Terminix Complaints

Mistakes are understandable. What is not understandable or tolerable is when a “mistake” is made but the company will not stand behind its guarantees, advertising, or written certifications.

It’s easy to dismiss customer complaints, employee complaints, lawsuits, or governmental actions against Terminix or its parent company, ServiceMaster, as just isolated incidents; but they are not isolated. There is no centralized place to report them; and until this web site, nobody was publicly reporting them.

It’s ludicrous and speaks more to the lack of intelligence of anyone excusing complaints against Terminix on the basis the company is so large it is bound to have complaints.  A company the size of Terminix has more employees than a small company and has the resources of a multi-billion dollar corporation at its disposal to prevent and/or resolve complaints.  For these reasons, it is much more difficult and costly to pursue resolution with Terminix. Terminix knows this; Terminix’s attorneys know this; and attorneys customers seek advice from know this.  Based on my own experiences and those submitted by others, it’s obvious Terminix prefers to use its resources to avoid accountability and responsibility rather than to prevent or resolve customer complaints. Since the majority of dissatisfied customers will not or cannot pursue resolution of complaints, it is more cost effective for Terminix, albeit in short-thinking terms, to use their resources to avoid resolution of complaints, bury the truth, and keep the truth buried.  Thankfully, truth always has a way of surfacing; it just might take awhile.

The hundreds of customer and employee complaints on the following pages are just some submitted to Terminix - Consumer Alert!  In addition to the complaints posted on this site, thousands of customer complaints/comments were posted to Terminix’s own so-called “Customer Care Board” from its debut (6/21/00) until it was terminaxed (12/12/02).

Thanks to each of the people who have courageously submitted their complaints against Terminix for publication (which helps prove complaints against Terminix are not “isolated incidents),” this site has been credited with helping harmed customers; attorneys prepare for litigation; reporters prepare articles; and potential customers and employees avoid what could be very costly mistakes.  The information contained in the complaints is unverified.  Judge for yourself if you believe them; and if you think, as I do, that Terminix’s former “No Bugs, No Hassles” and current “Satisfaction Guaranteed” slogans are false advertising and their “guarantees” are meaningless and fraudulent.

What Terminix Says

The chart below contains Terminix’s “guarantees” (their words as shown on their web site) and the types of applicable complaints received (Terminix’s actions).

TERMINIX “GUARANTEES”
(TERMINIX’S WORDS)

COMPLAINTS
(TERMINIX’S ACTIONS)

Termite Treatment Guarantee

Best Termite Guarantee In The Business

A guarantee is only as good as the company which stands behind it or in the customer’s ability to obtain restitution. Terminix may have the “best termite guarantee in the business” on paper; but in far too many cases, their lack of service and results show otherwise.

Terminix is the only termite control company that offers a lifetime warranty.

Terminix has not kept appointments, not returned telephone calls, failed to service property, failed to properly identify and/or eliminate termites, and increased yearly premiums. (But you can keep your lifetime “warranty” if you keep paying yearly premiums throughout your lifetime.)

We cover unlimited repairs on any new termite damage for the lifetime of your plan.

Terminix has refused to cover termite damage, claiming it is old damage or a non-covered type of termite they themselves failed to properly identify, and has not responded to telephone calls or letters. See Lawsuits and complaints.

As long as you own your own home and maintain your agreement, your coverage cannot be cancelled.

Terminix has not provided scheduled service, and houses incurred ongoing termite damage.  Terminix won’t cancel “coverage” as long as yearly premiums are paid.  Some people have canceled their coverage, but Terminix still invoices them for service supposedly provided after the cancelation. Terminix has turned accounts over to collection agencies when customers refused to pay for services they didn’t believe had been provided.

Satisfaction Guaranteed: If you are not completely satisfied with the Terminix Termite Baiting Program™, we will work to resolve the problem within seven days, or we will refund the price of the installation and any prepaid renewals.  See our Service Agreement for details.

See Sentricon and Sentricon Complaints.

Terminix has not checked stations as promised and as invoiced, not resolved problems within seven days, not returned telephone calls, and not responded to letters.

Drywood Treatment Guarantee

Drywood Termite Protection Plan:

For qualifying homes, as long as you maintain your agreement, we will help keep drywood termites away or pay for any new damage they may cause -- no matter where it is, no matter what the cost. It’s the best protection plan in the industry.

