This is hopefully my final post on the continuing saga of my
interactions with AHS regarding my now-defunct 35 year old central AC.
Unlike the first hack they sent out, this AHS-sponsored tech was
professional: called before he came out (early!), wore a uniform, drove
a truck with HVAC license numbers...
Two minutes into the inspection, he agreed with my own prefered
contractor that the compressor was shot and the condensor unit as a
whole would need to be swapped out. Agreed that AHS would require crappy
components be installed, and that there would be some delay while they
are shipped. He said he could have AHS do a "cash out" in lieu of
repair. He thought I would get ~$900; after we spoke to AHS it turns
out they only will cash me out at $554. What a ripoff.
According to them, the labor they would pay this guy is ~$300, and the
parts / tax just a bit more than $250. I asked them, "I know you get a
volume discount and use bottom-of-the-line parts, but $250 for a
condensor, refrigerant, etc.?" The nice lady on the other end said,
"Yes, that's what it costs us."
I have no way to dispute this, without involving legal assistance that
would be more expensive than the money involved.
So, I told her to send me my check for $554. A few minutes later, I had
scheduled the installation of a whole new higher-efficiency system, by a
really professional group, that I'm confident will do a first-rate job
and stand behind it.
All told, the new system will cost me about $2200 plus my $554. Sigh.
I'm out more than two grand, but at least I know I'm going to have a
great, reliable, efficient system.
Was the home warranty worth it? Well, this year it cost me $435 to have
the warranty. Given that I had a $50 visit fee to pay the AHS guy, I
guess it adds up to $69 in my favor, presuming no other claims this
year. Historically, over 4 years, I'm about $500 ahead, but only
because AHS took a big hit when they had to swap out my furnace and
couldn't wiggle out of it.
Dealing with the warranty companies involves aggravation and hassle
versus using local trusted contractors, and it's hard to put a
Next summer, when my AHS warranty comes up for renewal, I'll laugh, and
pitch the form into the trash. My opinion is that a home warranty made
sense when I was a young (poorer) first time home buyer, but that going
forward it makes more sense to bank that money yearly in expectation of
the occasional repairs needed, and be able to use it to immediately call
local, well-respected pros in.
Thanks to the group for your support. I would be interested to know
just what sort of discount AHS gets from equipment providers to be able
to replace a condensor (not just the compressor!) for $250 worth of
pars.... Yes, I got screwed. But rather than fight it, I'm accepting
that I'm ahead for the year, if just barely, and moving on with a happy