GEORGIA -- I am a new homeowner and being spent good amount on home purchase, I decided to have home warranty as well. So I signed up with AHS over a year ago and I got everything covered/offered by AHS. It was like multi combination. Since the day I signed up I never used or required their service since I usually maintain everything in good condition and I also hire people on regular basis for maintenance services. Recently I started having issues with my pool filtration & I was informed by Leslie's & other local companies which I use for maintenance that I have a filtration issue which needs to be fixed.
So I called up AHS on 08-17-14 after checking & confirming the issue is covered under warranty under my contract, they created a work order and hooked me up with some company called Aquatech & was told would get a call from them and a visit. I never got a call from them nor a visit even after me calling and leaving messages. So I called AHS again on 08-25-14 so this time they created a new work order and assigned me a company called Alison Pools.
The technician came on 08-26-14 & diagnosed and informed me they there was that the cap/manifold & air stem of the filter is cracked which is due to normal wear & tear and my pool is very well maintained. He also informed me that these parts are covered under warranty and he will submit a quote to AHS for approval and I should get an answer in couple of days. I called AHS again to follow-up on 08-29-14, I was told that the technician is waiting to get the price on the parts to provide to AHS as it being a long weekend.
Today 09-02-14 I got a call from AHS saying that my parts are not covered since the tech has informed AHS that parts are not covered under warranty and that my pool is not maintained properly. I CAN GUARANTEE AND PROVE TO AHS THAT MY POOL IS VERY WELL MAINTAINED through local Leslie's pool stores where I always purchase my chemicals and which has my tests reports. Also can prove that my pool filter was cleaned regularly and cleaned twice in last 3 months because of this issue with two different companies.
How can a consumer can damage a cap/manifold inside the filter which is sealed and causes for cracks on the plastic are caused by erosion due to water flow and normal wear & tear? Moreover this pool almost new built around 2011/2012. Secondly why AHS waited to deny the claim till the contractor provided price for service/parts on 09-02-14, when they could have denied it 08-26-14 if it really was not covered and not well maintained. Amazing part is that the cost of the part when verified other pool service guys is around $120 & $75 for labor.
I paid $75 copay so far to AHS contractor. So one can imagine when they do not pay/cover small amounts how can one expect them to cover expensive ones. I FEEL THAT AHS IS TRYING TO RIP OFF CONSUMERS BY DENYING GENUINE CLAIMS WITH THE HELP OF HAND IN GLOVE CONTRACTORS. ANY VIEWER PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM AHS, SO WILL I FROM TODAY.
I WILL BE TRYING TO REACH AS MANY HOMEOWNERS THROUGH ONLINE AND OTHER MEDIUMS TO WARN THEM OF AHS AND THEIR PRACTICES AND WILL TRY TO EXPLORE OTHER LEGAL AVENUES TO TAKE ON AHS SINCE I FEEL SO CHEATED FOR BEING GOOD CUSTOMER AND PAYING BILLS ON TIME THRU AUTO-PAY.
As a new customer of American Home Shield (AHS), I am extremely disappointed in the quality of service I have received from my very first claim. I own two properties and have contracts for both with AHS. My first repair was a dishwasher which required three visits from two different vendors and was finally repaired after I contacted AHS and complained that it had not been repaired satisfactorily the first time.
More recently, I have experienced an air conditioning malfunction which the technician indicated was only a need to clear the line and then who actually failed to clear it which resulted in the unit overflowing and severely damaging the ceiling below the unit which I then had to pay to replace. This deficiency was reported to AHS who indicated that they would report it to their vendor relations office.
Sadly, service has only gotten worse. On 31 May I initiated a service request for a refrigerator that had stopped cooling. The dispatched vendor (A Superior Appliance) was not able to come look at it until five days later, which was disappointing. The technician inspected the refrigerator and indicated that the automatic defroster needed replacing and that it was a simple repair which required ordering a part but that the repair should be completed in 5 to 10 days max.
