American Home Shield Home Warranty Review

#1 in Home Warranties

American Home Shield Review

American Home Shield (AHS)® is the largest home warranty provider in the United States. With over 1.5 million customers and 1000+ employees, AHS has been providing home warranty services since 1971. The company specializes in providing coverage for the repair or replacement of all the standard household systems and appliances. AHS also offers a "build your own plan" option that allows homeowners to cherry pick the items they want to cover instead of going with the typical, predetermined list.

Although the company ranks highly when it comes to plan value and customer experience, AHS really shines because of the breadth and quality of its contractor network, the size and stability of their company, and their contract, which is one of the least restrictive we've found.

Plan Value 

Premium and Deductible

In addition to the aforementioned Build Your Own Plan, American Home Shield offers three other plans: Appliance, Systems, and Combo. The Premiums for these plans range from $249-$600 annually. The deductible, or trade service call fee (the amount you pay to the contractor that comes to fix whatever is broken at your house) is flexible. AHS allows you to choose between $75, $100 and $125. The call fee price you choose will influence your yearly premium.

Items Covered

American Home Shield list of covered items is extensive. In terms of the amount of items covered, they are in the top three of the companies we evaluated.

Appliance Plan

Systems Plan

Refrigerators

Air Conditioning Including Ductwork

Clothes Washers

Heating Including Ductwork

Clothes Dryers

Electrical

Ranges/Ovens/Cooktops

Plumbing

Dishwashers

Water Heaters 

Built-In Microwave

Garbage Disposal

Trash Compactors

Instant Water Dispensers

Garage Door Openers

Door Bells

Free Standing Ice Makers

Smoke Detectors

Built-In Food Centers

Ceiling Fans

 

Central Vacuums

 

Combo Plan

Includes everything from both columns above.

Build Your Own Plan

AHS's Build Your Own Plan allows you 10 choices from a list of covered items. This flexible program gives you the option of only paying for coverage you need.

Optional Coverage

Pool
In-ground Spa
Well Pump
Water Softner
Septic System

Caps

American Home Shield offers no payout limit for the repair or replacement of many of the items in their contract. However, some items are subject to caps, but these are quite reasonable and there is no yearly max. Appliances are individually capped across the board at $3,000, which is a high limit. Specific types of heating/cooling systems also have payout limits, as do obstructed systems/plumbing that are difficult to access, but this kind of thing is standard across the industry

Customer Experience

In terms of customer satisfaction, American Home Shield consistently ranks highly across all of the online review entities we looked at.* The company is BBB accredited with a grade of B. AHS does have a large number of complaints filed with BBB, but this must be looked at relatively as the company is the far and away the nation's largest home warranty provider, accounting for 70% of the market share. 

*Universal Home Warranty Caveat- The entire home warranty industry has a disproportional amount of negative reviews. No company we've looked at escapes this. In terms of customer reviews we are grading home warranty companies on a curve in relation to each other. For a more detailed look into the public perception of the home warranty industry click here

Contracts

You can access American Home Shield's customer contract here

AHS's contract is fairly easy to understand, but the specific coverage limits are not always exactly spelled out. According to the company, if a item cap is not mentioned, you can assume it is unlimited. AHS's waiting period is only 15 days from the purchase of the policy. This industry standard among most other home warranty companies is twice that. In addition, when coverage begins it is full coverage. There is no initial period where coverage limits are less. 

Finally, AHS's cancellation policy is long and difficult to understand with a lot of stipulations.

Restrictions

By restrictions we are talking about the reasons a home warranty company will not cover a specific system or appliance. This is usually listed in the contract fine print as parts of a given appliance or system not covered, or reasons/circumstances a given appliance or system is not covered.

American Home Shield's contract was one of the least restrictive we encountered. They therefore score the highest in this area. Though there are a lot of stipulations for Heating, AC and plumbing, this is typical for all home warranty contracts.  Most other items have very few or no restrictions. What's more the restrictions are easy to understand and to the point. 

Contractor Network

At 11,000+ contractors with 40,000 technicians, AHS maintains one of the largest networks in the US. The company monitors customer service feedback and conducts extensive evaluation and review procedures to maintain quality of service. AHS also incentivizes it's contractor network by offering annual awards for the best customer service in areas such as best appliance service, best electric service, best garage door service, etc.   

Customer Base

American Home Shield operates in all 50 states and serves 1.5 million customers. They are the largest and most extensive home warranty provider in the country and have been in operation for 45 years. 

