The State of Alabama has reached a settlement with pest control company Terminix.
According to AL.com, the investigation began in February 2019 when the Mobile County District Attorney’s Office received multiple complaints from customers whose annual termite bonds with Terminix increased from anywhere between $320 and $1,499.
The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries and the Alabama Attorney General’s Office discovered that not only was Terminix collecting annual premiums from customers across the state and failing to deliver promised services, but customers were being double-billed for pesticides that had already been applied to their homes.
The company maintains it did nothing illegal.
“We believe that the settlement reached with the Alabama Attorney General’s office is a fair resolution that is in the best interest of our customers, specifically those in Mobile and the surrounding counties. As stated in the agreement, the company does not admit to any fraud or wrongdoing in connection with our business practices. Over the last year, we have made substantial improvements in our operations, claims management processes, governance structure, and quality assurance, including completing a $10 million supplemental treatment plan to address customer concerns during 2020, before this investigation began. The improvements have enhanced our ability to treat Formosan termites and serve our customers more effectively. This settlement and these enhancements continue our efforts to support our customer base in the area.”Terminix statement to AL.com
Attorney General Steve Marshall told AL.com the case was resolved without going to court, but the settlement stemmed from a state law that cracks down on “fraudulent” acts.
“Terminix can characterize it however they will. Our claims are under the Alabama Deceptive Trade Practices Act, which seeks to protect consumers from deceptive, fraudulent and … illegal acts. The result of this settlement is Alabama consumers will be made whole. We have an opportunity in Alabama to allow consumers to have recovery.”Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall
Most of the relief in the settlement applies to Mobile County and surrounding counties, however, there are some provisions that apply to Terminix customers statewide.
Current Terminix customers across the state who were overcharged for pest control services in 2019 and 2020 will be issued refunds without needing to file a claim. Checks will be mailed starting in May.
For former Terminix customers who closed their contract with the company due to unfair pricing, a claim will need to be filed with the court-appointed receiver.
Settlement options for claims include:
- A one-time $650 payment
- A payment for the difference between the old Terminix contract and a new contract with a different pest control company
- Refunds of any excessive payments made in 2019 or 2020
Assistant Attorney General Dan Taliaferro said there are about 8,000 former Terminix customers who have left Memphis-based Terminix and have contracted with another firm.
To file a claim, customers should visit the receiver’s website to access forms to either be completed online or downloaded, printed, and mailed to the receiver for processing.