After 3 weeks passed, we started attempting to contact the vendor. After leaving numerous messages which were never responded to, we finally actually got someone on the phone who indicated the part was on back order and we would be contacted when the part came in. We never heard back and after numerous additional calls, they finally returned with the part to complete the repair. The technician stayed 5 minutes and indicated that the wrong part had been ordered.
We once again contacted AHS and expressed our concern at the length of time it was taking and the difficulty we were experiencing contacting the vendor. We received a message from AHS indicating the part was due in no more than 7 business days and that if we didn't hear from the vendor we should contact them directly. Again we heard nothing by that date, we attempted to contact the vendor and got a message that the number was not taking calls.
At this point I called AHS and spent 56 minutes waiting to talk to a customer service representative. She also attempted to contact the vendor and was unable to contact them or leave a message for them. Within an hour, I received a call from a different repair company to schedule a service call to look at the refrigerator and determine what repairs needed to be done. Note that by the time they come, more than 7 weeks will have passed for a non-functioning refrigerator!
On 16 June I contacted AHS requesting a plumber to clear a shower drain that was draining slowly. The vendor (Milburn Plumbing) was dispatched on 18 June and when they arrived they put chemicals into the drain and waited. Once it became clear that the drain was still draining slowly, they indicated that they needed to access the roof to clear the drain and that they were not qualified or equipped to do that and also that AHS did not cover that work. Because I am not a plumber, I accepted that and contacted another plumber who came by with in an hour and snaked the drain.
Note that they did not need to access the roof and indicated that there was no need to do so, and completed the work in less than 15 minutes. Clearly, I paid a qualified plumber to do work that a vendor sent by AHS was either unqualified or simply unwilling to do. The Milburn technician indicated no need for a service fee since they had not completed the necessary drain clearing and perhaps that is because they were aware that it was work they should have easily been able to complete.
I am most certainly displeased to on numerous occasions have paid other contractors for work that should be covered under my AHS Home Warranty plan and was surprised to receive an invoice for $125.00 marked as past due for Milburn Plumbing. Especially since the Milburn representative had indicated that there would be no charge and gave us no paperwork and obtained no signature from us.
It has become obvious that AHS is not a very reputable company in that they have vendors who are not qualified to do the work covered under the warranty plans and yet customers are expected to pay them even when they are unable to do the work.
Please note that because I desire to limit contact with AHS until my current contract expires and which I will most certainly not be renewing, I have paid the invoice in the amount of $125.00. I am however, formally requesting that AHS refund to me the amount I paid to Rapid Rooter for drain cleaning that should have been easily completed by Milburn Plumbing.
Additionally, on 1 July I requested a plumber to repair a shower that was running full blast and could not be shut off. The vendor (ASAP PLUMBING SERVICE #2) did not contact me, so I contacted them to find out when the earliest they could come by would be. They indicated that it would be at least four days! So much for ASAP. Once again, I had to contact and pay for another plumber who responded within hours, not several days. I am now wondering if I am going to end up getting an invoice even though ASAP never contacted me and never actually scheduled an appointment.
Also on Friday, 17 July (morning) I completed a service request via the AHS website to have someone come and look at my air conditioning which had stopped cooling. I received a message that the request had been dispatched and that I would hear from the vendor within normal business hours. I assumed that I would not hear from them until Monday and waited until Monday afternoon to contact them since I didn't hear from them. They verified my address and indicated that they would send a technician out on Wednesday and would contact me Tuesday to let me know a time window.
I did not hear back from them so once again called them Wednesday morning to verify that they were, as promised, planning on sending someone out that day. I was informed that one of their technicians had a family emergency and that we had been rescheduled for Thursday. They also informed me that the technician would contact me Thursday morning and let me know the approximate time. Once again, the morning passed and we heard nothing.
We again contacted them and were told the same technician family emergency story and that they might be sending someone out tomorrow. Here it is, a week later and the vendor has not contacted me a single time and there is currently no confirmed time-frame which I can expect to, IAW the warranty I am paying for, actually have someone come and fix my air conditioning. This is Texas in July and I am a senior citizen and the temperature is between 95-100 degrees. Before I made the mistake of signing up with AHS, I could have paid a technician to come by the SAME DAY!
