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Has Anyone Used American Home Shield for Home-Related Repairs?

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  • Has Anyone Used American Home Shield for Home-Related Repairs?

    Thinking about getting an AMS plan for about $50 a month to deal with any repairs to AC, washer/dryer, fridge, oven, electrical, etc. Anyone use them and if so, is it worth it? Problems with repairs or contractors they use? I'm seeing mixed review on various websites, but that could be said for many products and services.

  • #2
    From what I understand all appliances must be professionally installed. Do you keep maintenance records? I would look closely there are loop holes.

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    • #3
      For whatever this is worth, per the BBB over 4000 complaints closed within the past 3 years but it has an A+ rating.

      http://www.bbb.org/memphis/business-...027/complaints

      Spend some time with Google and check your local registrar of contractors.

      Des.

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      • #4
        I've read online reviews on AHS and it's hit or miss. Some say no problems and some say it doesn't deliver what it promises. Got some of their junk mail last week. Still on the fence about enrolling. I have an stove where the electronic ignition shorted because water spilled on it and it does not work. Been using a lighter to start it. My house is ten years old and I'm concerned that the appliance will all start failing before my 13 is done in late 2018. I'm pretty handy with repairs though. Maybe the better plan is to build the reserve rather than throw away $50 a month.

        All my appliances were professionally installed, but I wouldn't know whether you have to prove that or not with AHS. Something to find out.

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        • #5
          When I bought my house, the seller paid for an AHS home warranty that lasted 2 or 3 years. Not long after we move in, the water heater went bad. We paid a $50 deductible and had a new water heater installed. They used a reputable plumber. I was happy, but I didn't renew the warranty. In my case, as it turns out years later, I have saved money by repairing appliances myself. I search the internet for troubleshooting help and then buy the part I think I need at appliancepartspros.com who has a 365 day return policy. So far, I haven't had a problem I couldn't fix and I have fixed my stove, refrigerator and dryer.
          LadyInTheRed is in the black!
          Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
          $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

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          • #6
            American Home Shield is one of the biggest scams on Earth, and I would stay away from them if I were you. The reason why it is (usually) difficult to get quality service from AHS contractors is because of how their compensation schedule is set up. For each trade (e.g. plumbing, electrical, appliance repair, and HVAC), AHS has a flat rate which they pay to the contractor per call, and whatever parts and labor are needed, the contractor absorbs the cost of. This is obviously very profitable if you receive lots of easy calls, where no expensive parts are bad. Likewise, this is extremely unprofitable if you have to replace something expensive such as a motor, control board, coil, or compressor. And of course, if the unit is unrepairable, then the contractor eats the cost of a new one.

            When I worked for heating and air conditioning companies which were AHS contractors, the flat rate was $200 plus tax. The service charge/copay which the customer paid was of course deducted from this $200. If the contractor was able to deny the claim (for example, due to alleged improper service or lack of maintenance) then they would still get to pocket the $200, without having to fix anything. Needless to say, in order to avoid losing their shirt, my boss would always try to fish for a denial, or if there was no way to deny the claim, then we'd try to perform the cheapest "Band-Aid fix" that would hopefully get the unit to run for another 30 days, at which point we were no longer liable for it. In fact, there were times where I had to work very hard to NOT find the real problem, because the real problem was something which would require my employer to spend hundreds, or even thousands of dollars to correct--at their own expense!

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            • #7
              Thanks for the feedback. Bcohen, that was an eye-opening post and make sense why people complain about AHS. Can't believe that contractor can take such a big hit for the expensive repairs. I will probably try first what LITR does and attempt DIY. I can do that for my cars to a certain extent (I replaced and installed a driver side mirror that I busted pulling into the garage) and computers and smartphones (I attempting to fix my wife's iphone's busted digitizer/screen.

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              • #8
                Run, don't walk, away from American Home Shield!
                My favorite story of theirs was a refusal to cover a dishwasher that was actually breaking the dishes inside it!
                (heard about, didn't actually experience. but my previous home purchase included such a home warranty purchased by the seller which of course was a complete waste of money).
                filed chapter 13..confirmed...converted to chapter 7...DISCHARGED!

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                • #9
                  Deposit the $50 in a savings account monthly.

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                  • #10
                    I had them for about 2 years. You don't have to have it professionally installed and they don't ask for maintenance records. I had by ac unit repaired and electricity. The only complaint that I had with them was the fact that they charge an arm and a leg for freon. After I got done paying the fees for free and I was paying a couple hundred dollar. I decided to switch to Total Home protect because I'm still having trouble with my AC unit and they didn't charge for freon. Overall total home protect was definitely worth it and we've saved money. They have maybe you're thinking that night they recall the words to do a repair and it breaks you with the 90 days you don't have to pay another deductible and if you know something is going on in your home get it all done at one time because you only pay one deductible. So this is the way that I found the save money. I try to get everything done at one time so that I only have one $100 deductible because I'm already paying $50 a month. I enjoyed total protect. And when I did have an issue with the contractors I did a BBB complaint on them and got reimbursed for my deductible and they came back and fixed my issue.

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                    • #11
                      I've managed multiple properties that had home warranties. AHS has a great site for reporting claims, but like many home warranty companies, they can often hire sub-par contractors. This is most likely due to the reasons bcohen has laid out.

                      My biggest complaint with them is that they only pay $10/lb. for AC refrigerant. The average cost is something like $80/lb., which creates the following scenario:
                      - AC stops cooling due to a leak
                      - HVAC company is dispatched.
                      - AHS charges $75 service call fee
                      - HVAC company adds refrigerant and bills you $400 (in addition to the service call).
                      - AC stops working when it runs out of refrigerant six months later.
                      - Cycle begins again.

                      I don't have a lot of experience with them, but another property I managed was covered by 2-10 home warranty. Same scenario: It ran out of refrigerant. For that property, though, the HVAC company fixed the leaking part and added refrigerant for a $75 service call. I'd check out 2-10 if it's offered in your area.

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