ED Magedson – Founder
Nationwide Home Warranty - James Porter CEOInternet, New York United States of America
I purchased this home in June of 2007. My water heater was inspected by my home inspector, and pronounced operationally sound.
On December 28th, 2009, I noted water on the floor and in the pan surrounding my water heater. I shut power to the water heater off at the circuit breaker, and began diagnosing the problem. I discovered water running down the side of the water heater, and pulled some of the outside paneling loose, to see where the leak had sprung from.
I then noted that there was a weld that appeared to have torn, due to age, on the side of the tank. There was no outward appearance of damage, and I had to go far beyond typical observation to discover the leak. I had to pry the outside cover, and the insulation, off the tank to see it.
The water heater had a manufacture date of 1995, and presumably was installed sometime that year or the next.
I was confident, that because I have been a homeowner for 15 years, and I routinely do much of my own maintenance around the house, INCLUDING flushing my water heater twice per year, that my home warranty with Nationwide would cover the replacement cost of the water heater.
My wife contacted Nationwide last evening, and the person taking the information insisted that we would receive a phone call or an email within a few hours. A few hours later, I called Nationwide, to let them know that I hadnt received my call back, nor an email. There was no answer. This morning, I contacted Nationwide to check the status, only to find that the contract we had purchased (for the second year at $324.22) in June had never been signedso nothing had been done on my claim. After spending 20 minutes or so, speaking to an exceptionally pleasant lady named Crystal, we finally got that issue settled. A short time later, I received an email stating that a plumber had been contacted, and I could call him to come and check the water heater out.
I called him, and spoke to him about the warranty, and he said he would come right over, but that he would require full payment after authorization from Nationwide, and that Nationwide would need to reimburse me, rather than him. I again contacted Nationwide to confirm such an arrangement was acceptable and was told that as long as we paid the $60 service call fee, that it would be acceptable.
Shortly thereafter, the plumber arrived, and confirmed that the side weld on the tank, did indeed tear open, and that routine maintenance could not have detected, nor prevented it, as the tank was expected to have a service life of around six years, and the fact that it was still working was a credit to my routine maintenance.
I drain and flush my water heater every January, and every June. I installed a water softener and whole house water filter in a further attempt to prevent plumbing problems due to minerals in municipal water supplies.
The plumber left, after speaking to Nationwide, and we were confident that my water heater would be replaced, and that Nationwide would at least pay part of the expected and reasonable $550.00 replacement and installation costs.
When I hadnt heard anything within a few hours, I AGAIN contacted Nationwide, only to be told that I needed to provide maintenance records. At first, I found it laughable. Who actually keeps maintenance records on their water heater? Then I found out that the telephone representative was being serious. When I suggested that I could document my maintenance on the water heater, I was told that that would not be acceptable, as it must be performed by a professional. A professional WHAT, I asked. I was told that MANY people provide maintenance records showing that their water heater is actually flushed out by a plumber. Who actually contacts a plumber or contractor to actually perform routine, homeowner responsible maintenance? If my furnace were to break, would they need records showing that a professional came in and changed the air filters every 90 days? I maintain my own automobile, and simply write down the dates and mileages of my oil changeseven automobile dealerships and manufacturers accept my personal records. Though I never thought to document when I flush the radiator in my car, any more that I thought to document routine maintenance on my water heater.
Had I known that "maintenance records" were required, and that Nationwide would find excuses to refuse payment at every turn, I would simply have paid the man to bring the water heater TODAY instead of having to wait an additional 24 hours (AT LEAST) for Nationwide to make a decision.
My 15 year old water heater, which has performed admirably for two and one half times its expected service life, failed. Not something like simply stopped working, but actually burst a seam. I spent $324.22 last year and $324.22 this year, on a home warranty, that I havent usedever. I spent $60, to satisfy my requirement with Nationwides policy on service calls. My water heater is broken. I have a house with five people living in it, who are unable to shower.
I am a disabled vet, on a very limited income, simply wanting a company to live up THEIR side of a contract. The contract says "maintenance records", NOT "professional maintenance records".
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/31/2009 07:41 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/nationwide-home-warranty-james-porter-ceo/internet-new-york-/warranty-companiesnationwide-home-warrnationwide-home-warranty-ja-28a46htm-548274. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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