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  • American Home Shield (Good and Bad)

    Hello All,

    If this discussion has come up before let me know...

    American Home Shield has been a benefit to my business since I am just starting out...

    It gets me into 2-3 peoples homes a day which has been great for building my customer base and I have already recieved a few referals to non-AHS customers.

    All of the real estate agents in my area have started selling these home warranty policies into their home sales.

    I could see doing this for a year or two to try to build a good customer base.



    Any thoughts on this?

  • #2
    Re: American Home Shield (Good and Bad)

    Originally posted by OkieBill View Post
    Hello All,

    If this discussion has come up before let me know...

    American Home Shield has been a benefit to my business since I am just starting out...

    It gets me into 2-3 peoples homes a day which has been great for building my customer base and I have already recieved a few referals to non-AHS customers.

    All of the real estate agents in my area have started selling these home warranty policies into their home sales.

    I could see doing this for a year or two to try to build a good customer base.



    Any thoughts on this?
    My first thought...do they pay enough?

    Around here they want to pay as little as possible, and only the lowest scum who do cheap, shoddy work seem to work for them...maybe my view is skewed but that has been my experience with them.

    If they actually paid decent and in time, I'd work for them too.
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    • #3
      Re: American Home Shield (Good and Bad)

      I hate home warranties. They never want to pay. I get called for a clog, clear the clog, then get caught in a battle between the homeowner and the warranty company about who is paying. I won't even deal with it anymore; I put the facts on the invoice, explain to them I'm being paid to clear the clog, not spend an hour on the phone with the deadbeat warranty company rep to save them the bill, and ask them to pay me directly and fight the battle themselves.
      This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

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      • #4
        Re: American Home Shield (Good and Bad)

        Rates in my area are pretty low for the most part... We all run at about $60 per hour.

        I negotiated my prices with them so it is not to bad though I do make better $ on my own calls.

        All work helps pay the bills...

        My thought is that Exposure + Good customer service will equal success.

        I could not do it full time and make a living that is for sure but they have pretty liberal guidlines for scheduling the work so I can normally get it into my schedule without much pain.

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        • #5
          Re: American Home Shield (Good and Bad)

          Dang did you hit a sore spot. I once spent 4 hours to do a decent job on a 4" line from a 2" cleanout when I could have been out in an hour by pulling a toilet. The HO had sussed out their policy and the warranty would not pay for pulling a toilet, had to use a cleanout. So dumb. Idiot rep said they would pay if I could do it from the cleanout, but not if I pulled a toilet. Cost them an extra charge for the camera and more yet for the extra time. I should have just pulled the toilet and lied, but I don't lie anymore.
          This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

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          • #6
            Re: American Home Shield (Good and Bad)

            We did home warranty work for a while but the paperwork was too much work for the pay. Eventually we only did second opinions for them when a plumber would claim there was a slab leak or broken house drain. That said I do have a guy who use to work for me who now has a business which only works for home warranty companies. He is a one man shop and does zero advertising. Because of the money he is saving not chasing work he makes a pretty good living with the warranty companies.

            Mark
            "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

            I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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            • #7
              Re: American Home Shield (Good and Bad)

              I have pretty good luck dealing with the Company Reps on the phone getting The authorization..

              Paperwork for me is my standard company ticket which I keep. All of my billing is done online and the money for the calls is deposited in my company account weekly ( less the service call fees I collect).

              I'm not a great fan of this business model ( all insurance is a scam IMO)but it has been a benefit to my small company and may be a help to some other small start-up

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              • #8
                Re: American Home Shield (Good and Bad)

                I literally have a completed application sitting on my desk for a home warranty co, from 3 months ago.
                A friend referred me, told me it was steady work year round and I automatically get an hours pay even if it's a simple packing nut.
                The catch was what an hours pay is to them vs me.

                Sometimes self employment is stressful, I have seen a week with no work...then 12 hour days for two weeks straight.

                I was starting to like the idea of steady work doing small jobs with a guaranteed minimum amount just for showing up.
                I got the application, filled it out...then called the area rep.

                Within 5 minutes I counted 6 times I was told that the lower my prices were, the more likely I was to get the work.
                It occurred to me that every one of the guys I'd be in competition with was probably told the same thing.
                I might then be cornered into using cheap stock, rushing through jobs and getting into habits I like to avoid.

                It also occured to me that the only guys that might want to do business on those terms would likely be guys who might be more likely to work for food to get their foot in the door for self employment.

                I may very well be completely wrong on all counts, but when I hear "keep your prices low" too many times, it gives me pause to consider what I'm getting into.

                The application is all filled out, I might try it, I have nothing to lose.
                Work hasn't slowed enough for me to get wrapped up in something new, but with the rumors abound about the failing economy, I won't completely shut the door either.

