American Home Shield

time icon 7 min read update icon Sept. 20, 2019
9 Ratings - Write Review
6.8
Grand Score
6.9
User Score
6.8
Grand Score
6.9
User Score
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American Home Shield (AHS) is the originator of home warranties, and has provided services for over 40 years. If you are considering a home warranty, AHS has established itself among the top five in the industry.

Purchasing a home today is a big investment; maintaining one can also be expensive. Unexpected expenses for appliance repair, furnace replacement or electrical issues in your home can really put a dent in your pocketbook. If this is a concern, you may want to consider a home warranty, which is a service contract that covers the repair or replacement of various appliances and systems in your home.

A home warranty is not insurance, but can help cover some of the costs when something in your home breaks, like your refrigerator or heating system. It’s a smart way to protect your budget. Home warranty plans cover things that a homeowner’s policy will not.

Grandfolk Scoring
Cost 7/10
Coverage period 6/10
Additional fees 5/10
Exclusions 8/10
Contractors 8/10
Service response 5/10
Payment 10/10
Claims 8/10
Cancellation 10/10
Ease 10/10
warranty 9/10
Customer Support 9/10
Cost
Is there an annual fee?
Annual feesrange from $249-500+ per year, and vary by location
Coverage period
When will my coverage begin?
Once you signthe contract, you must wait 30 days tocall for service
Additional fees
Are there any additional expenses or fees?
You must pay a Trade Service Call Fee each time you call for service
Exclusions
Are there any items that are not covered?
All plans cover normal wear and tear of appliances and systems only
Contractors
Who will the company send to my home?
AHSemploys contractors who are graded on customer satisfaction
Service response
How quickly can the company resolve my issue?
It could take up to 48 hours for a technician to arrive
Payment
What types of payment are accepted?
AHS accepts credit cards and personal checks
Claims
What is the process for filing claims?
Place a call to the service center or enter a request online
Cancellation
Cost or difficulty to cancel?
Yes, and you will get a full refund if you cancel within 30 days
Ease
Ways you can enroll
Very easy; help is a phone call or email away
warranty
What warranties are offered?
Warranties on appliances, systems, and combinations of the two
Customer Support
Ease of access
Customer support is available online or by phone
Age Score:
9
50-64 Years
9
65-74 Years
4
75-84 Years
3
85-Above

Using a service of this type requires a clear understanding of the specific terms of the contract. Many of the items AHS covers (ceiling fan, garbage disposal, doorbell, dishwasher, microwave) are covered completely, no matter what occurs within normal wear and tear. However, more complex systems such as air conditioning/heating systems, plumbing, spa equipment and well pumps have specific exclusions that could relieve the company from covering a problem. Older seniors may have trouble understanding these specifics and may find that something they expected to be covered is not. For example, the company will not pay for repair or replacement when a malfunction is due to a lack of capacity in the system, or if there are damages to appliances or systems that are affected by mold or mildew, storms, power surges, earthquakes or floods.

Health Score:
6
Great Health
6
Good Health
2
Fair Health
2
Poor Health

A home warranty plan can provide a homeowner great comfort in knowing they have little to worry about in terms of appliances that break, or air conditioning systems that fail. If a senior is in good or great health and can monitor the systems in their home, find short-term alternatives when an appliance fails, and wait for parts or a replacement, the service may be of value to them. However, when a senior is in fair or poor health, there is no guarantee that service can be provided in a timely way in an emergency.
The contract states that services will be initiated within 48 hours (under normal circumstances) after a service call is made. A technician could arrive as soon as 24 hours, but there is no guarantee of a timely dispatch. An electrical failure could have a severe impact on a senior who requires constant oxygen, for example.

Pros:

  • The company has a network of over 13,000 independent service contractors and 45,000 service technicians.
  • Plans can be adjusted to suit your specific needs, or you can build your own plan.
  • Customers have access to additional savings on appliances and air filters, as well as discounts from other brands within the ServiceMaster family of companies.
  • Repair calls can be made 24/7/365.
  • There is no limit to the number of calls that can be made over the term of the contract.
  • There is no requirement for a home inspection to get coverage. The company will cover appliances and systems of any age.
  • The website is very comprehensive and answers many questions that you may have.

