• Report:  #1178654

Complaint Review: Terminix - New Jersey

Reported By:
John Smoak - Woodbury, New Jersey,

New Jersey, USA
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Terminix is notorious for charging for services never delivered or poorly preformed, and mischarges. AND Terminix costs more, BUT instead of showing up each month, they show up every 3 months and do a rush job.

I just won a fight with TERMINIX SERVICE MANAGER, RON DAVIS, WHOM IS IN CHARGE OF PHILADELPHIA, AND SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY.   Turned Terminix to the the BBB, Better Business Bureau for services never delivered, and finally won a refund along with BS excuses and a false apology from Ron Davis.  There have been government actions against this New Jersey and Philadelphia franchise.  Terminix reached an agreement to resolve 31 complaints filed with the New Jersey Division of Consumer and Terminix entered into an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance with the Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer Protection for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Under terms of the settlement Terminix admits no wrongdoing and agrees to issue full refunds, which means that this Terminix franchise was so corrupt that it essentially pleaded no contest and agreed to pay back customers it had rip offed to avoid further court costs.

Terminix seems to have little to no control over their franchises, and Service Managers have little to no supervision.  Usually Service Managers are the only people who can fix bills, allow a clearly deserved refund, or even send legal confirmation of a refund, or even allow legal cancellation of services.  Service Managers act like they own their franchises, and continue to rip customers with impunity.  For any problem no matter how big or small Terminix will typically tell customers they have to talk to their Service Manager who has no obligation to call anyone back.

Service Mangers can rip customers off at will by charging for services never delivered, botched jobs, or whatever.  There are a few ways customers are usually ripped off, technicians often try to avoid spraying to save on  costs, and they spend too little or even no time on scheduled appointments (just signing off that work was done without even going to an address), and mischarges to your credit card that they refuse to refund.

Here in Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey the big problem is the Service Manager, Ron Davis, refuses to deal with or help customers.  A few Customer Service reps were supportive, and sympathetic but they had no pull whatsoever, while some other reps were rude and unprofessional. Terminix HQ in Memphis and Call Centers even left messages requesting Ron Davis call us. We wanted at the very least confirmation (letter or email) that Ron Davis would not bill us again.  Ron Davis would not even return calls or emails to Terminix. 


Quite simply most pest control companies make more frequent visits, have technicians spend more time per visit, spray more, and offer more services per visit.  Most pest control companies will send someone each month to spray inside/outside and offer possibly yard treatments.  Terminix instead usually offers to charge more to come out only once every three months.  They typically do a bad rushed job, and try avoiding ever going inside.  Terminix technicians usually try to spend less than 15 minutes per appointment.  Even if the Terminix contract requires more, and the representatives at the Terminix Call Center promised more, their techs deliver less, and usually so as little as possible. 

OUR PROBLEMS WITH TERMINIX - Peter Stefanow, Terminix Technician

We paid extra for an initial one time indoor spraying.  Our house was empty having just moved in with no furniture and all the rooms empty and wide open.  This should have been the easiest spray ever with free clear access to all the walls and baseboards.  Peter Stefanow, Terminix “technician” acknowledged he was supposed to spray inside all rooms, and the attic.  Instead he refused to even look at the rooms in the house. We asked why he refused to spray inside, and he kept making excuses telling us that usually don’t spray inside anymore calling spraying inside “Spray and Pray”.  This made no sense. We were being charged for was indoor treatments.  We then called a Terminix Call Center and told them, that we still wanted our inside treatment that we had paid for, and to never send Peter Stefanow back.  The Call Center apologized and was baffled as were we that he would not spray inside.  They agreed to send a new guy out, and never have Peter return.  Terminix sent Peter out again. This time he was even more useless than before, and seemed to be lying twice as much.  He still refused to go upstairs where the bathrooms and bedrooms were, and anytime I asked him to spray anything like the garage he lied and said he had already taken care of it the time before, which wasn’t really possible because the garage had been closed, and there was a closed gate around it.  Called Terminix back a third time and asked why they sent him back again. Again Terminix said they would send someone new to do the job right, and again they sent Peter.  This time I just told him to go away. After giving Terminix three chances to do a simple basic service we asked to cancel our contract and to be given a refund


Terminix offers is usually a laughably bad deal when compared to most other local pest control company services. Even if Terminix services are competent elsewhere if you are in the Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey area you are receiving the services offered by Service Manager Ron Davis, and not what the Terminix ads, or the Terminix Call Centers promise. 


Terminix is all about the bottom line: MONEY. Here are some examples:

* As a former service manager, I can tell you that pesticides are rationed according to how well the branch is doing financially (so, for example, many times your pest control technician doesn't have enough pesticides to properly treat your problem because it's not cost effective for the branch to buy the stuff)

* It's all about dollars per hour. Every single morning, the branch manager meets with his service managers about how the pest control technicians did the previous day in terms of time spent on service calls vs. dollars earned. If a technician spends too much time at your house, the managers will know it. When I was a manager, we wanted to see a technician spend no more than 15 minutes per service call. This, of course, is not at all sufficient. It takes at least 15 minutes just to inspect the premises for pest problems, let alone treating any infestations

* The technicians are improperly trained. There is such a high rate of technician turnover at Terminix that new employees are rushed through the pest control and safety "training". This mainly consists of watching a bunch of videos. Then, the new technicians will be tutored on exactly what is on the pest control certification test required by the state. They will be taught, in essence, how to beat the test but they won't really know anything about pest control when it's over. A popular saying among Terminix service managers is that their pest control technicians take the "spray and pray" approach to pest control. You don't want that. You want someone who knows how to identify pests and their behaviors before determining the best way to get rid of them.

* Termite sales people are taught how to mislead you, scare you, and otherwise suggest that you have termites in order to get you to pay large amounts of money to treat the "termite infestation" that you allegedly have. If a Terminix sales person says you have termites, call a second company and tell them that Terminix said that you have termites and you want another opinion. The second company will likely tell you the truth if Terminix is lying- mainly because every pest control company hates Terminix. We used to have sales people that took live termites to people's houses, hidden in a jar, and show then show them to the customer as proof that they had a problem. Totally unethical.

* Don't buy the Sentricon termite bait stations. It's a waste of money and it is not at all effective. They do not draw termites to them- the only termites that get in there are the ones that happen to be burrowing right near the bait stations. Other termites could just as easily be drawn to the wood of your house. It's a scam.

* Always - ALWAYS - be home when Terminix pays you a service call. They will try to convince you to take the service when you're not home. Don't let them. The technician will come there, do nothing, sign the paperwork and put it in your door.

* When you cancel your account, get it in writing. If necessary, drive to the branch location and make the customer service rep give you a copy of the canceled contract. Terminix is notorious for continuing service, saying it was a misunderstanding, and then sending you to collection when you refuse to pay for service that you did not want because you had already been assured that your account was cancelled.

* Area managers and Branch managers are encouraged, and shown how to, refuse to compensate you for any damages your house incurs from termites- even though you are supposedly covered under their "guarantee".

In short, Terminix is not only the most unethical company I have ever had the displeasure of working for, but they are well known to their competitors in the pest control industry as being the most underhanded company out there. STAY FAR, FAR AWAY


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