ASK YOURSELVES....WHAT'S THE FUNDAMENTAL PURPOSE OF A CONTRACT?
I purchased my first home at the very end of January last year, but before my purchase, I found out that the house had previously been treated for termites, and so pest control was at the very top of my list of services to order when I first moved in. After coming out to look at the property, ABC Pest, Pool, and Lawn told me that I had rats in the attic and was vulnerable to a recurring problem with termite infestation. That same day, two yearly contracts were signed with ABC Pest, Pool, & Lawn for termite/ pest control, and rodent elimination services to be performed at my property. After these service agreements were signed, I received copies stating the costs of the services and the company's policies and procedures. At that time, they were given a check for $2036.18 as an upfront payment for a year of these services.
At the very beginning, all was well. They came to the house and set traps in the attic for the rats. They performed pest control services in and around the house, and checked for termites. Although the rodent exclusion agreement states special instructions to "set 24-36 large traps in the attic; return for 2 pick-ups of traps," they ended up only setting twelve traps without readjusting the price, and they only came back once to check the traps. That was the last time that anyone came inside the house to do any pest control services (other than the times later on that things got so bad with the ants that I had to call them to come out, which I'll explain in a minute).
I noticed that nobody had come into the home in a while, but I figured that they would just knock on the door sometime soon or send me something in the mail, and since there were relatively no ants or roaches in the house, I was content (although there were a lot of spiders in the garage).
A few months later, I called them because I kept smelling something awful in the master bathroom, and the odor was coming out of the vents only in that room. I called ABC and told them that no one had ever come back to check the traps, which they said was weird, but they couldn't find any paperwork on the rodent services performed on my house. They informed me that the company had changed some things around and didn't have me in the system yet, but they said they would check on things and call me back. I never got a response.
The smell coming from the attic intensified, and so I called again. After questioning the woman that I spoke to about why no one had returned to check the traps, she informed me that it was probably because they had "changed their company policies" about entering the homes of their customers, and said that the technicians only worked on the perimeters of the homes now. I asked her just how, exactly, does the company expect to provide me rodent elimination services and handle the traps they had set outside if they don't go inside my house? She didn't respond for a minute, and then she said that I can ask the technicians to come inside when they come next time.
Well, I received a notice that they were going to come to do pest control services at the house on a specific day, and so I watched and waited for them. I even put a note on my door for them, and when I went out to get the mail, I mentioned to the neighbor that I was waiting for them, and he said that they had just left! They didn't even knock on my door to ask me if I wanted them to come inside to do an inspection on the interior of the home! Apparently, ABC Pest, Pool, and Lawn decided that they were no longer going to abide by the terms of the contract I signed or go into customers' homes to provide services, but would just inspect and treat the exterior only from some point on without refunding any charges, informing me, gaining my consent, or checking my home for rats.
IT"S NOT ETHICAL OR LEGAL FOR ABC PEST, POOL, AND LAWN TO JUST SUDDENLY DECIDE TO CHANGE THE CONDITIONS OF OUR SIGNED AND BINDING SERVICE CONTRACT. THAT SERVICE AGREEMENT SPECIFICALLY EXPLAINS THE COMPANY'S INSPECTION POLICIES THAT WERE IN PLACE AT THE TIME I SIGNED AND PAID, IN FULL, FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR OF SERVICES. THE LAW SAYS THEY CAN'T JUST DECIDE NOT TO ABIDE BY THE TERMS THAT THEY ALREADY AGREED, TO AND ACCEPTED PAYMENT FOR !! THAT'S THE POINT OF A CONTRACT!!
My home is my most important asset, and since there were termites previously in the home, I've been more than a little nervous about everything. Not to mention that all year I have had these annoying ants in my home (which are still even currently in my kitchen!!), so I think another year of a service (done right this time) would suffice for my payment of $2036.18 that they took from me, especially since I lost so much money's worth of food to the ants this year, but I can't seem to be getting anywhere with that company.
It also doesn't help that I still keep hearing things scurrying around in the attic, but when I called them about it and they sent someone out, all I got was someone that was more interested in flirting with me and asking about why I wasn't interested in dating an African American than he was in doing his job, and so we didn't stay in the attic together for very long (he came down with me instead of inspecting things further). Well, I'm informed enough to know that rats chew on things and damage the property where they live, and they multiply, but I guess I don't have to mention that, since ABC Pest, Pool, and Lawn knows that already....