My experience with this company has been frustrating and completely unsatisfactory. The only exception has been the customer service representatives who while clearly working at a disadvantage of trying to provide service to customers for a company that appears to care little for the quality of work they perform, but also for their reputation as a company, have consistency been friendly and courteous.
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 websites 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. Good luck.
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE -- WARNING: If you plan on buying a home warranty with American Home Shield (AHS) is not recommended due to false advertising and breach of contract. Did you know that American Home Shield will try to not honor their contract when something fails and needs repairs by simply trying to interpret the fine lines in the contract making claims they are not responsible? Do you know that AHS will promise and tell you many benefits to and even say bad things about other home warranty companies try to convince you to buy their plans when what they tell you over the phone is not true?
Remember, you have to pay around $75 in order to get someone out there to check the problem while you still have to pay your monthly fee. The company that AHS sends out to check, it is very likely that you wouldn't chose them yourselves and the company may try to sell you their services directly at a higher than market price. In the end, AHS can and will likely deny your claim and not fix the problem so even if you have the AHS warranty, you should plan on still paying for repairs out of pocket.
In the AHS contract if you read carefully, if you have a dispute with them, you cannot sue them and AHS will require you to go through an arbitration company, www.adr.org, which they selected and which will charge you $200 to just file. These are all obstacles that AHS hopes to discourage their own clients and customers from suing them. If you call AHS to dispute their denial of a claim, it is very likely that you have to talk to different AHS reps who will tell you different reasons. This is because they are interpreting your contract differently which further explains how their contract is written to avoid their liabilities and responsibilities.
If you are looking for a home warranty company, do not go with American Home Shield. They will try to tempt you with a lot of promises including telling you that you can cancel any time to make you feel more at ease but you will just end up wasting your time and if something major needs to be fixed, the chances are that your claim will be denied.
As in your contract you are not allowed to bring them to court over your dispute, you can still sue AHS for fraud and bad business practices which is outside of your contract. There has been many cases where AHS was sued and the consumer won. Here's some reference: http://mythreecents.com/reviews/American-home-shield.
To sue American Home Shield here is some information you can use to start your case. You can sue them regardless of which state you are in. Entity Name: AMERICAN HOME SHIELD CORPORATION. Entity Number: C0926620. Date Filed: 07/27/1979. Status: ACTIVE. Jurisdiction: DELAWARE. Entity Address: 860 RIDGE LAKE BLVD. Entity City, State, Zip: MEMPHIS TN 38120. Agent for Service of Process: C T CORPORATION SYSTEM. Agent Address: 818 W SEVENTH ST 2ND FL. Agent City, State, Zip: LOS ANGELES CA 90017.
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE -- Chronological series of events: I signed an exclusive listing contract to sell my home with Coldwell Banker Real Estate in July 2010. It was strongly suggested that I incorporate a Coldwell Banker Home Protection Plan into the marketing strategy to sell my home. On August 12, 2010, I signed a contract for my Coldwell Banker Home Protection Plan that would be administered by American Home Shield (aka AHS). On June 01, 2011, I called AHS and thus starts my nightmare.
I requested emergency air conditioning service as I noticed my a/c unit was seizing up and knew this could cause water problems. The AHS phone person stated that AHS will only take emergency requests if it's a matter of health. I stated it was a matter of health as I was concerned about mold growth if the a/c unit leaked. The AHS phone representative advised me that I would then be contacted shortly by a service technician.
AHS contacted me by email to assign Kenneth Buggay Mechanical to service my a/c unit. This email from AHS did state that I could expect to hear from this contractor during normal business hours to schedule a mutually agreeable appointment time. As AHS provided the phone number for the contractor, I decided to call to reiterate the emergency service call. When I called Kenneth Buggay Mechanical, I was informed that I could not have emergency service as Kenneth Buggay Mechanical had only one (1) employee. I now knew that I had been duped by the AHS phone representative.
