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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147 Consumer Reviews for American Home Shield

Average Consumer Rating: 1.2
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 5 4 star: 0 3 star: 5 2 star: 3 1 star:  134
Bottom Line: 7% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 147
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  • AHS contract holder for over 20 years - no more!

    • Ocala, FL,
    • May 26, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    My air conditioner went out on 5/10/18. I requested service on 5/10/18. Today is 5/22/18, and I am no closer to resolution with AHS then I was on 5/10.

    The first A/C technician on 5/14/18 was rough and his findings confusing. He cited a leak of the liquid line dryer. I could pay $770 for R-22 or $5600 for a new unit which he recommended because my system was old and was going to break again.

    On 5/16, I requested a second contractor opinion. The second A/C technician came on 5/17. He was professional and understandable, and not surprisingly, his findings were different from technician one's. He found a leak in the evaporator coil. It wasn't until 5/22, that AHS had a filing from the second technician and they could authorize the repair. This was after over 6.5 hours of my holding or phone interaction with AHS. Guess what? MY share of the cost is $4585!

    Apparently, because my system is old, the evaporator coil can't be replaced. I need a new air handler. AHS will pay for that. They will NOT pay for the condenser because it still functions. Unfortunately, under Florida law, you cannot purchase those two items separately. They define a whole unit. AHS is absolutely unwilling to pay for the whole unit. When I asked what type of system I would be getting for $4585, they said they could not tell me until they ordered it. What? I have to agree to spend $4585 and then you'll tell me?

    I received a visit and quote for a non-AHS company that is super reputable, and a whole new system will cost $4890. Given my $100 service call charge and the quote of $4585 for "my share" of the repair, AHS seems to be making a $205 contribution to the cost of my repair need. That's not very good value, especially in light of the 12 days that have lapsed and the 6.5 hours I've spent banging on AHS's door. I can go on and on with details of this call as well as 4 prior calls I've had over the years. In every case, it's the same. Rough, low budget contractors doing half-baked jobs.

    After paying for AHS for over 20 years, I'm done. Trust me all you homeowners, they're not worth the trouble and cost. I own eight residential properties and have only ever covered one with AHS. I have the comparisons. AHS is more costly and absolutely frustrating. I'm pursuing legal action this time and trying to get the word out to people that AHS is not good to deal with. Another review mentioned trying to get a higher authority on the phone. Today I made that request and was told that she would put in the request and a supervisor would call me in 24 to 48 hours. Great, more time without my air conditioner.

    I'm out of time and done with AHS's lack of customer service. They truly do not care that I am without my A/C. We are not real people to them. We are just numbers in a queue or on a screen. And boy is it fun to get stuck between the contractor and AHS! Avoid AHS.

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

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  • Not professional or considerate at all! Not a customer obsessed company!

    • Kentucky,
    • May 26, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have had American Home Shield for two years and had only called them one time each year. Both times I never got prompt service. The HVAC technicians always took over two weeks and counting to get something serviced and repaired. My house was constantly in the low 90s everyday. AHS kept saying they understood my frustration and never helped resolve any problems I have had. They merely band-aid and do the bare minimums to every problem they come across.

    Currently they said Kentucky is too busy right now and I would have to find my own licensed and insured HVAC company and pay out of pocket for repairs and be reimbursed later, only if they say it is covered. Most HVAC companies don't want to look at something for AHS. I don't have the time, knowledge, or money to search for and pay a company to spend hours troubleshooting my system to which may not be covered with my home warranty. That is too much responsibility for customers, especially when working all day and getting home after business hours to a house without air conditioning.

    Every time I call about my claim or problem they act clueless and I get a different response or suggestion every time I call. At some point a professional company should call their customers or contractors and follow through with them to make sure proper action is taking place. I first started with this company to have some peace of mind knowing if something happened I would have AHS there to support me in that time of need. I never thought that I would have been neglected to a point where they basically ignore my problems and concerns and basically tell me to do their job for them.

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

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  • Plumbing fiasco!

    • New Hampshire,
    • May 26, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    We got American Home Shield when we bought our home. Because it's an older home we had to utilize AHS on several occasions for leaking pipe, oven repair, without much hassle, so we figured we'd continue our contract into the next year. BIG MISTAKE!

    This Saturday evening we had a pipe burst catastrophically, leaving us to shut off the water main. I called AHS, who said they'd expedite our call to a local vendor (Patriot) who had been here before. They told us that if we didn't hear from them in four hours to call them back with another option as we now had no water.

    AHS calls us back 30 minutes after initial call, say they have us down for a service appointment with Patriot Plumbing and Heating for Monday morning. I asked why they were sending a heating company for a plumbing job and was told that because of where the pipe failed it was most likely caused by the furnace so they had to send them out, but would get us a tech ASAP as we were without water and the Monday appointment was just a back up appointment in the event that they couldn't get a tech sooner. We accepted the explanation and waited to call back four hours later as instructed.

    I called back four hours later (3 am by this time) and told them we could opt for finding our own plumber and get later reimbursement within 14-21 business days. They explained that we couldn't do that as I'd recently lost my job and know that it could cost upwards of $300+ just to have a plumber show up on a weekend without guarantee of service coverage, so we left it at "tech will contact you tomorrow (Sunday)."

