My Terminix Nightmare

Prior to purchasing our home, we believed:

  • representations and agreements contained in signed, written documents were legally binding and would be upheld
  • State-licensed real estate agents and brokers, pest inspection companies, and real estate appraisers adhered to the existing laws pertaining to their professions
  • officers of the court would not knowingly submit false evidence to the court or be an accessory to the disappearance of evidence
  • legal documents and public records would be allowed as evidence
  • people do not lie under oath or disappear while under subpoena, because if they lied or disappeared, there would be legal consequences
  • State licensing agencies act on behalf of consumers and do not engage in a cover up to protect their licensees

We were in for a rude awakening -- and a living nightmare!

Before developing this web site, I wrote a letter to the CEO of Terminix® (whom I later discovered was also the CEO of Terminix’s parent company, ServiceMaster®) to inform him of my intentions to go public on the Internet with what happened as a result of Terminix issuing an incorrect "clear" pest inspection report on our house before we purchased it.  After all we'd been through, I still trusted Terminix’s “reputation” and believed the CEO would be appalled to learn what had happened. I was wrong. In response to my letter, I received a certified letter from Terminix’s Vice President and General Counsel, W.B. Mallory III, which threatened legal action if I proceeded and stated, in part, “Terminix then and now denies any wrongdoing.”

Terminix had indeed admitted wrongdoing -- not once, but twice; first in writing and then under oath.  If Terminix now lied and insisted they didn’t do anything wrong when they issued a clear pest inspection report on a house with multiple damages they were required by law to report, they would have no qualms about doing the same to someone else and lying to them about no wrongdoing.

After receiving Mallory’s letter, I refused to be intimidated into submission and decided the public needs more information at its disposal than what was currently being provided by paid corporate advertisements, media silence, and governmental inaction.  I decided to let the people see the irrefutable evidence Terminix's attorneys had successfully kept from being admitted in court, let the court of public opinion decide whether or not Terminix did "any wrongdoing," and let the people decide for themselves if they want to do business with a company that insists there is nothing wrong with: 1) issuing a clear pest inspection report on a house with multiple damages they were required by law to report; 2) resolving its admitted mistakes by bankrupting its victims with legal expenses; and 3) threatening to take legal action to keep information from the public.

Since this web site has been available to the public, I have been privileged to hear from many Terminix employees and hundreds, perhaps thousands, of other dissatisfied Terminix customers.  It did not take long for me to realize “denial of any wrongdoing” is a typical Terminix response, and there are cases much worse than ours. We were financially ruined; but unlike numerous others, we still have our health and our home.

According to the terms of the Real Estate Purchase Contract when my husband and I purchased our home, the seller was required to provide a pest inspection report at his expense. A clear pest inspection report was issued by Terminix International Co. L.P. The Terminix Pest Inspection Report, dated August 9, 1991, stated:

    This is to certify that the above property was inspected on 8-9-91 in accordance with the Structural Pest Control Act and the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto, and no evidence of active infestation or infection was found.

Since Terminix reported no damages, they absolved the seller of his contractual obligation to make any necessary pest repairs at his expense; they satisfied the contingency of a clear pest inspection report; and we went forth with the purchase.

In October, I discovered water stains. Looking to see if there were any other water stains, I did discover more on the 6X12 peak beam and down one wall in the family room; on the ceiling in one of the bedrooms; and in different areas of the roof sheathing in the garage.

A pest inspection report issued for the house we had just sold in order to purchase this house had contained findings of water stains on the garage sheathing.  As a result, we replaced the roof -- at our expense. Believing Terminix should have reported the water stains I found, I contacted another pest inspection company for an independent inspection to see if there were actually any existing damages Terminix should have reported.

Ray Lloyd, Sr. of Parish Termites inspected the property on October 25, 1991.  Before he began his inspection, I told him Terminix had inspected the property two months earlier; and I thought they may have missed something.  I did not tell him what it was that I thought they missed. Unfortunately, he not only found the water stains I had found, he also found several other damages Terminix failed to report.

According to the Parish Termites’ Pest Inspection Report, Terminix didn't fail to report just one or two items; they failed to report even one of several damages, failed to note prior inspection tags, and failed to post an inspection tag. Based on the contents of Terminix’s “clear” pest inspection report, which failed to report existing damages they were required by the Structural Pest Control Act to report; failed to note prior inspection tags as required; failed to post an inspection tag as required; and contained an inaccurate diagram of the house, there was no evidence Terminix even inspected the property.

The Parish Pest Inspection Report contained the following findings:

1A

Water stains and dry rot to subfloor adjacent toilet drain, hall bathroom.

8A

Excessive moisture condition at garage walk through door.

10A

Excessive moisture condition at stall shower, shower pan cracked and sunken.

10B

Floor slightly swollen in front of stall shower in master bathroom.

10C

Excessive moisture condition to underlayment at rear slider in family room.

10D

Water stains noted to bottom side of 6X12 peak beam in family room also water stains noted to roof sheathing at vent pipe in garage.

--

Moss noted on roof, see 10D.

I asked Mr. Lloyd why he only noted one of the water stains in the family room and one of the water stains in the garage.  He replied, “My dear, I’ve already called the roof.”

The estimates in the Parish Pest Inspection Report for items Parish could repair was $965; however, the estimated amount to repair the damages as recommended in the report exceeded $20,000!

It rained the night of October 26 -- the first rain since before we saw the property.  The roof leaked in several places, including where many of the water stains were previously noted.

I contacted two roofing companies to inspect the roof and get estimates to make necessary repairs. After inspecting the roof, each company informed us they could not guarantee any repairs, and the roof needed to be completely replaced.  A proposal submitted by Big Valley Roofing stated, "roof is at the end of its life and to attempt to repair would be an unjustifiable expense to you...  When it rains we will attempt to help you with no guarantee."  A letter submitted by Meyers Roofing Service stated, "In light of these current problems and due to the age and condition of the present roof system, Meyers Roofing Service can not offer repairs that would carry a guarantee.  My suggestion at this time would be to reroof the entire residence."

Before (and after) discovering there were damages Terminix had failed to report, we discovered there were many damages that were not disclosed by the seller, the seller’s agent, or “our” agent and that several amenities represented to be present were not working, were irreparable, or did not exist. With each new discovery of nondisclosed damages, misrepresented conditions, and that things were not as guaranteed in the Real Estate Purchase Contract, we dealt with it.  We either had the item fixed or planned to fix it when we could afford it.  Learning that the roof needed to be replaced, however, was the proverbial "last straw."

Based on the facts that Terminix had failed to report even one of several items and that the seller and realtors had failed to disclose even one of several items, we realized the entire real estate purchase of our home was based on nondisclosure and fraud.

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