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I have discovered how aggrieved homeowners can turn the tables on home warranty companies and beat them at their own game. Please share this with everyone you know.

I’m an attorney and after having a problem with my home warranty company, American Home Shield, I decided to investigate whether other homeowners had experienced the same or a similar problem. What I found were web sites devoted to consumer complaints on which numerous homeowners had recounted incidents of fraud, deception, and rip-offs by their home warranty company. I also found a blog written by a former American Home Shield employee and another written by a former plumber for a home warranty company. Both recounted situations that would not pass the “smell test” in a court of law.

I also investigated lawsuits that had been filed against American Home Shield in Georgia, which is where I live. I found about 15 cases. The majority of cases had been filed in small claims court. As I reviewed the cases, I discovered that none of the cases had been litigated. In every instance, the case had been settled to the Plaintiff’s satisfaction although the details of each settlement were not part of the case file. With the knowledge that all cases had been settled to the homeowners’ satisfaction, I realized that American Home Shield would settle with an aggrieved homeowner before allowing a case to go to trial. My conclusion is that the only thing aggrieved homeowners need to do to beat home warranty companies at their own game is to file suit. The last thing American Home Shield wants to do is litigate a homeowner’s claim and the reasons are obvious to me.

The most obvious reason American Home Shield would not want to litigate a claim is that in most instances, the cost to American Home Shield to settle a claim would be less than the cost to litigate. The average amount of a claim in the cases I found was $3,800.00. Two were for less than $1,000.00 and only one was for more than $10,000.00. I’m sure far more than the 15 homeowners who have filed lawsuits in Georgia have had their claims denied. American Home Shield wins when a claim is denied and the homeowner does not sue, which is exactly what American Home Shield is counting on homeowners not doing.

Another reason American Home Shield does not want to litigate is because the company does not want to have to defend its craftily drafted contract or its questionable business practices, which is exactly what it would have to do if a case went to trial. American Home Shield also does not want such information to become public knowledge, which is also likely to happen. Additionally, a judge or a jury would also be hard pressed to return a verdict favorable to a company that engages in questionable business practices.

The final reason American Home Shield does not want to litigate is because a lawsuit actually places American Home Shield in a precarious situation. American Home Shield would have a difficult time defending any claim by a homeowner because the company has no first hand knowledge about the claim; it would need the testimony of the service contractor who, for its own reasons, may be less than eager to testify. The only knowledge American Home Shield has is what the company has been told by the service contractor. And any testimony from American Home Shield about what it was told by the service contractor is hearsay and not admissible in court.

To defend a claim, American Home Shield would need to subpoena the service contractor who actually made the diagnosis to testify about the claim. If the homeowner has done his/her homework, he/she would subpoena witnesses who could dispute the witnesses for American Home Shield. The homeowner should subpoena one or more service companies who had been called either for a second opinion or to make the actual repairs to dispute the testimony of the American Home Shield service contractor. The homeowner might also consider locating one or more other aggrieved homeowners to testify about their problem with American Home Shield. Another good witnesses for the homeowner to subpoena would be a former service contractor for the home warranty company or a former employee of a service contractor.

Since American Home Shield has at least three significant reasons why it does not want to litigate, the best and easiest way an aggrieved homeowner can beat American Home Shield at their own game (and most likely any other home warranty company) is to file suit. The one thing for an aggrieved homeowner to keep in mind is that if he/she does not sue, the home warranty company will win. But if he/she sues, the homeowner will most likely win. And that is how an aggrieved homeowner can beat American Home Shield at their own game.

My advice to aggrieved homeowners is not to stress over a denied claim, the denial of a situation as an emergency, repeated “band-aid repairs,” or a delay in authorization or in the repair of an item. I would also advise a homeowner not to waste time arguing with American Home Shield but to set a reasonable deadline for the appropriate action. Upon expiration of the deadline without receiving satisfaction from American Home Shield, the homeowner should then proceed as if they did not have a home warranty and then sue American Home Shield for reimbursement. The homeowner should also remember to document every action or inaction by both himself/herself and American Home Shield. Although the disadvantage to the homeowner is initially having to pay for the repairs, the advantage is that the homeowner can choose the service contractor and the brands and quality of products. I won’t guarantee all aggrieved homeowners will prevail every time but I have good reason to believe most aggrieved homeowners will prevail the majority of time.

For aggrieved homeowners whose claims were denied at sometime in the past, you may still be able to sue for reimbursement. To make that determination, the homeowner needs to research the statute of limitation for suing on a contract in their state. In any event, a homeowner should be safe filing suit for a claim that was denied during the past twelve (12) months.

Within the next six months, instead of reading homeowner’s stories about being scammed and ripped off by their home warranty company, I want to read stories about how homeowners turned the tables and beat their home warranty company at their own game.

If anyone has any questions, I can be contacted at LegalCohen@aol.com.

Good luck.

Review about: American Home Shield Warranty.

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Anonymous
#1556691

I appreciate the factors. I have American Home Shield and they denied my claim for my main water turnoff by saying the plumbing was outside of my home. The main plumbing is inside so are they right to refuse to replace the outside turnoff even though it does come through the inside wall to the outside?

Anonymous
#1554743

AHS refused 2 claims to repair and it has mounted to thousands of dollars for my home owners insurance. They always say its not covered under warranty. My policy does cover it, but I do not have their subsections they quote in the policy they gave me.

