family expense audit: termite bond

Total Annual Savings as a Result of my Family Expense Audit: $878.84

Annual Savings on our Termite Bond: $39.56
Service Changes: Bond increased from $250,000 to 1 Million

We’ve had our termite bond with Hometeam Pest Control for as long as I can remember, maybe even since the purchase of our house. I called to tell them I was happy with their service, but with the economy as tight as it is, I felt it was pragmatic to get quotes from their competitors and I wanted to start with their best price. I also asked what was unique about their services so I could accurately compare.

During that phone call, our rate was lowered from $94.89 per quarter to $85 per quarter and they raised our bond from $250,000 to 1 million. I’ll spare you the details of the bond, but they were good.

Total savings? $39.56 per year. (Not much, but it’s all adding up, let me tell you!)

Being pragmatic, I wanted to get quotes from two other companies. Hopefully two solvent companies. I searched: “termite bond” and clicked the first two non-sponsored links.

Orkin: I dialed *67 to block my phone number and called the Orkin toll free number to get my “free quote” as stated in the web ad I found.

Customer Service didn’t win me over. Inefficient. The kiss of death for a vendor in my book. Do NOT make me go through an automated phone system and then ask me the same questions in person when a customer service rep gets on the line. Just don’t do it. Then they wanted to schedule a visit. No quote without a visit, an inspection and a meeting with their representative. No sending someone to do an inspection and then sending me a quote later. no… I have to BE there. Conversation over. Can he “have my name?” No thank you. (uh…that’s what the *67 was for)

I will never be able to stress enough how much I HATE being invaded and held hostage by a sales representative in my own home. High pressure sales? In my own home? I don’t think so. I’m bad cop. I embarrass FirstHusband, “Mr. Good Cop.” Further web searching indicates more than a few customer complains and reviews and the rates nearly double that of Hometeam.

TERMINIX: I searched via swagbucks (and won 7 swagbucks in the process) and was led to this ad:

TWO MINUTES! Could it be true? I clicked. An online quote! A fill-in form! Asking for my address, square footage of my house, the foundation and exterior wall types.

Then I did something bad. I typed in a nearby address.

Dear unknown, undeserving, unsuspecting neighbor, I apologize for the junk mail you will now receive. I am truly sorry.

Not surprisingly, the next screen reads:

“Sorry, your home did not qualify to get a quote online. But we would be glad to give you a no obligation inspection. Please enter your info below.”

ummm hmmm.

So, a glutton for punishment, I dial *67 to block my number again and call the toll free number. Customer service was better but no over the phone quotes for me – not even a RANGE of rates. Nuthin. They want an appointment. To come to my house. To inspect it and then sit around my kitchen table with contracts and discuss ….. ewwwwwww! nope. sorry. and again. NO.

I search a little more and find this language on a Terminix ad:

“Be protected for as little as $35 per month.”

hmmm. $35 per month. a little math…. that’s $105 per quarter. And we have. . . a loser. That’s $20 more per month than my current vendor. And if you read the fine print in the footnote, that’s a best case scenario quote.

And we have a winner. Hometeam Pest Control, we’re staying with you.

Check out my other posts in my “Family Expense Audit” series in my “debt free living” category.

One thought on “family expense audit: termite bond

  1. I love your bad cop persona! I’m trying to get there, but tend to be a softie. Jim is, too. I’m better with our contractor–just stating outright what our expectations are.

    Good for you for lowering your family’s expenses!

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