Reston, Virginia
16K views
87 comments

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.

Product or Service Mentioned: American Home Shield Warranty.

Do You Have Something To Say ?
Write a review

Comments

You will be automatically registered on our site. Username and password will be sent to you via email.
Post Comment
Anonymous
#453537

I have a a/c problem i live in ca. They have been out over six times now it comes on but we smell burnt wiring i two babies at home.I called out a different company he said the unit has a cracked heat exxhanger a buent circuit board and a igniter switch thats bad.They didnt call the new guy back tjey sent out the old one and he piecemealed it together.Yup still smell burnt wiring.Iam getting ready to file suit and much much more not to mwntion the insurance commisioner and maybe the local media.They better head my warning or we are off to the races.And i do know a previous repair co.

Anonymous
#358029

yes, you should file suit... in fact, you should do that with any company that is too big to fight the long fight with all of its customers.

instead of trying to work it out with any company required to work within a long list of federal and state laws, go for the big bucks. that way these large corporations can become even more defensive about how they handle such claims, more secretive about their procedures in an attempt to sort out the hordes of professional leaches, and one day, after everyone sues everyone and everything into oblivion, my kids can grow up in a world where no one trusts anyone because the world taught them it was ok to have no people skills and be *** about how they go about handling their business, so instead of being savvy and having a since of dignity and self-reliance, because unfortunately that requires figuring out how the world works, they can just sue the *** out of someone on the basis of 'just because I have the applied street sense and demeanor of a 7 year old doesn't mean you can try to get one over on me...and now that one part of this gigantic system has gone wrong, and no one kissed my head and told me they were gonna take care of everything, I'm gonna sue ur PANTS off' :cry

Anonymous
#836922
@satisfied customer

What are you high?

'just because I have the applied street sense and demeanor of a 7 year old doesn't mean you can try to get one over on me...and now that one part of this gigantic system has gone wrong, and no one kissed my head and told me they were gonna take care of everything, I'm gonna sue ur PANTS off'

A massive company is PAID to cover problems that occur within a home and then DOESN'T DO THAT JOB by siting obscure small print that is part of a several-dozen-page contract written in legalese and you claim this is some cry-baby 7-year old stuff? What do you work for one of these criminal companies?

Only an ignorant *** or paid shill could possibly try do defend a large company that uses dishonest business principles over a CITIZEN AND HOMEOWNER.

People like YOU are the reason our children will end up growing up in a world where no one trusts one another. BECAUSE THAT'S HOW CORPORATIONS OPERATE. And you seem to be a little corporate goose stepping stooge.

Go grow a pair and stand up for INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS instead of defending these DISHONEST monolithic companies that destroy the individual lives of HONEST HARD WORKING CITIZENS and profit from it.

Now get back to writing some obscure 500 page legalese document on how to screw someone out of their home. ***.

Anonymous
#836923
@satisfied customer

"Work it out".

I imagine you are either a millionaire that never has to deal with real problems, or some punk teenager with conservative parents. You clearly have no real concept of what it is like trying to "work it out" with corrupt companies that profit from deceit and questionable business practices.

Most contracts are just business-speak for legalized theft. Go jump off a cliff before procreating to help out the failing human gene pool

Anonymous
#201762

I just called Brandie on her cell phone number above and she said AHS settled the compliant and she was not allowed to talk about it.

this means they issued a *** order along with money to pay her for the problems the contractor caused.

I guess you do have to sue American Home Shield to get results

or perhaps we need to sue the relators who recommend American Home shield warranty with well known better business bureau complaints

perhaps we need to sue Wells Fargo who recommend

american home shield as well

Anonymous
#124457

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
#1301797
@Brandie Sashington

My Sub Zero refrigerator stopped cooling on 12-22-16. I made a call to American Home Shield and within 24 hours they sent a technician from Jedd Mechanical Contracting Corporation.

I paid the $75 service fee to them. He left that day with no result or service rendered. Then the next day another contractor appeared from A to Z Appliance Service. I have dealt with them before.

They responded to previous service call for the refrigerator on 11-23-13. The fixed the malfunctioned evaporator motor in the freezer promptly so I was satisfied. Back to the 12-22-16 event, I still have a refrigerator that is not cooling. As a matter of fact, the last visit by the technician on 3-7-17 resulted in his diagnosis of the appliance "needing replacement." So I contacted the Appliance Purchasing Division on 3-9-17.

Gave the representative all of the dimensions and model number of the current non working unit. She advised that the information has been recorded and submitted and will be reviewed where an "offer" will be made. Given the length of time that this unit has been out of service is an inconvenience to me and my family. Given the tech from A to Z Appliance who responded and attempted to replace one of the parts, subsequently leaving me with an upper respiratory infection from the dust and debris that was thrown everywhere from his drilling into the unit is an inconvenience to me.

When you read your contract, you will see that it states in writing in Section H, #6 that: "AHS is not responsible or liable for secondary, incidental and/or consequential loss or damage resulting from the malfunction of any covered item including but not limited to food spoilage, loss of income, utility bills, additional living expenses, personal and/or property damage or authorized contractors delay in service." The only recourse it appears we have is in the ability to receive due compensation given our tenure with this insurance company. I have been a customer for 9 years. Over those 9 years, I have paid a monthly fee of $50. That's 9 years of paying $600 per year.

So when AHS makes me an offer to replace my refrigerator for any less than the amount of money that I have paid into the company, I will be prepared to arbitrate. To that end, AHS provided you rights in the contract under Section M-Miscellaneous.

In that section the first statement is that "unless you make a written application to AHS and AHS allows you to bring a small claims lawsuit against AHS solely in your individual capacity, any claim, dispute or controversy regarding any contract "claim" arising out of or related to this agreement...shall be resolved by one arbitrator through binding arbitration administered by The American Arbitration Association." So AHS is effectively preventing you from bringing any claim to small claims court unless they give you permission and what they will do instead is arbitrate through a third party, that is not a court, where they may have a vested interest in this third party. Stay tuned for this one.

American Home Shield Reviews

  1. 1150 reviews
  2. 351 reviews
  3. 66 reviews
  4. 17 reviews
  5. 21 reviews
American Home Shield reviews