My home warranty nightmare

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Editor's note: Robert Bruss is temporarily away. The following column from Bruss' "Best of" collection first appeared Sunday, June 11, 2006. DEAR BOB: About four months ago we bought our first home. It was built around 1930 in a very charming, older neighborhood with great schools for our two kids. Although we probably bought the cheapest home in the first-class school district, we are glad we did. However, we have a big problem with our home warranty company. Our home seller paid for a one-year home warranty policy, which we understand cost her around $450. Within a week or two, the furnace gave off a bad odor. We phoned the home warranty company, which sent a repairman the next day. He said the furnace was in very bad condition and gave us a written warning not to operate it. Because the weather was cold, we had to act quickly. We expected the home warranty company to either fix the furnace or install a new one. But the warranty company denied liability since...