Alert
Close

Top the Trizzle leaderboard by 5 p.m. Friday to win a $100 gift card! Learn more

Technology and Innovation

 

 

Rock Your Finances $50K Give Away Sweepstakes

 

 

AARP-iPad-ePub-app

 

 

Military and Veterans Discount

 

 

AARP Real Possibilities

 

New Book

Dating After 50: How to get back in the game

Dating After 50 For Dummies

Contests and
Sweeps

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

Webinars

Sign up now for an upcoming webinar or find materials from a past session.

 

Home & Community Webinars

Family & Caregiving Webinars

Popular Articles

Viewed

FREE FUN!

AARP Games - Play Now!

Poll: Are You a Real Techie?

On Your Side

Fault Lines in Home Warranties

How to make sure your home warranty is all it's cracked up to be.

Money/On Your Side: Home Warranties

In dealing with company disputes - document everything in writing and seek supporting professional opinions. — Stuart Bradford

The Company: Pulte Homes

The Complaint: "The ceilings keep cracking!"

Ron Levine had just moved into his new dream home in Ashburn, Virginia, in 2008 when a two-foot-long crack appeared in the ceiling of his guest bedroom. He contacted the builder, Pulte Homes, which sent a worker to patch the drywall.

"The crack returned a few months later," Levine wrote to me. "This time it was much worse."

The builder again made repairs. Still, the crack came back, along with new ones. At a community meeting last fall, Levine learned that at least two dozen of his neighbors in the 300-acre adult-living development of Potomac Green had the same problem, and had received the same cosmetic fix, some as many as four times.

Levine and his neighbors, who typically had paid more than $300,000 for their homes, are convinced the problem goes deeper than the drywall—that it may involve roof trusses—and should be covered by Pulte's ten-year structural warranty rather than its one-year warranty on building materials; the company disagrees. Eric Younan, a Pulte spokesperson, told me the company was "working with these homeowners as a courtesy, even though their warranties have expired."

I responded that owners would undoubtedly call a fix for a persistent problem more than a courtesy. Younan replied, "Our standard practice is to take care of our homeowners."

Yet "standard practice" had already failed. I told him the owners needed Pulte's written commitment to fix the problems.

The same day, Younan's supervisor, Caryn Klebba, e-mailed me this statement: "Pulte Homes is committed to...implementing a permanent solution to the cracking which has developed in certain homes."

If you find yourself in a similar situation, document everything in writing, seek supporting professional opinions, and tell your story loud and far. Nothing gets a builder's attention faster than an obstacle to continued sales.

Have a complaint about customer service? Write to Ron.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Grocery Coupon Center

Members can print savings coupons at the Grocery Coupon Center powered by Coupons.com.

AngiesList

Members can save 25% to 45% on their Angie's List membership.

Anna's Linens

Member save 10% every day at Anna's Linens and AnnasLinens.com.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.