Cons:

  • You must pay an additional Trade Service Call Fee in addition to your annual contract fee.
  • There is no guarantee that you can get timely service in an emergency. The company will accept a request to expedite scheduling of non-emergency service only when a service contractor is available. If the contractor agrees to expedite scheduling, you may have to pay an additional fee.
  • Whether an appliance or system is repaired or replaced is at the discretion of the company.
  • There is a waiting period before you can request service, usually 30 days after signing and paying for your contract.

Bottom Line:

American Home Shield is the first company of its kind. It offers plans to service appliances, systems, or both. The company allows great flexibility in choosing which appliances and systems in your home you want to cover. In addition, add-ons can be appended on every plan.
Websites that compare home warranty companies generally rate this company among the top five. It has been accredited by the BBB and holds a B rating (there are quite a few negative reviews). The company has been acknowledged by HomeWarrantyReviews.com as Top Rated in 2015-17 and Best in Service in 2014.
Another benefit not to be dismissed: AHS offers savings plans to help you purchase new appliances at reduced rates. However, before signing up, you need to read the contract carefully and understand exactly what it covers and what it does not cover. If you are in the
market for a home warranty, this company is one you should consider, but be sure to do your homework.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I request service?

Once your contract is in effect (usually 30 days after you have paid for the contract), you can call the company anytime (24/7) or submit a request through the website.

Besides the plan price, are there additional out-of- pocket expenses?

You will need to pay a Trade Service Fee for each contractor of a different trade (plumber, electrician, etc.) who visits your home. This can range from $75-$125 per contractor.

Does the company cover old appliances?

Yes. American Home Shield offers flexibility in its plans if you have older appliances. If you have a lot of older appliances and think you will need to call often, you can choose a lower Trade Service Call Fee structure and pay a slightly higher annual cost.

More Information:

Product Details

Overview: American Home Shield has three basic packages: one that covers appliances, another that covers systems, and a third that is a combination of these (a combo plan). All plans allow you to append items that aren’t in the standard list. All plans require you to pay a Trade Service Call Fee each time a technician from a different trade visits your home. These fees vary from $75-$125.

Package Details: The Appliance Plan covers standard appliances, such as one refrigerator, dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer, range, oven, trash compactor, and garage door opener.

The Systems Plan covers replacement or repair of key home system components: air conditioning/heating and ductwork, electrical, plumbing, water heater, smoke detectors, central vacuum, ceiling fans, and doorbells.

The Combo Plan is a combination of the Appliance and System plans and includes everything covered in each plan. You will save an average of $14 per month compared to buying each plan separately.

Finally, you can build your own plan covering ten or more items from the items in each list.

Other Services: Once you become a customer of American Home Shield, you are eligible for several customer benefits, including an appliance discount program, discounts on air filters, and discounts from other brands in the ServiceMaster family, such as Terminix,
Amerispec, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic and ServiceMaster Clean. If you refer a friend, you can receive a $25 Amazon gift card.

Additional Company Details

Contract Details: If you cancel your contract within the first 30 days, you will receive a full refund of the contract fee if no services have been used. If you cancel after 30 days, the refund is pro-rated for the unexpired term, minus any administrative fees of up to one month's payment amount and any service or claims costs incurred by American Home Shield.

Warranty: American Home Shield offers warranty plans for appliances, home systems, and a combination of both.

Accreditations: American Home Shield has been given a Women's Choice Award for three years running (2014-17) as America's most recommended home warranty provider. The company has been acknowledged by HomeWarrantyReviews.com as Top Rated in 2015-17 and Best in Service in 2014.

Company Details: American Home Shield was founded in 1971, and was the first company of its kind. It was acquired in 1989 by ServiceMaster, and continues to be the largest home warranty provider in the U.S., offering services in 49 states and the District of Columbia. American Home Shield is BBB accredited and has received a 'B' rating.

