San Jose, California
Not resolved
12 comments

WRITTEN ON 12/23/07 at 9:21am.

I have always been one to recommend American Home Shield ("AHS") until now. As a Realtor, I have recommended it countless times to buyers and sellers. As a Paralegal, I have told many of my coworkers the importance of home warranty coverage. I have carried the coverage for many years and although I have had a couple of minor complaints, I never had a major issue with AHS....until now.

On 12/3/07 my home heater quit working. I submitted an online service request that morning and on 12/5/07 received a phone call from an AHS repair technician. He visited my home on 12/7/07 and I was told I had a broken blower wheel. Approximately a week after that he stated he installed the blower wheel but then the compressor shorted out. He now had to order the compressor. He told me it could take several days and there was going to be costs that AHS didn't cover that I needed to pay. He said these were "RECLAMATION COSTS" for disposing of the old compressor. I told him that $400 was ridiculous and I would have it disposed of myself. He said he had liability due to the freon involved and it must be disposed of properly so he wouldn't allow me to do it myself. This is true, in the fact that it should be disposed of per EPA guidelines. I contacted 2 other repairman who both told me the customary charge for this is $50. I called the AHS technician and told him that when he installed it, I would have someone licensed to dispose of the compressor meet him, but the AHS technician refused to allow it. I called AHS and told them that I was being taken advantage of but they said until he called in for authorization they couldn't help me. At that time I had already been waiting a week for the compressor to come in so I couldn't understand why they dont' require authorization prior to the repairman ordering the part. I asked them to call him immediately as once the part came in, when he called for authorization, if it included the $400 he told me about then we would have wasted more time for no reason. Keep in mind, I have no heat in my house so it's about 50 degrees in here now. I did spend $50 on a portable heater to keep by my bed. The entire thing is simply crazy.

On December 20th, I retained an attorney who wrote AHS legal counsel regarding my problem. We have not yet heard back from him. At 7:30pm on 12/21/07, an AHS representative called me to tell me the repair technician called in the authorization and that I would have to pay a $400 reclamation fee if I was going to have the compressor installed. I was beyond "pissed" and told her I told AHS 10 days ago I wasn't paying this fee and I was being taken advantage of. I said my house is like a frezzer, its a few days before Xmas and I've been without heat for 3 weeks and now I'm being told I must pay $400, plus my $55 service call fee for something that should really only be the $55 service call fee. I offered to pay my service fee plus $55 for the reclamation fee. I said to her if someone told you the going rate of gas was $15 per gallon when yhou knew it was $3.00 per gallon, would you pay it? She agreed, but she said I had no choice other then to cash out and that would take another person calling me and she couldn't tell me when that would be. No one from AHS has called and today is 12/23/07. However, yesterday, 12/22/07 the repairman called and asked what I wanted to do. I told him I spoke with AHS and that I refused to pay the $400 and it was criminal what they were doing. He said that was his fee, that he didn't make any money off AHS so he had to charge me to make it work for him. I told him I would not pay the $400 when I should only be paying the $55 service call. I offered him $50 for the reclamation fee but he refused. I offered to have my other repairman meet him to properly dispose of the compressor and told him I would sign an Indemnification agreement so that he would have no liability, and he refused this as well. (Note, the contract states that there can be disposal fees not covered by AHS in the fine print but they fail to disclose this when you sign up initially.)

Okay, so come Monday morning I intend to follow my legal counsel's advice and we will be filing complaints with every consumer protection agency we can think of. We'll be starting with the Attorney General's Office.

How many of you are out there who have been in a situation with AHS where you felt if you didn't comply with their demands and come out of pocket beyond your service call fee, that your health may be in jeopardy? Who has felt they have been unjustifiably taken advantage of by AHS and that AHS has breached the implied and written terms of their contract?

I am seriously considering pursuing a class action suit against this company. If you feel you have been harmed by American Home Shield, I want to hear from you. Please email me your story and contact information at hollydjohnson@gmail.com.

