These complaints against American Home Shield (AHS), a ServiceMaster subsidiary, are just some of those submitted to ďTerminix - Consumer Alert!Ē  The information they contain is unverified. Judge for yourself if you believe them, as I do.

AHS Complaints

 

Georgia - 11/03 (AHS-19). Sent e-mail of poor service, how they assign a non-responsive service provider to check the problem, donít follow up, and believe they did nothing wrong.  I lost my heat pump and was out of heat for four days when the weather changed. I got very sick. I had to have another service provider replace the heat pump.  They responded in a letter that since they didnít approve it, they donít have to pay, even though the service provider didnít call until almost 10 days.


? - 4/03 (AHS-18).  I purchased a home with a home warranty policy from American Home Shield, and they are denying covered items.  The company they sent out which recommends replacement of the unit told me that AHS, at least in our area, denies claims ďall the timeĒ and that because of this, they offer AHS policy holders additional discounts off heat pump replacements. Also, I have a freon leak which is not maintenance related; and the technician stated that this, coupled with the unitís age, is reason enough to replace the unit.  Claim denied. End of story.  I filed my complaint at www.bigclassaction.com. I would be interested in finding out if others would like to join me.  I feel I have been taken advantage of; and like many others, my pockets arenít deep.  I donít plan on dropping this.


Texas - 4/03 (AHS-17).  If you have an older home, BEWARE of this RIP-OFF company. You will think your system is covered when in fact they will claim "IMPROPER INSTALL" and deny coverage.  American Home Shield contract states: "During the contract period, American Home Shield of Texas will repair or replace the systems and components mentioned as protected in accordance with the terms and conditions of this contract so long as they:

    3. ARE IN GOOD WORKING ORDER ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS CONTRACT AND

    4. Are properly installed throughout the term of this contract for proper diagnosis"

Our air conditioner was in good working orderon the effective date of contract.  When the air conditioner was leaking, they sent someone out who cleaned out the line and said that if that did not fix the problem, we probably needed a plumber to check the pipe.  Two weeks later it began leaking again. When we called Home Shield and asked for a plumber, they decided it was "IMPROPERLY INSTALLED" because it was OLD PIPE and they "only cover PVC pipe" ..... so much for "in good working order on the effective date of this contract.Ē They told us we were entitled to a second opinion; but if the second tech agreed with the first, we would have to pay yet another $50 for the "service call."  Since we were being told it was the pipe, we declined.  When I complained to the head of customer service that I felt this "improper  install" business was a scam, his response was to ask why we had kept Home Shield for over 5 years if we thought it was a scam and started reading me the history of our service calls...

When our WATER HEATER went out the guy they sent us wired it wrong. It SHORTED OUT AND CAUSED A FIRE - this was on a weekend so they REFUSED to call it an EMERGENCY. After several frustrating calls and DAYS LATER, we finally got another guy out here; and they did replace the water heater.

When our DISHWASHER went out (the door catch would not lock to start the machine), the guy they sent was rude and said that because my husband had attempted to fix it first he was reporting it as "dishwasher abuse" and it would not be covered. WE REPLACED THE DISHWASHER AT OUR OWN EXPENSE.

They came out several times on the DRYER.  It NEVER stayed fixed, and we ended up also buying A NEW DRYER AT OUR OWN EXPENSE - after being "fifty dollared" to death on it by Home Shield.  We DROPPED THE APPLIANCE COVERAGE but kept coverage on the major systems - the AIR CONDITIONER being the main reason since we live in Texas where it is health threatening to be without. After they denied coverage for the "IMPROPER INSTALL," we called a company on our own. It took him about 3 minutes.... he pulled out the filter which was wet on top meaning the leak was from the drain coil pan up ABOVE! It had NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PIPE and FURTHERMORE the pipe WAS copper and PVC!!!  My husband called Home Shield and told them. They argued with him, then finally offered us the second opinion option . He told them he would think about it.  We decided to CUT OUR LOSSES AND DROP HOME SHIELD because it was soo likely that they would send more of their incompetent techs out, it would never be fixed right and we would be "fifty dollared" to death with the system never properly fixed.

