About American Home Shield

Based out of Memphis, TN and in business for more than 40 years, American Home Shield provides home protections plans that cover some of the most frequently-occurring system breakdowns in your home. As a sub-company of The ServiceMaster Company—which also includes brands such as Terminix and Merry Maids—American Home Shield claims to cover more than 1.4 million homeowners across 49 states, and features more than 10,000 independent home-service contractors.

The company holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, even though they have a total of 3,777 closed complaints within the past three years. Despite this rating, customer satisfaction appears to be “acceptable” to “poor,” based on the online reviews we found. The most common complaints appear to be unknowledgeable contractors with poor customer service skills, and multiple calls required in order to remedy a single problem.

American Home Shield Protection Plans, Pricing, & Refund Policy

American Home Shield offers four different protection plans, depending on your needs. Pricing for each plan appears to vary based on your location, so yours may be slightly different than the costs shown below:

  • Systems Plan – $32.00 per month – This plan covers repair/replacement of components within air conditioning/heating, electrical, and plumbing systems, and much more.
  • Appliance Plan – $22.00 per month – This plan covers repair/replacement of components in refrigerators, dishwashers, clothes washers/dryers, and many more household appliances.
  • Combo Plan – $42.00 per month – A combination of the Systems and Appliances plans, this is claimed to save you “an average of $14 per month” compared to purchasing the plans separately.
  • Build Your Own Plan – $36+ per month (depending on chosen coverages) – Pay for only the coverage you need by selecting at least 10 covered items.

You can also further adjust your monthly premium by choosing a different Trade Service Fee, which is the amount you’ll pay each time a repairperson is called to your home. These deductible amounts are $75, $100, and $200.

If you decide to cancel your American Home Shield Protection Plan, you can receive a full refund, less any service or claims fess, within the first 30 days. After the first 30 days have passed, you’ll be eligible for a pro-rated refund.

How American Home Shield Works

After choosing your protection plan and paying your first month’s premium, your 12-month contract will be activated 15 days thereafter. Once this occurs, you can then make a claim for a covered system by contacting American Home Shield via phone or through their website, 24-hours per day, seven days a week.

Protection plans are transferrable, meaning they can cover your new home if you move during the policy period, and are “all risk”—meaning unless something is specifically excluded by the contract, it will likely be covered. For an example contract that includes most exclusions, please click here.

If a covered system breaks down during your policy period, you simply contact American Home Shield by phone or through their website, and speak with a 24/7 service representative, who will then schedule a contractor. Even though a service representative is available at all times, your contractor will only contact you during normal business hours.

Once your scheduled contractor arrives, you’ll be required to pay your Trade Call Service Fee to them directly, which will allow them to begin diagnosing the problem. After this occurs, the contractor will contact American Home Shield to verify that the problem is covered under your plan. Then, once this is confirmed, your contractor will begin repairing or replacing your system.

While the process seems relatively straightforward, and despite the company’s claim to use quality contractors, we came across hundreds of complaints during our research citing that American Home Shield often uses unprofessional (and often unqualified) contractors first. Then, if the problem isn’t addressed satisfactorily, they’ll call in more experienced and professional contractors to complete the job. With this said, there are hundreds of additional consumer complaints which state that their problems remain unresolved after as many as 5-6 service calls—and paying the associated Trade Call Service Fee each time, on top of their monthly premium.

Pros:

  • Several different home protection plans from which to choose, with reasonable monthly pricing.
  • In business since 1971, with more than 1.4 million covered homes.
  • 24/7 customer support to file a claim.
  • Company claims to use only high-quality contractors that consistently maintain strong customer satisfaction rankings.

Cons:

  • Contractors who complete repairs are only available during normal business hours.
  • Have a tendency to send “sketchy” contractors to your home as a first resort, though they also contract with well-established companies like Sears.
  • Many customers have complained that contractors often show up just to collect their fee, and then quickly leave without adequately addressing the problem.

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37 Customer Reviews for American Home Shield

Average Customer Rating: 1.4
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 3 4 star: 0 3 star: 2 2 star: 0 1 star:  32
Bottom Line: 19% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 37
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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    AHS communications

    • Calabasas, CA,
    • Jun 16, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have three properties with American Home Shield (AHS) that I am canceling contracts for due to lack of and poor communications with AHS. There are no means to send an email to AHS to discuss issues such as vendors not showing or payment of service charge, etc. Each time I call AHS, the hold time is a minimum of 35 minutes, only to find out they transfer the call to a different department for another 35-minute hold. I called for "billing," and after a 40-minute hold, "service" answered and transferred me to "billing" for another 35-minute hold.

    AHS owed me $130 for a service they could not provide. They agreed to send me a check. After five months of not receiving the check, I called to discover they changed their statement and said service was provided. I asked if they could provide the Work Order showing work completed and they could not. But, I ate the loss of service and paid another repairman directly. This was common with AHS to lie. Not such a big deal, but I hate their lies and arguments to avoid making any repairs. They will fight and attempt to intimidate to avoid warranty claims.

