American Home Shield and Houston Air Comfort Suck

American Home Shield

Beware where you buy your Home Warranty. American Home Shield has the worst customer service I’ve run into in recent history.

Gather around children, and let Uncle Dave tell you about two companies you should stay far away from. They are America Home Shield – a home warranty company, and Houston Air Comfort – an alleged AC repair company. I say alleged, as in four days without air conditioning in 100+ degree Texas August weather, I’ve yet to see anyone from that company.

Facts:

  • I have had AHS warranties at the house I just sold, my lake house, and a house in Beasley for years. The contract number for any fact checkers at AHS is 232251452, although I will be cancelling it. I pay about $60 month per property, and the contract auto renews year to year!
  • While it was very easy to sign up, it is near impossible to get anyone on the line when there are problems, or you need to cancel. Last week I sold my house and it took 30 minutes to cancel.
  • During the middle of the night Monday/Tuesday my ac crapped out. At around 9am Tuesday I went on line at AHS.com and requested service. I receive an email back saying the repair has been assigned to Houston Air Comfort, and that they will get back with me in “24 Business Hours”. What the Hell does that mean?
  • Wednesday at 9am no one had called so I go on line to check status, and it has me as “unable to contact”. That is complete Bullshit as I had my phone all day waiting for their call, while dying from no AC, and there are no missed calls. I called Houston Air Comfort and asked who called and when, and she said they don’t have that information. I’m told that next appointment available is 9-1 Thursday! I told her to tell him to be sure to bring fan blades!
  • At 1pm Thursday (Day three without AC), no one has shown and I have to be 80 miles away by 3. So I have an employee go to house and stay there. While on the way to my appointment I call AHS. I get caught in a loop from Hell asking for my contract number or phone number (which I’ve had since 1991) and zip code, then saying they no record of me – and loop to asking for that info again without any other option. I’m screaming customer service while punching 0, get a message to hold on while being transferred, and then get disconnected. I call back and go through the whole routine again, and get a complete moron girl. I explained the whole deal, she didn’t appear to be interested, and I’m “axed” if I wasn’t sure that the appointment wasn’t for NEXT Thursday. I say it better not be, and she says “Letme look”. (Maybe she should have done that first!) I’m then told that I have an appointment for 9-1 today. It’s 1:30, and I said “and well?”, and she then asks if he’s there. I said, “no, that’s why I’m calling”. She says “Hold on while I call them”. I intended to get a haircut on the way, so I pulled into the barbershop, waited for two cuts in front of me, and get my haircut – all while holding the phone on speaker telling the whole barbershop that my call was important, hold for next representative. The whole barbershop heard my story and the nasty synthesized hold noise. By the time my haircut was finished, I was still listening to hold noise. I drove another ten miles, got to my appointment and hung up. No one called me back.
  • So after the appointment I call Houston Air Comfort, and was told I’m the next call he’ll go on. I told her that my employee leaves at 4 and she said he’ll be there before 4. I’ll assume that its an instant fix as they must. I’m betting he won’t have the parts I told the girl to have him bring. I asked if they don’t give a courtesy call when people wait four hours and there’s a no show, and she said no.

Conclusions

As I write this at 3:30 Thursday, no one has shown at my Beasley residence, and I’m at the lake for the weekend. This is the type of service you can expect if you sign up with AHS for a home warranty, or call Houston Air Comfort for AC repair. You will waste a lot of time and money! I’ll update as this saga plays itself out.

Meanwhile, I’ll tell my story to all who will listen (and post all over the Interweb) as I’m pissed and insulted from the piss poor customer service. The above is 100% factual!

Epilogue:

Thursday 4pm, no one has shown, no calls from anyone. I’m now paying overtime for employee to sit and wait. I have posted to both AHS and Houston Air’s Facebook page a link to this page, and have link to AHS via their chat. 

Thursday 4:24pm Tech calls to say that he’s 45 minutes away. So lady who told me he’d be there by 4 LIED, as did the one who said they’d be there between 9am-1pm. I asked if he had blades and he said no. He said he’d not have blades today, by MAYBE it would be fixed tomorrow. MAYBE! Would you believe these liars?

Thursday 5:25pm Repair guy finally shows up for his 9am-1pm appointment, and in 30 seconds determines it needs fan blades! Well Duh, I told them that Tuesday morning. He doesn’t have so someone will be back tomorrow or Saturday. I’ll hold my breath. Stay tuned.

