Sometimes I am on call on the weekends in case of a property emergencies. This time of year we get a lot of air conditioning problems so that makes up the majority of our emergency calls.
This past weekend we received a call from a resident of a property we manage whose owner has purchased a home warranty from American Home Shield. Their a/c was not working and the temperature was climbing. I promptly called AHS to report the problem. After a 35 minute hold, I was informed that a technician would be at the property within 24 hours. Of course I told them this was unacceptable. This is Florida in July. Temperatures were approaching 90 degrees in the home. I was then asked by AHS whether I considered this an emergency. I responded that it was. When the customer service agent returned to the phone she stated that they checked the temperatures for our area and did not find them extreme enough to consider it an emergency. (It was 88 degrees outside with high humidity). I was then asked whether there was a known health condition of any of the occupants. I responded that I did not know of any but that there would be shortly if we did not get service that day. After more arguing she reluctantly agreed to send this out as a Health emergency but informed me that if the technician discovered this to be untrue, then I could be responsible for after hour charges. I was willing to take that risk.
In the end, their a/c tech never responded and the tenant spent another sleepless night (and I spent another half hour on hold. At that point we were allowed to use our own vendor but they had to call AHS with a diagnosis and get authorization. That meant that the tech, which was extremely busy, would have to wait around for ½ hour waiting on hold to speak with someone. In the end, it was not a covered repair and the owner had to pay for it anyway.
If we had been able to use our vendor in the first place, I would have saved an hour on hold on a weekend, the resident would have had service that day and would have been much more comfortable, safe and less angry.
A few days later, we had another property with an A/C problem which was “protected” by AHS. After responding to the property it was determined that a part was needed and the repair would take place in 3-5 business days. We promptly informed them to take a hike and called our own vendor (with the owners approval).
That is why we do not like American Home Shield