Sweltering Heat, Broken AC Compel HomeServe Employees to Advocate for Neighbor in Need

Sweltering Heat, Broken AC Compel HomeServe Employees to Advocate for Neighbor in Need

It was one of the hottest months in one of the hottest summers the Hixson, Tennessee, community had ever seen. Kevin A. and his family had their air conditioning fail around Memorial Day, and they had been waiting patiently for more than six weeks for their home warranty company to sort it out.

But it had gotten hotter, and the work still wasn’t done, despite the $1,500 co-pay Kevin and his family had paid a contractor in the hopes of enjoying cool air in their home again. Days turned into weeks, which turned into more than a month, and the family was still struggling with the high temperatures, with their home reaching up into the 90s when they arrived home after the end of a long workday.

With nowhere else to turn, they went to their local television station and pleaded their case, hoping that someone could help.

That’s when Jonathan Beardsley, a telecommunications engineer out of HomeServe’s Chattanooga Operations Center, saw their appeal.

“I had been following the Amoses’ tribulations on social media, and, when the news article was posted, I sent it over to Andrew Wright, (Senior Vice President of Call Center Operations), and emailed it to (HomeServe CEO) Tom (Rusin). I thought it was a great opportunity to help a local family and public servant.”

Jonathan wasn’t just familiar with Kevin’s story because he’d seen it on the news — he had grown up in the same community Kevin lived in and knew both him and his family.

“I know Kevin from when he was the mall security guard at Northgate Mall in Hixson during my high school days, and then also when I worked at the restaurants there,” he said. “Kevin would come hang out with us sometimes as we closed the restaurants and made sure that folks got to their cars safely.

“Chattanooga has seen some of the hottest temperatures of the summer, with high temperatures hitting 99 degrees that week. I kept thinking about how helpless you would feel in that situation.”

“Kevin and I maintained a friendship on social media, but we lost touch over the years, until a few months ago, shortly before their air conditioner went down. He is currently a Chattanooga City Park ranger, and he has served the community, keeping people safe in the 20-plus years that I have known him.”

Once Andrew Wright, SVP of Operations, was made aware of the situation, he was immediately struck by the difficult spot the family found themselves in.

“Initially I thought about how hot it had been the past few days,” Andrew said. “Chattanooga has seen some of the hottest temperatures of the summer, with high temperatures hitting 99 degrees that week. I kept thinking about how helpless you would feel in that situation.”

Andrew knew that HomeServe, a leading provider of emergency home repair plans, could assist Kevin and his family and he enlisted the help of the HomeServe Cares Foundation. The Foundation offers pro bono home repairs to qualifying homeowners facing repairs that impact safety, sanitation and quality of life, among other community outreach efforts.

Tamara Gross, a customer experience specialist at the Chattanooga Center, was put on the case to see what the Foundation could do for Kevin and his family.

“I was excited to see a job close to home – I lived in Hixson for eight years,” she said. “I had watched the story and thought about how I would feel if this happened to me. When I spoke with Kevin, he was very grateful, and, after hearing him talk about the situation, I was upset for him and his wife.”

Elite Air Maintenance, a HomeServe network contractor, was dispatched to assess the situation and determine what needed to be done. Unfortunately, Kevin’s three-ton air conditioning unit – a unit more difficult to source than most – needed to be replaced. Even with Elite discounting their services, the cost to purchase and install a new unit was more than $5,300.

“As I’m sure you might guess, a sizable out-of-pocket expense can be crippling to a family in strained times,” Andrew said.

However, the Foundation agreed to cover the cost for Kevin and his family after nearly half the summer of waiting and sweltering.

“I was thrilled and grateful for this answer to many prayers,” Jonathan said. “I am proud to work for a company that is willing to jump at a moment’s notice to help when a need arises. Leadership expressed very genuine concern over Kevin and his family’s well-being. It’s not something the company is obligated or required to do, so it makes it that much more special. Being good people is always good business.”

“I am proud to work at HomeServe and have always loved my job,” Tammy said. “But working with the Foundation has shown me that HomeServe cares about the customers and employees and has a caring heart for everyone.”

“It is an incredible moment of pride for the company we call our ‘work home,’” Andrew said. “As many know, we employ a fair number of people who call Hixson and the surrounding area home and to know we rose to the occasion to help someone in our own community, that was awesome. As a relatively new employee, I have read about HomeServe Cares, but experiencing it in your own backyard brings a whole new perspective. Knowing that we will be the topic of conversations at dinner table for Kevin and his family makes you smile a bit and appreciate all the good we do as a team.”

As for Kevin, he had this to say, “I wanted to say a big thank you to your company and to all the people who made this possible.”

Published August 19, 2022

HomeServe USA