Pigeon Forge couple struggles to contact home warranty company

PIGEON FORGE (WATE) – Many people buy a warranty plan when they move into an older home to give them peace of mind. That way, if an expensive appliance or air conditioner goes bad, the warranty will pick up the repair cost.

That is what a couple in Pigeon Forge expected, but Denise and Marvin Crockett tried to get in touch with the warranty company, Guarantee Home Warranty in Morristown, several times and never got a response. The business offers a one-year service contract, which according to its advertisement, includes the cost of unexpected repairs or replacement of major systems and appliances.

The Crocketts’ new home was covered under Guaranteed Home Warranty, or so they thought.

Denise Crockett believed she would get a lot of use out of her dishwasher and their microwave oven when she and husband bought the 25 year old, five-bedroom, 4,000 square foot house last September. As a safety net, they purchased a one year warranty plan with Guaranteed Home Warranty of Morristown. It was the dishwasher that first gave them trouble.

“I have to use hot water. I have to hook it to the hot water. It won’t heat the water itself, like it is supposed to. And it doesn’t do the dry cycle. The dishes stay wet like this. I have to dry everything before I put them away,” she said as she described what is wrong with the dishwasher.

The Crocketts had trouble with their dishwasher.

Denise Crockett says the handle to her microwave came off two months after they moved in. The bottom half was poorly glued.

The couple also has a plumbing problem in their utility room.

“This pipe comes from my daughter’s bathroom. The water is supposed to go straight down and this is supposed to be a vent, but water leaks from it. We have a bucket down here to catch the water. If we don’t have the bucket down here, then this whole floor will flood,” Denise Crockett said.

“These are little things. They’re not big life changing events. We understand that, but we have a home warranty to fix these things. The way it is right now, we can’t get any results from it,” said Marvin Crockett.

Outside are two heating and air units. The big one is in good shape, but the smaller, older unit is troublesome.

“During the winter the downstairs was not heating well. I called and I tried to get someone to look at it. I filled out a form online. I couldn’t get any response,” said Denise Crockett.

Their one year plan with Guaranteed Home Warranty cost $700.

“We have a platinum plan that covers everything: appliances, the air conditioning, plumbing, and other incidentals that may happen around the home,” said Marvin Crockett.

“I expect them to come out and look at it and tell me why they can’t fix it,” said Denise Crockett.

WATE 6 On Your Side left a message with Gary Hardin II, the president of Guaranteed Home Warranty, asking him to explain what the delay has been in responding to the Crocketts’ text messages and calls. One day after their interview, Denise Crockett says Gary Hardin called and said his warranty company went out of business in February. He said, “We sent out notices. You should have been notified.”

Hardin called WATE 6 On Your Side and said he never received any online information from the Crocketts. He wondered if they had filled it out properly. Checking his phone records, Hardin said the Crocketts called in February, then in May, but didn’t leave their names, but only their phone numbers.

Finally, Hardin said his company would have responded if given the correct information. He said he’s now going to try to make things right because he said, “we want to make our former customers happy.”

Hardin has told the Crocketts he’s sending a heating and air technician to look at their unit and will also send an appliance repairman to examine their dishwasher. The Crocketts are pleased their warranty is being honored.

Hardin says he has done nothing wrong and if he had known about the couple’s issues, he would have gotten in touch with them. He said he didn’t know why the Crocketts didn’t know his business had closed. He said he apologized to the Crocketts and will be honoring the warranty, even though his company is out of business.

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