Americas 1st Choice Home Club Review

Americas 1st Choice Home Club Review

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Who is America’s 1st Choice Home Club?

America 1st Choice Home Club (AFC) is based in Marietta, Georgia, and has provided the American public with reputable and high-quality home protection since 2009. They have developed a reputation for excellent customer service and trustworthiness over their decade of operation. The AFC is owned by Crast Incorporated, which is part of the Residential Construction Contractors Industry.

 

The AFC offers greater flexibility in their home protection plans than most of its competitors and provides extra benefits that set them apart in the home warranty market. These benefits include free credit monitoring, identity protection alerts, and Emergency Alert Networks services.

 

The AFC also stands out from its competitors with a “lifetime of plan” guarantee of repairs conducted under their protection cover, and these can extend up to three years according to your warranty plan. The FHC is operational nationwide except for Hawaii, California, South Carolina, and Nevada.

 

The AFC was on the 2018 Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America and has won customer service awards on various platforms.

 

How Does America’s 1st Choice Home Club Work?

The AFC has one of the more flexible home coverage plans comparative to other home warranty providers in their milieu. AFC offers four different plan options with numerous choices regarding optional extras such as:

 

  • Double Oven
  • Tankless Water Heater
  • Stand Alone Freezer
  • Central Vacuum
  • Septic System
  • Ice Maker
  • In-ground Pool and Spa
  • Well Pump
  • Sump Pump
  • Hot Water Dispenser
  • Built-in Microwave

 

The 24/7 customer service agents are available to help you customize your home plan to suit your specific needs. You have the option of monthly installments or the discount offered on the annual payment system.

When signing up with the AFC, you will be offered four different plan options that you are flexible for you to add additional features. The plans are:

 

  • Platinum
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Systems Plan.

 

Once your standard thirty-day notice period has passed since you signed the contract, your warranty becomes active on the items/systems covered in your AFC plan.

  • When any covered appliance or systems fail, you either call the customer service line and register your claim.
  • An “in house’ accredited technician will be sent to your home ( or your own), and you will provide the $75-$125 service fees.
  • Within 48 hrs, the technician will diagnose the problem and contact the AFC.
  • Once they determine that the AFC covers the appliance/system, the technician will repair the system or appliance or replace them with a new model with similar features, capacity, efficiency, and value.
  • AFC will contact you to find out if the repairs/replacement were provided to your satisfaction.

 

America’s 1st Choice Home Club Warranty Plans

 

Coverage Platinum Plan Gold Plan Silver Plan Systems Plan
Air Conditioning/

Cooler

✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Heating Systems ✔️       ✔️ ✔️
Water Heater ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Electrical System ✔️ ✔️
Plumbing System ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Plumbing Stoppages ✔️
Ductwork ✔️ ✔️
Clothes Dryer ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Clothes Washer ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Kitchen Refridgerator ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Icemaker ✔️
Oven ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Range ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Stove/Cooktop ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Dishwasher ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Garbage Disposal ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Garage Door Opener ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Built-in Microwave ✔️

 

These optional add-on coverages are available for an additional fee with any homeowner’s plan:

✔️Double Oven

✔️Tankless Water Heater

✔️Stand Alone Freezer

✔️Central Vacuum

✔️Septic System

✔️Ice Maker

✔️In-ground Pool and Spa

✔️Well Pump

✔️Sump Pump

✔️Hot Water Dispenser

✔️Built-in Microwave

 

What do the AFC Plans Cost?

Payments Silver Gold Platinum Systems
1 year(1 payment) $450 $550 $625 $450
1-Year Plan (11 Monthly Payments) $43.18 ($475) $52.27 ($575) $59.09 ($650) $43.18 ($475)
3-Year plan (1 payment) $1,195 $1,395 $1,595 $1,195
3-Year Plan (18 monthly payments) $69.44 ($1,250) $80.56 ($1,450) $91.67 ($1,650) $69.44 ($1,250)

 

 

What Are the AFC Payout Caps for Appliances/Systems?

AFC provides payout cap standards for appliances and systems that are covered in their protection plans. The cap amounts are in the medium range in comparison with other home warranty providers.