Friday 4:17 pmNo one came, no one called. I called Houston Air Comfort and they said the tech is off Fridays and they don’t know if he got blades or not, and won’t know until tomorrow. Great customer service. Waited all day, never so much as a call.

Saturday 8:57 am (Day Five in Texas August without AC)Called AHS and went through the whole drill and was again transferred to a disconnect. I figure that’s what they mus do if no one is available to take call  Called again, went through the drill and the call was answered by someone who couldn’t get her company name right. I explained my story more than once, and was put on hold for about 20 minutes. She came back and said Houston Air Comfort ordered blades and they won’t be in until Monday or Tuesday. I asked if she felt that was acceptable, and she said yes.

Monday 9:45Day 8 no AC. Couldn’t sleep last night. 9:45 am Call Houston Air Comfort, as they never call me when they 8 hours late don’t come Friday as promised, don’t come Saturday as promised. Lady says I’m not on any schedule. WHAAAT? She can put me on schedule for tomorrow 9-1. Last Tuesday they put me on schedule for 9-1 and he showed up a 5:30 pm, looked at unit for 30 seconds and said he be back in morning with parts. I’ve called Friday and was told he’d be here Saturday. I called AMS Saturday and told he’ll be here today. I call today, and told he’ll be here tomorrow. I post facts on American Home Shield;s page, an now banned for posting there.

Thug Ready To Go Back Into Battle

If you’ve read “Dave & Buster’s Excellent Adventure“, you’ll remember that my car didn’t have a full charge on the batteries for my Bye run in the Semis, and I had a stutter that felt like either lack of fuel or loss of ignition. I was able to get about 20 minutes of a charge before the Final, but I was dead right from the start with a 1.39 60′, and a couple Stutters in the run. Then about 150 miles from home, while driving in a bad storm, some idiot going about 30 pulled in front of my rig traveling in the left lane going 70. I locked up the brakes and was able to avoid hitting anything, but the car moved into a jack pouch and damaged the rear fender.

So, since I didn’t have a backup ignition and the batteries were a couple years old, I ordered a new 7AL2 Black box, new charger and two new batteries, just to be safe. While they were being shipped, The oil filter was cut open to see if there was any bearing material, as I felt the car might have been getting slower. The filter showed no gold, and in reality we had a strong tail wind Thursday and Friday; and a moderate tail cross on Friday and Saturday.

Moving onto the valve train, it was inspected and valves run. All was good. It was noticed, when getting the motor warm enough to run the valves, that the fuel pressure was a pound and half low. That too might explain speed falling off a little. My carb’s jetting was 113 square, and it has now been leaned up a little to 113/110.


Despite my batteries (when fully charged) being just as strong a week later, I replaced them anyway since I had bought the new ones. I’ll either use the older ones in the wagon, convert the Vitamin C to 16V, or sell cheap.

Pulled the Gold 7AL2 out of the Thug, and put it into The Vitamin C – just to make sure it runs right the next time I run that car. The Thug’s batteries were put in the Vitamin C, and it’s 7AL2 put in the trailer for a spare. While doing that, it was found the ignition wire had a very poor crimp in it, and it was a very loose connection. I’m pretty sure that was causing the stutter. That’s now fixed.

Also goin ons at the shop this week, was catching up mowing my five acres and the five acres of Miss Lavone (a sweet 93-year old lady) next door. The new air cleaner and valve covers on my 46 Olds street rod got a coat of gold paint, and drilled for breather and PCV. The Olds also got a new fuel pump and all it needs to be finished is an interior shop to do its magic and a new exhaust system.

Also had to reattach the fascia on my youngest daughters Hyundai, which appears to have been damaged by a concrete parking stop jumping in front of it.

Today, Randy Stansbury drove in from Louisiana to fix the damage from coming home from Joliet. While the primer was drying, he polished the car. Look at the below photo compared to the one at the beginning of this post.

Randy then laid a coat of base and clear over primed repair, and I’ll try to Blend Buff next week.

So after the blending, I’ll load the Thug into trailer to make room for a project, and I should be ready for Norwalk.

Dave & Buster’s Excellent Adventure

Last week was NMCA’s fourth race in the point series, held at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, IL. My wife had just had surgery on both feet, so it was just us boyz – my Chocolate Lab Buster and me. We took “The Thug”, which is a car I’d just finished a couple of months ago and need some data on. Its first race was Bowling Green, where I broke a rocker shaft. The next race was the Hot Rod Reunion, where I only got three passes and was fighting a couple of problems. This would be its third event.

