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We came into our contract with American Home Shield with the purchase of our home in 2016. It was added as a stipulation due to the age of the AC on the property and the age of the property itself.

For the first year we didn’t end up having to use the service. So we allowed it to renew. Which ended up being a major mistake on our part. Our first service call was a couple months into the new contract.

I turned the water off in my shower, and the *** came off in my hand. Because as mentioned, the property is old. They were cheerful and helpful while they scheduled us with a contractor. The contractor was cheerful and helpful while they scheduled our visit.

I was charged $75. The contractor they sent was a nice and friendly gentleman, who was physically unable to do his job. He and I worked around it and I did a lot of running up and down my stairs that day turning the water off and on. He assured me he’d be back as soon as the warranty company approved the part he needed.

I waited. AHS called and informed me that my shower had broken not due to age, but do to the excessive force I put on it. What? I legitimately just tried to turn off the water.

I asked the lady on the phone what it was that they were going to cover if they wanted to ignore the fact that these things were old. She actually chuckled and told me if I wanted things fixed I should have turned them in during the first year of my contract. I frustratedly talked with her about the fact that the faucet on the front porch had started leaking. She finally agreed to send the contractor back out to fix that without charging me another $75.

The contractor proceeded to call me and let me know he was looking for the parts to fix the shower out of his own pocket and he would bring them with him and do the work for free when he returned to fix the outside faucet. The outside faucet was repaired. The shower never was because that part wasn’t available and it needed more work to bring it up to a modern standard. But I decided they had fixed something.

They had worked with me on the service fee. I’d continue the contract. Then this winter during a brisk freeze the heater died. I turned it in and called to see what timeframe we were looking at.

The lady who answered the phone was rude from the second she answered the phone. She basically told us it didn’t matter that we were freezing, our kids were freezing, and potentially our pipes would be freezing. She did however make sure I understood that if my pipes froze they would not be covering that. She finally acquiesced to put a rush on the order.

We spent a couple days huddled around space heaters. AHS charged us $75. The contractor contacted us and came to our rescue. He was amazing.

He got our heater up and running. He spent awhile talking to my husband, who had just returned from Afghanistan. He ended up giving the AC a look over and telling my husband that if we called in the AC come spring and had him sent out he would have it condemned because it was outdated, antiquated, and not worth trying to work on. I was extremely happy.

Fast forward to late spring. The AC starts leaking. Here we go. I turned it in.

The same contractor company called. I requested the same tech. They agreed. AHS charged me $75.

During the wait the AC quits cooling at all. The day of our appointment came. Our appointment time came and went. 3 hours late a subcontractor showed up.

He looked at the unit. Decided the inside unit needed a coil and a drip pan. And that the outside unit was missing some freon and was 17 years old. He told my husband that the age was the problem and he would get it all turned in.

24 hours later AHS called to let me know that due to the issues being caused by an undersized unit it would not be covered. Excuse me? Your technician just told us it was broken because it was old. Not too small.

She assured me that if he had said it was due to age they would have been happy to replace it. And that if I wanted to dispute it I had the right to, but if the next contractor agreed with the first I would be out another $75. I filled the dispute. Another contractor contacted me and was scheduled.

He came out on my birthday. He checked the freon and told me it was fine. He didn’t know why the first company had said it was low. He did tell me at that point that he often comes out behind the first contractor and that they don’t ever turn things in to be replaced.

He looked at the outdoor unit. Agreed it was old. Said it really wasn’t small for the house. Did not check the inside unit at all.

Said he would turn in the need for replacement due to “inefficient functioning due to age” and that it should be approved by the following day. The next day we heard nothing. The day after I logged in to check the status and it said my appointment was canceled to call the contractor to reschedule. I called the contractor, they agreed they had been out.

They had sent their paperwork and were waiting for AHS approval. She suggested I call them. I called AHS and got a young woman who was having trouble communicating with me due to language barrier. She didn’t see anything about a second visit.

When was it? Who was it? After I gave her this she was “ooooh yes yes I see it now.” So I waited. 2 more days of nothing.

I call AHS again. Get another young woman that is having difficulty communicating through a language barrier. She reads me the information about the second visit I gave the previous employee, and VERBATIM reads me the exact same report from the first contractor. I ask for a phone number to the decisions department.