Unlike some other warranty providers, the AFC has a fixed cap amount for total services under one contract of $10,000. This cap means that you do not have unlimited service for your contract term.

 

Item Payout Cap
Appliances $2000
Ductwork $250
Water Heater $1000
Interior Electrical $500
Plumbing Systems and Stoppages $500
Pool and Spa $500
Sump Pump $500
Central Vacuum $200
Stand Alone Freezer $500
Second Refrigerator $500
Septic System $500
Hot Water Dispenser $200
Tankless Water Heater $750

 

 

American 1st Choice Real Estate Plan

The AFC provides real estate agents with great value extended home warranty protection both in Georgia and nationwide. They offer real estate professionals discounted pricing to make their plans more affordable to both the real estate agent and their clients.

 

The AFC also offers a selection of silver, gold, platinum, and system plans with optional add ons for customization. The plan prices are not given online for the real-estate plans, so interested parties should contact the customer service line to request quotes: 866-242-0629.

 

  • The seller is protected from liability should any non-visible damage occur after the sale of the house.

 

  • The buyer is protected from costly repairs and provided with 24/.7 customer care should any situation arise with their systems and appliances of their newly acquired home.

 

  • AFC has its own vetted in house technicians that can be on the site to repair or replace items without the new buyer having to source qualified technicians or pay excessive amounts for services that may be untrustworthy or unprofessional.

 

  • The realtor has a competitive edge when it comes to selling a home by offering its clients an AFC plan with the sale of the house.
Coverage Platinum Plan Gold Plan Silver Plan Systems Plan
Air Conditioning/

Cooler

✔️ ✔️  ✔️
Heating Systems ✔️             ✔️ ✔️
Water Heater ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Electrical System ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Plumbing System ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Plumbing Stoppages ✔️ ✔️
Ductwork ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Clothes Dryer ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Clothes Washer ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Kitchen Refrigerator ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Icemaker ✔️
Oven ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Range ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Stove/Cooktop ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Dishwasher ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Garbage Disposal ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Garage Door Opener ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Built-in Microwave ✔️

 

These optional coverages can be added on for an additional charge to any real estate plan:

  • Double Oven
  • Tankless Water Heater
  • Stand Alone Freezer
  • Central Vacuum
  • Septic System
  • Ice Maker
  • In-ground Pool and Spa
  • Well Pump
  • Sump Pump
  • Hot Water Dispenser
  • Built-in Microwave

America’s First Choice Home Club Contract Service Fees

Homeowners have the option of a one-year contract or a three-year contract. The amount that the homeowner must pay for a trade-call (service contractor) is determined by which plan they choose of the silver, gold, platinum, and system options. The higher the deductible ( trade call fee), the lower the annual payments of the plan.

Cost of plan per annum based on trade call fee

Trade Call Fee Platinum Plan Gold Plan Silver Plan Systems Plan
$75 $600 $550 $400 $450
$100 $550 $500 $375 $400
$125 $500 $475 $350 $350

 

 

 

What does the AFC Not Cover Under Their Warranty?

❌ The AFC does not cover appliances or systems that fall within the one-month waiting period (31-61). The company will only pay out a standard amount of $150 an item.

❌ Any damage or appliance/system failure due to rust or corrosion will not be repaired or replaced, even if your AFC warranty plan covers the item.

❌ Collapsed ductwork is not included under the AFC warranty.

❌ Your AFC warranty will not cover any known or unknown pre-existing conditions that caused an appliance/system failure.

❌ The AFC does not include cosmetic damage under their warranty, so any scratches or dents to an appliance or system will not fall under your warranty.

❌ Any electronic or computerized energy management systems or computerized lighting or appliance systems will not fall under your AFC cover. Nor will solar panels systems or equipment.

❌The company is not responsible for mold damage or removal.

❌AFC is not responsible for repair caused by chemical damage, sediment, rust corrosion, mildew mold, misuse. They will not be liable for failure to clean or maintain an appliance/system as specified by the equipment manufacturer.

❌Any environmental damages such as fire, flood, lightning, mud earthquake, soil movements, or acts of God will fall outside your coverage.

❌ The Afc will not repair or replace items that have sustained damage through the actions of pests.

