I purchased a 4-year extended service warranty from Home Depot Expo when I purchased my wall oven in 2004. The contract was with GE-Zurich Warranty Management, Inc.
On January 31, 2008, I called to request service on the wall oven which was not heating properly.
GE-Service did not have an up-to-date list of local appliance repair companies that would service my Gaggenau oven. Within 36 hours they called me back with the name of two companies, only one of which was willing to work with GE-Zurich Warranty (hmmmmm- I wonder why?).
The diagnosis was the need for a new temperature sensor. The serviceman said he would order it, and would come back to install it. The appliance company called GE-Zurich for authorization to buy the part and install it. GE-Zurich refused to cover the labor to install the part. They claimed the wall oven was "not accessible" for the serviceman to replace the sensor.
The sensor is located at the back of the wall oven. To install the sensor the wall oven must be slid out of the cabinet. This has been done before by repairman, however to GE-Zurich this oven is not accessible. They required we pay to have the oven removed from the cabinet so it will be accessible to their repairman, and then it is our liability to have it moved back into the cabinet.
We live in a "cookie-cutter" tract home with a typically installed wall oven. It is accessible for me to use, and I invited the repairman into my kitchen, and gave him full rights to determine the problem. An authorized service repairman is supposedly trained to work on the "ins and outs" of common appliances. While the serviceman said he could slide it out of the cabinet, it was heavy and he would need a helper. GE refused to allow for a helper (ooops! Workers Comp issues!)
I complained to the GE service repair representative. He forwarded me to an out-of-state customer service person, Darryl, who only told me my oven was not accessible and was not willing to even discuss what "accessible" meant. I requested I be forwarded to his manager. After 20 minutes on hold, Linnae told me if I would have read the agreement section 13 (Consumer's Promises and Assurances) I would have seen the statement "[I] promised and assure accessibility of the covered product." There was no definition of accessibility. She was not able to give me a relevant definition of how their service contract used the word "accessible."
I called both the California Department of Consumer Affairs and the Dept. of Insurance. GE-Zurich is a self-insured company (i.e. always trying to save money!!! no surprise!) and they are not regulated by insurance law. They can do anything they want. My recourse is to go to small claims court, cancel my current agreement, and spread the bad word about their unreasonable and capricious interpretation of a "service agreement."
Lesson learned: next time I will use a state regulated home protection company rather than the industry bully, GE-Zurich.
San Diego, California