We had a lot of entries in our pest control Crazy Customer Contest.
I have included some of my favorites below. (NOTE: due to time constraints, I did not edit the results, just pasted them here for your enjoyment).
The most common theme was customers complaining about dead bugs after the pest control treatment. Crazy, unreasonable customers who are impossible to satisfy was another theme
The winner gets a new B&G Sprayer courtesy of John Cotton, B&G Equipment.
All the runners up get a $20 gift certificate to Qspray.com.
Thanks for playing along. Andrew Greess
And the winner is, with a bullseye, is …..
A woman approached me and her daughter was immediately saying, "Oh Mom no!" The mother shushed her daughter and said, "It's okay, he's a professional, it's like going to the doctor."
The daughter again pleads no, but there's no stopping Momma. She proceeds to tell me she suspects that she'd been bitten by a brown recluse.
Momma dropped her shorts, dropped them... and threw that hind end my direction. There it was a big ol' bullseye, right on the butt. The most classic brown recluse bite reaction I've ever seen.
The daughter melted in horror.
I said to her, "Ma'am I'm not a doctor, but you should see one." "That's a perfect bullseye."
Momma grabs her shorts and wiggled them back on. She turned to her daughter and said, "See, he says I've got a bullseye too."
I've always wanted to bump into the daughter and ask her to tell me about her Mom, gosh I bet she's got a million stories.
Congratulations to David Resz of Rottler Pest Solutions, Kansas City, Mo.
While working for a termite company in
southern California who offered borate treatments instead of tenting.
My crew and I showed up to treat a home. Upon arrival to the job site I went and rang the doorbell. I was greeted by a Woman who was in a obvious state of distress. I could tell something was wrong so I asked how she was doing this morning. She proceeded to tell me that her Father who was also a resident had passed away in the middle of the night. After expressing our condolences I proceeded to let her know that rescheduling would be no problem we would be happy to return at a latter date to do the job. Without blinking an eye she stated she would rater have us do the treatment since we were already there, and in her words
"the worst part is over" so go
ahead and get started. So after a lengthy discussion with my tech, who was
very superstitious, I convinced him that it shouldn't be a big deal as I was
sure the coroner had already been there and we could get it done.
I got call from customer telling me she had a big brand pest control company and was so disappointed in their treatment and that she wanted my services. I took her service and treated home inside and out very very good. I get a call a few days later with her ranting that my service was worse than the big name brands service. So I ask her to let me come see. When I arrived she took me thru each room showing me what she was talking about. The problem was that there were dead bugs by each of her doors and even one had died in her kitchen floor and demanded I clean the up and figure out what I was going to do to fix it. All I could do was refund her money and tell her I was sorry and that I could kill them any more dead than they were. She said she should not have dead bugs in her house and refund would be ok and she would handle it herself.
Ok so not so much a crazy story but scary! Get a call from a guy that gets me some work saying this lady seeing bed bugs so the next morning I get there for her to be crying and screaming get the bugs off they crawling inside me. But nothing was on her I check the House from top to bottom NO BEDBUGS! She gets on the phone with her daughter at this point I think it made it worst she’s crying screaming get bugs off please I get on phone with daughter I ask was her doctor giving her meds that made her feel this way? because I see no signs of any type insects at this time she even turn for the worst as she was sitting on her couch eyes rolled back into her head like she was dead. I’m freaking out so I called 911 they come there finally after 45 minutes everything was fine come to find out she was getting off of a drug addiction but my god needless to say I cancelled the rest of my appointments that day and went home lol the gentleman that got me the job called to ask what did she owe you ? She wants to pay you. I said tell her nothing. I’m not going back there.
I met an old man in his 80s at a property he owned to treat for fleas. Nice enough guy. I tell him the price, but he informs me that he forgot his checkbook at home. Thinking I can trust him, I tell him that he can send me a check. After a month of nothing, I try contacting him. He doesn’t answer after 3 messages. On the 4th try he tells me he’s calling the cops because I’m harassing him. Over a year later and 2 more messages, I still haven’t been paid.
I got a call from a new person who had been battling Odorous house ants for months. He had tried everything, which probably was making them worse. I sprayed the interior and exterior of the house and used a bait in the kitchen area to get them under control. We use non-repellant chemicals, which work but take a little time. I told him this he said no problem since he had been fighting with them so long. This was a Thursday at roughly 3 pm. On Friday he called and left a message at 4:30 stating that the ants were not gone. I called him back at 5:10 and got his voice mail. Told him I was leaving town for the weekend but could get to him Monday am. We were going to see our daughter and family because my son-in-law’s step mom had just died from cancer the previous Tuesday and everyone was pretty sad. When I got into the office on Monday I got a message stating that he didn't want to wait until Monday and was going to find another company. I called him in the morning and he said he didn't want to hear any excuses about why I could not come until that day and hung up. I didn't bother to pursue it further figuring sometimes it is better to lose a bad customer.
My craziest customer i have
ever dealt with is during my time with (name deleted) in the Ft Myers area. We
had this extremely wealthy customer who has stocks in Gatorade, Coca-Cola...etc.
They paid a ridiculous amount of money for monthly service. Probably still wasn’t worth it because me and
our service manager were crawling through this ladies attic every other day, or
on our hands and knees searching through all of her rugs for some kind of tick,
flea or mite that was biting her and eating her clothes,
Turns out the bug that she bad been seeing for the past 2 years...was lint and it was irritating her skin. She is still a customer 2 years later and they continue to treat for her lint bugs.