Thank you.

Holly Johnson

Product or Service Mentioned: American Home Shield Warranty.

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Anonymous
#460765

My A/C was not working and AHS sent out a tech w/ARS. He condemned the unit and said it was not repairable.

He could not find any markings but it is very old. He took pictures of the outside unit and noted on his paperwork that the coil showed heavy damage and oxidation due to improper maintanence. Also stated compressor has mechanical damage due to high pressure and improperly maintained. I called AHS and claim denied due to intenional damage to fins, inplied someone took a hammer to it.

I denied that happened and requested a second opinion at another expense of $60 to me. Second tech with All Star A/C found a small hole in the copper tubing coming out of the compressor. A loose wire had the insulation melted and arced to puncture *** and lose all the freon. Again claim DENIED.

This time the Script reading Clerk said the wire was not properly secured and was not normal to be eligible for their s coverage. I was so p---ed yesterday but this company does not deserve my patronage and hopefully can cancel the remaining 10 mos. of my policy. Wish I had read these postings sooner.

AMERICAN HOME SHIELD is a scam with all the pretty literature and no follow-thru. Buyer Beware.

Anonymous
#421303

The root of the problem is that AHS is owned by ServiceMaster. And all of the ServiceMaster companies (including TruGreen & Terminix) are very shady in the way that they do business.

They all have a bad record of over-promising & underdelivering.

All of them have multiple complaints filed against them with the BBB and State's Consumer Fraud Protection Divisions. It's just best to steer clear of any company owned by ServiceMaster.

Anonymous
#129688

AHS is a the biggest 'Flim Flammers' on the planet. Don't let those techs in your house!!!

Anonymous
#124651

American Homeshield sent a plumber out several times to fix a leak on my hot water pipe under the house. The plumber used “duck tape” to repair the pipe.

Needless to say, the duck tape didn’t fix the leak. However, Mostly all of our walls cracked and our floors buckled causing costly damages to our home. Our children were sick from mold and my family had to go without hot water in very cold weather. We are suing American Homeshield and the plumber for the damages to our home, health, and living conditions.

While American Homeshield tries their best to get out of being responsible for the damages, they also sent us a letter saying that they are not renewing our contract. Oouuuch! Talk about insult to injury. If you are or used to be a customer or contractor I will be very grateful if I can get a statement from you sent to my email bpsashington@bellsouth.net.

Or call me (251)232-5106. I am especially interested in hearing from any contactors and former American Homeshield employees that can vouch for American Homeshield’s encouragement to make cheap repairs that only puts a temporary band-aid on the problem and their deceptiveness with denying claims that should be covered. Customers that share horror stories like mine and ended up with damage to their homes, I’d love to hear from you as well.

I am not looking for anyone to testify in court, only a true statement. I will also be willing to give my statement to anyone who needs it.

Anonymous
#82370

I see all these complaints and have to wonder why people do not read fine print? A lot of these complaints seem to be people just not reading the entire contract; mainly disposal fees are the issue.

However, some are very legitimate complaints about the service contractors and consumers being taken advantage of. I am an Insurance Agent and I now am questioning selling this item to my clients.

Anonymous
#80102

:( I called AHS because my heat wasn't working on Monday Oct 12. A service person came out on Fri the 16th and said they needed a part and would be back the next week as soon as they were able to get the part.

It is 38 degrees outside. I told the service person that wasn't acceptable. He got upset and stormed away. The next thing I know I get a call from AHS saying that the service person said that I broke a wire and since that is not normal wear and tear it wasn't covered.

Meanwhile I paid them a $60 service fee for nothing. It is now the following monday and no heat, no call, nothing. They basically called me a liar. AHS will squirm their way out of paying any way they can.

How can I have broken a wire? Why would anyone have reason to go into a unit unless it already was not working?

They are criminals!!!!!!!!

If anyone starts another class action suit, I'm all for it. I didn't bother getting involved the last time I got a class action notice about them and am now sorry for it.

