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Home warranty company not providing results homeowner expects

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PRAIRIEVILLE - A homeowner with a home warranty can't seem to get her air conditioner fixed. It's been out for two weeks and inside her home it's north of 80 degrees.

Dawn Sorapuru thought getting a home warranty through American Home Shield would protect her, but instead she says it's hurting her. She pays a monthly warranty premium of $47 each month and expects results.

Multiple fans, portable A/C units and window units are blowing on full blast around the Prairieville house. Earlier this month, Sorapuru called American Home Shield about a problem with her A/C and a technician from Total Air Care visited her home.

"The first time they said that the coils on my condenser were dirty so they sprayed it off with a water hose," she said.

She paid the initial warranty fee of $75 during that first visit, but says the problem was not fixed. Another Total Air Care technician came out and replaced a weak capacitor. Sorapuru says the air conditioning still was not working properly after that. A third visit from a technician could not produce a issue. The fourth time, a veteran tech visited the home and reported there was a floating restriction inside the unit. The tech suggested the refrigerant be pulled out, the unit cleaned and the freon replaced.

"Do this massive amount of work and replace the freon, which would be $800," said Sorapuru.

The home warranty, only covers $10 per pound of freon. The rest, is on the homeowner. Frustrated, Sorapuru called to get a second opinion. A serviceman from another company says the A/C needs a new motor and the part should be delivered within four business days.

President of Total Air Care, Mike Niquette tells 2 On Your Side Sorapuru's air conditioning unit is experiencing intermittent issues and occasionally, it takes more than one time to determine the problem.

American Home Shield is a national company. The Better Business Bureau gives it a B grade. Over the past three years, the company has had over 8,000 customer complaints, many of which have been resolved, according the the company.

Jim Stalls, CEO of the Baton Rouge BBB branch suggests people do their homeowner prior to signing a contract with a home warranty company.

"Understand that the warranty may not automatically replace any problem, you know air conditioners, washer, dryer, whatever the case may be," said Stalls.

Read the contract, in addition to reviews online and research companies the home warranty company contracts to do the work.

Sorapuru says her only air conditioning and heating repair company option under the warranty is Total Air Care. She tells WBRZ she will be canceling her contract with American Home Shield.

"It's not worth it," she said.

Calls to American Home Shield were not returned.


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