OK, but how does this really work?
One person’s experience is subjective. But 200 people’s experiences? That number weeds out the disgruntled negatives and the sappy fluff. We studied the most recent American Home Shield home warranty reviews online to find out what exactly millions of customers across 49 states really thought.
Warranty programs cover repairs and replacements, and it takes a local vendor/repair contractor to determine the exact damage of your appliance. American Home Shield has a network of 13,000 local, licensed, and insured contractors ready to respond to your service call. You place a service call or hop on the website to chat with a technician at AHS, who then assigns a local contractor to come to your home. American Home Shield answers service request calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A service professional will be at your house within 24 hours a whopping 98% of the time. Awesome, right? This is where the experience can take a turn.
The good and the bad
Most people love their contractors and namedrop them in their reviews. But since contractors are location-based and often work on emergency scheduling, a slow or busy contractor can start the whole experience on a bad note. People hate waiting. If the contractor can’t come immediately, and you’re sitting there with a broken water heater waiting to take a shower, you’re not going to be happy. Reviewers noted that the wait for their contractor to arrive, and then an additional wait for parts to be ordered, left them less-than-thrilled.
Conversely, other reviewers shared that their contractors arrived when they said they would, and had the part needed to fix their problem in their truck. Or, that their contractors were super helpful in explaining the problem, and swift to return when the replacement was selected. There was more praise for good contractors than complaints about bad ones. Keep in mind that without American Home Shield, you’d still have to find a professional repair person to come fix your problem. The wait may take even longer, and you may have to call around to find one in your area. You won’t know how much the price will be, and you won’t have a third party vetting the contractor to make sure they are licensed and insured.
Since contractors are not employees of American Home Shield, but vendors, we recommend taking the customer reviews which focus on the contractor with a grain of salt. A bad vendor in Iowa won’t visit a home in South Carolina. Look for your location when it comes to vendors and request a different one if the time frame does not work for you.
Repairs vs. replacements
Another common issue is some people want repairs, and some want replacements, and the contractor suggested the wrong one. This is more of a “you can’t please everyone, all the time” matter than a true criticism. If you call hoping for a new washing machine when your old one just needs a simple repair, you may be disappointed.
Home warranties aren’t the equivalent of Santa Claus. Some of the negative reviews center around wanting replacements for equipment that can be fixed. Some wanted a repair, and had to get a replacement. The replacement may not include the brand you want, based on factors like age and how much the old model is currently worth.
Replacement options range depending on the product. Three options for a washer could include two different brand name washers and a cash-out option to buy your own. Some people don’t mind having two different brands, as long as they work! A GE washer and a Samsung dryer both get the clothes clean, so who cares if they aren’t the same brand? But if it’s important to you to have both brands the same, or in the same model family, then you may have to pay a little bit more out-of-pocket for an upgrade paired with a cash-out and reimbursement from American Home Shield.
In good news, if you have a cash-out, you may ALSO get a reimbursement to cover that extra out-of-pocket expense. Sweet! And since you are given options for your replacement, there is a very good chance one of those options is your existing brand.
The replacement arrangements are made by American Home Shield, and it is delivered and installed by a licensed contractor. This takes a ton of pressure off your shoulders, since someone else is handling the nitty-gritty details.
Reviewers with big items — like entire HVAC systems and ductwork and all the other complicated things hiding inside the walls that keep the house cozy — are above average in their praise, with the majority of those with large-scale home projects leaving glowing remarks for American Home Shield.