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American Home Shield / bad service, devious practices

1 Cleburne, TX, United States Review updated:

I called American Home Shield (home warranty) about a plumbing leak. I called and explained to the CS rep that the leak was within feet of the water meter. My explanation would have made it clear that this was well away from the house, not IN the foundation, as I explained that this had happened before when someone drove over the water line, but that no one had done so since. The explanation was thorough and extensive. I explained that I would not be here, and did not need to, as it was not IN the house. The service request was logged, and I received an email to that affect.

When I got home Monday, the plumber had, indeed come out, and had collected the $60 check I left, but never turned a spade of dirt. Nor did they offer any note or call of explanation, although they had my cell number, as we had talked twice that morning. I came home to find a voice mail on my home phone from AHS advising me to call them, but with no word of explanation. This was after 6:30 pm. When I called, I got the excuse that this was not covered because it was NOT in or near the foundation. Clearly, it was not, and I had made that very clear with the call, but no one mentioned this was going to be a problem. I had given them my cell number, expecting that a LOGICAL person would know that at 11:30 am would find most of us at work.

So, I am out $60, still have no water, it is going to be icy tomorrow, and I still have to get a plumber out to fix my leak. The plumbing company that DID come out missed an opportunity by not calling me as well, as I would have simply contracted with them directly to have it fixed right then. But the CS rep said they could not do that. I doubt that, as it has happened before.

I went online to see how the request was submitted and phrased, but soon discovered that there is no longer any place on their website to see what calls have been made, their status, or any call history. What are they trying to hide? I can guess.

I will be cancelling this "service". I can use that $500/year elsewhere. These people are dangerous and should be stopped. WATCH OUT, HOMEOWNERS. AHS IS NOT YOUR FRIEND !!

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  • Un
      5th of Aug, 2010
    0 Votes

    I wish I had found this site before signing a contract with AHS myself. It's more my fault for not doing the research, so shame on me for that. But the real shame lies in how these people do business. I've always judged an insurance business by how they stand behind their contracts, and whether they have "certain" clauses that give them an out whenever they want. It's simply about doing the right thing or not. I own a two-story home with two A/C units in the attic, which is a walk-in attic also on the 2nd floor right above the downstairs master bedroom. My A/C units are about 25 yrs old. We purchased a contract with AHS about 14 months ago and added A/C and Heater coverage policies. Four days ago the condensation drain line to the downstairs unit got clogged up and started overflowing to the point of going through the floor and damaging the ceiling in the master bedroom. We called AHS to schedule a repairman out immediately. In the meantime, we've had to shut off the downstairs A/C unit until it can be fixed. The outside temperature is 100+ degrees right now - some of the hottest and most humid weather we've had. Also, we have a disabled son that lives downstairs; he is a paraplegic who is extremely sensitive to the heat. He now has no A/C. The repairman came out, tried to unclog the line and was unsuccessful. So a second repairman was sent out to investigate. He concluded very quickly that the lines cannot be repaired any other way than to replace them. The only difference was that these lines, which are just standard PVC, were 3/4" lines. Since 25 yrs ago, the code on the lines specifies that they must be 1 1/4" line now. No problem, right? Wrong! I stood beside the repairman as he called in the claim. The claims agent then proceeded to ask him if the lines could not just be cleared out instead of being replaced. He said they could not, and that the only solution to repair the situation is to replace them. So they denied the claim. After he got off the phone, I explained to the repairman that we purchased policies to specifically cover our A/C units. He said that they probably have a clause in the contract that gives them the ability to deny an obvious claim. I couldn't understand that, so I took a look at our policy. Under the "Air Conditioning" section of our policy, there is a list of "What's Covered" and "What's Not Covered." Under the "Covered" section, the condensation lines are listed, so one would think that they would be covered, right? Wrong, again! Upon calling to contest the denial, I was directed to a "Section H" in the back of the policy which states that no coverage would be provided for any "upgrades" made to come into compliance with codes. The scam is that they are considering our situation to be an upgrade and not a repair job; however, it was clearly explained to their claims department by their own chosen repair company as a repair job that did need to be done, and that the change in size to comply with code was incidental to the actual repair job. So the employee of AHS tried to tell me that there was nothing wrong with the lines, I suppose meaning that there was no physical damage to the PVC material. After an hour, the only other statements I could get out of them was "The contract says..." and upon asking the agent if she thought that this was ethical, "I'm not allowed to express my personal opinions about the company." I can see that there's a reason for that... At any rate, I also asked to speak to her manager. She said, "I am the manager. There is no one else you can talk to." The only other alternative was to be sent back to Customer Service.

    I was also informed that our contract had automatically been renewed in May, which was totally without our consent or permission whatsoever. It just adds insult to injury because we'll have to continue paying for the contract for about 8 more months or have our credit damaged by getting out of a contract early.

    I'm sorry to have to write such a long and detailed account, but I'm really trying to present this situation from all sides. Apparently, their practices show that AHS is not a reputable company with which to do business. They will "trick" you into purchasing a policy which will clearly show you what is covered and what is not covered under your policy. However, they will have a vague clause in the back of your policy that gives them a way to deny covering the very things listed under the "What's Covered" section of your plan if a replacement must be done, and a part changed due to changes that have occurred in residential building codes. The clause is construed so that the work can be either looked at as a repair, or it can be construed as an upgrade and therefore denied. I can't consider this company anything but a "sorry" company that will rip you off at any chance they get. They had very "slick" underwriters, so if you have a policy, and especially if you have purchased any of the additional coverages, you might want to examine your policy very carefully.

    Please be ware of this scam, and please let others you care about know also, so that they can make a truly informed decision before getting caught up in this scam.

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