Terminix: a History of Fraud, a Forecast of Trouble
ServiceMaster’s Newest Remedial Proposal Will Likely Create More Liability Issue for ServiceMaster and Terminix, says Campbell Law, P.C.
To try to curb its future termite damage claims problems, ServiceMaster reported to its shareholders that it had implemented several remedial programs at Terminix.
At that time, Tom Campbell, president and founder of Campbell Law P.C., a consumer fraud law firm in Birmingham and Mobile, Alabama, stated his opinion that “these so-called ‘remedial programs’ would create additional legal problems” as it relates to TMX’s termite damage claims.
Campbell first noted that Terminix’s “contention that Formosan activity was limited to Mobile and Baldwin County because of the weather or unique soil conditions is simply not true – as there is nothing unique to Mobile and Baldwin County when compared to many other areas across the Gulf states.”
“Second, hiring a claims agent that is under TMX’s control: 1) to masquerade as a third-party administrator; 2) to deny legitimate repair estimates; or, 3) to force customers to sign full releases before any repair work has even begun, much less before it is finished, is not a legally permissible way to reduce home warranty claims,” reported Campbell.
“Finally,” Campbell opined, “TMX’s targeting of thousands of customers in Mobile and Baldwin County with drastic renewal rate increases to run these customers off was just using one wrongful act to cover up another alleged fraud.”
At the rolled out these drastic rate increases, Campbell warned that this so-called “fix” was likely a deceptive trade practice violation in and of itself, and that the ploy would draw the attention of the State’s Attorney General and local District Attorneys.
According to Campbell, “TMX’s perceived cover-up has done just that.”
“Now,” states Campbell, “from a purely legal standpoint, the real question is whether and to what extent a DTPA lawsuit will be handled out of Montgomery as opposed to locally, and, to what extent will government lawyers request or get assistance from attorneys with decades of experience dealing with termite litigation.”
According to Campbell, “SERV is preparing to implement yet another ‘remedial program,’ focused again on Mobile and Baldwin County, Alabama. It is said that SERV will be turning Mobile and Baldwin County into its own ‘Region,’ to be run by TMX employee, Clint Downing, with the lofty goal of retreating approximately 17,000 homes in Mobile and Baldwin County by year’s end.”
As a lawyer who has focused essentially his entire practice on termite services litigation, Campbell opines that “[e]ven if purchasing a fleet of service trucks and hiring, training, and supervising hundreds of new employee were not a technical and logistical nightmare, from a consumer protection standpoint, such a ‘remedial program’ would likely create even more liability issues for TMX in the long run.”
According to Campbell, “this would only highlight the fact that, rather than fixing its customers’ incomplete or worn off barriers, TMX chose instead to run off as many customers as possible. Now, retreating only the homes of those remaining customers with the financial wherewithal to survive TMX’s blatant assault makes the problem worse from a legal standpoint for TMX, not better.”
“I believe that only retreating the homes that TMX hasn’t runoff would be viewed as conceding what I have been saying for years – that TMX has consciously put ALL of its customers at risk of catastrophic termite damages, not just those in Mobile and Baldwin County,” Campbell opines.
Finally, Campbell notes that, “if implemented, TMX’s new remedial program will beg the questions: 1) How and when is TMX going to fix and replace incomplete and worn off barriers for ALL of its customers across Alabama, including those who were wrongfully run off?; and 2) When will TMX fix and replace incomplete and worn off barriers in the other 47 states where it sold termite guarantees and promised to apply necessary chemicals free of charge for the life of the contract?”
If you have any concerns about the services provided under your termite prevention contract or a story to share about your experience with Terminix, contact a lawyer at Campbell Law, P.C.
Campbell Law, P.C. has handled cases against Terminix and other pest control companies across the U.S. for over 20 years. Campbell Law was once again deemed one of the “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News and World Report. The firm currently has eight trial lawyers and a professional staff of paralegals, legal assistants, artists, and law clerks, who work almost exclusively on termite fraud cases. Contact them at 877-586-7582 or https://campbelllitigation.com/contact/