Monday morning I loaded up the stacker, and headed out Monday at about 2pm, as I wanted to avoid Houston’s traffic. I drove 300 miles to Atlanta, TX, where I parked in Walmart’s parking lot over night, and loaded up the coach’s fridge with groceries and adult beverages.

Tuesday, I had a leisure morning, leaving at 10am and driving a little less than 500 miles to Sikeston,  MO – which is the last known Walmart parking lot in that direction that I know will not give me a problem parking on the far side of their lot.

Wednesday, I again had a leisure morning and leaving at 10 am for the 350 mile drive up the middle of Illinois, known for ticketing rigs as long as mine for over length. I arrived at the staging area (the NASCAR Track across the street from Route 66) at about 4 pm. About ten years ago that would have me 3rd in line, but this year there were at least 100 racers ahead of me. Wednesday night there was a new record of over 350 racers in line for this race.

Thursday, morning in the past would have the track start moving vendors in at 10 am, and racers at 11 am. This year, to the surprise of almost all of us, they started moving us in at 8 am. We (Rollie saved spots for Doug Duell, 00Joe Ewing, the Frees Brothers and I) got to the pits at 10am and I was set up, credentials established, and car teched in by noon.

I paid the $40 (now there’s a racket!) for test and tune, and that opened at 1 pm. I wound up being the first car down the track.

I’d checked my left weight box and it was empty, and I assumed the right was also, and so I didn’t check it until after the 1st pass, where I found 58 pounds. That put me in an awkward position between the 9.50 & 9.75 index (with breakouts for NSS). I took the weight out and decided to see if I could get close to the 9.50 index by shifting at 7200 instead of 6800, where the car still felt like it was pulling.

That didn’t buy me near enough, and it appears 6800 is the right shift point.

I pulled a plug to see if I could increase timing or lean  jetting, but it appears I was where the timing and jetting should be. I had pulled one of the two batteries, and was about to pull a seat to drop 100 pounds, but Doug talked me out of that plan. Good plan Doug! So I put them back in, loaded both boxes with weight and headed to the lanes for a third Time Trial Hit.

I waited in the staging lanes for three and a half hours while I saw some cars go through twice. It pissed off a lot of racers. There were a ton of wrecks an oil downs causing chaos.

By the time I’d gone up to race after sitting for 210 minutes with the cut off switch on, and not enough of a charge on one of the batteries,  I barely got the car started –  and had only 11 volts. I backed out and only had 4 volts by the time I got back to the pits.

Friday we had two Qualifying hits. The first at 8:30am. The car did a monster wheel stand (I’ve not put wheelie bars on the car yet) and was too fast at 9.71.

We waited a long time for the second Qualifying, as there were again a lot of oil downs. I was dead nuts with a 5. That moved me to number two, behind Jeff Frees who was dead nuts with a 2.

Saturday morning at about 8:30 am we were called for our third qualifying. I thought I was set on kill to try for dead nuts with a 0 or 1, but I ran a 9.77. We did have to wait, and weather changes fast in the mornings. Also My 60′ was a little off. They were hand spraying just as we were pulling in, and didn’t give any time to dry. As a matter of fact a video shows someone spraying in back of my car as I was staged. It might have been that, but from then on my car seemed to lose a little more each pass.

Sheet after 3 hits had me stay #2

1st Round Ladder

In the first round on Saturday night  I had Geary (pronounced Gary, as it threw me off for years) Bates. Long story short, he gave me lane choice last time and I gave him lane choice this time. He wanted Left so he could use his door mirror to watch me come up on him. I’d set my car up for a 9.73 and did a 9.76 all out. Geary took a little too much stripe (14.5.’ according to “Run Completion”) and broke out with a 10.48 on 10.50.

Sunday morning Round Two was against a pretty black 67 10.0 Chevelle that I don’t recall seeing before. He came to my trailer and told me he’d been racing for decades, quit for a little while, recently started again, and had been to a couple races I been at. I offered him lane choice, and he also chose the Right Lane. This round was a gift. As my light counted down I lost focus because he’d not left before me, and I had a .109 light. I was even more confused when he’d still not left when I did. He had a .289 light. I gave it less than full throttle and just stayed a fender ahead of him for a 9.99. I couldn’t use the run as data as it was so screwed up. I didn’t even enter it.