First misrepresentation was deceiving me by allowing me to believe I would be receiving emergency air conditioning service. Kenneth Buggay Mechanical did not arrive until 4:30 pm the following day on June 02, 2011 over 30 hours from the time I placed my call to AHS for emergency service. Although the a/c had been turned off in the 95 degree heat, the water from the a/c leaked and totally buckled my fairly new hardwood engineered flooring.
The technician spent a total of forty (40) minutes at my home looking (and I mean simply looking as there was no taking the a/c unit apart to inspect) and he also took three (3) phone calls during the time he was checking my a/c unit. The conclusion the technician came to was my a/c unit needed an evaporator coil. The technician then stated that he did not have an evaporator coil and would need to reschedule an appointment for the following week. The outside air temperature was between 95 to 96 degrees, making it now impossible to stay in the house. For the record, this technician did not check the outside part of the a/c unit and did not respond to answering questions asked of him regarding the a/c unit.
At this point, I was so upset that I was not sure what to do. After the technician left, I decided to call Kenneth Buggay Mechanical to ask a few questions that needed answers. I called Kenneth Buggay Mechanical, speaking to someone named ** and requested to speak with **, the a/c technician. I was informed that I could not speak with the a/c technician although this same a/c technician took three (3) separate outside calls while at my home inspecting my a/c unit.
The man on the phone who stated his name was **, stated he would answer my questions. I asked him how could he answer my questions when he did not inspect the a/c unit? The AHS subcontractor from Kenneth Buggay Mechanical hung the phone up in my ear when I persisted that I wanted to speak with the a/c technician. It was now after 6:00 pm and another day was lost.
Within the hour, I received an email stating that another AHS subcontractor, Service Solutions was assigned to my case. While speaking with Service Solutions and AHS, I pulled up their record with the Better Business Bureau and learned that Service Solutions had three (3) complaints with the Better Business Bureau and I did not deem this acceptable. Additionally, this meant the process with the a/c unit needed to start over at my inconvenience.
Second misrepresentation AHS subcontractor Kenneth Buggay Mechanical's technician not completing checking my a/c unit and stating my a/c unit only needed an evaporator coil. On June 03, 2011, I hired a reputable air conditioning contractor that arrived at my home within than 2 hours of my initial call to them at 8:30 am. This a/c contractor spent over two (2) hours inspecting my a/c system and explained each procedure to me as well as encouraged questions.
He proved to me that my a/c unit was beyond repair and needed to be replaced as there were several proven leaks in the outside part of the unit and parts were no longer available for the type of a/c unit I had. He also informed me that replacing the evaporator coil would only be a temporary fix and I would continue to have a/c problems. This company was One Hour Heating & Air, a subsidiary of Mr. Sparky, a well-respected company in several states. The a/c unit was changed out at a cost of $ 5,975.00 along with the initial service call of $196.00 for a total of $6,171.00.
For the record, I contacted my broker with Coldwell Banker on June 01, 2011 when I realized that I had been duped by AHS. My real estate broker attempted to contact by telephone and by email **, the local account executive for AHS but she refused to contact me even when my real estate broker asked her to do so in writing several times. In fact, ** lied to my broker by stating she would contact me but never did. I emailed and left voice mails for ** on June 03 and June 04, 2011 but it was to no avail.
Third misrepresentation, an AHS employee, ** mislead my real estate broker as well as myself that she would contact me regarding the complaints I had with AHS employees. On June 06, 2011, I contacted the manager of the Coldwell Banker office, **. Ms. ** informed me that ** from AHS would be calling me to resolve my problem. Mr. ** did call me that day and identified himself as a vice president at AHS, but he stated that he was driving to Birmingham and he would call me back before the end of the day. Mr. ** never called back as promised.
Fourth misrepresentation, to deceive me by stating that I could expect to be contacted by the end of the day. As Mr. ** proved to be useless, I decided to call the insurance company who held the surety bond for AHS, Liberty Mutual. This information is found under Letter "L"- Miscellaneous in the AHS contract and states as follows:
"Georgia residents only: THIS IS NOT A CONTRACT OF INSURANCE, however, the performance of the Contract is guaranteed by a surety bond written by Liberty Mutual, a surety insurer that is authorized to transact surety insurance in the state of Georgia. If AHS fails to pay any valid claim within sixty (60) days after proof of loss has been filed, you are entitled under Georgia law to make such claim directly to Liberty Mutual at 1524 Hwy. 30, E Carroll, Ia. 51401 or you may contact (712) 794-1001."