    I have two other properties with Fidelity, and they are not the best but much better than AHS. I hope you save your frustrations and time by not using AHS.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Pool pump

    • Riverside, CA,
    • Jun 14, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am not sure where to start or exactly sure why a company like this is allowed to practice business. I have never filed a complaint or ever thought legal actions against a company and hope I never will. My initial request was for a pool filter issue, which is covered. American Home Shield contracted with a company called "Premium Contractors," which took over a month to resolve the issue, which included multiple visits from some of the rudest individuals/contractors I have met.

    The second request was to American Home Shield for my pool pump, which is covered and is 15 years old. They sent a contractor to the house who refused to call or text me after diagnosing it, since I wasn't present during his inspection. Later that night, I get a voice message from American Home Shield saying the contractor reported the pump motor stopped working because of secondary damage, leak, and rust, and he even took the liberty to tell them it wasn't due to wear and tear.

    After an hour with the American Home Shield authorization department trying to explain that I have never touched the pool pump, there was no leak or rust, and that it was working fine to the day before I called them when it started humming, but to no avail. I asked if the contractor had sent pictures of what he thought was the leak or rust, and I was told he hasn't because he sent a detailed diagnosis. When I asked for the detailed diagnosis, I was given the one liner I mentioned above. I also asked if he didn't take any pictures, wouldn't that raise concern to them that he made a concrete diagnosis which led them to deny the claim just on his word? I told her that I can send pictures to prove otherwise, and the reply was that it didn't matter and I quote, "at this point, it’s your word against his, and the claim has been denied, and there is nothing that can be done about it."

    Now, I am not naive enough to think that these contractors are hired for their ability to fix problems for consumers, or for their higher level of competency and moral aptitude. They work for the insurance company American Home Shield and their driver is to save them money by whatever means, so American Home Shield does not have to pay for things they should contractually be obligated to cover to secure future work orders.

    I requested a second look, which I'll need to pay the insurance for. I am still unsure why I am left in this position, trying to fight this in the first place. But this predatory behavior needs to be promptly addressed by the BBB. And while I do hope my issue gets resolved, I would plead with the BBB to PLEASE address this and HOLD this company liable/accountable for this behavior and similar ones, and not to overlook these consumer complaints.

    I work in the medical field, and if someone had used such manipulative and unethical practices and tactics, they would immediately lose their license and even be thrown in jail. Why is American Home Shield and similar companies not held to that standard and is able to prey on its customers?

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Terrible

    Buyer beware! Have your lawyer read the fine print because there is a lot that the warranties do NOT cover. We paid the service fee and then they wanted almost $500 more! Wow, nice warranty, right?

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Class action lawsuit

    I called American Home Shield on May 1, 2017, about my air conditioner not working. I am still without air conditioner five weeks later. When I've asked when it will be fixed, I was offered $500 to walk away from the claim. Bait and switch. Enough is enough. A class action lawsuit is what's needed against this company.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Terrible company, avoid at all costs.

    • Florida,
    • Jun 1, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    The first time was like pulling teeth to get my AC fixed. It obviously had a leak, and they did not want to troubleshoot it. They just wanted to fill it with Freon (of which they only cover $10 a pound).

    I had to spend three days arguing with them to get it leak checked. They found an obvious leak in the coil and a second leak in the compressor. After much argument and over $600 additional (above and beyond the service call fee and warranty cost), they fixed it.

    The second time I called, they told me their computers were down and they could not setup a service call. They had no ETA on having their systems back up. As I had water flowing everywhere, I asked if I could just hire someone, pay them and be reimbursed. They said no, I had to just wait. That cost me $300.

    Lastly, last week our main house AC went out. We realized this on Friday when we got home. The house was 91 degrees. We put in a service ticket, and the contractor called and told us that they would not be out for 72 hours. I explained we had expected temps of 97 degrees over the next three days, and they informed me AHS would not pay for after hours or weekend calls. So once again I got my own AC person and paid out of pocket to fix it.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 8 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Total liars

    • Enterprise, AL,
    • May 23, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have been a customer for over eight years and in the last three weeks have been lied to three times. I was told no contractors were in my are, although I have had them before.

    Next, I was told that they would issue a check for the service so I could use someone locally. The check would arrive in 7 to 10 days. I called today and was told the check was never processed and it would be two more weeks to get it handled.

    It has now been four weeks.

    Stay away from these people. Their customer service can hardly be called that.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    They will rip you off

    • Arizona,
    • May 16, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    The worst customer service and sketchy technicians. I placed a claim for my A/C and the tech said it was a valve and I needed to order it from the internet. It took a week to return, (90 degrees inside the house for a week). It worked for 10 minutes, gave them the invoice for $750 for freon, and they said it is not covered anymore.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Terrible service! Beware.

    • Las Vegas, NV,
    • May 7, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I bought an investment property in October of 2016. My realtor bought the American Home Shield plan for 10/16 thru 10/17 and put it in the closing settlement with the amount of $495. I thought I'd need it, so I didn't dispute during closing.

