American Home Shield Review
Fed up with unhelpful American Home Shield reviews? Unsure whether American Home Shield is the company for you? We have covered EVERYTHING relating to American Home Shield on our review. Learn about customer reviews and complaints, American Home Shield's plans, costs, the contract, the class action lawsuit, and whether American Home Shield is worth it. We have collated data from across the internet and had our experts analyze it and compare it to industry standards. Even if you are familiar with AHS home warranty and have read multiple American Home Shield reviews, you may still be surprised!
Updated for Apr 08, 2019
Our Top-Rated Alternatives to American Home Shield
American Home Shield is one of the biggest and oldest companies on the home warranty market. It was established in 1971 in Memphis, Tennessee. Today, AHS home warranty serves millions of customers all over the country and keeps enrolling new clients, aggressively advertising online and on TV. In fact, AHS which boasts to dominate 48% of all home warranty contracts in the USA has become synonymous to American home warranty. American Home Shield is one of few public home warranty companies in the USA and is owned by Servicemaster (NYSE: SERV). In late October of 2018, it was spun into a new company named Frontdoor and is now trading under the ticker FTDR in the New York Stock Exchange. As a public company, American Home Shield provides detailed reports of its revenues and number of clients which demonstrate beyond any doubt that it is the largest company of its kind.
An important factor that may help you make the right decision regarding a home warranty is customer reviews. American Home Shield reviews on consumer reporting sites are mixed. The company has low Yelp ratings, but high Google Reviews ratings. It is accredited by the Better Business Bureau, which is usually perceived as a sign of a good reputation. American Home Shield BBB rating is B. However, eighty-one percent of customer reviews of AHS there are negative. American Home Shield warranty offers a variety of coverage plans with a limited selection of add-on items. Premium amounts vary and depend on the deductibles known as the “service call fee.” Customers who choose the lower premiums will have to pay higher service call fees, and vice versa. Comparing American Home Shield vs First American Home Warranty, we can say that this system allows more flexibility and convenience to the customers. In case there are any issues, American Home Shield complaints can be resolved by the American Arbitration Association.
Before signing a new contract with a home warranty company, most consumers would like to know how it stands related to other companies, whether it offers better plans, and how the premiums and service fees compare. For this purpose, we compared Choice Home Warranty vs American Home Shield and other companies in our Vis a Vis section in order to help you make a quick choice.
One of the first companies on the home warranty market, American Home Shield has been in business for almost 50 years now. It proudly serves the customers in most states, including Texas, California, Minnesota, South Dakota, Arizona, Iowa, Virginia, Georgia, and Florida, with the only exception being Arkansas. American Home Shield warranty plans vary in price on a per-state basis.
One of the good signs of a company's trustworthiness is its growth. According to WREG-TV, a news channel registered in Tennessee, American Home Shield is expanding and hiring new employees.
American Home Shield has two sister companies, Landmark Home Warranty, and Home Security of America, that serve customers in a limited number of states. In case of any disputes that cannot be resolved internally, customers of all three home warranty companies may file a complaint with the American Arbitration Association. American Home Shield had several class action lawsuits filed against it in 2010 and 2011. One was relating to the company's "bad faith insurance" by suggesting American Home Shield delibartely ignored client claims, the other was relating to paying bonuses to contractor for denied claims. These lawsuits were settled outside of court.
Getting a free quote from AHS warranty is easy. Extraverts can get it by phone, and for the introverts, there is an online contact form on the American Home Shield website at ahs.com. Unfortunately, online chat is not available, but the company is widely presented in social networks including Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+.
Benchmarks American Home Shield Other companies
American Home Shield plans consist of the following: Systems Plan, Appliance Plan, Combo Plan, and Build Your Own Plan. The pricing is flexible and depends on how much you want to spend per month vs. per service call. The more you pay per month, the cheaper the service call is for you, and vice versa. When we compared Total Protect vs American Home Shield, we noticed that they offer similar payment options.
- The Systems Plan includes replacement or repair of the components of all major home systems but not any household appliances.
- The Appliance Plan, on the contrary, includes home appliances but not any systems, such as plumbing, a/c and heating, electrical wires, and ceiling fans.
- The Combo Plan is the most popular one. It includes everything in the Systems and Appliance plans and saves you $14 a month over purchasing the two plans separately.
- The Build Your Own Plan allows homeowners to include only those items that they would like to cover. This is the most convenient and the most expensive plan available with American Home Shield.
Summary of plans and coverage:
|Items||Limit||Silver Systems Plan||Platinum Combo Plan||Silver Appliance Plan||Optional Coverage|
|Premium Amount||-||$34.99||$44.99||$34.99||$30.00 - $159.96|
|Service Call Fee||-||$125.00||$125.00||$125.00||-|
|Coverage||$1,500.00 - $3,000.00|
The main points of AHS home warranty coverage for all home systems and appliances that can be included in the contract are summarized in the table above. Here we highlight the most important information:
- Air Conditioning: American Home Shield has strict dollar limits for home system repairs. For air conditioning systems, all inside units are covered up to $1,500, and ductwork is covered up to $1,000. For refrigerant replacement, the charge is $10 per pound. All outside or underground components and legally mandated diagnostic tests are not covered.
