Harlingen Man Wants Heating System Fixed to Avoid Getting Sick
HARLINGEN – An 84-year-old Rio Grande Valley man wants the heating unit in his home fixed. He says he suffered through some cold nights this past winter.
Pedro Pena lives off a monthly Social Security check. He says, at his age, he needs to stay warm to avoid getting ill.
"You have a hard time reaching a house, then you finally finish paying it. That's the best thing you can have," he says.
Pena says when an A/C unit he bought in 2008 started not to work, he took matters into his own hands.
"The thermostat said, 'Call the dealer,'" he notes.
He called the company he purchased the unit from. A worker showed up right away and said there was a problem with the fan blower and it needed to be replaced.
Pena said he showed the worker his paperwork showing what he believed was a warranty for 10 years on parts.
"He checked if I had any warranty. And he called the main office and they said I didn't have it. Then I asked how much it was going to be and later on he told me it was going to be $750," he says.
Pena tells us he's upset about learning he didn't have a valid warranty. He says both he and his daughter have called the company to find out why his unit isn't covered.
He tells CHANNEL 5 NEWS the administrative assistant continues to tell him he doesn't have a warranty.
Meanwhile, Pena has been using a space heater and blankets to stay warm on cold nights. He says he just wants the heating system fixed but he cannot afford the price of the part, as well as labor fees.
"Maybe they could. I could pay for the labor and they can get the part or some of the part," he suggests.
We reached out to the company he purchased the unit from, CAHS Inc. of Harlingen, to see if Pena can get the part under warranty.
One of its managers, Ken Blouch, spoke with us in an off-camera interview. He says the 10-year warranty Pena had when he purchased the unit was with its manufacturer.
Blouch tells us there is no record of Pena ever registering the unit with the manufacturer. He says according to policy, an unregistered product only has a 5-year parts warranty.
He adds Pena could have purchased a separate 10-year parts warranty with CAHS back in 2008 for $450 and chose not to.
But Blouch says he understands Pena's concern, and neither the manufacturer Carrier nor CAHS wants to leave him out in the cold.
He says Pena can go to his Harlingen office with the paperwork and could negotiate a deal.
Pena and his daughter tell us they are happy CAHS is willing to negotiate in person. They say they plan to stop by the office on Thursday to see if they can make a deal to get the replacement fan blower.
The Federal Trade Commission says it is up to you the consumer to take steps in order to prevent warranty problems.
The FTC recommends reading the warranty top to bottom before you make any purchase and keep a copy for your records. The agency also suggests saving your receipt and filing it with the warranty.
Another tip from the government agency is to perform required maintenance and inspections on the product under warranty.
They add you should always use your product according to the manufacturer's instructions as any abuse or misuse may void your warranty coverage.