Contact:

American Home Shield
889 Ridge Lake Blvd.
Memphis, TN 38120
Tel: (901) 537-8000
Website: https://www.ahs.com

Donna McDurfee - Senior Advisor

Donna is senior researcher with Grandfolk® providing in-depth product and service reviews to empower senior buying decisions.

Dong Jun
RATING:

I am customer for American Home Shield more than two year. I am so surprise of their treatments for their customer.

Please take a time for reading my story for fixing water leakage with American Home Shield. And if possible, please let my story people know it.

There was water leak from air conditioner at July 10 2020. And I requested service at the same day and paid 120$ as a deductible. And American Home Shield assigned a local aircon service company (consolidated Mechanical cont. INC). A technician from the local company visited my home at July 14. He just went up roof where air conditioner is placed and came down. He said “ I can’t find water leakage from aircon” even though water was flowed out on the ceiling of a room due to water leakage. He said “I will not charge for service, so you call American Home Shield again”. He left even though we asked proper service. It passed 5 day after first water leakage. So we complained American Home shield at weekend and the next Monday(July 17). After complaint, American Home shield assigned the same company (Consolidated Mechanical cont. INC) again at July 18, even though we complained the company because of poor service. So we contacted Consolidated Mechanical INC at July 18, they said “ the technician can’t access air condition, so they can’t do service, It is out of their policy”. We had to call again to American Home Shield and explain what happened with the local service company. And I really surprised their poor local service network pools. How can they have only one company for servicing aircon issues at whole phoenix area!!! After water leakage, It passed 1.5 weeks, and at July 17, American Home Shield said “they can’t do anything because technician can’t access aircon”. I argued and complained strongly about their customer service mindset. Finally American Home shield assigned another company (AIR COMMAND LLC) for second estimation, and an technician from Air Command LLC came to my home at July 21. He just got rid of water of pan (water plate) and said “ there are 3 missing part at my air conditioner, and the cost is 1108 and those are not covered because of missing part”. I am an Electrical engineer. I can’t trust “Air con was operated during 15 years without 3 parts”. It passed 2 weeks after water leakage. So I hired a technician from local aircon service company at July 22. The technician, who I hired, said “ Aircon didn’t miss 3 parts, and 3 things are required for stopping water leak 1) deep clean for coil 2) replace float AC switch 3) flush water drain, and the cost for that is 707$”. So I and my son contacted American Home shield at weekend and Monday several times. It passed 2 weeks, and leaked water wetted roof, insulator and ceiling continuously. My son called American home shield for explaining the whole situations several times, and he desperately gave up conversation with American Home shield because they insisted consistently that without missing part payment(1080$), they don’t do service for water leakage. Finally I called American Home shield at July 24. I asked to representator of the company “what were missed?” After argument, she said parts doesn’t missed, but parts didn’t cover by my policy. So I asked “what part is not covered?”, and She said “water pan is half size”. I said “actually It is not matter, half size or full size?, My house have two aircon units and the leaked aircon unit is small. Water leakage is not due to pan size but dust coil, broken float AC switch, and blocked water drain” After long conversation, She agree on the reason for water leakage, and she propose that she will apply cash-out option for treating water leakage, and the approval will take one or two day. It passed too long time after water leakage( moving to 3 weeks). I thought that she understand and agree on the reason for water leakage, so cash-out will be approved soon due to urgency. I made appointment with the technician, who was hired and estimated the cost(707$) at Thursday (July 27). It was passed almost 3 weeks after water leakge!!!!!!!. I called to American Home shield at Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for checking the status for cash-out. And they responded the cash-out process is pending still. Meantime, The technician came to my house and fixed water leakage easily and completely at Thursday(July 27). And I kept to call to American Home shield until today. And American Home shield finally responded me that they can’t cover my payment for water leakage due to missed 3 parts.

I decided two things. 1) cancelling service contract with American Home Shield immediately 2) announcing my story to people.

Why to fix just water leakage is so difficult and complicate?
Why I had to pay the service charge even though I am customer more than two year for American Home shield?

Please help me by transferring my story about American Home Shield. Please image what happened to me during more than 3 weeks. It was really stress to me due to continuous water leakage at my home, have to call to American home shield every day, have to explain the same thing to representators every times.