- Heating System: For heating and ductwork, all units are covered by the AHS home warranty except outside pipes, pumps, and components, as well as fuel storage, portable units, fireplaces, wood, pellet or grain heating units, and legally mandated diagnostics. Coverage may also be limited by your specific contract. The charge for refrigerant replacement will again be $10 per pound.
- Electrical System: American Home Shield coverage for electrical parts includes all wires, lights, and fans. However, any audio or video gadgets, phones, cable, alarms, security systems, and such, are not included.
- Plumbing System: Plumbing is only covered by the American Home Shield's contract up to $1,000, and that includes diagnostics, repair, and replacement of any parts. The customer is responsible for any expenses above this limit, and for any parts and works listed in the Not Covered column of the table above. For water heaters, only tankless units and circulating pumps are covered. No auxiliary fuel storage tanks and no energy conservation units are covered. If your water heater makes a noise, fixing that is not covered either.
- Home Appliances: All components and parts are covered for most home appliances, including garbage disposals, instant water dispensers, smoke detectors, ceiling fans, and doorbells if they are not the part of the intercom systems. However, for the refrigerators, AHS home warranty will only pay up to $5,000 per dual compressor refrigerator. That includes access, diagnosis, and repair or replacement. Freestanding freezers, wine chillers, and multimedia centers are not covered.
Is American Home Shield warranty worth it in terms of coverage limits? Although AHS coverage limits may seem low, in fact, they are the best you could find in the home warranty industry. Most other companies would have a cap of $1,000 or $1,500 on all items.
American Home Shield Costs
If you compare American Home Shield's plan costs to a competitor, it is generally speaking more expensive than the alternatives. If you apply for a $125/service fee plan, then the premiums you will pay for either plan will be lower than of its competitors, but the industry average deductible is $50-$75, and when you chose this option you are left with plans costing from $49.90 per month, while some competitors like Choice Home Warranty will offer a similar plan for 30% less ($34/m).
We have carefully read all of the terms and conditions of the American Home Shield contract, including the fine print, and summarized the main points in the table above. Overall, American Home Shield sample contract's policy information was easy to find, except for the dollar limits, and it was written in such a way that any average client should able to easily understand the terms and conditions.
Most of the terms were not tricky. However, any information on pre-inspection was not available. As for the waiting time mentioned in the contract, customers should keep in mind that it will take up to 48 hours to get a call from the service company, not the service itself. These waiting periods are higher than industry averages and are among the most popular American Home Shield Complaints.
When you sign a contract with this company, it is easy to find out how to cancel American Home Shield membership when you want to, but you should note that the American Home Shield contract will be renewed automatically unless canceled within 30 days of the contract’s expiration date. The cancellation fee in this instance was not specified in the company’s terms and conditions.
Quotes from actual customer reviews:
Recently had to use my home shield warranty which covered all of the broken items. Overall very happy and the contractors were great, showed up on time, professional and polite. I did have to stay on top of the assigned contractor which took about a week but i did not mind.
I'll give them 2 stars because eventually my problem got addressed. Subtracted 3 stars because: - it took 2 months and 4 visits from plumbers to replace my toilet - I was lied to, repeatedly, by the people who answer the phone at AHS. They fabricated statements from the plumber, and my problem was only addressed after I got someone from Authorizations to conference call with the actual plumber who stated what the problem was and refuted what was put on record previously.
Types of repairs performed according to customer feedback:
Main takeaway points from customer feedback:
American Home Shield reviews were collected from ten consumer reporting sites. Overall, there were more than 10,000 reviews. The highest rating was on Google Reviews at 4.4 stars out of five. On other consumer reporting sites, the AHS ratings ranged from one to 4.1. Of those American Home Shield reviews that reported negative experiences, the major concerns were a slow reaction to filed claims, poor customer support, and complaints about contractor services. WREG reports that the number of complaints has recently grown. It has been noticed that American Home Shield customers have filed 40 complaints against the company at the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs in 2018 alone.
Overall, while American Home Shield warranty tries to provide good quality services to its customers, there can be some obstacles and limitations that prevent it from doing so in the policy.
The Final Words: Is American Home Shield Good?
American Home Shield is one of the oldest home warranty companies on the market. It honors new contracts and provides services to customers from all over the USA, except for Arkansas. The company claims to address any issues covered by the contract within 48 hours. However, it does not always hold up to its word.
There are several types of American Home Shield plans, and customers may choose to select coverage for either the home systems, appliances, or a combination plan. Customized plans that only cover items selected by the customer are also available.
Thecost for American Home Shield, like with any home warranty company, consists of two parts: a premium and a deductible. Customers can choose whether they prefer higher premiums and lower deductibles, or vice versa.
You can get a free quote by phone, mail, or online. If after reading this American Home Shield review you are not satisfied with the company for any reason, we can offer you several alternatives at the top of this page.