Terminix Storytime: the 12 Magic Words
Terminix Storytime: the 12 Magic Words or How Knowing 12 Words From the Termite Code Exposed Terminix’s Current Massive Claim Denial Fraud (and Shut Down Terminix’s National Claims Director)
Terminix has a guy who decides whether your claim gets paid.
Actually, Terminix pays this fellow to come up with the bogus reasons Terminix won’t/can’t pay your claim. His job is to trick you into thinking that your claim is not covered. In fact, Terminix’s guy was so good at tricking customers as a Terminix manager along the Gulf Coast that Terminix put him in charge of denying termite claims nationwide.
Terminix’s National Claims Director is Jeff Curtis. As claims-squasher-in-chief, Mr. Curtis rolled into a June 19, 2020, arbitration trial in Mobile, AL, with an air of distinct self-assuredness. His chest was puffed out like Barney Fife on those old episodes of Andy Griffith when Barney thought his intellect had allowed him to out-wit those around him.
Mr. Curtis declared with confidence that Terminix had validly denied a homeowner’s claim for $3,000,000 because the new owner was not entitled to transfer of the prior owner’s termite damage repair bond. Curtis explained that a clause in Terminix’s form agreement says the buyer must request a bond transfer before the property sells. This was his excuse for Terminix denying the claim for a home that had been destroyed by termites while under bond with the pest control giant.
Since many folks do not see their inspection report until just before closing – or often at closing – it usually means the family has minutes or a day during one of the scariest and busiest times of their lives to make a transfer demand. Plus, we all know Terminix does not even allow customers to call the branch that services their account. So demanding that transfer to comply with this tricky clause is next to impossible.
At the trial, Tom Campbell Campbell Law made Curtis reaffirm that this is Terminix’s practice several times. Each time Mr. Curtis became more vociferous in his position that the clause was valid and justified; so much so that he ultimately became frustrated. Mr. Curtis declared that there was nothing wrong with Terminix’s denial of the claim for this reason (the sketchy transfer reason). Why was there nothing wrong? Because Terminix does it all the time!
That was the point when “Termite Tom” Campbell pointed Curtis to a clause required by Alabama’s state Termite Code on all presale inspection reports. Mr. Curtis scoffed that he knew the Code.
In fact, he bragged that he also wore “another hat for Terminix” as their Regulatory Liaison. That means Curtis is the guy who is supposed to know the regulations so well that he can argue not only with lawyers but also with the regulators themselves about how the state code should be interpreted and applied.
And just what was the clause Campbell made him read?
The clause – part of Alabama’s Termite Code – says that a consumer has the absolute legal right to demand that an existing bond transfers to the buyer up to and including the date that the current bond expires.
Like Griffith’s Barney when his bravado gets exposed as bluster, Curtis wilted with humiliation. His shoulders curled-in. He looked to the Terminix lawyers with the obvious hope that they had some way out for him. They just stared in disappointment at their “star witness” who had just blown-up the only defense of Terminix’s scam that the lawyers had been able to muster.
Curtis had just blown the case wide open by admitting that Terminix had cheated many more families than only the plaintiffs in the case being tried.
This all-too-true story proves two important points that a Terminix victim should consider. First, Terminix’s highest officials will cheat you if they can, and you should be suspicious of any reason they give to limit or deny your claim. Second, you should not go up against them without having an experienced lawyer on your side who handles termite damage claims all the time and who knows the nooks and crannies of the Termite Code like the back of their hand.
At this trial, Campbell Law had four of its lawyers scouring the record during trial. When Mr. Curtis made up this illegal excuse for denying the claim, Campbell said he saw the three other lawyers stiffen. He explained, “I was happy for the client of course but also happy to see that our rigorous training had paid off. Each of our lawyers knew the witness had admitted a scam that had the six billion dollar company caught in an inescapable trap.”
Campbell Law PC has offices in Mobile and Birmingham, Alabama, and Campbell Law associates with licensed lawyers in other states to help victims nationwide. You can reach the termite team toll free at 877-586-7582 or TermiteTeam@TermiteTom.com