    Then I called American Home Shield in December of 2016 to request the contract that they hadn't sent to me yet. The rep tried to upsell saying that if I decided to pay through October of 2018 with $485 more, I would have many more benefits including full coverage for everything in the house and having the service call fee waived. And that I would only pay the $75 trade fee just for an emergency service that occurs during the PM hours and would have it fixed within 24 hours.

    A couple of weeks ago, I ordered a service for the doorbell that stopped working. Had I known of the scam, I would not have called them. Their contractor came out without any communication with me as I expected and as we spoke on the phone not to deal with my tenant. However, he came and asked the tenant to let him in, and within five minutes he already left. He didn't call me the entire time. I thought he was still coming so I called him and found out he already did the service, and I had to pay for the part and the installation.

    Today, after two weeks, I got a notice from American Home Shield saying there was a delinquency on my account of $75. I demanded a cancellation. They demanded to bring the account up to date for them to proceed the cancellation. Then they did the calculation and said I would get back only $300 something out of the $980 that I paid. I said "the rep who tried to upgrade my plan in December of 2016 lied to me about all the benefits that I would get and that I compared the two contracts of the one-year and the two-year, they were identical page to page and word to word, so explain to me where are all the benefits that I was promised for the upgrade. Just show me the difference!"

    She indeed forced me into paying for an extra year with almost the same price. So I at least should get back the $485 because I have not started the 2018 contract yet plus the remaining of the $495 after the eight months in use of 2017. I threatened to go to court with them and ask the court to obtain the recording so that my lawyer would compare it to the two versions of the contract that I have in my hand. Also, their contract terms say that after 30 days, they must give back a pro-rated refund. Instead, they said whatever of 2017 which I still have left from May through October of 2017 is gone and they would deduct a $80 admin fee plus a contracted deduction of $485 from 2018 and I would get back only $300 something.

    I read them the refund terms and that they must give me back the remaining balance based on the prorate calculation so I should get back at least $600. After so much verbal fight with them, they put me on hold and came back saying they would give me back $635 as I expected. I am going to call my credit card company to stop the payment of the trade fee of $75 now.

    What a terrible company! I would never recommend American Home Shield to anyone of my circle!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 9 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Terrible service

    • Newark, Delaware,
    • Apr 25, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    We recently purchased a home and were guaranteed everything worked well by the seller. When the gas company came out to do a safety inspection on the gas and also turn on the heater's "flame," they placed a red sticker on it because they said a part was wrong with it and it needed to be repaired before it could be turned on.

    We reached out to American Home Shield and had to call about five times in between work and school before a representative got on the phone with us, plus their phone calls were very backed up and they had us on hold for over 20 minutes every single time. When I spoke with the representative, we were able to request two contractors to come out, one for the electricity and one for the heater. 24 hours after that we received a call from the heating company to schedule an appointment, and we were able to schedule it for the next business day, which was great.

    Today the contractor came out and inspected the heater and said he would order the part that needed repair, which we pointed to him because we were told which part it was by the gas company that came out to evaluate it previously, and who had alerted us of the issue. Within hours the contractor informed me American Home Shield had denied the coverage because they said the homeowners (us) were already informed of the damage before we purchased the coverage, and he referred me to American Home Shield for further insight.

    I reached out to their customer service and waited on hold for a period of 30 minutes before speaking with a representative (no surprise there). She informed me that the contractor/technician informed their department that we had prior knowledge of the damage before purchasing the coverage. I let her know the technician let me know that's what they had told HIM and I wanted to know where they had obtained the information to make that assumption, and the representative let me know it was the technician and that she couldn't provide me with further details. I reached back out to the technician, who informed me he had not told them that, that he had only mentioned that we had pointed out to him the damage and that there was already a red sticker on there signaling the damage.

    He said he did not know how to further help me and basically didn't provide any direction on how I could solve this situation. I asked that he reach back out to American Home Shield and let them know he did not say we knew about the damage before the purchase of the coverage. I am planning to reach back out tomorrow, so hopefully he will have clarified the issue by then.

    I am disappointed by the service we have been provided and am amazed by the miscommunication and lack of information the representatives of American Home Shield have shown. I do not understand how they can come to the conclusion of denying a claim and not provide me with the details, and instead ask me to reach out to other people. I am not sure how this will be resolved, but I do not recommend their services.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Canceled policy after claims

    • Palm Springs, CA,
    • Apr 25, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    We were canceled without stated reason, presumably because of claims.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    They are AWFUL. Complete SCAM!

    • Gaithersburg, MD,
    • Apr 24, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    American Home Shield, sounds great at first and that's to get you into a contract. Once you're signed, you're stuck! Their main job is to get out of paying for things that break in your home, based on "pre-existing conditions."

    For example, we bought a house that didn't have a pressure valve installed. Well because we had pipe leaks and appliance issues from this, AHS refused to pay for anything related to leaks. This is just one example of their bait and switch tactics. Trying to get any clear answer on the phone from their illustrious "associates" is almost as gratifying as banging your head into a wall.

    You can't get any answers from them and the vendors they assign to you are some of the worst of the worst. Just check Yelp and Google to see their reviews, once you have a problem and they're assigned to your home. This is one of the WORST companies I've ever dealt with and when my year is up with AHS, I'm getting rid of them!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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