If they post some kind of rebuttal be aware that, I have found MULTIPLE web sites with MULTIPLE COMPLAINTS on the SAME story with the "IMPROPER INSTALL" SCAM on air conditioning units.  Check them out at:


Texas - 3/03 (AHS-16).  I have an American Home Shield policy in Texas and am being majorly ripped off.  This time re: replacing my water heater, and I am searching for information that may be helpful to me in pursuing this company legally and/or forcing them to pay for the replaced water heater.  If things are as I suspect, I would not be surprised if ALL states wherein they do business have enough unhappy customers so that a class action suit may be in order.

Unlike many other states who regulate companies like AHS under their "Insurance Dept"/laws, Texas and the rip-off repugniCons have the Texas Real Estate Commission exercising oversight (I assume, because there is LESS regulation, although in Texas the insurance industry screws consumers fairly easily). Also unlike other states, Texas does not list AHS's consumer complaints online where the public can easily access the information.  I have been told by the Tex. Real Estate Comm. that a FOIA request would likely be thousands $$$ since there are thousands of complaints against them. I also was told that when consumers complain to the state A.G. office, the A.G. sends them a letter saying that the Real Estate Comm. would most likely be the best dept. to handle their complaints.  And as you can imagine, they aren't very good watchdogs since they don't seem too concerned about ambiguous and vague terms which intentionally mislead the public.

It may surprise you to know that I actually am a lawyer (family law background and currently disabled) and I have even been misled. I can only imagine how easily other consumers, without legal training, are being misled!  I have this damned policy to help in the event of my home appliances, etc, going south. Since I am on a fixed disability income, AHS' treatment of this matter infuriates me even more.  You should see the bogusly inflated "estimate" that their independent contractor, Rescue Rooter, gave me !!!  e.g. The guy wanted $75 to haul off the old unit and $150 for a $48 city permit, among other outrageous itemizations, which would have meant that the new water heater install would have run around $1000+!! Some discount! grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. AHS then added insult to injury by telling me that before they would come out again, I'd have to provide them with proof that the water heater had been replaced! The contractor who came out from Rescue Rooter would have had to have used "XRAY VISION" to make his determination!! He opened the closet doors, casually looked at the unit sitting in there and determined that my water heater "looks pretty old" and therefore was providing less hot water because of "sediment !!!!"  "Chemical" (whatever that means) and "sediment" deposits, of course, fall under the 3rd page, fine print "Limitations/exclusions"--right in there with floods, fire, freezing and other acts of God!!  I assumed they were referring to sedimentary deposits left as a result of flood waters, e.g. when a river floods an area.   If one were to judge by the first TWO pages of hyperfluous BS in the contract intended to induce people to buy their contracts, one would be misled to think that a (nonsolar) gas "water heater and all its parts and components" would be covered!  grrrrrrrrrr

Update (4/03): Thank you VERY much for the head's up about Rescue Rooter and ServiceMaster! I used that to bolster my argument--e.g. the appearance of collusion--with AHS AND they are reimbursing me for almost all of my cost of replacing the water heater!  It turns out that they have a policy that if the unit is more than 7 years old to replace it.  The Rescue Rooter guy knew full well that my water heater was installed in 1992 and was only a 5-year guaranteed unit, and he knew that "sediment" would disqualify it from coverage by AHS. Home Depot's truly independent contractor  told me that there was no way to tell if the water heater had sediment in it unless you took the entire unit apart--and certainly not by using XRAY  vision like the Rescue Rooter guy used. They also discovered that my dip tube was broken at the top which explained the shortage of hot water I was complaining about--the unit started leaking shortly after the Rescue Rooter guy came out which then necessitated draining it and turning off the cold water to it for a couple of weeks until I could get the money together to replace the unit.  Of course, this still does not address the obvious price gouging by Rescue Rooter, the not-so-independent contractor who claims to be giving AHS clients a "discount."  I had my water heater installed by Home Depot (to include a NINE year warranty instead of a 6-year warranty and a 40,000 BTU instead of a 30,000 BTU unit, plus the permit, drip pan, cold-water valve, tapping into the TMP line, installing a TMP line check valve, plus hauling off the old unit--ALL for only $607! Rescue Rooter quoted me $469 for the water heater and a drip pan, $150 for a $48 permit, $75 for a drip pan alarm I didn't need, $75 to haul off the old unit, and they didn't even look to see if I had a TMP line to tap into as city code requires which would have cost me more, nor did they give me a figure for the cold water valve.) Anyway, they'll be sending me a check for $460 (they don't cover the permit or the code upgrade TMP line connect) so I feel vindicated.  It pays to be the squeaky wheel sometimes, but it still was a lot more work than it should be.

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