Thursday, October 21, 2010

Service with a frown - resolved

My last post was about a problem with an exterminating company. Today, that problem has (apparently) come to a resolution. I had a conference call with the company and the Better Business Bureau. The BBB representative took my call, then called the business. She thanked each of us and explained the "ground rule" (her words) and that was no interrupting the other person.

I got to speak first and explained my situation (which had been previously done in the letter). The business then explained the issues. I corrected him on a couple of matters and then bluntly asked if he understood why I was upset. It took a minute, but he said he did.

We discussed a few aspects of the inspections they had done, specifically trying to separate the inspection cost from the "insurance" aspect of a termite bond. He said there was no way to separate them. (I would have asked for a refund of the inspection).

I asked him about the reluctance to write a check and he explained that they only wrote checks 1-2x/month and then only when a PO was created. He asked if I would give my credit card number to the BBB. I explained that I was reluctant to give him the number because I still didn't trust the company and if I gave it to the BBB, they would have to give it to him to process the refund. He then offered to send a certified check for the refund.

The total refund I'll be receiving is $100. This is the "discount" that was originally discussed. Had I gotten this refund in September, it would have saved a lot of hassle.

In addition, he explained a couple of ways this could have been prevented, I'm not sure any would have worked. I could have gotten a second estimate, but I felt like I didn't have time for that. He said in his business line, companies are on call 7x24 and make emergency calls within a day. He said my realtor could have called the day of closing and he would have faxed a new estimate (which would have had to go through the lawyer, forced a redo of all the paper-work, delayed closing, etc).

The end result is the discount I originally was promised and I don't have to give my credit card info. I'm not what I would call a satisfied customer and won't give them a good reference, but then they probably don't want a reference anyway. I won't go around bashing them and haven't posted their name here.


Thomas said...

Wow, that's the kind of resolution where if what happened to you was turned into a movie, the audience would be a bit deflated at the end. Nonetheless, good for you for standing up for what you felt was right.

By the way, I recently noticed that I'm using the same blog template as you. Sorry about that, but you know what they say about imitation... :)

Randy said...

Yeah, it was kinda anti-climactical (if that's a word).

I won't be using the exterminator again, but I don't hate them enough to go after them.

As for the template, I'm too lazy to try to generate anything fancy. I did change it earlier this year, that's about as fancy as I get...