I called (712) 794-1001 and was unable to speak with anyone and left a message. Within a few hours, my phone call was returned and the person on the phone identified herself as **. I then proceed to describe what had happened and asked what could be done to resolve the matter. I stated that I had spoken with **, a vice president with AHS and Ms. ** asked who Mr. ** was as she had never heard of anyone by that name with AHS. It was at this point, my suspicion began to heighten. Ms. ** advised that I would need to speak to AHS and that Liberty Mutual could not assist me.
Fifth misrepresentation, Ms. ** blatantly lied to me when she stated that she did not know Mr. ** as both Ms. ** and Mr.*** are employees of AHS. On June 07, 2011, I again contacted Ms. ** with Coldwell Banker. Ms. ** stated she would get with the Atlanta Regional President of Coldwell Banker, Ms. **. I informed Ms. ** that I was unable to get anywhere with Mr. ** of AHS.
The following day on June 08, 2011 when I did not hear from Ms. **, I called her office and spoke with her assistant ** advising that I suspected fraud was being perpetrated upon me by AHS. Ms. ** returned my call at 12:15 pm by leaving me a voice mail stating I was to call the president of AHS at 866 305 0259 x 2101 or his cell at 901 340-5681.
At 2:05 pm that same day, I placed a call to 866 305 0259 x 2101.The phone was answered by Ms. ** This was the same person who answered the phone for Liberty Mutual. I did not identify myself and requested to speak with Mr. **, president of AHS. Ms. ** stated, he does not speak to customers. Ms. ** then asked if she could assist and I stated that she could not assist me as she was not the individual that I was instructed to contact. It was now clearly evident I was being defrauded by the employees of AHS.
Next at 2:08 pm, I called the cell phone number of 901 340-5681also left on the same voice mail from Ms. ** of Coldwell Banker as a number at which I could reach the president of AHS. When the phone was answered I asked if this was Mr. ** of American Home Shield and was advised that I had the right number but not the correct person. I reiterated the phone number once again to be sure and again was told the number I dialed was not for the person I was calling. I did ask the individual that answered the cell phone if he was with American Home Shield and he replied he was not.
At 5:09 pm on June 08, 2011, I received a phone call from telephone number 901 340-5681 and the individual identifying himself as ** from AHS leaves a message. Kindly note, 901-340-5681 is the same phone number that I called earlier in the afternoon where I was informed this was not the correct person or company.
I then advised Ms. ** of Coldwell Banker via email that I was not amused by her form of deception and relayed to her that I was surprised that someone in her position would stoop this low. On June 08, when I checked my email in the evening, I had received an email from Mr. ** indicating that I was to contact "Ms.** at **@ahslink.com. Ms. ** works for the president's line and will be your contact person".
Sixth misrepresentation was defrauding me be giving me bogus phone numbers for the CEO of American Home Shield. On June 09, 2011, I directed an email to Mr. **, the CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate in Parsippany, New Jersey. I was then contacted by Mr. **, an executive assistant at Coldwell Banker in Parsippany, New Jersey who then referred me to Mr. **,the Senior Vice President-General Counsel for Coldwell Banker in Weston, Florida.
According to Mr. **'s email to me on June 10, 2011: "My office is reviewing the matter and we will respond in some manner before the end of the day". Needless to say, Mr. ** did not get back to me as promised and I contacted him and Mr. ** stated he would not get back to me before Monday, June 13, 2011 indicating he wanted to be fair to everyone.
When Mr. ** did get back to me on June 13, 2011 via email, he was less than fair in his assessment, claiming that Coldwell Banker had no responsibility to me. I attempted to contact Mr. ** to ask why he distorted the entire scenario and he would not respond to me. I had to contact the Florida Bar in Tallahassee, Florida when Mr. ** refused to reply to my emails. It was only after the Florida Bar contacted Mr. ** that he responded to me in a very nasty tone on June 16, 2011.