American Home Shield – Final Thoughts

Founded in 1971, American Home Shield is one of the oldest and largest home warranty companies in the country. It provides coverage for over a million Americans. It offers a myriad plan options that are designed to cater to your home and budget. American Home Shield provides high or no coverage limits, giving you the security that even the most costly repairs or replacement will be covered. Overall, American Home Shield is one of the best if not the best home warranty company in the country today.

 

Latest Reviews

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American Home Shield Home Warranty
Charles Harvey
American Home Shield Home Warranty review
12/2/2016
I am currently experiencing the worst service from AHS. Something has drastically changed within the last few months with them. I've been a customer since 20014 and has had to use my warranty on two previous occasions. The service then was prompt and very professional. However, my most recent experience with them in getting my washer repaired is terrible. The repair man deemed my washer unrepairable and submitted a request for AHS to get me a new washer as my contract with them quoted. This has been 2 weeks ago and since I have been unable to get thru to the appliance purchase dept. The recording states that the hold time is greater than 30 minutes, but I have called 5 to 6 times and was holding for over an 1 1/2 hours on each occasions. It seems impossible to get thru to them. I have registered my complaint with their customer service dept. and was told there is nothing they can do because it's the only phone # for that dept and I have to be patient because they are short of staff and going thru a reconstruction of that dept. Mean while I still don't have my washer repaired and unable to get thru to the dept. to get a status or resolution to this issue. To be made to hold for hours and still unable to make contact is just unacceptable and I will probably cancel my contract with them. They need to get their act together because I am sure that I'm not the only one who is just feed up with this type of service.

J
Jack wofford
Cincinnati, Ohio
American Home Shield Home Warranty review
12/2/2016
Am getting ready to drop this company. Took too long to respond and they have no contractors that will work on weekends. Took 12 days to get new hot water heater!

M
Mariles Roque
Encino, California
American Home Shield Home Warranty review
12/2/2016
Was a customer for about 1 year. Called service for refrigerator 3 times for the same problem. Called AHS told them that problem isn't fixed. They did nothing. I finally bought my a new refrigerator which I think is cheaper than keeping the contract at $45.99 per month, and having to pay $75 each service request. AHS will try and get you to come on board and promise you everything.....don't fall for their crap!!! Save your money!!!! Don't sign up for this.

D
devostated customer
American Home Shield Home Warranty review
12/1/2016
Terrible service. Actually, no service at all. You pay money and...then do all scheduling and finding contractors yourself, even in emergency situation. Per agreement, they need to bring the contractor in case of emergency in 24 hours. We had leaking pipe inside the house on Friday ev and it was flooding everywhere. We called AHS, they told us they can send plumber only on Monday-Tuesday. When we disagreed and started demanding for plumber right away, as the water was everywhere - they send us the list of contractor, to whom we can call and find the one who can fix the problem....They did not help at all.

