I sent the complaint letter below on March 24 to Eco Systems Pest Management. I received no response.
Be sure to read past the letter for the end of the story.
In February 2003, you got rid of some squirrels in our attic by doing the following (quoting from your service agreement):
Installation of one way exit to main entry point at right front corner gutter line area. Reinforcement of soft wood / potential areas of re-entry with 1/4″ galvanized hardware cloth. One way exit permanently sealed in 2 weeks, one squirrels have gone.
You charged us $435 for this service and included a 2-year warranty.
Recently, the squirrels returned. Your technician came by to evaluate the situation and submitted a proposal which reads as follows:
Installation of one way exit to main entry point; reinforcement of possible re-entry points.
Removal of exit in 2 weeks; permanent sealing of opening. 2-year warranty from inintial service date.
You quoted $695 for this service.
We are not pleased.
“1/4″ galvanized hardware cloth” sounds awfully permanent. Furthermore, we were assured by the technician who did the work that the sealing off of the main entry point was would be done with durable, long-lasting materials. Although the written warranty was only for 2 years, my wife and I both recall that we were assured that everything that was being installed would last a good, long time and the problem was unlikely to recur, at least not in the same way.
Now, it turns out that in fact the problem has recurred, and apparently in exactly the same way.
It’s hard to understand why you are not offering us any sort of discount in this service to compensate for the fact that it is your company’s previous work that has failed and left us with the same problem we had before.
It is also hard to understand how the cost of this service could have gone up by 60% in six years, especially given that the total rate of inflation over that period was less than 16%. $500 would have been a reasonable quote; $695 most assuredly is not.
The way you succeed in a business like this is to ensure repeat business from satisfied customers. You don’t accomplish that by charging customers exorbitant rates to redo failed work.
As I noted above, Eco Systems never bothered to respond to the letter above. Last Friday, I spend an hour and a half in our attic crawl space and solved the problem myself.
The “squirrels” Eco Systems said were in our attic were actually birds in our bathroom exhaust fan duct. I searched high and low for evidence that there had ever been squirrels in our attic and found none; furthermore, the signs of the current infestation were exactly the same as the signs of the last one. Therefore, it seems rather likely that the last time Eco Systems claimed that there were squirrels in our attic and charged us $435 to get rid of them, it was birds then as well.
I examined the exhaust vent for the fan more carefully and confirmed that the birds were able to get in again because the steel cloth which Eco Systems installed last time came loose because they did not attach it properly. That’s defective workmanship. They should have acknowledged that the recurrence of the problem was their fault and fixed it for cheap, rather than trying to charge us 60% more for the same service they performed last time.
To summarize, t took me an hour and a half to solve a problem myself that they misdiagnosed twice, charged us $435 to fix badly the first time, and then tried to charged us $695 to fix again a few years later.
This company came highly recommended to us back in 2003, and were were happy, then, with the work that they performed. Little did we know that they’d misdiagnosed the problem, fixed it badly, and overcharged us. Their attempt to overcharge us even more the second time was just rubbing salt in the wound. I can’t in good conscience recommend this company to anyone.