Anonymous
#80028

On September 2, 2008 Southwest Pool and Spa Repair, who was handpicked by American Home Shield, came out to my residence in response to a call placed to AHS regarding my pool heater. The service man spent all of about 3 minutes examining the heater. He opened the front cover, looked inside, and told me the heater could not be repaired and he did not think AHS would pay to have it replaced. According to my Service Contract, the pool heater is a covered item under my policy with AHS, and in fact, has been covered for repairs in the past. I asked the repairman why they would refuse to replace the heater if it couldn’t be fixed, his response was, “You’ll have to contact American Home Shield.”

I then called AHS and told them what the repairperson had said. They had no comment other than to state they had not heard from the repair company yet. I told them that I didn’t believe this opinion was right. The pool heater is a covered item under our contract, and as indicated in the agreement, will be replaced if it is deemed non repairable. This is, after all, why we obtained insurance with AHS in the first place. They stated that they would review the claim and get back to me.

AHS contacted me by phone about two days later. They indicated they would not be paying this claim because Southwest Pool and Spa Repair had reported to them that the heater was not repairable due to homeowner neglect. I advised them that I disagreed with their decision and requested a second opinion. They agreed to send out another company to look at the heater.

The second pool company, again hand picked by AHS was Golden West Pool & Spa Repair. Their repairman spent more time examining the heater by taking the top section off and looking inside. He also removed the front panel and checked the electrical wiring inside. After he finished his assessment, he told me the heater would have to be replaced. I asked him if he found anything at all that would lead him to believe the heater was not working due to homeowner neglect. He stated to me that he found no evidence of that, and would contact AHS with his findings.

I waited a couple of days, and then contacted AHS and told them what the second repairman had said. Their response was that Golden West Pool & Spa Repair agreed with Southwest Pool & Spa i.e. that the pool heater was no longer working due to homeowner neglect. I was extremely upset over this complete turnaround by Golden West Pool & Spa; why had they changed their mind? I came to the conclusion that someone was obviously being told what to report to AHS so that this claim could be denied. And obviously others believe as I do.

I told AHS that I believed I was being scammed and that their business practices were very questionable.

I later contacted Golden West Pool & Spa Repair to get an explanation as to why they changed their opinion. Of course they had no comment other than to reiterate that the pool heater needed to be replaced; a job they could do for a bargain price of only $3,000.00. I told them “not only no, but *** no!”

Obviously, I am not the only individual with concerns regarding these questionable business practices by American Home Shield. I have had this service since June of 1996 and have submitted various claims to AHS since that time. I truly believe that if service is needed on a small ticket item, there will be no issue. However, when it comes to high-ticket items such as a pool heater, a heating or cooling system, etc., these claims will be denied. Never once have I been late paying my premium. I went with this service based on its convenience and cost. I ask that this denied claim be reviewed and overturned. I vehemently disagree with the basis for the denial, homeowner neglect. This pool heater is located outside. I live in the desert where it is extremely hot and windy! Please explain to me what I could have done to prevent the pool heater from going out, other than keeping it as clean as possible by regularly vacuuming it to keep it free of dirt, dust, spider webs and insects? In my opinion, it was properly maintained and simply became inoperable due to normal wear and tear. Isn’t that what appliances to, wear out? Isn’t that why we have this coverage?

I received very little paperwork from either company explaing the reason for denial, Why?

The second company, Golden West Pool & Spa didn’t even bother to write up a service invoice. Since nothing was put in writing, it is basically the repairman’s word against mine. I find this even more suspicious.

I hope somethng can be done to force AMC to honor their home warranty contract

Anonymous
#1356635
@Dennis Holder

Our pool heater isn't lighting. Tech came out said it was thermal couple, he'd be back with part next week (after saying we didn't need heater in AZ summer, ....

doesn't matter .... fix it!!!). Tech called said he came out to fix, saw water under heater, and said he wouldn't fix ingnighter due to leak from harsh chemicals. There was water because it had rained!!!!!