There is a "Contact Us" page on their Houston website that I found, and I sent e-mails to the following people, who failed to personally respond or communicate with me in any way:
President: Raleigh Jenkins
Vice President: Norman Nelms
General Manager: Steve Martin
Customer Service: Brenda Bryant
Termite & Rodent Manager: Joe Summers
Residential Sales Manager: Derek Salazar
Residential Pest Control Manager: Belinda Reyna, Brad Vantassell
Commercial Pest Control Manager: John Lacy, Tremaine Mitchell
When A MONTH went by after I sent the e-mails to the Houston company leaders, one person who wasn't even on the list of people I e-mailed called me. After I talked to her and explained the situation, she apologized for what was going on, and then said she'd "get to the bottom of it," and then I never heard from her again!!! I STILL CAN"T GET OVER THE FACT THAT I PAID ABC PEST, POOL, AND LAWN OVER $2000 UPFRONT FOR A YEAR OF SERVICES THEY DIDN'T EVEN PROVIDE! WHY SHOULD I HAVE HAD TO CALL THEM TO COME OUT TO MY HOME BECAUSE THEY WEREN'T DOING THEIR JOB? IT'S RIDICULOUS!!
Well, since I spoke to that lady, I've had to call the company out twice to treat the ants that continuously make their way all the way through the house and into the cabinets in the very middle of the house, where they chow down on all of my food! Just the other day, I had to throw away most of the food in my pantry again because ants have made their way into the center of my home (again), and I can still hear you know what crawling around in the attic. I called them the Friday before Valentine's Day about the problem while I was tossing out my ant-infested groceries, and they said someone would call me back to schedule.
When a guy called back, I told him what was going on and he said "Is Tuesday okay"? I asked if he could do it sooner, and at first he said that they didn't work on Saturdays, which I knew wasn't true, because they came out on a Saturday the last time I called about the ants. After mentioning that, then he said that he didn't think he'd have time, so I told him to check tomorrow's busy Valentine's day schedule and hung up on him. I just couldn't take anymore. Frustrated, I sat there wondering why someone would ask me if it was okay to take an appointment five days later when I had just said that my house was full of ants... I guess he had a date the next day and was trying to get out early!
To make my situation worse, people were suppose to be coming by the next morning to look at the house to possibly rent it! Well, after complaining and pulling teeth, someone ended up coming that Saturday, but I had to cancel the appointment with the potential renters, who never did call me back again. Although the ants were better for a while, they never completely left the kitchen, so my roommate and I have been picking them off the counters every time we're in there. Also, my mom was at my house just the other day, and she swears that she killed a termite. To top it all off, even though ABC Pest, Pool, and Lawn said that even though my contract (which they didn't abide by anyway) had just expired, the emergency service call on Valentine's Day would be free. Well, just the other day, I received a bill in the mail for $147.28 for them coming out that day!!!! Oh, it gets better...
Last weekend, I answered the phone, and when someone said they were with ABC Pest, Pool, & Lawn, I immediately interrupted them and said "Oh my goodness! Thank you so much for actually CALLING ME back and following up WITH ME!" He said, "Actually ma'am, I was just calling to see if you wanted to renew your yearly Rodent and Termite/Pest Control Service Agreement." My question to ABC Pest, Pool, and Lawn is: Why would I want to renew my service agreement with a company that doesn't follow the terms that they put on their own signed contracts? (What's the point of a signed contract?) Ripoff Report says "Always read the small print on contracts. This is where the bad guys hide the good stuff that will get you later....," but what about the guys that ACTUALLY don't even put it in small print...they just don't hold up their end of the bargain?
ABC Pest, Pool, and Lawn: You guys put in the middle of the front page of the service agreement I signed that "the service agreement also provides quarterly (every 3 months) treatment/ inspection of....inside and out of the garage, crawl space (if any), attic, kitchen, laundry room, bathrooms and remaining interior of the house for the control of the following: Subterranean Termines (excluding Drywood Termites), Ants (Fire Ants, Carpenter Ants, Pharoah Ants, and all other Ants), Roaches, Spiders, ...."
So, I'm wondering who I should call first; a lawyer, the Texas Structural Pest Control Board, Texas' Professional Association of Pest Control Operators, the Better Business Bureau, the Texas Pest Control Association, the Office of the Texas Attorney General -Consumer Protection Division, (and the list goes on).... Since nobody at ABC Pest, Pool, and Lawn seems to want to provide any customer service or take the time to get back to me, do have another choice but to just start from the top of the list and work my way down???
Hey ABC Pest, Pool & Lawn!!! You may want to call account #145825 back now!! Remember me? I'm the girl that sent all of you the e-mails months ago! You know, the girl that you ignored with hopes that I would just go away. Well, I'm not that kinda girl, so I'm sure everyone is now eager and curious to hear a rebuttal from the company now that your company name is now on the shameful list of companies in the database of the quickly growing & popular site of Ripoff Report.com. So let's hear it...
(Oh, and did you ever find those rodent inspection papers in my "file" yet? You said you'd get back to me about those too, but man...it sure has been a while....)