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Terminix / Questionable Business Ethics

1 United States

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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