Terminix International Company L.P. 17 Years of Protection and my Mother's Home is Condemmed. Memphis Tennessee
In April of 2003 my Mother had a stroke. She is 82 and suffers from alzheimer's dementia, cancer, COPD and diabetes. She now resides at Cape May Retirement Village in Wilmington, Ohio. She is a WWII Veteran (a Sergeant in the WAC's). As her son (also a veteran), and the only sentient, remaining member of our family (and having her Durable Power of Attorney) my job is to sell her home and use the money to pay for her care (currently about $4,000/month).
I approached my employer of 3-1/2 years (in April 2003) and requested time off to deal with this unfortunate situation, under the Family Leave Act, and was informed I was not eligible. I was left with a moral dilemma. Make my Mother someone else's problem or step up as the last remaining family member and take care of our family business. I resigned my 55K/year job on May 7, 2003. I can get another job... I can't get another Mother.
I secured a buyer for her home in August 2003, and then had to cancel the contract because upon inspection it was discovered that my Mother's home is seriously
damaged by termites. The damage is so extensive that the house is not considered habitable by the Clinton County Building Department (the house is in Blanchester, Ohio). The home's value went from $92,500 to between $10,000 and $15,000... the value of the lot.
What makes this so amazing is that my Mother has been under contract with Terminix for 17 years when she bought the home in 1986. She dutifully paid her yearly contract renewal fees (I paid the 2003 fee of $165). Mother bought her home from an estate sale. The Seller was the estate of the retired Blanchester Elementary School Principal, through Coldwell-Banker. A termite inspection was part of the sales agreement. Mother paid $38,000 for the home and then spent $24,000 to have the house totally redone in 1986. I have every original receipt.
I have opened up the walls and found unbelievable damage which Terminix now says was pre-existing. The new damage was not ever noted in Terminix's original Inspection Report and they claimed that unless live termites were found, I was out of luck.
In September, when the first evidence of termites was found I began to video-tape what we were finding. I hired my own contractor and began a selective disassembly process to attempt to find the extent of the damage. We have since opened up approximately one third of her home and have since stopped as termite damage is everywhere. My contractor and I found the live termites in the front of the garage/living room wall of my mother's house on October 16th, 2003 @ 2:15pm (on video-tape). I have about 50 or so termites still living in a jar at my personal home, after almost 3 months.
Terminix representatives have agreed in writing to replace the front wall and back wall of the home but nothing else. These walls are load bearing. Terminix makes no mention of the visible damage to roof rafters, ceiling rafters and fly rafters or suspected damage not yet found by the structural engineer. They want me to pay for the Structural Engineer's evaluation to determine the extent of the damage. They want me to pull the permits for construction. They want to be the Contractor of Record but make no mention of the scope or warranty of their repair work. The cascade damage to the remainder of the house (assuming there are no more termites) will make the cost of repairs more than half the value of the home.
My Mother's house has now sat vacant for over 6 months. I cannot repair it. I cannot sell it. Mother's Tax Abatement now expires on 12/31 (She owns the home free and clear, is retired and on fixed income). I'm stuck with her 2004 tax bill with no abatement. My attorney informs me that we have a good case against Terminix, however it will cost me $10,000 to $15,000 in legal fees (expert witnesses, etc.) and take 2 to 5 years to litigate. As my mother's cash reserves are now almost
depleted, I am forced to consider turning her over to Medicaid. I promised my Mother that I would use her economic resources to provide her with the best care she
could afford, before I would dump her into the system. I might have to break my promise.
Her largest asset (her home) is useless.!
17 years of Terminix protection did not work. Their Repair or Replacement Guarantee is not worth the paper it's printed on. This is not an isolated case. Please refer to the following website...
...get an education, like I did...
I am a formidable opponent. Screw me and I might take action. Screw my Mother, face the consequences. No regrets, no remorse, no holds barred. I probably won't get a dime for my Mother from Terminix, but I'm not going away... Terminix will be held accountable, either in the Court Of Law or the Court Of Public Opinion. At this stage, I give less than a damn. My attorney informs me that Terminix might take legal action against me, to prevent this story from reaching the media...
I am 3 weeks into a feature story with WLWT Channel 5 News, Team 5 Investigates. The Reporter is Jesse Jones. We have over 5 hours of video tape over 3 days, and continue to develop our story to air during the 1st week of February. If we can generate sufficient interest we hope to push this story nationally on NBC before March.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture, in Columbus, is sending a regional manager (2nd week of January) to conduct soil testing for the State to determine the types of chemicals, application rates and verify compliance with state standards. Based on the extensive termite damage, Terminix won't look good.
I have also sent this same information to our Ohio Attorney General, Jim Petro, my State Senator, John Carey and my State Representative David T. Daniels.
Terminix is a multi-million dollar, global, corporation. Their inability to protect my Mother's home from termite damage (their only job) has run my Mother broke. If I file suit they can easily run me bankrupt over time. Terminix knows this. So now I appeal to my government and the media. There are many generous people who might want to contribute to my Mother's cause. My only goal... Keep my Mother from going to Medicaid before this situation is resolved. Otherwise, Terminix is off the hook. My Mother looses her greatest asset. We all pick up the tab through our Medicaid taxes 2 years before we should (in my Mother's case).
Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Terminix