Wherever you are in the world, it’s almost guaranteed that nearly everyone will have to hire the services of a pest control company at some point in their lives. The same is true whether you are in London, New York or Paris – or anywhere in between. Pest control companies are called out more and more every year because of the ever growing pest control problems everywhere.
Local family firms are usually very reasonably priced. Despite this, some people still try to to take the cheap option…sometimes with less than desirable consequences.
When you have a pest infestation you will be desperate to get the pests off your property as soon as possible. And this desperation encourages some scam artists to take advantage. Underperforming and generally conning you out of your money. Here are a few of the most common pest control scams you should be looking out for.
- Free inspections offered by canvassers – It sounds good when you see a leaflet that offers something for free. And if you’ve been worried about something and have been meaning to get it checked, this seems like the answer to your prayers. But a basic evaluation can turn into a huge ordeal. All you’ve seen is three ants in your kitchen, yet suddenly you find yourself being told you have a very serious rodent infestation or bed bug control problem that you never knew existed. You are too concerned to back out now, and their fake treatment costs you half your wages. It’s even been recorded that these scam artists bring dead pests with them to convince you of a problem that doesn’t exist. If a pest problem comes as a surprise to you, always seek out a second opinion from a reputable firm to make sure.
- Thieves posing as pest control technicians — These con men go door to door offering free inspections. They look the part with convincing uniforms, but while carrying out their “inspection”, they help themselves to your jewellery and petty cash. You won’t notice until they are long gone, and you have no idea who they are. Their credentials were fake. Sadly, like similar scammers posing as utility workers and legitimate personnel, these scammers prey on the elderly and vulnerable.
- Don’t buy into a contract you’re not comfortable with – These scammers are likely to offer unbelievably cheap services. Once the technician has finished the job and everything seems to have gone well, they may suggest the only way your home will stay pest-free is if they continuously come to home to re-treat it. It’s easy to feel the pressure of these contracts, without knowing your rights, and not wanting to say no even if you’re not being forced to sign, either through high pressure sales techniques or fear of re-infestation. Make sure you understand how often they plan on coming to your home, the guarantee they offer, and what you’re obligated to pay for each service.
- Make sure you’re getting a legitimate service – Some exterminators can sometimes take advantage by taking shortcuts that won’t get rid of the pests properly. Once the job has been completed you will find that the pests will appear again so you have to keep calling the technician back and paying again. In some cases, what happens is this: a licensed exterminator comes out to your home to evaluate your pest control problem. This person will have the proper license and skills to carry out the work. But when the time for the treatment comes around, they send an employee who isn’t licensed or properly trained. This is a common scam. Just because the employee has the uniform and the equipment doesn’t means they are experienced enough to do the job. Always stick to a company that can provide the correct documentation for your exterminator before letting them do anything in your home. Remember…there are laws surrounding pest control that are designed to protect you, the consumer.