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Neighbors help elderly veteran take on home warranty mess

80-year-old veteran waited months for $1,600 refund
Posted at 3:54 PM, Mar 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-23 18:14:52-04

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — The importance of watching out for your neighbors was demonstrated when a Pinellas County couple made a call for action to Jackie Callaway when an elderly veteran needed help with a consumer issue.

When Whitey Rossner’s fridge died last August, neighbor Michael O’Brien said he wanted to help the 80-year-old veteran. O'Brien, who has been friends with Rossner for nearly 30 years, contacted Rossner’s home warranty company.

Multiple calls led to at least two failed repair visits and, O’Brien said, parts that never arrived. This went on for a month before Cinch Home Services offered Rossner $1,600 he could use to purchase a new refrigerator.

Rossner received the offer in an email last September. In the meantime, he bought a mini-fridge and made daily trips to the O’Brien home where he stored his frozen food in their freezer.

“It was difficult for him because he would have to walk back and forth every day,” O’Brien said.

Rossner waited five months for the money from the warranty company to arrive, but O’Brien said the company repeatedly told him that a check had been sent.

Finally, O’Brien’s wife Eileen made a call to ABC Action News.


Cinch Home Warranty told us later in this statement:

“Customer service and satisfaction are a top priority for us. We strive to resolve every claim promptly, and while we understand Mr. Rossner’s frustration, several outside factors contributed to the reported reimbursement delay. 

Our team sent an initial check on October 1st, five days after the customer’s reimbursement was approved; however, the check was delayed due to a discrepancy between the account information on file – as the account was mistakenly opened under Mr. O’Brien’s information - and the details submitted by the customer at the time of the claim filing.

After being informed by Mr. Rossner and Mr. O’Brien that the check did not arrive, our membership promptly reissued payment. After being mailed in December, the reissued payment was then returned by the postal service for unknown reasons and was once again mailed in February after our team confirmed the correct address was on file. 

While the postal delays were out of our control, we are glad that Mr. Rossner has received his reimbursement.” 

According to the postmark, the day after we contacted the company Cinch mailed out Rossner’s check for $1,600.