On June 13, 2011, I received an email from Ms. ** stating the following: "I would like to know if you had your own company out to repair the evap coil. I would like to review the invoice for possible reimbursement. Thank you. American Home Shield, Executive Relations, P. O. Box 748, Carroll, Iowa 51401. Phone 866-305-0259 ext. 2101 (this is the same phone number I was given for Mr.*** the CEO of AHS). Fax 901 597-0269 (901 US - a phone exchange for Memphis, Tennessee?).
On June 16, 2011, I found this interesting link where I read hundreds of complaints that detailed fraud and misrepresentation on the consumer perpetrated by American Home Shield and their other named company Service Masters: **, **.
NOTE TO APPROVER: Exact review found at http://american-home-shield.pissedconsumer.com/how-to-beat-home-warranty-companies-at-their-own-game-part-ii-20100502180576.html
(The following information and advice applies to American Home Shield. Whether or not the advice applies to any other home warranty company is unknown.)
I recently observed a trial in which AHS was being sued for denying a claim. After the trial, I had an opportunity to talk with the attorney who had represented AHS. The attorney advised me that AHS always settles the lawsuits or pays the claims when sued. Regarding class action lawsuits, whether the person remains part of the class or opts out is not relevant to the outcome of the case; AHS does not use a pending class action as a defense to settling the case. What this means is that if you sue AHS, you will get your money back. The only losers are the aggrieved homeowners who do not sue.
Although I had long suspected that AHS made little or no effort to contest lawsuits filed against the company, my advice to anyone who has a claim denied is not to waste time trying to make AHS either repair or replace an appliance. Have the appliance repaired or replaced at your own expense and then sue for reimbursement. This same advice applies to what you consider to be an emergency situation or an unreasonable delay by either AHS or the service contractor in repairing or replacing an appliance or approving a claim.
You are also likely to be more satisfied with the service contractor and the appliance you have selected as a replacement than the below builder's grade of appliance provided by AHS. You will be able to hire the repair company of your choice and choose the color, make, and model of the new appliance. In the few instances I have read about when AHS has replaced appliances such as A/C units, furnaces, refrigerators, and stoves, the replacement item has always been substandard. In one instance, the A/C unit AHS used to replace the old unit was so noisy that the homeowner could not hear the TV over the noise.
When a claim is denied, if the homeowner sues, the homeowner wins. If the homeowner does not sue, AHS wins. I am encouraging everyone reading this who has had a claim denied to sue AHS for reimbursement. I also suggest anyone who sues AHS to attach copies of your receipts to the complaint because that is what AHS will want to see before making an offer to settle. Also, sue only for your out-of-pocket expenses; do not expect to be compensated for loss of time from work or for punitive damages. Do not let AHS win; beat them at their own game. LegalCohen@aol.com
NOTE TO APPROVER: Exact review found at http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/American-Home-Shield/Nationwide-Alabama/American-Home-Shield-If-you-want-your-claim-paid-TAKE-THEM-TO-SMALL-CLAIMS-COURT-Nationw-469486
This is my nightmare with American Home Shield
TAKE THEM TO COURT!!!!
YOU CAN DO ALL THE PAPERWORK ONLINE!!!!!
I filed a claim with AHS in Oct. 2008 for a 20 year old spa heater that was worn out and finally broke. The first person they sent out said that the spa was not to code and AHS denied the claim. I called the manufacturer, who inspected the unit and they confirmed that the spa was properly built to code. They also provided a replacement cost for the unit.
I called AHS back and requested that they send someone else out to inspect the spa heater. This person stated that the spa broke due to age and wear & tear. AHS denied the claim because they said the damage was caused by chemicals. There was no bases for this determination except that their policy does not cover damage caused by chemicals. I informed them that the spa cannot work without chemicals. How can they cover a system that requires chemicals to work properly and then deny the claim for using the chemicals? DUH!!! The heater gave out due to wear and tear (which is what they do cover). This was also the diagnosis from the manufacturer. AHS denied the claim again.
