I still have a hard time believing that a nationally-recognized company would chose to leave two 90 + year olds without heat in the Chicago area when it is close to zero degrees outside on Christmas Eve? But they did. They are my parents.
As a policy holder with AMS, my father contacted the company following policy protocol when the furnace/heater went out on their porch, a room where they practically live. AMS sent out a service technician, which took several days, who was quick to deny service, indicate the unit was shot and that he could do nothing to help, even temporarily.
The company then proceeded to deny coverage based on the finding that the furnace was dirty and had not been properly maintained. What??? When I searched on the web, not very hard I might add, I immediately found a large number of cases evidencing this same tactic to deny service by AMS'. Evidently, this is par for the course at AMS. Some of these accounts were by even by former AMS employees http://www.syix.com/emu/html/ahs.html. Interesting treatment of two people in their 90's who live alone.
The company has done nothing since the first technician left (after handing them an invoice), leaving the unit non-functioning and the porch ice cold. Being that my parent's only television is located on the porch (the one the kids pitched in and gave them for the holidays) my mother calls me to say my father sits out there in his parka, gloves, and scarf to watch the news and football games on their new tv. My parents had no choice, worried the pipes would freeze and the new flat screen television would cease to function (per the manual), so they ended up calling the local HVAC company that had provided service to them regularly. These folks were at least able to fix the unit temporarily, saying they did not know why the other service rep had not done so and were baffled where the other AMS technician was coming from with his assessment.
AMS is still denying any responsibility. I have said to my father, who does not like conflict, that I would be happy to help him challenge AMS, but he finds this kind of friction so unpleasant, and he is just plain tired at 91, that he has elected to bite the bullet (even though he is entirely in the right) and spend $5,500 for a new unit. I think it's wrong. It's even harder to see when my parents are pinching every penny to stay in the house where I grew up. I'm not one to be a complainer, and I have never contacted anyone about a dispute of this nature, but this case is so profoundly unjustified, I feel I need to do something. Their situation may be too late to resolve with AMS, but at a minimum I think people should know how this company treats their clients and apparently operates. National insurance providers are heavily regulated to prevent just such experiences, but as far as I can tell, there is no regulatory authority to whom firms like AMS are accountable.
American Home Shield is owned by the conglomerate, ServiceMaster, who also owns Terminix, Merry Maids, TruGreen, Furniture Medic, AmeriSpec and ServiceMaster Clean. I was just sitting here wondering if J. Patrick Spainhour, CEO, ServiceMaster, and CEO of ServiceMaster Global Holdings, has elderly parents and how he would feel if they had been treated this way. I find this interesting treatment of clients for a company with Service in its name.
It's appalling and this company should be embarassed!