❌ The AFC is not responsible for alterations or modifications of appliances or systems. This rule means that if you have an older system that needs replacing and the size and components differ, you are responsible for the fitting of the replacement item. Often older equipment may not conform in size and scope to newer models on the market. The company will provide a replacement most similar in features, output, and efficiency but will not be responsible for size/pipe installation or corresponding modifications.

❌ The AFC does not provide cover for theft of appliances or systems under their warranty.

❌ Water damage, even if it is secondary damage linked to a system or appliance failure under warranty, is not covered by the AFC warranty.

❌ The AFC does not cover damage caused by trees.

 

What is the AFC Repair Time?

After you have registered your claim application either online or through the company submission portal, the AFC will provide you with the services of a licensed service technician with 24-48 regular business hours. Once you have scheduled an appointment with your designated technician, you will be contacted by the AFC customer service to ensure popper service. You will pay the technician if the work is done successfully.

 

A failing point in the AFC policy is that they do not make provisions for emergency repairs, or offer expedited service even for system failures that may make the house inhabitable.

 

May I use My own Choice of Contractor?

You may use your service contractor if you wish as the AFC does allow you to do this. You must first let them know that you are planning to use your contractor when reporting your claim. Your contractor will then have to contact the AFC for authorization before conducting any repairs. He must then submit a diagnosis and quote to the AFC. When this quote is accepted and authorized, the company will pay your contractor.

 

When choosing an outside contractor, make sure of these basics:

  • They must be able to provide you with their contractor’s license number, their contractor’s liability insurance policy number.
  • They should have a proven track record in their field.
  • They should provide you with a written estimate of the costs for materials and labor.

America’s First Choice Home Club Pros

✔️AFC allows you the freedom to organize your own trusted contractors. Many home warranty companies only allow their clients to use in house contractors. This rule can be a nuisance when you already have a relationship with a contractor who provides excellent service. If you wish to have a contractor provided for you, the company can offer a qualified and vetted technician from their team.

 

✔️The AFC has a “Lifetime of Plan Warranty” that makes them stand out from their competitors in the home warranty field. AFC offers this warranty on the work conducted by their contracted technicians, including parts and labor, for the entire duration of your AFC contract. Considering that the contracts are between 1-3 years, it is an impressive guarantee of top-quality workmanship.

 

✔️The AFC provides excellent Customer Care through its 24/7 operated phone lines and online submission portals. The online submission portal is a quick and easy alternative to the phone option, and you can submit a claim in real-time and expedite the process of damage repair or replacement of essential appliances or systems.

 

✔️ One of the best aspects of being part of the AFC home protection club is that they offer four flexible plan alternatives that are easy to customize. Many home warranty companies only offer limited plans that become costly, with additional items added on all carry extra fees. With the choice of four plans, it is easier to customize your AFC plan to suit your individual needs.

 

✔️ The AFC does not require home inspections, as many other warranty providers require. Any system or appliance under your AFC cover may be claimed against for repair or replacement after your 30-day waiting period is over. One should keep in mind that the AFC does not cover known or unknown pre-existing conditions in your systems/appliances.

 

✔️The AFC offers club members additional benefits that not many other home warranty providers provide. Many of these benefits will save homeowners even more money in the long run and add to the value of taking an AFC plan.

 

What Extra Benefits Does America’s First Choice Home Club Offer?

The AFC offers all members, including Systems, Silver, platinum, and gold members, additional club benefits.

 

⭐1. MoneyTips

AFC provides all club members with the additional benefit of the moneyTips program, which allows members to monitor their credit as well as providing alerts to prevent identity theft. The AFC offers a full-color credit report along with useful suggestions on how to improve and maintain your credit score. They provide you with ongoing alerts in case someone tries to steal your identity and commit fraudulent credit activity.

 

⭐2. Encompass

Encompass is a perfect tool for homeowners who understand the difficulty in maintaining their homes and the consistent demands of upkeep. Encompass allows club members maintenance-related parts and the supplies necessary to keep their homes up to date or perform upgrades if they so wish.

 

Through their partnership with Encompass, their national parts supplier, your AFC club membership allows you access to discounted rates on over 8 million genuine parts. They also ensure that the delivery is fast and efficient. Encompass has parts ranging from garbage disposal units to video game controllers. The added benefit is that you may download their service manuals for free to help you in your DIY missions.