What’s more, as long as you maintain your service plan, we will reinspect your home any time you request and provide unlimited re-treatment as necessary.

A guarantee is only as good as the company which stands behind it or in the customer’s ability to obtain restitution. Terminix may have the “best protection plan in the industry” on paper; but in far too many cases, their lack of service and results show otherwise.

As long as you maintain your service plan? As long as you keep paying when Terminix doesn’t keep appointments, won’t return telephone calls, fails to service property, fails to properly identify and/or eliminate termites, increases yearly premiums, refuses to cover termite damage (claiming it is old damage or a non-covered type of termite they themselves failed to identify), and doesn’t respond to telephone calls or letters.  See Lawsuits and complaints.

Pest Treatment Guarantee

Satisfaction Guaranteed: At Terminix, our guarantee is the most comprehensive in the industry. Your Terminix service professional will provide you with a solution to your pest problem within 24 hours.  We will keep working to eliminate your pests until you are completely satisfied, or we will credit the cost of your last service.  Your Terminix pest control guarantee includes:

  • Control of a wide variety of pests in and around your home
  • Unlimited free re-service at your request
  • Satisfaction or your money back

A guarantee is only as good as the company which stands behind it or in the customer’s ability to obtain restitution.

Terminix’s “guarantee” may be the “most comprehensive in the industry” on paper; but in far too many cases, their lack of service and results show otherwise.

Terminix has not kept appointments, won’t return telephone calls, failed to service property, failed to properly identify and/or eliminate pests, increased yearly premiums, and not responded to telephone calls or letters.

Perhaps Terminix won’t cancel your coverage -- even after you request it be canceled; but, as shown in just the few following posts to Terminix’s “Customer Care Board” on 9/6/02, if Terminix doesn’t keep appointments, won’t return your telephone calls, and fails to eliminate termites or pests, will you keep paying to maintain your “coverage”?

  1. From:  G. Riegle, New Carlisle, OH
    They made an appt. for inspection. (no show no call) I called them twice since and was assured I would receive a call.  “NOTHING.”  WHAT KIND OF COMPANY ARE YOU?
     
  2. From:  C. Kirkendoll, Baltimore, MD
    I have tried to receive pest control service ever since last Friday. I telephoned at 7:30 am, 1:05 pm, 4:15 pm, 5:30 pm, and 6:20 pm to receive service. Each time I was told they would page my tech to set up an appointment with me. Then at the 6:20 call, I voiced my complaint on a non-call to the 800# where the gentleman was typing in the computer as I talked and said he would get a manager to call me shortly. On Tuesday morning (after Labor Day), I called again at 9 am, they will give my tech the message.  I received no call at home or work, so I contacted the local branch at 3:30 and was told the tech don’t come back to the office until 4:30 so they will give him the message and have him call. At 5:05 I called back wondering why I have not received a call, so I was told a manager will call me back within 15 minutes. I waited and received no call, so I called again at 5:45 and was told they would page him and put my number in, and he will call me back. Wednesday morning, I called at 8:15, and Brandy went and grabbed the tech calendar and set me an appointment for Thursday, Sept. 5, at 3:30.  Thursday 3:30 NO show and NO call.  I understand you may get behind schedule, so at 4:45 I called and was told they will page him and call me back at 5:10. After no call back, my wife called and just asked for a manager, and the manager told her he will page him and let her know.  At 6:20, I called back; and the phone went straight to the 800#.  They say they have no record of any of my calls, especially the one on last Friday evening. I asked to speak with a manager and there wasn’t one available; so they sent me to the voicemail of Mary. I called again to see what was going on and if anyone was going to talk to me. Mary did return the call last night and said she would put the complaint in and someone will call and she would check back with us on Saturday since she doesn’t work on Fridays.  I called this morning (Friday morning, one week later) and talked with the complaint department (Nikita).  She took down some information and said she will send it to the executive service and someone will give me a return call. At this point, I have no other choice but to voice my concerns on how you treat your customers who have paid for service.  I really and sincerely hope the customer service and the local branch offices will get their process together and not treat any other customers or potential customers like my family has been treated during our time of trying to get service.
     
