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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29 Customer Reviews for American Home Shield

Average Customer Rating: 1.6
Rating Snapshot:
5 stars: 3 4 stars: 0 3 stars: 2 2 stars: 0 1 stars: 24
Bottom Line: 24% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 29
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  • Terrible service

    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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  • Canceled policy after claims

    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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  • They are AWFUL. Complete SCAM!

    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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  • Amazing, saves us tons of money

    • Colorado,
    • Apr 21, 2017

    We have had this whole home warranty for almost one year. We have used it for ceiling fans, faucets, and a furnace. They always fix or replace what needs it. It has saved us THOUSANDS of dollars.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Horrible Company

    This company has been nothing but a headache since day 1. The seller purchased the warranty on our home and we had no say in the coverage chosen. When we learned that it was the bare minimum of coverage and wanted to pay to upgrade it, American Home Shield would not allow us to upgrade the service. They said our only option would be to refund the seller her $500 and for us to buy our own coverage for $680. We have had to use our warranty for our AC that was supposed to be under warranty but got to spend $300 on refrigerant because they don't cover that.

    After our contract is up with this terrible company, I will definitely be shopping around for a company that cares about customer satisfaction. American Home Shield is NOT the company to go with!

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    A garbabel company

    • Los Angeles, CA,
    • Apr 1, 2017

    If you want to waste your money, go ahead. They only work with cheap repair companies so that they can pay less money. These cheap companies will not do good repair. They just show up and pretend to repair it for you. After 30 days or an even shorter period, I guarantee that your faucet will leak again, and your refrigerator will break again.

    Don't waste your time and money. After two bad experiences with American Home Shield and their unprofessional repair company, I decide to take a chance without coverage and pay more money to fire a professional repair company.

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Don't deal with American Home Shield

    American Home Shield is a scam. I purchased a home warranty a year ago and opted to purchase a warranty with an upgraded coverage to cover the pool and hot tub because I had concerns about issues that might arise in the future with these items.

    At closing, I received a paper documenting the purchase of the warranty and a promise from American Home Shield to send me my full contract package in the coming days which would detail my coverage. That way, if I ever had an issue with any equipment or appliances with the house or pool or hot tub, I would know and understand my coverage.

    Here it is, two weeks before my warranty is to expire and I have an issue with my pool light (electrical). I called American Home Shield and submitted a service request, and the contractor came out and diagnosed the problem. He said that it should not be an issue at all for American Home Shield to cover it since they do these all the time for them. Later on that day, I received a voicemail from American Home Shield saying they denied the claim. I'm out a $75 service fee for the contractor for nothing.

    The contractor is irate with American Home Shield because they're saying the pool light is not a part of the pool. How absurd is that! Pool equipment it is a part of the pool. I called back to American Home Shield and asked to speak with a manager, and the lady said that an email request had to be submitted to have a manager give you a callback. I said, "no, I will speak to a manager, or I will not get off the phone." So finally, a lady named Portia got on the phone, and I'm almost positive she was not a legitimate manager because she was not professional and just kept saying there is nothing we can do, and that we did send you a contract on April 26th when we didn't even close on our house until after that date.

    The bottom line is that American Home Shield doesn't care if they send you a contract, they would prefer if you didn't know what is covered or not. They just want you to purchase the warranty, and then they start subjectively deciding whether they want to cover your appliance or home items or not. There is currently 7,990 complaints that have been closed by American Home Shield in the last three years. I say closed because who really knows if the customer was really satisfied with the result of their complaint.

    I will tell everyone I know to not ever purchase a home warranty from American Home Shield. It's very telling in business when you have to keep changing your name. American Home Shield has been known by at least five other names. Please save yourself time, energy, and money and don't deal with this scam of a company.

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

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  • 7 out 8 people found this review helpful

    A waste of money

    • Phoenix, AZ,
    • Mar 3, 2017

    After paying over a decade of premiums my heater broke. After three months of no heat, it became clear to me that they were just stringing me along and would not make the repair. Every time you call, be prepared to wait an incredibly long time on hold. I ended up buying the heater out of my pocket for $4,700. They never denied the coverage; they just string you along until you give up to avoid making a costly repair. I would never recommend them.

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

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  • 11 out 11 people found this review helpful

    Don't waste your money!

    • Virginia,
    • Feb 23, 2017

    The $42-per-month fee seems like a deal for the peace of mind, but you're way better setting that money aside in savings and handling repairs using qualified professionals.

    I had the plan for almost a year when my oven broke. I called American Home Shield, and they sent a technician out (there is a 7-hour window, so I had to work from home that day) and when I explained the issue, he collected his "service fee," and then set about "inspecting" my oven. For 30 minutes he tried to get the oven door off and finally had to look it up online on his phone. He then left and said he'd be back with me in 3-5 days.

    Two weeks passed, and I didn't hear from anyone, so I called American Home Shield, and they told me that my repair has been denied. They told me that the repair guy reported that I was "missing a part" and when I called BS, they sent another technician out. When the second guy arrived, I told him the story, and he asked me if I happened to have a video of the stove breaking. WHAT?

    I invited him to leave my property immediately and set about the long voyage of trying to cancel this awful contract. I sat on hold for 45 minutes longer than the usual 45-60 minute call, to be connected to someone in their "retention" office. This woman's attitude was awful, and she took a clear satisfaction in trying to avert my cancellation by assessing me an early cancellation fee.

    This is a racket and a fleecing operation, to put it kindly. Stay far, far away!

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

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  • 12 out 12 people found this review helpful

    Do not use American Home Shield

    It is always a long 20 to 30-minute wait to reach an overworked, rude customer service person. I was just on hold for 20 minutes and got a busy noise and a hang-up. The website does not work, for I tried to log on and it shows that I do not have a contract, even though I have been paying for one for over two years.

    Do not waste your time or money with this wart of a company. Also, be aware that the Consumer Affairs website showing reviews is American Home Shield's own site. I tried leaving a negative review on that site, and it was deleted.

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

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  • 12 out 12 people found this review helpful

    Hot water heater issue

    These people are not a good company. They are rude and they send repair people out to patch up things which then stop working. They want you to keep paying service call fees of $75 for their mistakes.

    My hot water heater is not working, so I called them on the 12/20/2016. Someone came out on 12/21/2016 to fix the problem, but on 12/27/2016 the problem got worse. I still don't have hot water, and they're telling me that they didn't send the company that came to fix it. I called that company, and they assured me the American Home Shield sent them. Now they want me to pay $75 more to send someone else out.

    I don't think this is fair, and this company is horrible. They refuse to give you numbers to a supervisor or even give you their names. Something needs to be done.

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

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