I speak to a gentleman there who seems genuinely confused when I tell him about the second visit and what I was told by the contractor. He puts me on hold to call the contractor. They don’t answer and he tells me they will call me back when they talk to them or if something changes. My online portal continues to reflect that I need to reschedule the appointment that did in fact happen.

Almost a week later my husband and I call both the contractor and AHS again. The lady who answers the phone is professional. Reads off a report that says the second technician has reported my AC is under capacity, and that a 5 ton unit was recommended. Will come back to that in a moment.

My husband asks again about being told that the unit was past it’s self life and she tells him since mechanically it functions it’s not broken due to age. We tell her it’s not mechanically functioning and hasn’t been since before the first tech arrived. Nope. It’s not covered due to lack of capacity.

I canceled my policy at this point. My portal is still active. Showing an active work order that needs to be rescheduled. So I guess we see how this cancellation plays out.

In the mean time I have had a company that I trust come out and look at everything. The outside unit is an appropriate capacity. It is a 3.5 ton unit on a 2,100 square foot home. In our zone that is appropriate.

Especially when taking into account the fact that our home is under 3 very large shade trees and the unit functioned without major issue for 17 years. The outside unit needs to be replaced, and the inside unit needs a coil and a drip pan due to normal wear and tear. A 5 ton unit would in fact be oversized on our home causing it to short cycle which could lead to humidity issues and faster wear and tear on the unit. My honest recommendation is to not get tangled up with this company.

They will argue with you on repairs. Their customer service is very hit and miss on professionalism.

The repairs they did authorize would have been considerably cheaper that the $1500+ I have spent on them so far. It is not worth your time or money.

Product or Service Mentioned: American Home Shield Homeowners Policy Claim.

Reason of review: Pricing issue.

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Anonymous
#1691373

The AHS preferred contractors MUST look at everything from a standpoint of denial, because it is in the best interest of the contractor to do so. AHS sets a target average cost per call, which is so low that no work can be performed, and if the contractor’s average costs per call comes in above that ridiculous amount, they will get no more calls from AHS.

Imagine if you owned a bunch of properties or a huge complex of apartments, and you had to choose which HVAC person to send all the service calls to. You wouldn’t choose the guy who comes quickly, even on weekends, nights and holidays, yet charges a typical $500 average per pop. Also, you would definitely not use him if he recommended that each system needs replacing, because they’re old or worn out. If he did, you’d be looking at $5,000 per service call.

You can’t honestly say that you would hire him for your rentals and that you’d be ok with such expenditures. If you were so inclined to spend money like that, of course you’d get great service and response time. Instead, AHS chooses the companies who do not have a great clientele of their own, and they overtake their business with high demand and low pay. If a claim is “covered” by AHS, it is actually the repairman who is paying for it, not AHS.

If the repairman charges AHS even enough to break even, he will be removed from the AHS vendor list. For that reason, EVERY claim is examined and diagnosed from the beginning as a possible denial. The contractor is protecting his own interests, that’s why you can’t get them to recommend replacement. It’s also the reason that when a repair is authorized, it takes FOREVER to get it completed.

The authorization means that the contractor is going to lose money.

All home warranties operate like this. You would too, if you were in their shoes.

Anonymous
#1699126
@Anonymous

Well... to add insult to injury I ended up having a 3rd party company come look at the AC.

There was nothing wrong with it. The coil was dirty.did not need a new coil. Did not need a drip pan. Did not need freon.

Did not need to be replaced.

So the work they offered to send the contractor back out to do “for a discount” on my dime was all unnecessary. So sounds to me like their joke of a contractor is in bed with them.

Anonymous
#1699861
@Anonymous

Had the AHS contractor told you there was nothing wrong with your system, you would never have accepted that for an answer. The free recalls would start pouring in, one after another, demanding the tech be fired, send a senior tech, send another company, etc.

you would not stop griping until you got a bunch of free stuff—window units, future discounts, a hotel stay, etc., and the AHS contractor would have to be replaced. For some reason, people with a warranty WANT something to be found wrong with their system, so they can justify the monthly premium and service fee. They want a huge bill paid on their behalf, proving to themselves and others that they are savvy consumers.

Glad your system was found to have no malfunction after all, which begs the question, what was that extremely long complaint REALLY about? A home warranty purchase isn’t all that savvy after all.