How to Report American Home Shield for False Advertising

Think you’re a victim of American Home Shield false advertising? You may have legal options.

What is false advertising?

False advertising is any situation where a business presents false or untrue information, even misleading information about a product or service. The rules about deceptive marketing and false advertising can be found in a collection of state and federal consumer protection laws. They are almost all, however, governed by the Federal Trade Commission, or FTC.

When investigating false advertising, FTC courts will take into consideration the general impression conveyed by marketing or advertising as well as the literal meaning.

We have all been in situations where you look at an advertisement and it conveys one thing but then you look at the fine print or the disclaimers after you buy a product and they convey another.

The government does not look kindly on situations where companies try to shove all the details in fine print disclaimers because these fail to accurately convey, in many situations, the same information about a product or service that the advertisement itself conveys.

This means that courts can find an advertisement to be misleading and hold businesses responsible in many all too common situations like:

  • situations where words like “sale” or “special” were used but the product wasn’t actually on sale
  • situations where a company shows two or more prices on the same product and then charges you the higher of the two
  • situations where phrases or terms in an advertisement were not very clear and led you to be confused as to what the service or product offered
  • situations where the general advertising of a product is misleading with most of the details in the fine print disclaimers

These are examples where the advertisement can be a little misleading and the courts might rule in your favor.

Note: No one actually needs to be misled for a court to find that an advertisement is misleading.

What Are the Different Types of False Advertising?

The FTC has many categories for false advertising, as seen in the image above. The most common is that of mislabeling, where a company uses misleading advertising on their product labels, like stating something is manufactured in X when it is really manufactured in Y.

Similarly, product disparagement can cover situations where company A says that their products are eco friendly but encourages consumers to avoid company B whose products are not, when in reality neither of these statements are true.

Hidden fees, bait and switch tactics, and making scientific claims not backed by evidence are also high on that list.

American Home Shield False Advertising Allegations

TruthinAdvertising.org reported a spam email from American Home Shield which claims to offer a great deal.

Other complaints have to do with the services received which do not live up to the advertisement promises.

The BBB page has over 240 complaints to do with false advertising, one of which states that a customer “contacted your sales team regarding a discount/promotional email for a $125 off a new warranty” but the sales team said it had expired even though the customer was investigating during the time frame stated on the ad. The sales team from American Home Shield said at best they could give $50 off rather than honoring the discounted promotion, which falls under the FTC definition of false advertising.

What to Do If You See False Advertising in Action

It’s up to Consumers like you to file reports as soon as you see false advertising in action. Remember the courts do not require that anyone actually be affected by the false advertising in order to investigate or charge a company for doing it. 

That means you can report it even if it didn’t affect you personally. The first step to reporting this and forcing companies to stop these deceptive marketing tactics, your first step is to submit a consumer complaint to the FTC. Only by filing a Consumer complaint with the FTC can they investigate and take action. That action can range from asking them to change the misleading information to filing a lawsuit or charging them hefty fines. You can also submit a complaint to TruthinAdvertising.org where it will go public.

However, if you have been wronged by false advertising, the rules that govern how you can get recourse will depend on your state’s laws related to Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices.

Affected by False Advertising? Here’s What You Can Do

If you personally were affected by false advertising and you lost money because of it, those hefty FTC fines might not land in your pocket. So you can try American Home Shield customer service and see if they are willing to settle, but that doesn’t always end well and it takes a lot of time. Instead,  you can use consumer arbitration.

Consumer arbitration is usually faster and less expensive than going to court but it can still be a bit confusing because it is a legal process with a fair amount of paperwork. That’s where we can help. FairShake helps you navigate the consumer arbitration process, from filing your claim to getting the resolution you deserve.

Tell us about your complaint and we’ll help you get a fair resolution.

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