Orkin "Lifetime Guarantee" Costs $214 A Year?

Chris writes,

Last year we had Orkin come and get rid of a termite problem in our 60 year old house. It is a small three bedroom house and we were putting concrete siding on and discovered some termite trails. We spent around $1,700 for what we were told by the sales man and his supervisor was a life time guarantee. Its been a year and I just got a bill for $214 including tax for the yearly Orkin termite service. I was told by customer service and my local Orkin office that in order to keep my lifetime guarantee I need to pay the $214 for as long as I live in the house.

We headed over to Orkin’s website and found it suspicious that they have a nifty graphic of their “guarantee” directly on their home page, but neither it nor anything else on the website links to any details on just what, exactly, they guarantee.

On the rest of the web, we found some troubling info from six years ago, when Orkin settled with five states and District of Columbia regarding misrepresentation of its guarantee:

The company was accused of misleading consumers by representing that its “Orkin Foam System” would keep termites from ever returning, when, in fact, this claim could not be substantiated. In addition, Orkin’s advertising implied that its service came with a full warranty when, in fact, it did not.

The settlement prohibits Orkin from:

  • Representing that its subterranean termite control services are certain to be effective in preventing or eliminating an infestation unless Orkin is able to support such a claim by credible scientific evidence;
  • Misrepresenting the terms of its guarantees or warranties for its subterranean termite control services; and,
  • Advertising a “guarantee” unless it is accompanied by a “limited guarantee” or “limited warranty” disclosure and clearly directs consumers to carefully read the guarantee before purchase.

On another site, an article from 2004 presents a laundry list of Orkin’s past bad behavior, including faking inspections and not providing services that were paid for.

We think you might want to review the fine print on your contract or agreement to see what exactly was guaranteed, and if you were told something different then talk to a lawyer about your options.

(Thanks to Chris!)

“TERMITE CONTROL GUARANTEE QUESTIONED” [New York State Office of the Attorney General]

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