Frankly I cannot say enough bad things about the American Home Shield (AHS) Warranty Company. And I hope I can save others from the nightmare experience I had to go through dealing with them.
The AHS warranty advertisement tells you that if you buy their warranty you will not have to worry about spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on repairs.
But want they do not tell you; is that AHS will do everything to deny your claim and if they do replace an item it will still cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars.
If anybody is aware of a class action lawsuit against this company, please count me in. Also I plan to write to the attorney general. If anybody is interested in going to the attorney let me know. I have never been so pissed off with a
company in my life.
Below is my experience with this compnay:
I have an AHS warranty and I called them regarding two repair items: 1) A shower faucet that was leaking and 2) a hot water heater that was not heating properly.
AHS authorized AZ Remodeling & Plumbing Inc., who is not even located in or near my city to make the repairs.
Shower Faucet Leaking
The repair company technician says the shower faucet was improperly installed, so AHS denies the claims. This shower faucet was the original shower faucet that came with the house 20 years ago. It has worked fine for 20 years. How could it possibly have been improperly installed?
And then the repair company offers to do the repair for 3 times what any other plumber would charge. Do you see the SCAM here? Most homeowners are not going to search around and get quotes to see what it actually cost to make the repair. Instead they will just be ripped off by this AHS contractor. The whole thing is a blatant SCAM! AHS pays the
contractor virtually nothing to make repairs and then the crocked contractor says the item is improperly installed so the claim is denied and then the repair company offers to do the repair for 3 times the normal cost.
I went to the Home Depot and bought a MOEN cartridge removal tool and removed and installed the new shower faucet cartridge myself in less than 10 minutes, which this repair man said he could not do.
Hot Water Heater.
After the repair company came out 4 times and could not fix the hot water heater they finally agreed to replace it. So at this point I am weeks without hot water.
This company wanted to charge over $500 in non-covered expenses with the majority of that cost coming from: 1) modify the water line and 2) modify the temperature and pressure line.
I informed AHS that I had a local licensed plumber take a look at the hot water heater replacement and he stated none of the non-covered expenses were necessary. In addition he stated the price being charged for the non-covered work was 3-4 time the going rate.
I informed AHS that I would provide statements from several plumbers showing that the non-covered expenses being charged by AZ Remodeling & Plumbing Inc. where not required and I would provide AHS with evidence documenting the fees for the non-covered expenses being charged by AZ Remodeling & Plumbing Inc. was absorbingly high.
I would think any honest and respectable company would care that the contractor that they sent out is making false statements about additional work required and the fact that the contractor estimates are 3-4 times the going rate for that type of work. But not AHS! They just replied that this is the contractor they use; period.
In order to come to a reasonable compromise, I requested AHS to buy the Hot Water Tank and I would have my plumber install it. AHS refused. When I requested that AZ Remodeling & Plumbing Inc. only do the covered work, (of course there was no additional work needed); AHS refused. I then told AHS I believed the non-covered expenses were fraudulent estimate on the part of the contractor and asked AHS to get a second opinion. Again AHS refused to get a second opinion. The only other option AHS offered was their buy out option, whereby they pay you a small amount of money that does not even cover the cost of the water heater.
I called a local licensed plumber who came out promptly and informed me that NONE of the non-covered expenses that had been identified by the AHS contractor were necessary. This plumber got the hot water heater and installed it. The receipts are shown at the end of this document (hot water heater and installation fee). Here is the cost breakdown:
1) Hot Water Heater ------------------------ $316.91
2) Installation of Hot Water Heater ---- $175.50
Total Cost Too Buy and Install the Hot Water Heater - $492.41
As you can see it was going to cost me more to have AHS replace my hot water heater than if I hired a plumber to do the job. Yes, you are reading that correctly. It cost less for me to purchase and install the new hot water heater by a local licensed plumber than it would have cost to have it done under the Warranty. That speaks volumes about this company.
So why does AHS insist on using an out of the area company to do the repair when I live in a metropolitan area of over 1 Million People and tons of locally licensed plumbers. In fact from what I can tell this AHS contractor only does home warranty work and I can see why; no one would hire them!!
Here is my assessment on the AHS business practices and reimbursement models. Basically, in my humble opinion it appears that AHS and their contractors are committing widespread fraud on a consistent basis, with the home warranty client being the primary victim.
The hardest part of installing a new hot water heater is draining the old hot water heater, removing it and installing the new one. AHS pays these contractors way below the going rate to perform this task. No licensed, honest, and reputable plumber will do that work for the amount AHS offers. So this AHS contractor adds on what I believe to be fraudulent charges, which AHS categorizes as non-covered expenses and sticks them to their unsuspecting customers. There whole Business Model is done right shameful.
Bottom line - My advice would be to avoid this company like the plaque.
And I should add I found out as part of this experience, the Better Business Bureau is a Joke. The BBB has had thousands of complaints against this company, yet gives them a favorable rating and I found out why. No matter how much evidence you supply the BBB all the company has to do is respond and the BBB will file in their favor no matter how much evidence you supply.