Georgia - 6/02 (C31-346/S-37). Last April, I called Terminix to come out and give me an estimate for treating termites I found swarming around one of the posts at the front of our house. I showed the salesman where I had seen the swarm of winged termites. He looked at the post on the front porch, treated the post with an insecticide, and then dug a small trench around the cement slab just on the corner and sprayed more insecticide. He drew a graph and gave me his salesman speech. I asked about treating the house; and his reply was, “no, what you need is the Sentricon Colony Elimination System.” He did a walk-through inspection of the inside and inspected my backyard and the free-standing shed behind our house, which he did not include on the graph he drew. I asked him about it; and he said, “oh, don’t worry about it. I will write it in later.” I believed him. That was my first mistake now that I look back. He told me a trained technician would put the Sentricon baiting system in. A tech came out and started drilling holes to set up the baits. When I asked him questions, he could not answer one of them. He told me he just set up the system. I called the office, and they tried to reassure me that he knew what he was doing. When he got to the back of my house, I asked him if the shed had been added to the graph. His reply was, “What graph? I was told just to put the baiting system around your house.” I called the office again; and he talked to them, hung up, and put the baiting system around our free-standing shed. When he was done, he gave me a copy of the Service/Inspection Report and left.
At first, Terminix came out in one month; then it was three months, and always when no one was home. My dogs dug up a couple of the traps. I called to have them replaced and was told that from now on, I would be charged $10 for each bait the company had to replace.
In August, two female techs came out to check the bait system while my husband and I were home. I informed Jill and her partner that the dogs had dug up more traps. She started scanning and not opening up each one to check for termites. I asked her why she was not checking inside to see if there was any activity. She said, “I don’t need to.” I told her I wanted her to check each and every trap so I can see if there are any termites. She seemed she did not want to do it, but she did it and had her partner do most of the work while she talked to me as if I were a five year old. When she could not find all the traps, she asked us where they were. I asked, “Aren’t you supposed to have a graph?” She asked, “What graph are you talking about?” I asked her to replace the traps the dogs had dug up, and her reply was that she could not because she did not have any with her. She said she would come back Friday and replace them. I told her we would be out of town for a week or so, and she said she would call to set up a time to come out. No one ever called to set up a time to replace the missing traps.
The next time we were home and a tech came out was in October, I believe. I asked about the traps and was told, “They should have been replaced, but I don’t do that.” An inspector came out March 27, 2002, to do a walk-through inspection inside; but he did not check the shed, any closets, the attic, and none of the bait traps. I called the Terminix office and requested no more techs come out unless I am home; because we have four dogs, and I wished to be here to make sure each trap was checked. I was apparently ignored; because I went out of town for a week, and when I returned, there was a Terminix invoice on my front door. I was very upset. I called and spoke to Adrian and left a message for Robbie to call me back. When Robbie returned my call, I asked him what happened to calling me and making sure I was home before someone came out to check the traps. His answer was, “Well, it was put on the sheet”; and he said he was sorry. I asked him to have someone else come out since I am home so I can make sure the traps get checked. A young male of 21 named Chris was sent out to move the traps from my rose bed and to replace the traps missing in the backyard that I had asked to be replaced in August last year. I asked him to check each and every bait trap. He told me, “I cannot scan them.” I said, “I didn’t ask you to scan them. I asked you to open each and every trap and check for termites.” I called Robbie and told him Chris told me he could not scan the traps. Robbie said, “Yes, he can; and he can open and check them also.” I got off the phone, and Chris talked to Robbie. After he hung up, Chris told me he could do that. When he checked the traps around the side of my house, he found termites in the trap that is on the left side of our house. I was very concerned and frustrated in seeing the termites which he called soldiers. Chris said he was going to put a treated bait on either side of the bait trap and come back in a month to check. When he said the traps had not been checked recently, I panicked. I started asking him questions and felt my stomach tie into knots. I got very upset and scared like I had thrown away $1,190, and an additional $300 for renewal of the Terminix contract had been thrown away to join it.
I called the office and asked to speak to Rick Cassidy. He wasn’t there. He called me back, and I explained the whole story up to this point and asked him to come to the house so I could talk to him. That was a waste of my time. He told me they did not wish to lose me as a client. He made empty promises of making sure he would come with the tech and replace all the traps so they would number in sequence and would have the traps checked weekly and would have the house trenched and treated. He told me, “That is a $690 job, which we don’t normally do; but if that will keep you, I want to satisfy you.” This took place June 6. On June 11, I called him to make sure he was coming on the 12th; and he said yes. He did not say anything about not accompanying the tech. On June 12, Kevin Brunson came to do the trench-and-treat, replace the traps, and do a reinsertion. I asked him where is Rick Cassidy. He said, “He is out of town in Atlanta. He was supposed to come with me but had to go out of town.” I asked, “Don’t they have telephones?” He didn’t say anything. I told him, “Then you may as well just turn around and go back to your office, because he told me he would be here.” I called the office and asked to speak to Ricky’s boss, Jeff Johnson. He wasn’t there. I left a message. He returned my call while I was out; and by the time I got home, their office was closed. I called at 8:14 a.m. the next day and was told he is in a meeting. I called back at 1:47 p.m. and was told he is out in the field. Ricky called while I was out of the house, and I called him back at 5:24 p.m. He was in the office with Jeff Johnson and asked why I sent Kevin away and would not let him do his job. I told him, “Because you told me you would come out with the tech, and you did not keep your word.” Ricky’s reply was, “No, no, you misunderstood. I said I would try.” I repeated to him what he had told me; and he said, “No, no, there is a lack of communication. That is not what I said.” Jeff Johnson was listening to the whole conversation. He got on the phone and kept saying, “Well, I have heard so many stories, I don’t know who said what; but let’s try to get past that so we are both on the same page.” I asked him about treating the whole house; and his answer was, “No, no. The Sentricon system is all you need. You don’t need the whole house treated by drilling holes in the bricks and the foundation.” He kept repeating, “Let’s make sure we are on the same page.” He turned the speaker phone back over to Ricky; and he set up a time to have Kevin come back out to trench-and-treat, replace missing traps, and reinsert. Jeff Johnson got back on the speaker phone and told me that he and Ricky would come out on the 26th to see if the termite damage was their problem.