C
Cara
Newark, Delaware
American Home Shield Home Warranty review
12/1/2016
I am giving them one star only because zero stars is not an option. We purchased a home on February 26, 2016. As part of the contract, a home warranty policy was purchased through American Home Shield. We moved into the home the next day and shortly realized that our heat was not working. At the time I was pregnant, due on May 13, 2016. I contacted American Home Shield (AHS) within a few days of moving into the home. I was told that since the paperwork was still processing that I was allowed one service request within the first 21 days of the warranty period. I explained to the AHS customer service representative that we had just purchased the home, that we had had a home inspection performed a few weeks before closing and were not told of any issues with the heating system, and that now that we were living in the home the heat was not functioning properly. What we could observe was that in the closet that houses the air handling unit, there was a copper pipe that was covered in ice, that cold air was blowing out of the vents, and that the temperature continued to drop the longer the system was on the heat setting. When the temperature dropped below 30 degrees outside, the emergency heat setting came on and neither my husband nor I knew what that meant; we saw a red light and were concerned. AHS dispatched Mason Mechanical for the service call. The technician met with my husband at our home in early March. The technician explained to my husband that we have a dual fuel heating system in our home (oil and electric) and that the issue was that the oil furnace needed routine maintenance and that there were loose wires in our thermostat. He took the thermostat off the wall, tightened some wires, told my husband it would then be working and left. Within a few days we were still having the same problem: the pipe was covered in ice, cold air was blowing and the house would heat only when in emergency heat (which we learned meant oil furnace) mode. I contacted both Mason Mechanical and AHS to explain that we were still having problems with the heat. I spoke with a customer service representative at AHS who agreed with me that what we were experiencing was not correct and he sent a service request recall to Mason Mechanical to come back out. I received a call from the technician who came to our house shortly thereafter. The technician told me, to paraphrase, that I needed to be patient and let my system defrost, that he had already explained the problem to my husband so I should ask him, that all we had to do was get the furnace cleaned and that he would not come back out to my house to perform the service call because the warranty company would be putting his work under a microscope since it was the first week of our warranty period. The only useful information he shared with me was the emergency heat setting meant that the oil furnace was on instead of the electric. This information troubled me because although he was telling me that our oil furnace was the issue, the oil furnace was the only piece of machinery working with regards to the heat in our home. The weather warmed up, the heat was not an immediate issue any longer, and with my daughter’s due date fast approaching we had more pressing matters at the forefront of our to do list. About March 21, 2016, it again got cold and our heat still was not working correctly so we again called AHS to have a technician come look at it. When I explained that I was not comfortable with Mason Mechanical given the last conversation I had with the technician and the information that the technician said the oil furnace was the problem but that seemed to be the only thing that worked, I was told by the customer service representative that my only option was to ask for a second opinion service call. This essentially was a gamble on my part, if the second technician agreed with the first I would be charged an additional service fee, but if he did not I did not have to pay and the repairs would be made. I took the gamble because I was sure that the issue had not yet been addressed and that the oil furnace was not the issue. AHS sent out a technician from Bayless and Sons HVAC. This technician ran some gauges on the compressor and condenser coil outside and took a look at the thermostat inside and determined that the wires were essentially crossed. The technician informed me that the thermostat was set so that when we turned on the heat the cooling function of the unit was triggered and vice versa. He reversed the setting on our unit/thermostat and assured me it should be working properly at that time. The weather again evened out and there was not a need for either heat or a/c. Around April 27, 2016, the weather turned hot and we needed the a/c. When we switched to the cool function on our thermostat we soon discovered that the house did not in fact cool properly and that it remained very warm in the house especially on the second floor. We called AHS again and they sent a recall work order to Bayless and Sons to return to our home. This time the same technician came out and decided that there was too much pressure on the line and that some coolant needed to be removed. So he removed some of the coolant and again assured me it should be working properly. My daughter was born on May 1, so from that point forward I now have a newborn/infant in my home . The system was still not functioning properly and by June the weather was so hot that the temperature in the house in the afternoon was in the high 70s and miserable to stay in. We could not keep our daughter in those conditions and for weeks at a time would move out of our house and stay with my parents. My father had had an issue with his a/c unit and contacted Air Temp Solutions. My father, on my behalf, contacted that same company to come and take a look at our system. We explained to the technician that we have a home warranty but as of that time had been unsuccessful in getting our unit repaired so we had gone outside of our warranty. The technician from Air Temp spent over 3 hours inspecting our unit, cleaning it and replacing the coolant that the previous technician had taken out. After all the work that the technician from Air Temp Solution did the system did seem to be working. Previously it felt as if no cold air was making it upstairs and now we could feel cold air coming out of the vents on the second floor. The Air Temp Solutions technician told us to call him back if the system was still giving us problems. The weather got even hotter and the temperature in my daughters room was close to 90 degrees in the evenings when we would usually put her down for the night. We again had to stay with family because it was too hot for my baby to sleep in that heat. We contacted Air Temp solutions again. The technician came back out and looked over our system again. His diagnosis this time was that the condenser outside should be replaced as it was not the right size for the home and was likely obstructed although due to the way the unit operated we would not know about the obstruction until we turned the heat on, that the evaporator coil was obstructed and also needed to be replaced, and the lines that ran between the condenser and the air handler had too many dryers on the line and the line had to be replaced. He also advised that if these parts of the unit were not replaced, it would likely cause worse damage and problems in the long run. This technician, knowing that we had the warranty, encouraged us to contact