Even Bestselling Authors Aren’t Immune From Shoddy Home Depot Warranty Repair Work

The authors claim a botched dishwasher repair job will cost $20,000. (Ilona-Andrews.com)

The authors claim a botched
dishwasher repair job will cost $20,000. (Ilona-Andrews.com)

In spite of the completely nonexistent rumor that making the NY Times bestseller list grants an author access to a level of customer service reserved for elite celebrities, it turns out that no one is immune to a bad repair job that can ultimately result in $20,000 worth of damage.

Author Ilona Andrews — who is actually the husband and wife team of Ilona and Andrew Gordon — have detailed their ongoing ordeal with Home Depot’s warranty department on their personal blog.

The couple bought the GE dishwasher back in July 2011 and then say it crapped out on them after about 18 months, shortly before Christmas 2012.

The tech said it needed a new pump but that the extended warranty they purchased from Home Depot should cover it.

They then waited more than two weeks for someone actually show up and do the repair. When it was done, the tech warned them it might leak a little at first and to put down a towel just in case.

After running the dishwasher twice in the days that followed, they noticed that water seemed to be coming up from under the laminate flooring in the kitchen, doing thousands of dollars in damage.

The Gordons claim that the repair tech, from a third-party company contracted by Home Depot, failed to properly replace the dishwasher’s flood guard when he replaced the motor.

They write:

Flooded floor resulted in damage to the lower run of cabinets, which means lower cabinets and the island must be replaced. Unfortunately these cabinets, while of good quality, are older and made in a style that can’t be readily matched. That means we also have to replace the upper cabinets. The flooded floor resulted in damage to wallpaper – I had no idea the kitchen was wallpapered, I though they sponged those ugly colors on – which means we need to repaint it. The baseboards are gone. So is the floor. We decided to tile the floor, because we don’t want to be flooded like that again, and since the foyer has tile, which again can’t be matched, we have to rip up floor in the foyer and re-tile it. You get the picture.

You can see plenty of pictures of the kitchen being ripped up here.

Their insurance company, Allstate, paid out $11,000 for the damage. The Gordons went into their own pocket for the $2,500 cost to dry the kitchen out.

They figure they need around another $10,000 just to replace the bare minimum of what was lost because of the botched repair.

“I don’t expect Home Depot to buy us a brand-new kitchen or to compensate us for the huge amount of work time we lost as a result of this disaster,” writes Ilona. “I expect them to pay for the dry-out bill and to compensate us the difference between what insurance company is paying us and what it will actually cost to return the kitchen back to its functional state. The chances of that happening are zero.”

She puts the blame squarely on Home Depot, which she claims doesn’t care about the contractors it hires to perform warranty repairs.

“The contractor who caused damage to our kitchen by improperly repairing the dishwasher has an abysmal rating on yelp,” she writes. “If the contractor screws up or causes damage to your house, Home Depot Extended Warranty department will tell you they are not liable for damages. I asked the manager point-blank on the phone, ‘If a contractor comes out to repair my house and burns it down, you are not liable for any damages?’ He said, ‘That’s right.'”

She also accuses Home Depot of trying to pass the buck to GE, the dishwasher’s manufacturer. But her view is that GE isn’t responsible because GE didn’t hire the contractor that screwed up the repair.

“Our contract is with Home Depot,” explains Ilona. “It is now cheaper for us to just pay the money, than to waste more time trying to get Home Depot and [the contractor] to take responsibility for this matter.”