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No visit from Terminix, but they sent a bill anyway

Renee Delk insists a Terminix technician didn’t visit her home. Terminix’s records say otherwise. So who’s right?

Question: I’m being billed for service from Terminix that I didn’t receive. I need your help with getting a refund.

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I called Terminix to schedule service in early July. I had requested service inside and outside the house. No appointment was available until July 21st, so I set up an appointment for 9 to 11 a.m. on that day.

On July 21st, a technician telephoned me at 7 a.m. to cancel my service for that day. He wanted to come the following day, but I told him I was not available, and that I would call to reschedule.

I checked my account online, and found that my regular service date was listed as Aug. 21st, from 12 to 2 p.m. That didn’t work, since I had renovations going on in my home, and the technician would not have access to the areas that needed treatment, so I decided to keep the date listed online as my next appointment. I did not call to reschedule.

I received an email notifying me that I would have service on July 29th, from 7 to 9 a.m., outside only. I checked my online account and found that the Aug. 21st date had been removed, and replaced with July 29th. I cancelled that service, and set up the August date again.

A technician came to my house on July 28th to ask about my scheduled service, and we discussed the issues. I explained what I needed done, inside and outside the home, and why I didn’t want service at that time.

Then I received an email notifying me that I would have service on Aug. 5 between 7 and 9 a.m., outside only. The online account no longer showed the August appointment that I had chosen. I phoned the local office to cancel the August 5th service and to reschedule for the date and time I wanted, and the service I needed.

I received an email saying that I received service on Aug. 4th, outside only, at 8:36 a.m. At that time, I had electricians in the house, and other workmen in the attic, multiple trucks outside my house, and there was no Terminix service. No truck, no technician, no service inside or outside.

I phoned Terminix about the issue. Terminix said they would fix the billing, assign a different technician to service my house, and note on my account that I needed service inside and outside the house. They tried to reschedule my service — again.

I’ve had enough. It should not be this difficult to get the service I need at the time I need it. I’ve asked for a refund from Terminix, but it refuses. It insists it serviced my home. Can you help me get a refund?

Renee Delk, Bowie, Md.

Answer: Terminix should be able to prove you received your service with a signed receipt. Most pest control companies will ask you to sign a form acknowledging that you received the service. It appears Terminix had no such form, so it couldn’t prove it showed up at your house.

It looks as if you did everything you could to correct the problem. You called. You sent a letter — a real paper letter. You emailed. But Terminix steadfastly insisted that it had been to your house and that it correctly charged you $124 for the service call.

We could argue about whether billing someone for service they may or may not have received is professional. But there’s no real debate about how professional it is to call at 7 a.m. to cancel an appointment scheduled for that day. I mean, people have to take a day off work to be home for an inside job like this. And the runaround that followed — also less than professional.

Claiming you received service that you say you didn’t was the last straw.

You could have appealed your case to someone higher up at Terminix. Email addresses are [email protected], so you can contact someone directly. But something tells me that wouldn’t have worked.

I contacted Terminix on your behalf. No one there bothered to answer or to explain the company’s side of the story. Did they have a paper or electronic receipt with your signature that you weren’t telling me about? Maybe someone else in your house signed for you? They wouldn’t say.

However, the company contacted you and agreed to offer you a $25 credit as an apology for the series of misunderstandings. It also agreed to refund the $124 service call charge.

Who gets to determine if a pest control service is performed on a house?

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