    The next morning I get a call from Patriot, who says they are not licensed for a plumbing issue (which may or may not be the result of the furnace) and was instructed to call AHS back and insist on a plumbing call, NOT a heating company call. I figured "no problem" as AHS sent a local plumber here before and they did great work. AHS says they don't have any local plumbers in their computer system, and never had A+ Plumbing listed, to which had us flabbergasted, and told us that we had to wait for a service tech. This is Sunday.

    On a whim we call A+ Plumbing and ask them if they still contract with AHS. They say that they are in fact still contracted with them and are fully licensed and insured, and to call them back to request them specifically as they can be at our house THAT DAY. AHS just happened to call back and now say they have a work order for Tuesday as they're having trouble locating a tech in our area! We tell them again about A+ and what they said, only to be told that it's not coming up on their system and that they can't call them.

    Upon impressing upon them their need (and to remind them what "expedited" means), they put us on hold and transfer us to another person, who then proceeded to tell us the computer was down, that there's nothing they can do, and to call back tomorrow (Monday). Now we're upset, as we have no water and at this point relegated to using a bucket in our garage as a "personal waste receptacle," but figured just one more day.

    Monday morning we get a message stating that a plumber from ANOTHER STATE will be here TUESDAY AFTERNOON! We explain that there's no reason we have to wait for a plumber from Western Massachusetts when there's a plumber in neighboring Manchester, New Hampshire, who has been here before who actually is contracted with them, not to mention that we've been reduced to using a BUCKET in our garage since Saturday night! We were told "you get more with honey than with vinegar" and that we have to wait for THEIR chosen vendor, which by the way resets this so-called expedited process to another 24-48 hours!

    Feeling no other alternative, we contacted them via their Facebook page and complained, as even requesting a supervisor gets you "we can't do that," "there's no supervisor available at this time" nonsense. A customer service rep then says "we'll give you $125 towards a hotel stay." We explain that because we have three animals that hotels around here won't take (cats, we know this by experience) and would cost additional to board, we were told to take it or leave it and have refused to get a plumber here any sooner than they decide to. Did I mention that the plumber in question said he'd try to get here by Tuesday morning, but he has to wait for a work order? It didn't seem to matter to them that we've been without water for three days, using a bucket to take care of nature's call, or that husband is losing money by not being able to go to work because he has to be home for the plumber that was supposed to be here MONDAY MORNING!

    I wouldn't recommend this company to my worst enemy! I am sending a formal complaint to Attorney General!

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Hot in Houston

    • Texas,
    • May 24, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    On 5/8/18, I placed a request with AHS to have my A/C looked at. Three Brother's A/C came out and said I needed a compressor and placed the request for authorization with AHS. AHS approved it and told me they would cover the compressor, labor and the first $10 for every pound of Freon. That meant I had to pay $770 for the 14 lbs over Freon that would be needed.

    Another AHS rep called and said the part was ordered and gave me the cost I was responsible for. When I asked the contractor if they were going to repair the A/C that day, they said AHS would have to supply them with the part. I called AHS and asked Ashley (AHS rep) if I could save them the $140 on the Freon and get it done cheaper myself and I was told I could not. It was either let the contractor do all the work or cash out.

    I asked for a break down on the costs of everything and Ashley said she could not provide that. I asked how much would I receive if I cashed out and got it done myself and she said she would have to refer me to the cash out dept. Little did I know, that would halt the delivery of the compressor and Ashley did not share the info with me.

    On 5/14/18, I called AHS looking for the part, and Janell drops the bomb Ashley neglected to tell me. Janell placed me on hold to order the part and Ashley calls me. She gives me the number to the cash out department for me to call myself. Why wasn't that done on 5/9/2018? When Janell came back to the line and I told her Ashley had called while I was on hold and she had given me the number to the cash out department, Janell told me that was not proper procedure and the cash out department should have emailed and called me.

    I asked for a supervisor and Janell referred me to the customer support department. I spoke with Curisha and she was sympathetic and waived my $75 service fee. She said that was all she was authorized to do, however, I thought much more should have been done. By the way, why does AHS care were I get my Freon when they are only covering the compressor and the installation? Maybe because since the contractor does not make anything on the part AHS provided and they probably have an hourly labor rate already established between the two, allowing the contractor to make their money on selling me the Freon.

    When I asked if the delivery of the compressor would be expedited or if AHS will pay for some of the hotel costs, I was informed the hotel would need prior approval, and it would have to be 103 degrees to be expedited. Dang, it was only reaching 95 degrees outside! The final kick in the pants came when I went to pay the contractor with my credit card and discovered they charge 3% of the bill to run a charge card, even I told them the day before I would charge the freon. Well, they didn't get that 3% and I paid with a check.