At about noon, Round Three was against Kurt Neighbor kn his 9.50 yellow 65 Comet. He’d been both tough on the tree and running the number all weekend. I asked him what lane he wanted, willing to flip if he wanted Left, and he wanted the Right lane, which I feel is correct for the faster car. I bagged three and we had a great race (look at the package at the bottom of the below ticket) with me dragging the brake and a little lift at MPH cone .

Run completion says I cut it pretty close and almost broke out with a 9.71 had I not lifted when I did.

Since I was the number two qualifier, won my first three rounds and there were 23 racers, I won a Bye for the fourth round. It was a good thing I had the Bye. After Round Three, I attached the charger to the charging terminals on the car and started the generator. While I was doing this Jeff Frees and his entourage stopped by to congratulate me for the close race, and then Kurt stopped by. By the time they called us for Round Four, I realized I never plugged the charger in. When I started the car, I barely had 16 volts. The last time I had to start to move into burnout box, it slow cranked and I had 14 volts for my burnout. It stuttered badly after my second gear shift, and I just drove it at 4000 RPM to get off the track. I kinda was surprised it wouldn’t run with 14 volts. Anyway, I was glad it was a Bye. I hurried back to pit to put the charger on at 25 amps, and it was taking it all.

Kevin Gass was the winner of the other Semi. He came to my pit wanting the Left. By then I had made 7 of my last 8 passes in the Left lane, and wasn’t looking to switch, so we flipped. Thanks Bobby Barrick for a heads flip for me. They called us in less than a half hour and my batteries were still taking all 25 amps. I had a hair above 16 when I started the car, and a hair under when I staged. I was dead right from the hit with a 1.39 60′ and then a stutter. I never could catch Kevin.

While I wanted the win more than you can imagine, Kevin is both a great racer and a nice guy, so if I had to lose to someone…

Being an old one eye fat man racing without help, it took me until 9 pm to tear down the pit and load up the trailer. Being it was late, that I’d had a few cold adult beverages, and that I was tired — I decided to stay overnight at the track. I showered and got to bed at about 11 pm.

Monday, I was up at 5 am, had breakfast, walked Buster and pulled out into the fog at 6 am.

I drove hard and non-stop — pulling into my shop (almost 1200 miles from the track) at 11:58 pm on the same Calendar Day.

This morning , I unloaded the trailer for a major disappointment. I stopped every couple hundred miles to take a click or too out of the straps. However, I didn’t for last 300 miles because of heavy rain. Outside Lufkin I had to lock the brakes up and swerved into the next lane because of an idiot. I should have stopped and checked the car’s straps, but I didn’t.

I’ve got my bud Randy Standsbury, who painted the car, coming next week from Louisiana to fix it for me before the Norwalk race. The car will also be gone through to see where a little speed might picked up from.

Here’s a track photo from the NMCA Gallery.

Thursday and Friday was chaotic with all the oil downs setting the schedule hours late. However Saturday and Sunday went very smooth, especially for the number of cars racing. NMCA has their stuff together.

I’d like to thank my sponsors, but on this car I have none except the battery hold downs from Aerospace Components, which are pretty nice pieces and some help from Mancini Racing with an annual credit for misc parts. On this car, I paid for the new brakes, headers, fuel system, converter, and every single other part on the car. Missing a couple of years (family and car issues) hurt me in the help department.  I feel like I’m coming back with this car and the wagon, which I’m just starting to rebuild. I hope to have the rust knocked off me and the cars by the end of this year, and come back next year with a vengeance. While far from probable, with five rounds and  #2 Qualifier Points, if I was to run the table on the last two races – and the right people fell on their face – I have a chance still. Weirder stuff has happened, and it doesn’t hurt to think BIG.

Dave and Buster’s Excellent Adventure

Coach filled with water and secured for travel, air checked on Coach and trailer tires, Thug and Golf cart are loaded and strapped down, race and generator gas jugs are filled, limited amount of spare parts and supplies are attic of stacker.

Now I need to recover from near heat stroke, pack and load my clothes and personal crap, and shower then we’re ready for

Buster and Dave’s excellent adventure

to the Obnoxious Mustang Racer Nationals in Joliet. Will will leave at about 2pm to get under tomorrow’s Houston morning rush hour traffic with a five hour drive to Atlanta, TX for the night, and to load up on groceries and Lone Star beer.