Thank you for standing up to Terminix. We too have experienced bad results with this company. When we bought our house 16 years ago, we contracted with an independent company to treat our house, and to do periodic inspections. Our contract stated that our yearly fee would never go up, and that any damages due to the company’s negligence or faulty treatment would be limited to $10,000. The house is constructed of concrete block from basement to eaves, but the previous owner installed Masonite siding on part of it. Three years later, the independent company found termites in the lathing on the front of the house and did another treatment. Two years later, the company sold out to Terminix. We were never given a chance to say whether we wanted Terminix, they just bought our contract. The first sign of trouble was when they tried to raise our yearly fee by 255%! It took repeated letters and unimaginable amounts of time to make them accept the contract provision they had bought. The people who answered the phone put us on hold and never came back, or promised a return call from a supervisor who never called back. Finally after three years they started billing us for the correct renewal amount. With one exception, the technicians who inspected the property were here about five minutes, in a house with a full basement and two stories. The one exceptional technician did a thorough inspection, including the perimeter and outbuildings. He never came back, and I hope he has found a company that appreciates him. If Terminix would hire more like him, they might be able to stay in business. In the fall of 2004, the house passed inspection again, even though the technician only went into the basement. In the spring of 2005, I started to open a window at the front of the house, and noticed bugs between the window and storm window. Going outside, I found termites all along the front of the house. When my husband looked down behind the holly bushes growing there, he found that the bottom boards of the Masonite were destroyed.
As soon as the weekend was over, he called Terminix. They sent a man that week, who pulled the siding away from the lathing and found very active infestation. He sprayed and said he would notify the office. When we didn’t hear any more from Terminix, my husband called. He told them he was planning to get an estimate for repair of the damages, and asked where to send it. He was told that Terminix wasn’t liable for damages. When my husband pointed out that our original contract covered damages up to $10,000, he was told in a very insulting manner that we had signed the Terminix agreement stating no damages are covered. (Because they bought our original contract without our knowledge, we never signed anything with Terminix. Besides that, we would never sign a contract with a company that doesn’t stand behind its work?!!!) After another fruitless round of calls, we hired a contractor to estimate the repairs. When he pulled off more of the siding, he found that the window sills had been eaten away, and told us that amount of damage could not have taken place in just a few months. He thought the termites had gone undetected for at least two years, and may have gotten as far as the roof. Once again we tried to let Terminix take care of the problem and kept getting the same runaround. During this time, a technician came for the annual inspection. He went into the basement for about three minutes, then presented my husband with a certificate saying there was no infestation in the property. There was a drawing of the perimeter he had “inspected.” My husband took the tech to the front of the house and showed him the damages. The technician agreed they were caused by termites, and tried to sell him a $500 treatment! When he was shown the original contract, the technician called the office, and was told once again that damages were not covered. Finally accepting the indisputable fact that Terminix is not a reputable company, we decided to hire an attorney. During the process Terminix once again billed us for the inflated renewal fee, even though they had sent us a correct invoice for the past three years! There is just no way this group will honor their contractual commitments to consumers. Our attorney requested a court date and had Terminix served. We all took time off from work to appear. Terminix didn’t respond. Wondering whether to show up in court, we were told that if we didn’t, it was like a forfeit. Our attorney waited in his office until the court closed, and sure enough, they called at the last minute. We got a continuance, and will go next week. It will be interesting to see what new trick they try. But we’ll take some samples from this page to show the judge, and see how they can argue with so many verdicts against them. Thank you again for the public forum.