Welcome to Grim Yelp Reviews, a regular feature where we share people’s worst experiences at the worst places. This week: I feel itchy now and soon, so will you.
Life begins in filth, ends in terror, and in between, there are bugs. No one escapes this world without experiencing an infestation of some kind: vermin, bug, in-law. And with pests, there are exterminators, and with exterminators, there are very, very grim Yelp reviews.
It should be said right off the bat here: most people’s reviews of exterminators are very good. Who wouldn’t be grateful to someone who removes a fist-sized cockroach from your home? Not this lady. But when client-exterminator relations sour, they go from bad to worse to ungodly. Let’s explore each of those categories in turn.
As always, to protect the names of the innocent and not-so-innocent alike, we’ve redacted the names of the businesses, as well as the identities of the Yelpers who wrote the reviews. We realize you can probably find out all of that information by employing five seconds of Google magic. That’s on you, though. Just like a bunch of spider mites, probably.
Yeah, that’s gross.
I do like the idea of someone sneaking rats into their own home and then lying about it, for some reason.
I can’t imagine who all these reviews are of. I called to get a bid on dealing with the rodent problem in our newly-purchased home. I got a ten-minute lecture that somehow sounded like I’d deliberately brought rodents into the home and was concealing that from him. I can’t get a word in edgewise! Then he tells me, “Oh, we don’t do anything.” WTF? Really? Why do people pay you? After another five minutes of explaining that if we had rodents it was because we had openings somewhere, he finally explains that they don’t fix openings, they just lay traps and *point* to the openings so *you* know what to fix. By now, I’d have been willing to gnaw off a limb to escape this guy’s trap!
Similarly, something about “He closed the door and made it very secretive” is extremely funny and also lightly disturbing.
We have house guests that showed up at our house with bug bites. With suspicion of bed bugs, I called [Business] and [Redacted] showed up the next day. When he showed up, he didn’t inquire about my situation. When he inspected the rooms, he closed the door and made it very secretive. After the inspection, he delared that we had no bedbugs. However, when I asked him what are the red flags we need to watch out, he can’t really answer my questions. After I made the payment. I asked him for an invoice. He said he will email it to me. He never did. What really disappointed me was that he didn’t give me a lot of confidence and he couldn’t explain things or answer my questions. A complete lack of professionalism. After [Redacted]’s inpsection, my house guests have more bites showing up.
Gahhhh that is so many spiders:
During late summer/early fall, I had to call for additional treatments FIVE times between quarterlies. Two weeks after the quarterly, I found a black widow spinning a web on our front porch, and a young one building a web on the leg on my kitchen table, after we had been sick and out of the kitchen for two days. I had to call several times to get someone out, and the person who answered the phone didn’t seem at all concerned that I had a black widow web where my preschool kids were playing. I ended up spraying the porch, garage, and house myself before they bothered to come out, and found a half-dozen large spiders (jumping, wolf, and widows) just in the garage. This was all less than a month after a quarterly treatment. My children literally were not allowed outside for a few months because this company cannot do their job correctly.
A bad review, followed by an even worse, but highly entertaining, follow-up:
To update, I just received a very threatening call from [Redacted] about this Yelp review! He immediately began yelling at me, screaming that my review is trying to “ruin” his business. Before I got a chance to answer, he threatened me “If you want to make me out to be a monster, I can show you what a monster is like! You take that Yelp review down in an hour or else!” He then hung up. Nice. I am scared that I let this man in our house and that he knows where we live. I am nervous about our pets now and our children after his threat; and after paying a total of over $1400 to him and his partner (whose work he initially said he ‘guarantees’), we still have rodents and he says that we never hired him. What? We have over $1400 in checks to prove otherwise.
Worst, Oh my God, the Worst
I would shit my pants and then die.
On 11-26-14 the technician placed 2 rat traps in my attic space.
On 12-11-14 I called to notify the company that we believed the traps had killed one or more rats and someone needed to come out asap to remove the remains. We were initially told nobody was available till the following Monday but after some discussion they agreed to come out on 12-12-14.
On 12-12-14 the technician at some point came, sprayed the front yard, left a note and left the premises. At no time did the technician attempt to call us or ring the doorbell so he could retrieve the remains.
Then we left on a two week vacation and returned home to find maggots crawling on the floor near the entrance to the attic in our hallway. I called Alterra right at the point they opened at 9 a.m. and was given a half-hearted apology and told someone would be out the next day. At first I was ok with that but then the maggots began to multiply and so I called back at 4 p.m. requesting someone come over immediately. The service manager was rude and condescending and made no effort to rectify the problem despite my pleas. All I got was excuses and more half-hearted apologies.
I am disgusted that this company allowed dead rats to decompose in my attic instead of removing the remains promptly.
Holy shit, what?
During a pre-treatment they wanted to vacuum a piece of furniture in my room. I currently have no outside contact due to medical reasons. I allowed them to vacuum the furnishing I sleep on.
Three days later, I got a rash. It appears that during their ‘vacuuming’ they inoculated my sleeping sofa with MRSA. Bear in mind that I have no other contact, and that the infection happened almost immediately after they worked on the only thing in my living space that had outside contact. Given my circumstances, the chances I acquired MRSA elsewhere, according to all evidence and my doctor, are functionally nil.
When I contacted them regarding this, I first spoke with the technician that led the pre-treatment. I asked if he was aware of the recent association of an insect pest and MRSA, he was. I then asked what their standard procedure was with their vacuums. He explained it, and I asked if they ever cleaned the nozzles. He said no.
I then contacted the owner, [Redacted]. He completely disregarded my complaint, and basically wrote it off. He claimed it was impossible, but then wrote my landlord a letter claiming that this was -his- responsibility since the landlord agreed to their services. Not only did they infect me with a deadly bacteria, and deny it — they then attempted to pass the buck. [Redacted] is dead wrong, and I have the blisters and the medical bills to prove it.
And finally, a deeply weird visit with someone I’m not sure was a real exterminator. This one picks up just after he supposedly asked the lady of the house if he could use her toilet brush to scrub some cleansers into their bookshelves. No?
I merely include this one because while it is technically a review of an exterminator, I cannot really tell what kind of review it’s meant to be. Theories?
Pretty grim! Until next time, bathe in Off!, festoon your nude body with roach motels, squeeze your eyes tightly and await the end.
Image of my personal worst nightmare via Shutterstock. Grim Yelp badge by Jim Cooke