 

⭐3. ADT SafeStreets

In their partnership with ADT, AFC offers Home Club members discounted ADT rates to protect their homes, families, and possessions. You will be eligible for reduced-price ADT monitored home security and alarm services.

 

⭐4. Emergency Alert Services

AFC provides home club members with the added personal security of Emergency Alert Network (EAN.) If something unexpected may happen to you, EAN works with emergency services to provide medical personnel with vital medical information and alert those closest to you.

 

EAN automatically contacts up to 4 people who of your choosing should something occur to you. EAN will notify your chosen contacts about the situation should an emergency arise so that you will have support on hand from those closest to you. EAN’s emergency personnel are on call 24/7/365, and they store your private information in a secure database.

America’s 1st Choice Home Club Cons

Turnaround Time 

While many home warranty providers send technicians to the site of an appliance or system repair within a matter of hours, AFC is a bit slower on the uptake. With a 48-hour window, essential appliances or systems can affect homeowners living conditions. Heating systems in winter or toilet break down can be challenging to live with while waiting for AFC to respond to your claim.

 

Lack of transparency regarding plan pricing

Unlike many other warranty providers, AFC does not make pricing options readily available to the public. Some warranty providers allow you to access plan pricing through zip codes or general home-based filters, whereas AFC requires an email address, location, phone number, and name, and surname.

 

This requirement is a bit annoying as you should be able to access this information without being potentially annoyed by a company you were merely browsing for price comparisons.

They also make their appliance and systems cap mounts ambiguous on their sample contracts without specifying if the caps are over a year or a three-year contract. One shouldn’t have to enter into negotiations with a company to assess its pricing structure.

 

Limited item coverage in the base plans

There are only 18 items available in the base plans, which is less than the standard plans offered by most home warranty providers. This addition may increase your monthly/yearly cost when you need to add in extra items into your plan at an additional cost, making plans more pricey than the average for some homeowners.

 

No known or unknown Pre-existing damage cover

Although many home warranty providers provide for pre-existing damage in their cover, the AFC precludes this. This stipulation is quite a tricky clause as well and seems likely to be open to interpretation or grounds for many refusals to claims.

Higher than average cancellation and transfer fees

AFC charges a $75 cancellation fee, which is higher than the industry standard of $46.43 The AFC transfer fee is also higher than the industry standard at $50 vs. the industry standard of $22.29.

The service call outs are unlimited, but repairs/replacements are capped

It is misleading when a company advertises unlimited call-outs on the length of your contract when, in fact, they have a contract cap of $10,000 per contract term. Although AFC provides trade service call-outs, you will not only pay for the service but all additional cost of repair and replacement after you have exceeded the cap.

 

America’s 1st Choice Customer Reviews

Consumer Affairs

Rating: ⭐4/5

Reviews: 687

The reviews on Consumer Affairs are mostly positive; most reviewers expressed satisfaction with the service as well as the customer service of the company.

Better Business Bureau

Rating: B

Star rating: ⭐3/5

Reviews: 264

 

There were some negative reviews about delays in service and dissatisfaction regarding fine print claim denials. The majority of reviewers reported that they have a positive experience in dealing with AFC.

Yelp

Rating ⭐2.5/5

Reviews: 205

 

There was a barrage of negative reviews claiming that the company was using loopholes to cheat customers of their claims. This issue is a common complaint with warranty companies, however, because homeowners fail to read the fine print of their contracts. There were several complaints of condescending service agents and ignored complaints.

America’s 1st Choice Home Club FAQ

Is The AFC Home Protection Plan the same as a Home Warranty?

Although the operations of general home warranty providers and the AFC are much the same, the AFC does not consider itself, or any home-protection provider a true warranty provider. According to the AFC, only a manufacturer of a product may provide a valid warranty, and in theory, cannot claim the term concerning your home and the items in it.

 

Technically speaking, the AFC, like many under the home warranty banner, provide service contracts to provide home-warranty coverage as an agreement to repair items/systems in your home that may fail mechanically. The AFC feels that by providing added benefits to their home protection, their home club offers greater convenience and safety than others in the home warranty market.