Pool is plumbed correctly with chlorinate after heater. His comment was people think chlorine is needed to keep pool clean and leak was due to now over chlorination. Not true, pool is balanced and actually I run chlorine at low to ideal most of time, With PH perfect, and phosphates low which is how you keep algae down. Tech said it went in as chemical issue, not covered , and UHS would call with denial.

No call, no fix, no heater. Tech said he'd fix with new exchanger for 1500 my cost. I can buy one for 1300. Both are crooks....

we bought UHS due to old house and they have replaced AC control board twice, , but anything beyond a quick fix is always denied. Cost of warrant is more than what they actuall will cover. This is not a warranty, it's a prepaid credit card that they will deny warranty if it is more than a simple fix.

No recourse, ..... dissatisfied customer / fraud victim

Anonymous
#23945

We just had a service call from an A/C technician dispatched by AHS. Our personal A/C tech had already looked at it and told us the compressor was out, so when we spoke with the servicing company, we let them know the issue and asked if someone could just swing by to get the info off of the unit and order the part.

They said they couldn't do that, the tech would be out three days later, no exceptions! The tech came out and said if the compressor was bad, he was just going to replace the entire unit ... before he even looked at it. Then he came in and, sure enough, the unit needed to be replaced.

This unit was installed 6 yrs. 9 mos. ago and is a new Puron unit. Then he said we would have to pay $683 out of pocket -- $193 disposal fee, $245 permitting, $200 low voltage conduit (required by state, not city code).

When I questioned each fee, he had some b.s. answer but said we were getting a new unit for $683 which was a pretty good deal. My mom bought a 10 year extended warranty from Carrier, and I said we were going to check with them. We have two warranties, why should we be paying $683, new unit or not, if it's unnecessary.

He hedged, told us AHS would deny the claim if we contacted Carrier and had another warranty and we shouldn't do that. We would wind up with nothing. We signed off on the repair, but 30 minutes later I called and cancelled, wanting the time to speak with Carrier and make sure we needed such an extreme solution to what appeared to be a simple problem. We also have a repair in the works for her dishwasher.

The technician ordered the part three weeks ago (supposedly). I spoke with him yesterday and he said he thought the parts had arrived, but would call when he got back to his shop to confirm and would install them today.

Needless to say, no phone call was forthcoming and he hasn't answered his phone today, I've called six times already! We would definitely be interested in participating in some form of class action payback for both AHS and the repair technicians who are feeding off the desperation of people with no place else to go.

Anonymous
#21485

Holly - AHS is the WORST ever. They ALWAYS say it was installed improperly - they NEVER fix it. The "repair" people show up without tools and know before hand that they will make up an excuse to not fix it.

Anonymous
#15067

Holly, I'm totally with you about American Home Shield. I'm pretty much in the same predicament now but regarding my air conditioning unit.

The contractor they sent out told me that I needed a new evaporator coil and AHS wouldn't approve the charges citing it was a pre-existing condition. I had an independent contractor come out and it was repaired in 3 hours. (Not to mention my contractor discovered that the unit was never even opened to be looked at.) It took AHS and their contractor 16 days to come to a conclusive answer. My family and I was living in 90 degree plus heat in our house.

We had to buy a window unit during that time frame. I asked AHS to pay me back for the window unit, the contractor that I hired, my trade service fee of $60 and a full refund for when I bought the policy since I cancelled it in under 30 days. So far I'm only getting $160 out of $686.

I'm with you on this class action suit. Tell me what I can do.

Anonymous
#10970

Here are some tips: call back and ask to be connected to your local AHS rep. They can help you out, offer personal service and get/clarify questions and answers! If cust service cant, call a realty comp and ask them who the rep is.

AND... ask for a 2nd OPINION!

Also, go online and read the contract! Like all other warranties, see what is and isnt covered. I have WONDERFUL experiences with AHS and WOULD NOT use anything else!

AND...... ask questions?!?!? Be there and be involved (if you can)

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