For those of you considering this service DO NOT, YOU WILL BE SORRY!
I signed up with American Home Shield (herein also referred to as AHS) on 08/09/07 and my first payment was charged to my credit card on 08/15/07 as agreed, and every month thereafter on time every time, without fail.
On the evening of 04/09/08 our water heater began to leak from the top of the tank. By the morning of 04/10/08 it began also leaking from the bottom. This of course meant that we had to turn off all hot water to our home. I contacted AHS on 04/10/08 at 11:08AM and they assigned a vendor (ARS Rescue Rooter) and I was contacted by ARS Rescue Rooter within an hour and told they would have a technician come out between 1:00PM and 6:00PM the same day. The technician arrived at 2:15PM and I took him to our crawlspace to surmise the problem. Before even making it to the water heater he shook his head and blurted out code violations (apparently the ARS Rescue Rooter illicit M.O.). To my surprise because I had just purchased the home 2 years prior and we had the crawlspace area thoroughly inspected. He made a call to AHS for approval and I waited to hear about coverage information. I was contacted by AHS within about 30 minutes, approximately 2:55PM. The AHS Rep. told me that they would cover the water heater because the problem was due to normal wear but he said that he was informed by the vendor that there were code issues in relation to the water heater that would cost an additional $900.00 out of pocket. I spoke with the technician and he stated that he could not perform ANY work without doing ALL the work due to County laws and ARS Rescue Rooter policy. I then asked the technician to provide me with a written copy of the estimate, to my shock he refused and stormed off (right across our new sod, as a mention to his mindset in regard to respect for clientele).
The proper protocol ARS Rescue Rooter (herein also referred to as ARS) should have followed as a professions is as follows; to resolved the water heater quandary; then the representative should have given me a detailed invoice (I was never given any detailed information in writing as requested) stating services performed by him/ARS Rescue Rooter and listed any concerns he felt should be addressed. He then could have pulled a permit or I could have as the home owner and any alleged code violations found upon inspection are STRICTLY the responsibility of the property owner, period. Certainly not a vendor hired to resolve an urgent situation issue by a Home Warranty Company. In truth there were no code violations as confirmed by an authentic professional and an inspector. The ONLY additional work possibly considered necessary, not under warranty by AHS, was the compression tank and that is only required if we upgrade the tank we currently had, not simply replace with a comparable item. By the way, the expansion tank is a $20.00 item retail if we had of requested a new one to be installed, and at no time did we request to have ARS to remove our old unit.
A very long story shorter; I contacted AHS to inform them of the misconduct, attempted extortion and exploitation of a client in a vulnerable situation. I was informed by AHS that I could opt for the Cash Out Option but I would have to wait. To add insult to injury AHS finally offered me a Cash Out offer of $165.00 to cover the cost of the water heater and the labor to repair it. I have since verified with the County and a legitimate plumber that the alleged code violation pointed out by the technician were in fact erroneous and I have had to have the problem repaired on my own at a total cost of $379.44 just for the water heater with labor, and this was at a substantially discounted price from a well known service provider. The lack of cooperation in resolving our issue from AHS is in direct violation of our agreement, resulting in our home having no hot water for four days due directly to the fact that we counted on AHS and as a direct result of providing a contractor (ARS Rescue Rooter) that practices illicit and unscrupulous business practices, preying on the vulnerable.
Please keep in mind that I am a GA State licensed Master Electrician and a GA State licensed Residential Real Estate Specialist. I deal with these types of situations daily with my clients as well as various trades and inspectors, including all local authorities. I have recommended American Home Shield many times in the past to clients because AHS paints such a convincing picture. American Home Shield - It seems like a good idea -- prepaid home maintenance, basically a service contract or extended warranty on your house. The AHS booklet states, Commitment to your total satisfaction, That is why we back every job we do with the unique money back guarantee shown on the back of your home warranty ... AHS guarantees that all approved covered service repairs will be completed to your satisfaction. If for any reason you are not satisfied with that service received, we will work with you until you are satisfied or we will refund the trade service fee. Unfortunately, I have found from many other consumers in researching AHS on the internet that too often AHS Home Warranty doesn't work out that way ... and when it comes time to deliver; AHS does not even make an attempt at providing adequate, competent service to their clientele at a time of need. I am now doing as much damage control as I feasible can in regard to rescinding previous recommendations for American Home Shield I have made to my clients.
Bottom line, I have been in no way compensated for the four days we were forced to live with cold water only in our home due directly to negligence on the part of American Home Shield. Had I realized that we would be unable to count on American Home Shield I would have had a new water heater installed the same day as the problem occurred. I know several honest plumbing contractors due to my daily field activities. In addition, American Home Shield has fallen well short of proper compensation for our water heater quandary, even at a fundamental cost level, by any standard.
After I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau AHS did send another check for an additional $150.00.
To sum up, service was never provided nor was adequate compensation; which is in direction violation of our agreement. This act by AHS and failure to react responsibly when required nullifies any and all agreements that may have been in effect prior to the morning of 04/10/08 leaving a full amount still due of $312.00.
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