GERMANTOWN, Tenn. — As she walks down the stairs of her Germantown townhome dressed in gloves and a puffer vest, you might think Linda Lambert, 81, is preparing to go outside.
Unfortunately, she’s just trying to stay comfortable inside her home, where she’s had no heat since November.
When Lambert’s gas furnace stopped working, she called her home warranty company First American right away.
She pays $58 a month for their premier warranty service and pay an additional $80 for each service call.
First American sent out a contractor, but she said the service she got was disappointing.
At first, they couldn’t decide who was right for the job.
“Then the electrician came and said, ‘Oh no, this is an HVAC problem.’ It went back and forth,” she said.
The issues continued for months; a furnace shipped by First American to the installer got lost in the mail and another one was the wrong kind.
“It was, in fact, a gas furnace. This whole area is all electric,” she said. “It’s back to the home warranty company. Then back to the HVAC company. I’m worn out and I’m cold. It’s cold in here.”
Four months later, Lambert was still without heat in her downstairs. She had to leave during certain periods in winter when temperatures dropped too low, like when the Mid-South had single-digit temperatures for several days around Christmas.
“I can come down five steps on the stairs and it just hits me in the face. The banister is like ice,” she said as she held back tears.
It’s taking a toll. She said the stress caused blood pressure problems, which her doctor noticed at a recent appointment. He made a call to a friend, the owner of Highfill HVAC in Atoka, who then called the WREG Problem Solvers.
The Problem Solvers found First American Home Warranty has a B rating with the Better Business Bureau. In nearly 5,000 complaints closed over the last three years, many customers said they faced major delays in getting a response from the company.
The Problem Solvers asked First American about Ms. Lambert’s situation.
They responded with the following statement: “The initial service our valued customer received did not meet our standards. We have contacted this customer today and are working towards an appropriate resolution.”
Rather than stick with First American’s original heating contractor, the company let Lambert use Highfill HVAC to install.
A day later, crews finally put in a new furnace at Lambert’s home.
“Call Channel 3, get them on it because they will see something gets done. This is what’s happened!” Lambert said.
Lambert says she’s relieved her problem is now solved and she’s learned a lesson.
“I will change home warranty companies,” she said.
► Got a problem? Contact WREG Problem Solver Stacy Jacobson at 901-543-2334 or firstname.lastname@example.org