Thursday, December 18, 2008

Costly stupidity

When we bought our house, we managed to get a home warranty as part of the deal. I don't know if it was originally meant to be included or not, but we put it in the contract and they signed it, so there you go.

The problem is, this home warranty has sucked so far. The only things that we have had issues with (luckily) are the icemaker in the freezer, and a faucet outside that has started to drip. We called the home warranty company, and they don't cover either of those things. "But wait!" I said. "It says here you cover refrigerators and freezers!". "It's true," said the lady, "but the icemaker is not essential to the functioning of the refrigerator or freezer so that part of the freezer is not covered". And the faucet is not covered because it is outside of the walls of our house. Nevermind it's technically ON the wall and is definitely attached to plumbing that is inside the house. I wanted to dump a bucket of ice on her head, but I didn't have any on hand. Luckily our fantastic real estate agent felt badly that she had led us to believe that the icemaker was covered so she paid to have it fixed :-)

Then, one day, my favorite burner on the stove stopped working. It would get warm, but not hot enough to cook anything. It's a glass-top stove, so it's not as simple as just buying a new element like with a regular stove. I called the home warranty company, and it turns out it was covered! However we would still be responsible for a $100 deductible. Bastards. But my grandmother told me it cost her $250 to get hers fixed, so I figured we'd at least get some coverage out of the warranty.

Well the (rude and smelly) repairman showed up yesterday, took one look at the stove and said "I'll bet it's this switch". Turns out our stove has an incredibly helpful little switch that, when turned on, limits the temperature of the front burner to simmering. I must've bumped it while cleaning or something, and that explains why it stopped working overnight, and why it was still getting warm but not hot.

I was so excited to get some use out of our home warranty that I hadn't even really taken a look at the stove myself before calling them. I'd like to think that had I bothered to poke around a bit I would've realized the problem. And WHY ON EARTH do you even NEED a stupid switch like that anyway?

So the (nasty and sarcastic) repairman charged me $73 to "fix" a stove that wasn't broken. It's less than $100 so we're responsible for all of it, and I am incredibly pissed. I'm pissed at the sleazy repairman for being such a jerk that he charged us $73 for flipping a switch. I understand the whole "trip charge" idea, but he admitted he had two other calls in the area today so given the circumstances I would think he could find it in his heart to give me a discount or something. I'm pissed that the home warranty in effect cost me $73 because I feel like I would've taken a look at it and realized the problem if I hadn't thought to myself "Don't worry about it, it's covered under the warranty and they'll send someone to fix it". But mostly I'm pissed at myself for being so stupid.

If I sound like I'm still inordinately irritated considering this happened over 24 hours ago, it's because I was just recently frustrated by something entirely different. The people who painted this house saw fit to lay a thick layer of paint over every door hinge. This wouldn't be a problem, except for the fact that Will gets up an hour before I do, and spends half an hour opening doors. He opens the bedroom door to get out. He opens the door to the laundry room to let the dogs out. He opens the pantry door to get out his cereal. Sometimes he opens the powder room door or the door to the garage. He definitely opens the front door several times. And every single door in our house emits a high-pitched nerve-shattering squeal every time it moves. I figured I'd take matters into my own hands and oil the doors tonight so that I could enjoy a blissful hour of uninterrupted sleep tomorrow morning. Well, each hinge is covered with paint, so you can't get any oil into them as they are. I've tried sticking a nail under the hinge pin and hammering it up, but the paint holds it tight and it's an awkward enough angle that I don't feel comfortable hammering with ALL my strength to get them out. I pried at them with a screwdriver, same problem. The paint keeps me from being able to get the tip in there. So instead of sleeping peacefully tomorrow, I will once again be treated to the screaming symphony of un-oilable doors with no solution in sight.

Any suggestions? For the squeaky doors I mean...I'm afraid my stupidity is beyond help.

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