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Understanding Hidden Fees in Your American Home Shield Bill

If American Home Shield is hiding fees in your bill, you may have legal options.

Did you receive your American Home Shield bill with hidden fees? 

Maybe you have seen some hidden fees in your last few bills. Now you want to know why you are being overcharged and what your legal options are. We explained what you can do.

Firstly, it’s important that you always review your American Home Shield bill. Looking over your statement every month will help you recognize the base monthly charges you have with your warranty service as well as additional fees that you add when you increase your warranty coverage or decrease your coverage. Doing this will also help you find hidden fees that you might not expect like a service charge when someone comes to your house for an immediate plumbing issue.

Hidden American Home Shield Fees

American Home Shield hidden fees are going to be based on the type of contract you have with them. 

Plans

The plan you have with your contract will determine the amount of coverage you have and any coverage limits. The more coverage you have, the fewer hidden fees from American Home Shield. 

  1. ShieldSilver: This plan covers 14 systems in your home and there are no coverage limits.
  2. ShieldGold: This plan covers 23 systems and appliances in your home. There are no coverage limits for the 23 systems in your home but there are appliance limits of $3,000 for each appliance. So, if you get something repaired beyond that limit, you will see a hidden fee in your bill for the remaining balance.
  3. ShieldPlatinum:  This plan includes everything you get in the gold plan with a few additional devices. You get an increased limit of $6,000 for every Appliance in your home, a limit of $1,500 for roof leak repairs and a limit of $1,000 for modifications, code violations, or permits. In each of these instances if, for example, you need a roof leak repair that goes beyond $1,500, the hidden fee in your next American Home Shield bill will include the difference.

The items covered or predetermined by American Home Shield so you don’t get to choose which items are covered under your warranty. For example, if you have a built-in microwave, the kind that is built into the wall of your kitchen, that is only covered under the ShieldPlatinum plan which means if you purchase a ShieldSilver or ShieldGold plan, you will find a hidden American Home Shield fee for repairing that microwave.

Optional coverage

There is optional coverage for adding things above and beyond what is included in your plan. Your base plan can be enhanced with coverage for a well pump, refrigerant Services, air filter delivery, Pool and Spa coverage, and more. These range in cost and they also have different limits. You might find that, much like the roof leak above, you have coverage for your pool and spa but it comes with a monetary limit. As such, if American Home Shield comes to do the repair and it turns out that the total cost for parts and labor is beyond your limit, you will see an unexpected hidden fee in your next American Home Shield bill.

Service visits

Every time you need help for a claim, you have to schedule a visit with American Home Shield and they charge you a hidden service call fee for every visit. The contractor will come to your property at a cost of $75, $100, or $125, depending on how quickly you want them to show up.

Estimates

The biggest hidden fee about which customers complain has to do with the estimates. As mentioned, your plan typically has limits for different items. Once you have a service visit, a contractor is sent to your property to fix the issue. But the cost of that contractor might not be what the estimate is, depending on how much work has to be done. So, when you get an estimate, you might be expecting to pay that amount specifically, but if there are problems or complications the final bill could include hidden fees far beyond what the estimate was.

Exclusions

There are many complaints having to do with exclusions. For example, even if you have coverage for home systems and appliances, there are certain things that the company won’t cover, laid out in your specific contract. If you have a problem with an electrical system involving a security wire, faceplate, lighting fixture, circuit overload, or alarm, American Home Shield will not pay for this which means you still have to pay the unexpected service visit fee only to find out that the monthly coverage does not apply. 

What other details do I need to consider when looking for hidden fees in my American Home Shield bill?

One other issue you have to take into account is the billing cycle. Services like American Home Shield get billed every month and you might see hidden fees from previous bills on a current statement which can result in an unexpectedly high bill. You might also see multiple service fees like service visits in one billing cycle which could also explain hidden fees.

What can I do if I was incorrectly charged a fee?

If American Home Shield charges you incorrectly and it’s not one of these hidden fees that applies to your account, contact American Home Shield customer service to get a resolution. If they won’t help you, there are still two options:

  1. You can take American Home Shield to small claims court. There are limits to how much money you can get in compensation based on the state in which you live, and there are limits on which cases qualify.
  2. You can also use a faster and easier option: consumer arbitration. With consumer arbitration you have more flexibility, can usually get a faster resolution, and what’s more, we can help.

Ready to start? Let FairShake help.


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