I informed them that they can only deny the claim once. They don't get multiple shots at me until they find something that suits them. If they deny it improperly on the first round, and are found to be wrong, then they must cover the claim. If they do not, just mention BAD FAITH!!
I did not contact the California Department of Insurance because they cannot make AHS pay anything, they only look for infractions in the claims handling and do not care about the consumer.
The cost to replace the system was approx. $3,000 and I sent them a demand to pay. They denied the demand. I then filed a claim in small claims court against AHS and they played the "name game". Just FYI, they are not actually "America Home Shield" each state is governed under a separate entity. I had to contact the president's office (phone # is available on Better Business Bureau website - Dave Peterson) of AHS to determine the proper entity of AHS that my contract was written under. America Home Shield of California. I had to make the necessary corrections to the small claims court because America Home Shield is not a company in California without the "California" behind it.
All of this took time, which I don't have much of, but this was an injustice. Read the NUMEROUS complaints on the interest. I refused to be jerked around and am very aware of how to read a policy. I am a Claims Adjuster! My company would never think to act so irresponsibly. We try to cover claims, not look for excuses to deny.
I filed the complaint and was looking forward to taking my turn in the court. Four days prior to the court date, AHS of California, contacted me and wanted to settle the claim with a Policyholder's Release. They asked me how much I wanted. I included the cost for each time I was charged for their service call, my postage, copying costs, court costs, and provided them with the actual cost of the spa heater and labor to install it. I signed that Release and THEY PAID EVERY PENNY.
They also sent me a letter that they refused to cover the spa until the new one was replaced. I sent them a letter and said that I no longer needed coverage on the spa now and would like a refund of my premium. They refused and said I needed to pay for the coverage until the end of the policy period. I may still pursue that portion even though it is minimal.
Then last week, I received a letter from AHS that they are going to cancel my policy at the end of the policy period. Wow, what a surprise!!
I am writing this for all those individuals who just give up. Read the AHS policy. They hire contractors who do not like dealing with them because they know what they do to their policyholders. Sometimes, it is not the contractor who is at fault. The second contractor said that he recommended that they replace the spa heater. Then the claims adjuster said that he told them it was the chemicals. I got them both on a conference call and they both hemmed and hawed. Finally, the claims adjuster said that it had to be reviewed by a higher power. I then got a letter saying that the damage was caused by chemicals. So it is not always the contractor.
BTW, I recorded every conversation and transcribed everything they told me. The recording is not admissible in court, but what they told me, is.
I no longer have AHS and am saving $50. per month I want you to know that if you want something covered by their policy, find your own contractor to assess the problem and fight them. TAKE THEM TO COURT. YOU CAN DO ALL THE PAPERWORK ONLINE!!!!! It is more cost effective for them to settle with you than to go to court and get ANOTHER judgment against them.
Don\'t just take no..........
Best of luck
PS. Just looked at the Better Business Bureau website. AHS has an A + rating!!! They must be kidding or paying them off.
HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA -- Called American Home Shield on 4-29-14 and requested service for both upstairs and downstairs air-conditioning that were thirty years old. First contractor didn't come and then second contractor came but determined that it required electrician. Electrician came and said it was an ac unit issue. Second contractor came back and we waited for parts for another month. Finally, late in July the repair was made. It lasted less than 30 days. The second contractor was about to come back to the house when I learned from the local building inspection supervisor that the second contractor's license to do business within Huntsville had been "put on hold."
The third contractor came out and he agreed that the unit had other issues, but of course the delays continued. I finally called and got a independent opinion. The independent source and three other HVAC contractors felt that the units had to be replaced because the parts were no longer available. I demanded replacement. AHS refused. Finally, I just replaced the damn units myself after giving them 30 days notice that I would sue them if they didn't replace them. After filing suit, I had the house inspected due to the leaks in a hall closet where the upstairs ac unit had leaked into my linen closet by an AHS contractor and a certified industrial hygienist.