  3. From:  J. Hogan, Richardson, TX
    Pathetic scheduling!!  I called and scheduled -- no show.  I reschedule -- no show.  I called to complain and was told the branch manager (Kerry Zachary) would call me as soon as he got off the phone. That was two hours ago, and I haven’t heard from him. I can’t say I’m surprised -- I’ve only had Terminix service for four months, and already every contact with them has turned out to be a negative experience. I’m going to cancel, now, and if ANYONE at Terminix tells me that I can’t because I have a “contract,” they are nuts, as Terminix damned sure hasn’t lived up to their end of the contract! Thanks so much for this “Customer Care Board,” but I wish I had found it BEFORE I wasted my money on Terminix.  Had I seen how many of your customers have the exact same complaint (scheduling issues), I would have gone with your biggest competitor, or at least SOMEONE who cares about their customers, as obviously TERMINIX DOES NOT!
     
  4. From:  Mary Turner, San Antonio, TX
    I did not renew my pest control contract in June.  I notified the agent that I was canceling it because it was being provided by another service. In June, an agent came to my house when I was not at home, without an appointment, and sprayed the exterior.  When I found the notice, I thought he had performed the termite service. Later, I was billed for pest control service.  I called and told your agency the contract had been canceled and I did not owe the debt. She said she would cancel the account. I have continued to get notices of this debt, and I have written that I do not owe it and I have called again.  Today I called again and was told I would have to talk to a supervisor, but the supervisors were all in a meeting. I believe I am being harrassed about a debt I do not owe.  And you make it impossible to get an explanation. If I get any more letters, I will take this up in some other forum.
     
  5. From:  T. Pamfilis, Lutherville, MD
    I have called my branch office and several other phone numbers in my local phone book to schedule a visit, and not only did I get no answer at five different numbers, there was no answering machine or voice mail to take a message.  Your advertisement says 24 hours a day. Does this include Fridays? I would appreciate a phone call or email.  I do have an answering machine.

Satisfaction guaranteed?  IF, as they’ve done before, Terminix refuses to cover termite damage, claiming it is “new” damage; fails to eliminate termites or pests; bills for services not performed; turns account over to a collection agency for customer refusing to pay for services not performed or for service performed after the customer canceled the contract; won’t return customer’s telephone calls or respond to letters; does not resolve the problem within seven days; does not refund the price of the installation and any prepaid renewals or credit the cost of the last service; or IF, as has happened before after Terminix’s “service,” your family suffers long-term health problems; your home is destroyed or uninhabitable -- do you have the time, proof, and money to arbitrate against the deep-pockets, litigiously experienced corporation?

TERMINIX'S ALLIES

Pest Control IndustryWhy does the pest control industry allow Terminix to make claims such as: “Best termite guarantee in the business” and “Most comprehensive pest treatment guarantee in the industry? According to some independant PCO’s, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is run by Terminix and Orkin, and the PR wing of the NPMA is Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA). One independant PCO stated, “Massey is in charge for the PR group for the NPMA.  They are supposed to be getting the 'good' word out on the industry.”  The PPMA Board of Directors consists of two from Terminix (one is the chairman), one from Orkin, Harvey Massey, one from ABC Pest and Lawn Services, and one from J.C. Ehrlich. (A web site, Homeowners’ Protection Association: Educating Florida Homeowners about Termite Infestation, was created as a result of a family’s misfortune of doing business with Massey Services.  Massey's name was removed from the site after threats by Massey. The site now includes multiple pest company complaints, primarily Orkin complaints.) No wonder many independant PCO’s who value real service rather than “PR”and heavy-handed silencing of critics by the likes of Terminix, Orkin, and Massey refuse to join NPMA.

Better Business Bureau.  The Better Business Bureaus, contrary to what most people think, are a for-profit company; and if the company pays the yearly fee to them, their client (Terminix) is given a chance to answer the complaints against them.  The answer can be that we have repeatedly tried to settle with this client or perhaps we are in contact with them or something like that.  The BBB will then not give out that people are having problems with them.  If you are a small company and do not join the BBB (by paying yearly fees) anyone calling about your company will be told they know nothing about you and recommend that you not use anyone like that, even if you were a previous client, and they had your information. The BBB has given good recommendations for years to people who later found out that there were multiple lawsuits about a particular company.  The complaints were not on file even though the customer filed one himself, so that's no surprise they are no help. If a case is already in litigation, a complaint may not be filed with the BBB.  Intentionally or not, the failure to report all complaints and lawsuits makes the BBB an ally of the member business -- not an ally of consumers.

Customer Complaints