GEORGIA -- I am a new home owner 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 Leslies & 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 Aqua tech & 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 Leslies 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 HOME OWNERS 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.
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.
(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
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.
TENNESSEE -- 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
FORT COLLINS, COLORADO -- I had AHS back in 1999 and cancelled because they kept giving me the runaround. Recently starting real estate investments, and a friend said that AHS has improved. THEY HAVE NOT! I was told that I could call back anytime if I had questions, or to cancel before March 3. After several calls at different times of day, each which I was on hold for more than 15 minutes and still no answer, I sent AHS an email to cancel my account. No response. Received a welcome email, so I called again, and was on hold for more than 20 minutes before they answered. They said they would cancel the account, and said nothing more. A week later, I received another email, called again, and this time the hold was only 10 minutes, but found that they had not cancelled the account. Waited on the phone until the person went through my account and cancelled each of the 3 properties. He said that everything was cancelled, but that their Retention Dept would call the next morning. A week and a half goes by, and no call/voice mail, then late on a Friday afternoon, they call MY WIFE and tell her that "the account isn't really cancelled until I speak with the Retention Department." Called this morning (following Monday), waited on hold for 39 minutes, and finally someone answers that talks slower than I have ever heard, and is still unclear. He didn't ask me WHY I am cancelling, just wanted to confirm my telephone number, email address, and property address, and read a statement that a cancelled account cannot be reinstated. Unless you enjoy wasting your time, I recommend that you NOT enter into an agreement with AHS. As far as I'm concerned, AHS owes me payment for 2 hours of my time.
On December 8, 2009 my hot water heater started leaking. I had just opened a policy with American Home Shield and was told that I had immediate coverage. I placed a claim with American Home Shield. I have hot water heat which means that my 75 gallon hot water heater provides heat for my furnace. They first sent out a vendor that had no clue about my unit or my furnace and told me that my furnace was not going to stop working because my hot water heater did NOT provide heat for my furnace. They then sent out a second vendor that told me that I did have hot water heat. My unit is located in an outside shed which is HEATED. The first vendor told me that the heater was working fine. The second vendor told American Home Shield that the hot water heater broker because there was no heater. It was 15 degrees below zero. I had my own vendor come in and he verified that I do have hot water heat AND my heater in my storage unit was working fine. The hot water heater was old and that is why it stopped working. American Home Shield delayed in calling me back. My insurance company told me to keep the hot water heater on even though it was flooding my unit. If I turned the hot water heater OFF then all of my pipes in my unit would freeze and my property would be uninhabitable. Still I waited hoping that AHS would call me back. I finally had to replace the unit myself and file a claim with State Farm to restore my property from the massive flooding. Had AHS sent out competent vendors in the first place and acted quickly this would not have happened. They told me I could dispute the claim, which I did but no matter how many phone calls I made, no one would return my calls. In fact, my representative at American Home Shield's voice mail was FULL. I have never dealt with such incompetent people. They took my money and then refused my claim. I am a real estate professional and I have helped homebuyers purchase many American Home Shield home warranties. NEVER AGAIN. Do not use this company. They are incompetent!
TENNESSEE -- American Home Provided the home warranty on my home I purchased 06/23/09. It is supposed to cover all major mechanical systems.
08/31/09 I came home to 95 degree temperatures inside my home. The next morning I call AHS to use my warranty. I was told by their service representative they contact their contracted companies and their company would contact me within the hour to make a appointment. They gave me the name and number of the company, Tri's heating and air. By the way this a/c company was 80 miles from my home.
5 hours later no call. I had to contact the a/c company and set the appointment. The scheduled me for 12 noon 0n 09/02/09. The next day 12 noon comes around no service, 1pm no service, 2pm no service. I call tri's heating and air. The representative tells me no one is coming to my house because they don't have enough repair men. Don't call me, fax me or email. Just don't come.
I call AHS and the representative contacts another company and gives me their number. I call this company and they come out within the hour to my house. Dave Broussard heating and air, I have nothing but good things to say about them, Excellent. The service tech examines the a/c unit and lets me know its the condensor and the a-coils and they need to be replaced.
30 minutes later I get a call from AHS explaining what it is and they are going to fix it By Friday. The service tech lets me know they will be out Friday when the parts come in. An hour later I get a call from the tech letting me know that AHS wants a second opinion. Think about this, they don't trust their own companies they contract with.
I call AHS. They want to send out the same company that didn't show up the first time to get a second opinion. I've talked to three about 5 reps now and they all say its to protect me.
Well today is 09/03/09 at 12 noon and no contact from Tri's Heating and Air. I've called the home office and am trying to contact the President of the company, Dave Crawford. He has some type of Presidents committee to handle complaints. Called at 8 am this morning and have not received a call yet.
The labor day weekend is coming in two days, thurs today, doesn't look like I'll have a/c till next weds or thurs, because Monday is a holiday.
My advice is DON'T BUY YOUR WARRANTY WITH AMERICAN HOKME SHIELD.
They don't trust their own service people and don't honor your business.
EAST ORANGE, NEW JERSEY -- I recently bought a home that "came with AHS" coverage for several new things in the home. I was not in the home longer than 1 week when I started to have plumbing issues. I called AHS for covered services for plumbing. They sent a Plumber who did not have the proper equipment to fix the clog in the pipes.
When I called next day to have a 2nd plumber come out, they refused to send 2nd opinion plumber stating that the original plumber noted the pipes actually collapsed, not that they didn't have the proper equipment to fix. Despite disputing this lie, I had to go out of pocket and hire my own plumber and pay $750 to remove the clog, and power water clean the pipes. When I called AHS to get reimbursed, they say I can't get reimbursed because I "didn't have authorization" from them to hire my own plumber.
RIP OFF - AHS basically steals your $ and then when you need their services, they do not help or cover anything!!
I have been a customer of American Home Shield for several years. For the last three years I have been calling in service calls to have my heating/ac unit fixed. They have replaced several parts that have went out causing all of my coolant to run out of the unit. Well, I am totally frustrated at this point because every time this happen it costs me another $600/700 to fill back up the unit because AHS does not cover coolant. I understand the every year maintenace but what about fxing the problem. If the coolant is running out because of a val or something, isn't putting the coolant back in there also fixing it. The companies are putting a bandage on the problem as far as fixing and I have to suck up the biggest cost. Then I call back in to speak to a supervisor and the representative that I spoke to on the phone is completely rude and tells me that someone will call me.