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                • #9
                  Re: American Home Shield (Good and Bad)

                  american home shield is the biggest joke out here. just about everyone i've worked for that had this co. has cancelled their policy.

                  the scam is that they are the same parent co. as rescue rooter.

                  there is always a catch and typically the work is not covered. if it's covered it's always multiple trips.

                  if you really want to hear the horror stories, i can list some from first hand experience.

                  the co. is a joke, the plumbers they send out are a joke and most customers that use me have canceled their policy.

                  this is not the same as the aaa auto club.

                  rick.
                  phoebe it is

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                  • #10
                    Re: American Home Shield (Good and Bad)

                    Within 5 minutes I counted 6 times I was told that the lower my prices were, the more likely I was to get the work.
                    It occurred to me that every one of the guys I'd be in competition with was probably told the same thing.
                    I might then be cornered into using cheap stock, rushing through jobs and getting into habits I like to avoid.
                    I won't ever be working for them based on this. I am on the higher side of the spectrum, I pride myself on quality parts, workmanship and customer service...not on being cheap. Like I said before, around here it seems only the really low-ball hacks are willing to work for them. They are not interested in quality, all they care about is paying the least amount possible in their contracts.
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                    • #11
                      Re: American Home Shield (Good and Bad)

                      Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
                      My first thought...do they pay enough?

                      Around here they want to pay as little as possible, and only the lowest scum who do cheap, shoddy work seem to work for them...maybe my view is skewed but that has been my experience with them.

                      If they actually paid decent and in time, I'd work for them too.

                      My experience has been with Old Republic on several occasions. While on a job once I was on the phone with Old Republic getting authorization and they told me that the plumber on record was Idyllwild Plumbing. Imagine their suprise when I informed them that he has been dead for two years and is not accepting calls right now. Since then they have been trying to recruit me, sent me a price list for what they will pay for what is done, and an application. An added incentive for expediting payment within 10 days was to take a percentage of the invoice off, otherwise payment was 30 days or more.......no thanks. I've told the homeowners that I do not deal with them, if they want me to do the job I will deal with them, and they can deal with the insurance. I've had no problem doing it this way.......Rick (TOPR)
                      The Other Rick

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                      • #12
                        Re: American Home Shield (Good and Bad)

                        I think that once I have a decent customer base American Home shield will go by the wayside for me they are in no way a great thing but have been a necessary evil.

                        Every little bit is helping get my business through that first critical year or two. ( I will do some work for food but not all of it)

                        I think the experience is worth the lower than average $. My truck is out there people are seeing me, parts houses are giving me referrals.

                        For me it is about gaining the trust and respect of the people in who's homes I work.

                        I'm from a small town (20K) in the bible belt and trust and name recignition is everything here.

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                        • #13
                          Re: American Home Shield (Good and Bad)

                          Originally posted by OkieBill View Post
                          Every little bit is helping get my business through that first critical year or two. ( I will do some work for food but not all of it)

                          I think the experience is worth the lower than average $. My truck is out there people are seeing me, parts houses are giving me referrals.

                          For me it is about gaining the trust and respect of the people in who's homes I work.

                          I didn't mean to insult, I took my share of hits when I started up, still do on occasion.
                          Ya gotta do what ya gotta do to build clients.
                          Just be careful not to get in the habit of shopping around for the cheapest water heaters, disposals or faucets.
                          Trouble is, in an area as small as yours, all it takes is one cheap water heater to leak or fail after a year and they tell two friends, who tell two friends...and so on.

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                          • #14
                            Re: American Home Shield (Good and Bad)

                            Originally posted by OkieBill View Post
                            I think that once I have a decent customer base American Home shield will go by the wayside for me they are in no way a great thing but have been a necessary evil.

                            Every little bit is helping get my business through that first critical year or two. ( I will do some work for food but not all of it)

                            I think the experience is worth the lower than average $. My truck is out there people are seeing me, parts houses are giving me referrals.

                            For me it is about gaining the trust and respect of the people in who's homes I work.

                            I'm from a small town (20K) in the bible belt and trust and name recognition is everything here.

                            I'll sell my bodily fluids before I associate my good company name with the likes of these insurance moguls.

                            When I was a service plumber for AHS for another company, the people that had that insurance were as retarded as the company I was dealing with.

                            You don't get paid to sit and converse back and forth on what's covered or not, you're ultimately the bad guy no matter if you came in the door with wings on your back; you're part of the situation.


                            My first 16 months in business was tough, but I minimized all expenditures, sacrificed all use of luxury items like eating out and the like, sold inventory on ebay for the items I could get away with not needing.


                            Those companies can make you look like a crook real quick. Had a couple people tell me AFTER the work was done, they wasn't going to pay, you personally can't do anything because you're the worker bee for the company that put you through the door.

                            Be a Walmart Greeter and make income to make ends meet; a lot more respectable in the dignity and honor gammut regarding your profession.


                            Should be a shining example that no plumbing company stays with these bottom feeders for long, they suck them dry and tax time will show you didn't make money.
                            Last edited by DUNBAR PLUMBING; 03-15-2008, 03:26 PM.
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                            • #15
                              Re: American Home Shield (Good and Bad)

                              I spent way to much time on the phone on hold waiting for approval to do the work that I often didn't get. They also wanted me to drive further then I wanted to. Sometimes the jobs and pay worked well. I tried it and decided it wasn't worth it. It wasn't the worst thing in the world.

                              I like doing warrenty work for Bradford White and Reem, But I do have to seperate myself from being an employee of either company.
                              Customer starts complaining about a new water heater not working and I have to explain I'm the independent plumber they sent out to fix it. All in all it's not bad.

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