance came to our house, took a look at our freezer, and said it needed sensors replaced and that’s all it needed and at the time, they said the ice maker was bad,” Beam said.

Beam says, the technician said he would submit the paperwork to American Home Shield. Shortly after that, the fridge stopped working, and Beam emailed All Star Appliance.

He says he was told parts were ordered and All Star Appliance would repair the whole unit.

The problem, according to Beam: “All star appliance has not turned in a work order to American Home Shield for what needs to be done, so American Home Shield is waiting for that and yet no one can get in contact with All Star appliance to complete the work order.”

He says there has been no communication between the two companies. Meanwhile, Beam has been without a fridge or freezer since September.

“It’s frustrating because during this time with the COVID and coronavirus going on, you don’t want to have to go out to eat all the time”

Frustrated, Beam contacted WBTV Investigates.

The Better Business Bureau gives AHS a “B” rating, after documenting over 12,000 complaints.

“That’s just a lot of complaints and most of them are about the same thing that when you submit a claim that you think is going to be covered by the policy that you got, the very first thing you get is a rejection saying no, that’s excluded and here’s why it’s excluded,” Better Business Bureau’s Tom Bartholomy said.

I contacted a spokesperson from American Home Shield to determine why the Beam’s have been waiting for over a month.

“Our team and the company assigned to the Beam’s repair failed to meet our own standards of service – and in doing so, created unnecessary frustration and we sincerely apologize,” the spokesperson said.

They said in September they advised Beam that the parts to repair the refrigerator and freezer had been ordered but were delayed due to COVID-19.

“Our contractor went to Mr. Beam’s home earlier today [Wednesday] to repair the unit. After installing the parts, he found a restriction in the refrigerant line, which he was unable to clear,” the spokesperson said.

After WBTV’s calls, they say they will be replacing the unit and will be reimbursing Beam $300 for temporary refrigeration and his trade service fee.

But, after more than a month of frustration, Beam is still weary that his fridge will actually get fixed.

“Until I can get somebody out here and get the process moving again, I can’t say one way or the other whether it’s going to be resolved or not,” Beam said.

The Better Business Bureau says to always do research on any home warranty coverage before you sign up and stay on the company if it appears that your repairs are not happening in a timely manner.

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