I had a lady called asking for a price for pest control...I asked the basic question ...What’s bugging you? What zip code? How long have you seen the problem? It was basically prevention, she was 2 miles away from me and she wanted green simple enough huh? So I gave her a price of 125 Initial and the market standard $75 per month told her I’d be there in the am...When I get there her husband answers the door ... you couldn’t help but notice his concern look on his face...he lets me in she comes to where I’m at introduces herself and I swear on my life she says you got the green stuff I said yes I have Eco Via EC it’s 25b exempt about as green as it gets...told her the active Ingredient she says good that won’t kill anything ... I now am looking at the husband with the same confused look...smiled and assumed she ment humans...so I said shall we start in the basement we go down stairs flip on the lights there were about 3 small spiders in the corner I adjust my sprayer to fan spray ...lay the juice without permission and she starts to get on all 4s looks at me and said I thought you said that wouldn’t kill anything...I said it’s green lady I’m an exterminator who and what did you think was going to happen she said I thought you would spray something and they would leave...I didn’t know a green product could kill bugs they paid me to leave...the husband calls back said look I had (name deleted) as a kid I turned out ok they sand blasted my baseboards in the 70s ...he said look I want to keep the service but we will schedule it when she isn’t here and just do the outside text me for Payment and she will never know... I said if you think it’s a good idea ok but after how she reacted I’m still not sure he said yeah that’s how my girlfriend feels about her too...yes I went back just to see how this was playing out. No I never tried to kill a bug on that account again.
A new customer scheduled
service with us after the husband decided he didn't have time to do it himself
anymore. He would buy Suspend SC from the local store and mix it at a rate of 3
ounces per gallon AND spray the inside the house at that same rate. It is
(un)safe to say they never saw any bugs. They scheduled service for a couple
weeks out because he had just sprayed.
When our technician showed up for the service, he asked the woman if she wanted the inside treated and she said "Yes come on in!"
A few hours later I get a call from the husband, I couldn't understand a word he was saying because all I could hear was his wife in the background screaming all kinds of profanity at me, the husband trying to talk over her. He said she was upset (immensely understated) because they are bringing a new baby home today from the hospital and didn't want the inside treated, worried that it would make the baby sick. Apparently it was the mother in law at the house who let the tech in.
I assured them that the products had been safely applied and reviewed the service record with her, pointing out the low rate applied of .03%, which is compared to the 3 ounces per gallon her husband used to apply inside their home. (Wife): "But at least I knew EXACTLY where he sprayed." Since the treatment record wasn't sufficient for her, I got the technician on the phone to map out every crack and crevice that was treated in each room, reminding her that it was 97% water and that it was dry now, etc. Nothing we said would calm her down. I refunded their money and gave them my personal cell number and told them to call me if there was anything else I could do.
I felt bad for this new mother and wanted to make it up to her. So I went back to the house promptly to make sure the mother in law would still be there. I said I was sorry she was in the middle of this unfortunate situation (apparently she got chewed out worse than I did!). Then I asked the mother in law where she was registered for baby gifts so I could get them something they didn't have yet. I ended up getting them a nice baby swing for $80, wrapped it and gave them a card with a formal apology.
I got a call later that night around 10pm and I thought 'oh good they saw my gift'. Instead, it was the husband saying he needed me to come over asap. I quickly got dressed and drove to the house to find the wife sitting on the couch, sobbing uncontrollably. (I saw my gift and card unwrapped off to the side) The wife continued to blame me for future sicknesses that her baby was sure to contract. After reiterating the extremely low toxicity of the product, I offered to scrub the perimeters of each room with mild soap and water. Now she thought I was crazy and contested "No you don't have to do that...I just can't believe this happened on the day we brought her home." I told her how I have 2 kids of my own and crawled everywhere, eaten off the floor, and still have never been sick. She just kept sobbing.
There was clearly nothing else I could say or do to calm her down, so I told them to reach out to me if there's anything else I could do, then the husband walked me out. (Still no mention of gift)
Complaint from customer's
mother about referring me to her.
Call that useless bug guy back, you should see all the dead bugs around the place, if he is going to kill the bugs does he have to leave them lying around for everyone to see?
I answered the phone one day to have a woman asking if someone could come and spray her house TODAY. She was not a current customer. All of the men had full schedules, and this being already afternoon, I told her there was no way we could get to her today but we will work her in ASAP. Tomorrow. She asked if we could call and re-schedule some of our appointments, so we could get to her TODAY!!!
(Notice before when I referred to her as a woman and not a lady.) Knowing that no one could make her happy. I asked her if we had set an appointment with her and then called and cancelled how would she feel ? She replied very sternly that she WOULD NOT LIKE IT ONE BIT!!! I told her neither would any of our customers. and suggested she call someone else. To which she said , WHAT? I told her I didn't think we could make happy so she should call someone else. and then I hung up the phone. Sometimes you have to walk away.
Had a client call regarding squirrels in his kitchen. Claimed to have killed one with his pellet gun and placed it in a bowl on the kitchen floor to scare the others off... but instead of scaring them away they had started eating their comrade. Upon arrival I was able to verify that this had in fact taken place. I set the job up with positive set traps on the exterior, a forced set on interior kitchen wall chewout and a baited trap in kitchen. I got a frantic call that evening informing me that there was a squirrel caught in the kitchen trap. So off I go to pick up the squirrel. When I got there I found it laying dead in a bowl on the kitchen floor next to the other squirrel that he had supposedly thrown out earlier. The new squirrel had been bludgeoned to death with one of my traps! The guy is still saved in my phone as "crazy squirrel killer". It's been 5 years and I'm not even in the field anymore but I'm sure not sending my guys out if he calls back!