On June 17, Kevin came out, trenched and treated around the house and shed; replaced the missing traps; checked each and every original bait trap upon my request; and rescanned the bait traps upon his boss’s request. When he was about a quarter done with all he had to do, a truck pulled up on the street; and a man, whom I learned was a field inspector, got out of his truck and started talking to Kevin. I walked up, and he told me what he was. I said, “Well, isn’t this funny. I just called the Department of Agriculture Friday and was told I need to go to their web site, print out a form, fill it out, and put in a request for an inspection.” He said he had an appointment at 2:00 p.m. and just happened to be driving by. He asked if I wanted to have an inspection since he was here. I said yes and filled out the form he gave me. He did an inspection of the inside of the house except for the closets and the attic. He told Kevin he should mention to me about drilling the slab that was our driveway next to the house and treat. Kevin asked me if I would like it drilled and treated. I said yes. The inspector left. Kevin inspected the inside of the house except the closets and the attic. He found termite damage in our bathroom and on the front right side of the shed. I do not feel that what has been done so far is going to stop or deter the termites from our home.
Update: Jeff Johnson and Rick Cassidy showed up, and I am glad I had a friend to witness what took place; because they were high on talking and low on doing. I had to call their boss in Atlanta, Mr. John Fullerton, to get anything done and let him know that until I got the matter resolved, I was not going to stop. He gave me two options: 1) to stay with Terminix and go to a liquid treatment and not pay anymore than the $1,190 I’d already paid for the bait system last year and the $300 I paid for this year; or 2) terminate my contract with Terminix, and he would refund most of my money and repair the damage as stated in the contract that Terminix was responsible for. I asked him to put it in writing. He asked me to put it in writing that I wanted to terminate the contract so someone doesn’t come along and ask why Terminix terminated their contract with this client. I went to an attorney and got him to write a letter to send. The contractors came out and repaired the damage to the bathroom ceiling and the right front of the outside shed. I got a refund of $1,190 by check, and Mr. Fullerton signed the letter I sent to him certified mail. Now that is done, I am going to find a pest control company that is as good as their reputation and never use any kind of bait system from any pest control company again.
New Jersey - 6/02 (C31-350/S-38). We bought our house in March 2002. The second week we lived in the house, we found we had swarmers in our basement. The same day they appeared, I immediately grabbed the phone book and started looking for an exterminator. We were very upset, but we knew we had to get rid of the termites before they get rid of us. I saw the listing for Terminex and thought this was a well-known name. We knew it was going to be costly, but we trusted that the cost would be worth saving our home. They came to the house the same day and gave us an estimate of $1,800. My husband and I were very upset as we just moved in, and our money was low; but we paid for it with the money we planned on using to get furniture. Two days later, they put the monitoring system into the ground around one side of the house and said someone would come that week to do the coring in the driveway. We waited for a month and no one showed. They told us swarmers would not come out at night; but one night I went into the basement to do laundry, and they were everywhere.
I began calling the office, but I got nowhere. No one would return my calls. They would tell me someone was coming out a certain day, but that day came and went and no Terminex. Now we’re in our second month, and the only thing that has been done was the monitoring system was put into the one side of the house; but THERE WAS NO BAIT. So to us, NOTHING has been done.
I was very upset and threatened to report them to the Better Business Bureau. They finally sent someone out, but he broke a drill bit and said he would come back to finish. He never came back.. I made several calls that got me nowhere. I threatened to call the Better Business Bureau again, and someone finally came out and finished the coring. The guy who came out told my husband, “Terminix is a pain in the ass”... “they don’t care”... “we’ve gotten sued and had to rebuild a whole house once because they bullshit all the time”... “you’re gonna have to call to get service all the time.” The first month passed after the coring. We were supposed to get a statement every first week of the month indicating they have serviced. We haven’t gotten anything yet. I called several times, and no one would return my call. I finally spoke to James (manager), and he said we were in the schedule for that week. The week has passed, and we are going into the fourth month. We are at the end of our rope. We really thought we were the only people having a problem with Terminex. Has anyone ever won against Terminex?