 

Do I need a Home Warranty if I Have Household Insurance?

Home protection warranties and home insurance are two different forms of home protection. Household insurance concerns the structural integrity of your home and insures against acts of God, such as earthquakes, lightning, or floods. Home insurance also protects against issues such as fire or water damage in the home.

 

Home warranties offer protection for the systems and appliances in your home. A home insurance policy works well with a home warranty in providing complete cover for your home. If your toilet, for example, were to malfunction and flood your home, a home warranty would only cover the repair of the toilet. Household insurance would cover all concurrent water damage to your ceiling, walls, and whatever else was damaged structurally.

Why do I need a Home Warranty?

#1. Increase the marketability of your home 

Having an existing home warranty gives sellers a competitive edge when selling a home. Buyers who may have stretched their budget purchasing a new home will not have to pay unforeseen repair fees on appliances and systems in their new home.

 

#2. Protect your budget 

Many times systems or appliances break down when you are least prepared for it. If a central home system like heating systems breaks down in winter, the replacement or repair may be outside your budget and cause you to resort to loans or credit. With a home warranty, you merely have to pay your designated trade service fee, and the costs will be covered (make sure you know the company cap amount.)

 

#3. Access to wholesale appliances and parts

Companies such as America’s 1st Choice offer homeowners access to parts and appliances through their national suppliers at reduced rates. Not only does it save you money, but it also saves you time having to find and arrange systems or parts to be delivered.

 

#4. Warranty companies provide their vetted contractors

When a system fails, or a critical appliance stops working, it isn’t always easy to find reliable and trustworthy contractors. Most home warranty companies have a pre-vetted team of tradesmen who are on call to sort out your problems quickly.

 

Taking a contractor on, that you do not know may result in poor performance. At least when you are part of a home warranty program, you have insurance that poor work will be rectified at no cost to yourself. Some companies guarantee the contractors work for a month, or even years in the case of America’s 1st Choice Home Club.

 

#5. Prevents post-sale litigation

When you sell your home with a home warranty in place, you will no longer be liable to pay claims for repairs and replacements that were unknown at the sale of the house. You will also have the advantage in the sale that other sellers might not have of warranty for your buyer’s peace of mind.

 

#6. You will save money

Some systems can be costly to repair or replace. HVAC could cost you thousands of dollars if they break down and can’t be fixed. With a home warranty, you will only be liable for the service contractor fee, and the rest will be covered by the company (according to their cap.) So necessarily you will pay $75-$125 for a job that might have cost you thousands of dollars.

 

How Many Services May I Request During my Contract?

With AFC, you may request as many call-outs as you need during the lifespan of your contract. You must bear in mind that there is a $10,000 cap on the amount you may claim from the AFC during your stipulated contract length.

 

What’s the Difference Between a Preventative Maintenance Report and a Home Inspection?

A home inspection concerns whether an item functions or not but does not conduct in-depth testing. A cursory check by an inspection agent in a home check would ensure the basic functioning of a system or appliance.

Preventative maintenance reports are conducted by licensed contractors who not only make sure the system is running but that the unit is cleaned and serviced to ensure it reaches its lifespan.

Conclusion

America’s 1st Choice Home Club is a reputable and established home warranty provider for over a decade. They have greater flexibility in their plans than many other home warranty providers and allow the homeowner more freedom in terms of which contractors they wish to use.

They have made their AFC club more of a holistic home protection plan than most other companies in their niche. The added benefits of security system discounts, credit protection, and access to nationwide parts at discounts are a great added benefit.

 

The plan lifetime warranty for the contractor’s work is out of the ordinary for home warranty providers and set the AFC apart. Although they have higher fees than average in cancellations and plan transfer, the whole package they offer gives them a competitive edge. They remain an excellent choice for homeowners seeking good value and flexibility in a home warranty plan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

 

https://www.thesimpledollar.com/home-warranty/reviews/americas-first-choice-home-club-review/

America’s 1st Choice Home Club

https://www.bbb.org/us/ga/marietta/profile/home-warranty-plans/afc-home-club-0443-27282410

https://www.thisoldhouse.com/home-finances/21206316/afc-home-club

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Americas 1st Choice Home Club Review
Americas 1st Choice Home Club Review
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