Anonymous
#1510921

It's not a "game" and you're not "beating" anyone by collecting your contractual due and proper. You're correct to specify the need for thorough documentation , not a bunch of useless telephone calls.

Most folk mistake "home warranty" for factory or manufacturer's warranty when a more correct comparison would be insurance company. They will only restore your situation to the way it was moments before the failure after approval from the twin departments of Delay and Deny.

Anonymous
#1508941

what about intentional tort for damages caused by dilatory send ing repairmen after several mounths.waiting to offer settlement for small dollars if te wait caused the refrigerator to rust and the floor hardwood damage and the cabinet ajoining water damage along with food lost and inconvenience of several mos with refrigeretor.

Anonymous
#1496049

How to I get in touch with this attorney?

ShakySumatranTiger
to Andriette #1580247

Let me know too hopesuggs4@gmail.com

Anonymous
#1428515

Knock, knock, knock. Who's there?

It's the refrigerator. Refrigerator who? The same one that AHS said they repaired, twice.

How about a class action?

0 replies 0 retweets 0 likes

Anonymous
#1420489

How can you if your contract states that you have to oarticipate in arbitation procedings?

Anonymous
to Sharon #1540148

Saw that too. It says Mandatory Arbitration.

But, they probably have no way to properly attend to so just settle as described?

If you go to AAA it cost $750 just to file. Nice way to ensure few folks sue.

Anonymous
#1403815

I have made 14 phone calls and had out two AHS HVAC companies since June 2017...it is now December 2017... I'm tired, they have worn me down (which I'm certain is their M.O.) and I realize I can't fight them on my own.

I am very seriously considering filing a class action lawsuit and have started researching the process. If you are interested or have some guidance, it would be very much appreciated.

Anonymous
to Charmin Ortega #1513639

dealing with the exact same situation on my end. spend almost 20 hours on phone with representative and still waiting for HVAC to be repaired. I ended up replacing the whole thing myself because my property management company dropped me and tenant refused to pay their rent because we have no AC and the outside temp was well over 100F.

Anonymous
#1390653

American Home Shield Home Warranty charged my credit card $75 for Non Covered services. I put in a request for plumbing (HOSE bib leak).

The plumbing services, Neighborhood Plumber & Rooter Inc. Came out and just informed me that it is not covered because the HOSE bib is coming out of the ground and not connected to the house and left. I did not sign anything. The contract does not say it should be attached to the house or come out of the ground.

I am so dissapointed. Not Truthful.

Anonymous
to Fatima Joonoos #1420490

I just got my hose bib repair denied and it IS attached to the house. The plumber told me they told him it wasn't covered because it's OUTSIDE!!! The also denied all of my indoor plumbing repairs saying that "corrosion" ( which is supposed to be covered and there is even an article about it in theur website!) wasn't covered because it's "cosmetic" !!

CAROLYNNE
#1389563

I've been having it out with AHS for over 6 months. A/C duct work.

I've had I believe 6 different contractors out. Finally I called an independent A/C contractor who was knowledgable and took the time to explain to my daughter Carly hot the ductwork is preventing proper flow into the house and the seals, connections at the vents need to be adjusted.. I thought great after 4 contractors I finally have the correct answer.. My daughter and roommates have suffered in Georgia all Summer long.

AHS has been a total nightmare to live with from the beginning to deal with..always looking for a loop hole! They won't cover the ductwork repair because in the past way before us living at the house a company came in a blew insulation in the attic. Supposedly some of that landed on the ductwork and over time has caused leakage at the seals and connections.. Frustrating!

I could have saved the money I spent on this useless policy and had no frustration and been better off and further ahead..

I was advised that putting a complaint in to the Attorney General's Office is a smart idea. If they get enough complaints they will act. I hope thats true.

There is so much more going on then just arguing with AHS..

People suffer and get so fed up and frustrated..

Guess it would't hurt to have our attorney file in small claims court, but what does that cost?

Carolynne

Anonymous
#1384730

I have been trying to resolve an issue with AHS and my range since May 24th. It is now Oct 27th and I still do not have a range and oven that work despite finally getting a new one delivered by AHS.

The new stove was installed improperly and nearly burned my kitchen down. Installer came back, reinstalled and left before testing burners, three of which don’t work and another appliance tech told me not to use any of them until it is reinstalled because they are a big safety hazard. The fan in the convection oven also does not work. Despite complaining to AHS for weeks about all this they insist that I have the original, unprofessional installer come back out.

He is refusing to come and AHS is refusing to send anyone else.

I am 5 months without a stove, I live alone, I am a little old lady with a major disability and no way to have a working range in my home. How is this possible in America?

Anonymous
to Laurie Buscher #1387673

Ms Buscher, where do you live? If I live close to you I will be happy to reinstall the stove at no cost.

I have over 35 years in the Heating - A/C - building/remodeling, and appliance business.

The fact that the service contractor provided by AHS, and AHS themselves have defrauded you and failed to provide you with an experienced proffesional technician is proof positive of what I have been trying to tell people about home warranty companies for decades.

They gladly take your money every month, but begrudgingly provide you with proffesional, trained technicians.

I would be happy to fix your stove issues, if you live close enough to be feasible.

Anonymous
#1378081

I am going to put law suits against this company, I wonder if any attorneys out there willing to do a class action on AHS.

Anonymous
#1366735

Has anyone used the arbitration process. Against AHS?

Anonymous
Atlanta, Georgia, United States #1349315

How is there not a class action for this?

Anonymous
Dayton, Washington, United States #1335515

This is happening to me now...

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