AHS sent the first contactor to my house who walked up the attic stairs, charged me $75 and walked down and told me I did not have any mold in my house due to the air-conditioner leaks. The Certified Industrial Hygienist tested the house and sent the results to a lab and determined that I have TOXIC BLACK MOLD in my house from all the delays and from the failure of the contractors to even check the air-handlers that were leaking and the drain pans that had holes in them in the attic. I dismissed the small claims suit and I am looking for an attorney that will sue them. If you know someone, please have them contact me. This needs to be public.
The Alabama Department of Public Health has advised that the mold is dangerous and should be removed. My physician has advised the mold is dangerous and should be removed.
And of course, AHS, who states that it doesn't exist has given notice that it should be preserved.
This is the most messed up Service Warranty Company ever.
TENNESSEE -- NOTE TO APPROVER: Exact review found at http://www.yelp.com/user_details?userid=-BVs6p-tNC3CGF2avZBQTg
Home warranty company is not fulfilling their obligation to make repairs or replacement of faulty appliances that are covered by their policy On 5/20/2013 we placed a call to American Home Shield that our air conditioning stopped working. They said Dean family AC will call to set up an appointment which they did on 5/21/2013. The tech came out on 5/22/2013 and informed me we need a new compressor and it would take a week to get one.
Now it is almost two weeks American Home Shield told me today that "they have not made up their mind on what to do and nothing has been ordered." Dean family AC said American Home Shield is not authorizing the replacement parts even after they received the report that the compressor needs to be replaced. I live in Arizona and it was 103 degrees the past few days and over 90 degrees in my home. And it's getting hotter everyday. If they haven't ordered the parts needed to repair my air conditioning which was to take a week to receive I may not have air conditioning for a month!
I pay American Home Shield $737 a year to warranty all my appliances. If something needs to be replaced then replace it. A qualified AC technician came to my home and put a request to order my parts with American Home Shield who is not qualified to make a decision if we need a new unit or not.
This is absolutely ridiculous that they are dragging their feet because they don't want to pay out a large sum. We'll that's too bad. We've had American Home Shield for 3 years and the first time was for our washing machine which turned out to be a plumbing issue and not covered. So I've shelled out $2200 over 3 years and now there is something that is covered they don't want to honor the contract
WILTON, IOWA -- In the beginning of Aug., 2015 my AC unit quit working. I have been a customer of AHS for 11 years. I knew this was covered, so I called them. They sent out a vendor who replaced the motor. When temps soared into the 90's and 100's my unit WOULD NOT cool the house. I called AHS again and they set up an appt. with the same vendor. After 3 appointments that were no shows after I took off work each time to meet them, I called AHS again to send out someone who would show up. They sent a second vendor that stated the outside unit and coil in the inside unit needed to be replaced. He contacted AHS and stated, "They said to replace the entire unit".
Then someone from AHS called me and stated the vendor would be setting up and install date. I had to buy a window ac unit to be able to live in my home with the temps outside. After 2 weeks and no call, I started calling the vendor and AHS to see what the problem was. The vendor kept telling me they had not received approval from AHS and AHS kept telling me they did not receive the paperwork from the vendor. This went on until October, after I was calling every 2-3 days.
Then at the beginning of Oct. a third vendor called to set up an appt. for a "SECOND OPINION" not on replacement as promised, but repair. This 3rd vendor stated the unit was cooling. It was now 68 degrees outside, of course the unit would keep my house at 72!! He recommended minor repairs- clean the coil- not even replace it and fix a piece of ducting!!
I then filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Affairs. As I filed my complaint I noticed they had thousands of complaints about the same thing I was complaining of. This new vendor stated he wouldn't know if his repair worked until the next hot day, which may be 6-8 months from now.
I then got my own THIRD opinion, which agreed with the second vendor that the unit and coil need replaced. I posted a complaint on their Facebook page and it was deleted and I was blocked!! I saw they did this to another person also! I am now wondering if I should continue to renew my contract and wait until next summer for them to maybe repair my or cut my losses and cancel the service and replace it myself?? Very dishonest company!!! I heard through other complaints that sometimes these dishonest vendors get a bonus for not giving a proper diagnosis!