For the past 1.5 months, I have been trying to get HSA Home Warranty to honor its commitment to fix my electrical panel to no avail. As part of the closing on our house, our sellers provided us with a home warranty. For the last few months, half of our electricity would go out for a few minutes at a time. Initially, I called a contractor on my own, and he found that the electrical panel was arching to the point that it the panel/main breaker sparked when you clicked on the circuits. While this electrician recommended a new panel, he tried a less expensive fix by switching out the main breaker on the panel. While it seemed to alleviate some of the concerns with arching and sparking, we continued to have issues where half of our power would go out. It dawned on me that this repair should be covered by my warranty, and I called HSA.
Big mistake. First, HSA told me that the repair was "too expensive," and that I needed to use one of their electricians for a "second opinion." When I called their electrician, he told me that a new panel was so expensive and that a warranty company would never pay for it. This was on the phone before he even set foot in my house, and that was his theme during the entire visit. At one point, after I showed him the charred remains of our old breaker and he looked at the damage on the panel, the HSA electrician told me that it probably would not be a bad idea to replace the whole panel. Then, he backtracked and acted like he never said it. Ultimately, he said the new main breaker (installed by the previous electrician) should have fixed the issue and to call him if it continued to be a problem and he would "try something else" (even though he knew it was still a problem). He then charged me $100 for the service call (even though he did not perform any service). That night, partial power went out again. I called ComEd, who sent somebody out to confirm that there was not a problem on their end. I then called the HSA contractor, who never returned my call.
Instead of shredding my "warranty" and paying for the repairs myself, I complained to HSA. Again, big mistake. Over one week later, HSA tracked down their electrician (who initially failed to follow up) and ultimately closed my claim because this unscrupulous contractor told HSA that he could not find anything wrong with my panel. After speaking with HSA during the next few weeks, they finally relented in sending out another contractor. It took this third electrician approximately 10 minutes to recommend a new panel. After I agreed to pay parts on a new panel (which does not seem right, but I do not have the energy to argue anymore) HSA approved my claim on the following day, which was Friday morning.
However, HSA waited too long. On Friday evening, half of our power went out. Unlike the sporadic nature of the outages during the past few months, it now appears that our power will only resume for brief stretches of time. We have no electricity in the bedrooms where my two year old daughter and my pregnant wife sleep. Our furnace is not running (two months ago, we would be in a hotel). We only have refrigeration by running the cord to a different outlet.
I have called HSA approximately 15-20 times during the past three days. The contractor who they authorized to do the work did not return calls on Friday and Saturday. HSA waited until Saturday evening to declare my situation an "emergency." Although HSA told me that I could pick another contractor, I could not get a contractor to come out on a Sunday. When my emergency contractor called HSA on Monday morning, the HSA representative would not authorize the charges (the panel is arching again...let's hope a fire does not start). She informed me that I had to use HSA's contractor, who was not available until tomorrow. She warned that I would be obligated to pay a "significant" difference if I used my contractor. When I asked her what that difference would be, she was unable to give me an exact amount and said HSA would have to call back after it speaks with the approved contractor. She never called back. Notwithstanding, I had to follow up AGAIN because the HSA contractor told me he was unsure if he was authorized to do the work. Hopefully, this nightmare will be over tomorrow, but I am not so sure.
There has been an obvious issue with our electrical panel for 1+ months. While this is the sort of issue that can lead to a house fire/loss of life, HSA clearly is only concerned about its bottom dollar. Even after declaring it an "emergency" situation, HSA still refused to authorize work. Do not waste your time/effort/money dealing with HSA.