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Cancelling

    • Katy, TX,
    • May 16, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    After 17 years with AHS, I have decided to cancel my policy. I should have done it a lot sooner. First of all, my contract was around $500 a year, and then I was paying $75 every time they sent someone out. I barely used their services because I found an air conditioning/heating company in my area that I really like (the main company you need in Texas) and they respond quickly. When I went to cancel, AHS said I had to pay a $24.12 fee to cancel my policy. What a ripoff! I am glad I’m done with AHS.

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    What a sham of a service

    • Monterey, CA,
    • May 16, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    American Home Shield apparently only contracts with the very worst possible vendors. The electricians they contract through are basically criminal, and their customer service refuses to adjust. After weeks of frustration, hours wasted, and problems not resolved, I'm canceling my service as they clearly do not value my business.

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Awful service

    • Houston, TX,
    • May 12, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Terrible service. They do not stand by their works, do not use. Lost money - monthly premiums, service fee and cancellation fee.

    I would not recommend American Home Shield to anyone.

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

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    • May 16, 2018

      CR

      The cancellation fee is only a "ruse" to get whatever I else they can out of you, it's not a condition of contract. Even though they try to enforce it, it's not warranted. If you had disputed the fee with the rep, they would have placed you on hold and return and say, "my supervisor says to go ahead and waive the fee", when it's not even legitimate charge. The reps are trained to blow smoke, and the supervisors are a joke, as they are puppets on string never holding the customers best interest to heart!

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Let me down

    I was a customer for more than ten years and was not treated well recently and decided to cancel my membership. I had a problem with the garbage disposal. They were supposed to recall the contractor, but they did not, and I ended up paying out of pocket because it was an emergency.

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

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    • May 16, 2018

      CR

      They should have reimbursed you for the garbage disposal if you requested to cancel. If you spoke with the retention department, they can usually make that happen, unless the car conversation was full of attitude, then they (rep) will wear their emotions on their sleeve and just leave you out to dry.

      **Former employee**

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Horrible, frustrating beyond imagination!

    This company nor its Georgia affiliation do not stand behind their contractual services, nor do they understand their own policies. The staff (attempted to communicate with 12 different individuals at this time) could not care any less, refused to transfer me to a manager and or higher tier support. Their promised 48-hour window to have a technician at your door is a lie, and due to the staff not understanding nor knowing their own policies a buyout is out of the question. I will be communicating with their Corporate office and get a full refund. I am not interested in being affiliated with this company any longer in the slightest!

    Do not get involved with this business, not worth the headaches.

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

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    • May 16, 2018

      CR

      Very wise decision!

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    AHS is a complete and utter sham

    • Rowlett, TX,
    • May 10, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I purchased a home warranty from this company. As soon as I moved into my home, I detected an AC leak that was damaging the ceiling of my house. They didn't cover the leak or the subsequent damage. I paid 100% out of pocket to have a company diagnose and fix the problem and fixed the ceiling myself. That same company inspected my unit and found multiple leaks on the condenser and evaporator. The tech surmised that hail might have damaged the outside unit, and recommended expanding my return to reduce differential pressure and prevent further leaks.

    I called back AHS to see if any of this was covered, and they sent out a tech of their own to inspect (at a $75 charge to me). The tech spent well over 95% of the visit trying to convince me to buy a brand new unit out of pocket. Then he insisted that he was only there to look at one unit, and when I told him I'd have him come back when he could to look at both, he "remembered" he was there for both. He spent less than five minutes looking at everything, then went right back to selling me a brand new unit. When I stood my ground and said that I wanted what my warranty would cover, he ran off without saying anything.

    Two days later, I get a call saying the company won't cover anything wrong with my unit. Not one single thing. They claimed the condenser damage was from hail (suspiciously familiar to what the first tech said MIGHT have happened), and then said the evaporator leak was from differential pressure, which doesn't count as "normal wear and tear." Again, suspiciously similar to what the first tech had said. They claimed their tech had made these conclusions himself, but he couldn't have possibly made any of those determinations in the time he actually looked at anything.

    And ignoring that, precisely what does this warranty actually cover? The answer: nothing. The unreasonably strict "normal wear and tear" is based on the astoundingly nonsensical expectation that equipment should fail without any cause whatsoever. The cherry on top is that I’ve since discovered another return that the first tech had missed, which means the original differential pressure concern wasn’t even valid (even after they lied and said their tech had come to the same conclusion). So even keeping with their ridiculous expectation that the unit fail for no discernible reason, they still cover nothing.

    This company is running a complete racket, and trying to push thousands of dollars of brand new installations on people to boot. Do not do business with these thieves.

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Horrible response time and communication!

    • Mississippi,
    • May 10, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    AHS uses bottom of the barrel vendors locally. For example, they use a horrible local plumber for AC issues? This plumber is famous for his poor response time. AHS gives him 48 hours to respond to the work order and he "loses" or "doesn't receive" the work order each time! Then AHS re-sends it and gives him another 48 hours to respond! I have had tenants with small infants go five days in the heat before anyone comes out to the house. I made written complaints about this vendor with AHS, and they still use him.

    AHS is not a quality alternative. They are cheap because their service is cheap too! And go ahead, try to call them to speak about the problem before hiring them; they will leave you waiting for over 15 minutes before even answering, if they don't hang up on you first! Very unprofessional.

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

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