July 10, 2024 at 7:46 am

Pest Control Company Told Her They Couldn’t Cancel Her Contract, But When She Looked Closely At The Contract She Found A Sneaky Way Out

by Jayne Elliott

Source: Reddit/MaliciousCompliance/Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio

If bugs are a problem in your home, hiring a pest control company makes sense, but what if the pest control company becomes the problem?

In today’s story, a busy mom felt trapped in a pest control company’s contract until she looked at the fine print.

Let’s see how she solved the pest problem and warned others…

Won’t cancel my contract? Pay 8x what it’s worth

We moved into a new house in February 2019, and I had twins in April 2019. I was on maternity leave for 3 months and pretty sleep deprived, as you can imagine.

One afternoon, a pest control company came and knocked on my door asking if we had pest control, and offering a discount for signing up.

In my altered mental state, I didn’t research/think enough about it and signed up for a one year contract, with service every 3 months, which they advised I could cancel at any time with 30 days notice (unfortunately I did not get this in writing).

Also, they indicated that my children, pets, and I would not have to leave the house when they sprayed.

Their requirements changed when they actually came to spray the house.

The first service comes around. They tell me right before that children under 2 have to be out of the house for two hours after spraying.

I am unprepared for this and tell them to just spray outside and they agree and say they will come back another day to do the inside.

They never do.

The bugs get worse instead of better.

The OP decided to reach out to the pest control company.

I call them and they say its because they didn’t spray inside and all the bugs are getting in. They offer to come out again.

I find somewhere to take the babies for the afternoon and they spray inside.

Bugs are worse yet.

I call and ask to cancel and they tell me I can, but they will charge me the remainder of the contract. I ask for a manager to call me back (spoiler alert: they don’t).

I forget about it because I’m going back to work and dealing with my kids.

She gave them one last chance.

The second service comes around and I decide to let them try one more time.

Bugs get worse again… I think they may have been spraying sugar water.

I call to cancel again and get the same answer. I do get escalated this time, and they tell me there is no one in the entire company that has the power to cancel my contract without further payment.

She finally decided to look at the contract.

It’s at this point that I realize that I don’t have a copy of my contract and I feel dumb. I ask them to email me the contract, which they do (which was also dumb because the contract itself says that to be binding they had to provide me a copy upon signing with a 3 day rescission period, so it basically was already unenforceable).

I read it and notice it has an arbitration clause which says I can’t sue them (not that I was planning on it) until we undergo 4 hours of arbitration, with them providing the arbitrator.

It turns out that there is a way to get them to cancel the contract.

Where I live, arbitrators cost about $400/hr, and the remainder on the contract was $240.

I immediately email and demand arbitration. I get a call within an hour that they’ve cancelled the remainder of my contract and there will be no charges, plus they’re refunding my last service.

Then, I posted how I got out of it on their facebook page to help all the other people complaining of the same issues.

And that’s how you do it!

Understandably, the folks on Reddit had a lot of praise.

This reader loved how OP shared the details of this situation on Facebook.

Source: Reddit/MaliciousCompliance

Another reader also praised OP for the Facebook post.

Source: Reddit/MaliciousCompliance

Some pest control companies do apparently cause the bug problem.

Source: Reddit/MaliciousCompliance

However, maybe this pest control company didn’t cause the bug problem.

Source: Reddit/MaliciousCompliance

It all comes down to the contract, and this reader knows that very well.

Source: Reddit/MaliciousCompliance

Who knows what else they lied about!?!

Thankfully other customers now know how to cancel their contracts.

If you liked that story, check out this post about an oblivious CEO who tells a web developer to “act his wage”… and it results in 30% of the workforce being laid off.