AHS, knowing that the diagnosis and repairs he was recommending were not going to be cheap, that we were on a budget, and that the warranty had already been paid for. So we contacted AHS again and on August 29, a technician from Seashore heating and air was sent out. We advised this technician of the diagnosis we had received. He agreed with the opinion that there were too many dryers on the line, but advised that AHS would not approve replacing the other pieces until they were broken. I advised this technician of the diagnosis we had been given of obstructions on either end of the lines and he said he could test for them when he came back to work on the lines after he received approval from AHS. He received approval from AHS that following Monday, however he did not come back out until over a month later. This technician repeatedly either provided excuses for cancelling or not showing up or just did not show up to do the work. Finally after calling AHS, this technician came back to our house, performed some sort of work on the condenser and left. He told me that he removed the dryers from the lines and that he tested but found no obstructions. I honestly have no idea what exactly he did to my unit because my husband was home alone with our infant and he did not stand outside and watch, and by the time I arrived home from work he had finished whatever he did. All in all he spent less than an hour at our house. The day after he left the system still was not working properly so we again contacted AHS. They proposed to send out the same technician, which we were opposed to given how long it had taken him to come back out to do the work, that whatever he had done had not fixed our problem, and that the weather was going to turn cold soon and we needed this taken care of quickly. We were advised that AHS would try to locate another contractor in our area. We were again contacted by Bayless and Sons soon after this. They left a message, after which I contacted AHS to ask why they were being sent out again when they had already been out twice without results. I did not receive an answer, but Bayless called again with the same message. I again contacted AHS with the same concern, namely that this technician had been unable to fix the problem on 2 different occasions and in fact on the second had caused more of a problem by removing coolant. On November 1, I again called AHS because we had not heard back from them and spoke with a supervisor about our ongoing issue and my concerns with Bayless and Sons. He informed me that he ws sending my service request over to the dispatch department and they would have to see if any other contractors, apart from the 3 that had already been to our home, service our area under AHS and if there were none we would be granted outside authorization to contact a company of our choice to perform the necessary work on our home. When I asked how long this would take I was told 2 hours for dispatch to find another contractor and if they could not I would get a call back. By November 3 I had not heard anything from AHS so my husband called and was told that there was no record of my being told about the 2 hour window and approval for outside authorization. Many phone calls by both of us that might finally resulted in my speaking with an individual named Christina Kent. I explained our situation at length to Ms. Kent and again expressed my concerns about the ability of Bayless and sons and the issue that the weather was starting to get cold and I was most concerned that my child would have a comfortable home to live in where the central air system worked properly. Ms. Kent granted me the outside authorization to contacted a company of our choice to perform the necessary work. Ms. Kent emailed me instructions on how to go about using the outside authorization. I contacted Air Temp Solutions to perform the work on our system. The technician, following the instructions provided by AHS, contacted AHS with his diagnosis and quote and was awaiting approval. On November 14, I received a call from AHS informing me that the figure was a high dollar amount and that the diagnosis was recommending replacement instead of repair so they would have to send out a technician for a second opinion and that technician would be from Bayless and Sons. So once again I renewed my objection based on the fact that they have visited twice for the same issue and have been unable to fix my system. I had no choice but to acquiesce to the second opinion if I wanted my system repaired. Bayless and Sons was dispatched to my home with a work order only including half of the system, that is to say the diagnosis from the outside technician required replacement of both the evaporator coil located inside and the condenser coil outside – the work order that come with the second opinion only included the evaporator coil inside. The Bayless and sons technician did agree that the evaporator coil needed to be replaced, let us know and then left without another word. We received a call from American Home shield a few days later and left a message saying that Bayless and sons had agreed and that we were approved to have the evaporator coil replaced. There was no mention of who was to do the work so we assumed that our outside authorization was still good and he would be able to perform the work. I contacted our outside technician and asked if he had heard anything from the warranty company because I wanted to get the ball rolling on the repair. He informed me that he had not heard anything from American home shield, so I called them to find out why(and to find out why the work order only covered half the problem). I was told that American Home shield had decided that Bayless and Sons would be doing to repair work, that I didn’t understand how second opinions work and that the work was set to be completed on that same day. I was obviously upset because we had not been notified of the change in service provider and therefore had no idea of who to expect to show up to our home and furthermore both my husband and I were at work and not heard anything from any technician and would not be at home until that night so there could be no way it could be completed that same day unless the technician broke into my house. Again with no other options we were forced to allow Bayless and sons, who on 2 prior occasions had been unable to diagnose and/or repair our system, to come into our home and work on our system. After scheduling an appointment the technician called to cancel due to weather (although by my understanding the work he had to do was inside). We again called American home shield because the technician was trying to push us back so far. This time we offered cash in lieu of sending out Bayless and sons and waiting on them to fit us in. We have been offered $885 cash out to repair our system. The diagnosis given by the outside technician whom we trust to be able to properly diagnose and fix our problem was estimated to cost near $4000, which leaves us paying nearly $3000 out of pocket. As of today our central heat and air system still does not work, our daughter is just over 7 months and it is the beginning of December, which of course means we are just getting into winter. I don’t think that we are asking a lot when we want the warranty, which has already been paid for, to perform as it should and our system should be repaired in full so that our home is comfortable not just for myself and my husband but mostly for our infant daughter before my husband leaves a 6-month deployment to Afghanistan.