American Home Shield ripoff, WasteOfMoney internet
This company does not provide a worthwhile service. If they were honest with the customers, and lived up to what they promise to do, that would be a different story, but unfortunately, IMHO they do not. Besides the fact that they are reluctant to cover a service or item, they work with rather sub-par service companies, so you get relatively poor results from the work they do.
I was with AHS for about six years, and each time I had a claim, with very few exceptions, I had a severe hassle getting the service I needed and getting AHS to cover that service.
I will describe one situation where they were up front, and I had no hassle whatsoever. I had a ceiling fan-light fail, and they came out and charged me $60 and then told me to go buy a comparable fan and they would install it. I did, let them know, and they came out the next day
and installed it. Sounds like a great Company to work with, no? But the problem is the new fan cost the same $60 I gave them for the service call, so I really only got the installation free from them (which I recognize has value, but would not be a reason to have the $45 insurance.
Here is an instance where they ultimately delivered, but not in a timely fashion.
We had a burst hot-water pipe in our attic, so we had to shut the hot water line in the entire house until the leak was fixed. They sent out a very poorly-equipped plumbing Company, who took about one week to get the job done (it was a simple job of opening the wall -- we knew exactly where to open it -- and replacing a section of pipe). The delay was due to them not having the correct equipment for the first three times the guy came out to do the job, once he didn't have the right saw to open that section of wall, the next time he didn't have a crimping tool for galvanized steel piping, and the third time he came too late in the day to see what he was doing (?!?), So we went for about a week without hot water (we showered by our neighbors -- ugh!). That doesn't sound like a worthwhile service to me.
Now let me tell you about some instances where they did not deliver.
I had a water heater fail, so they sent out a company to check it out, and they told me the installed
heater was not done to code, and they would replace the water heater if I paid them $1200.00 to upgrade to code. Well, I thought that was a bit steep (they said I had to install a sump pump and strap the new heater for earthquake safety, which I didn't think should cost $1200), so I got a few estimates, and to make a long story short, I took their cash-out option ($550), and I got a new water heater, installed to code, with a sump pump and earthquake-safety strapping, all for $900.00 (which means I paid a net $350 for what AHS wanted $1200 for). Sounds like somebody was trying to rip me off, no?
Another story was when my A/C compressor needed to be replaced, and they came out, charged me $60, and told me that my A/C was installed incorrectly (it was 9 inches from the house wall, and it needed to be 12 inches), which was the reason for the compressor's failure. I told them I wanted a second opinion, so they sent out another sub-par contracting company, who said that I had not done proper maintenance on the unit (they claimed the coils were dirty), which caused the failure. I fought that too, claiming that it seemed they were looking for excuses not to pay for the compressor, and the real reason for the failure was that it was seventeen years old, which is about the average life expectancy for that type of compressor. I also forwarded to them receipts showing that I had indeed serviced the unit on a regular basis, and the last service had been just a few weeks before the failure, so the coils were certainly not dirty.
I had a long arbitration process with them, and I paid two independent A/C Companies to come out and give their own diagnoses, which were basically that the compressor died a natural old-age death, and its replacement should be covered. In the end, they denied the claim, and I dropped their service and had the unit replaced by a regular A/C Company. After that, I sent them a final letter of intent, informing them that I would be taking them to small-claims court for the cost of my new unit. They immediately responded, informing me that they would pay me for the compressor, which is what their maximum cash-out responsibility was, and they sent me $915.00.
If you like doing business the way I have described above, then they're the Company for you. The only reason I gave them 1 star is because you can't give zero stars!