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Press Release

AG Shapiro Secures Restitution for PA Consumers in Settlement with Deceptive Pest Control Company

September 11, 2019 | Topic: Consumers

HARRISBURG— Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced that his office has reached a settlement with The Terminix International Company, L.P., a Delaware limited partnership with regional offices across Pennsylvania. The settlement resolves allegations that the company failed to consistently provide Pennsylvania consumers with copies of their service and finance agreements and notice of cancellation at the time of sale, as required by state and federal consumer protection laws.

The investigation was initiated after consumers complained to the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection that Terminix required them to sign an iPad when agreeing to services and informed them that they would receive a copy of the signed agreement via email. However, these consumers reported that they never received the agreements via email. Because state and federal law require that agreements containing financial charges be provided to consumers at the time of signing, some Pennsylvania consumers paid Terminix charges that they were not obligated to pay.

“Pennsylvania consumers deserve to be fully informed as to the terms of contracts they are entering into so that they can make sound financial choices,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “Terminix violated state and federal consumer protection laws by failing to deliver agreements to consumers in a timely manner. Through this settlement, Pennsylvania consumers are entitled to restitution for charges they incurred due to these deceptive practices. Our Bureau of Consumer Protection will continue to work to exterminate any instances of companies taking advantage of the people they are supposed to serve.”

One consumer, C.H., of Pittsburgh, reported that she entered into a contract with Terminix to get rid of pests in her home. She reported that she signed for the contract on an iPad but was not aware that it was a finance contract or of the terms. She said she did not receive a paper copy of the contract until 10 days later.

“I hired Terminix to exterminate pests in my house, and I trusted them to follow through on their promise,” said C.H. “Unfortunately, Terminix misled me about my contract and didn’t send me a copy of it until 10 days later, but I was billed thousands of dollars for the services. I’m grateful to the Office of Attorney General for holding them accountable.”

The settlement includes $18,941.98 in restitution for more than 200 Pennsylvania consumers who were harmed by the company’s allegedly deceptive practices. Affected consumers will receive a restitution check from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the coming months.

The settlement also includes an additional restitution program for certain eligible consumers who did not receive a copy of their service or finance agreements and who file complaints with the Bureau of Consumer Protection within sixty (60) days of the filing of the settlement. Complaints can be submitted online, in person, by calling 1-800-441-2555 or by emailing scams@attorneygeneral.gov.

Deputy Attorney General Jill Ambrose filed the settlement in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.

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