I hired Terminix to get rid of rats I had in my attic and roaches I had in my house in February 2014. I bought their ultimate protection plan for $52.33 a month. The sales rep also sold me insulation that he claimed rats do not like to nest in. The insulation was about $3,200, after I put $780 in cash down.

I asked if they would kill the rats first before putting in the insulation, and he said yes. Well, that did not happen.

The remaining rats peed and pooped all over the new insulation. The problem got worse – they had babies. I called Terminix several times. The problem was never resolved, so around June or July, I canceled my service. I have spoken to the executive services department about the damaged insulation and they promised to contact a regional manager. After several months trying to resolve this issue, I am still waiting.

- Michelle Koranek, Holiday, Fla.

Got a consumer problem? The ABC News Fixer may be able to help. Click here to submit your problem online. Letters are edited for length and clarity.

DEAR MICHELLE:

Ever see “Willard”? We had that famously creepy 1971 rat movie in mind as you told us your story of rats multiplying in your attic. This was occurring right on top of the newly installed insulation in your attic. Apparently, since there were still some rats left when the insulation was put in, they carried on as rodents will do.

You told us it got so bad, their squealing kept you up at night.

You said Terminix tried using traps, but it didn’t have much impact. You finally bought rat poison to finish them off, but by that time, the new insulation was soiled and icky. You said you weren’t trying to get something for nothing, but you had paid a lot of money and wanted this problem fixed.

We had better luck getting through to someone at Terminix. We found the PR guy for the extermination company, who got in touch with a regional manager. They sent a branch manager out to inspect your insulation, and that person agreed that it needed to be replaced. Soon after, a crew removed the dirty stuff and installed new insulation.

Terminix also ended up giving you $1,000 off the insulation purchase price and refunded your monthly payments for the time this was happening.

Best of all, you said, the squeaks and squeals have finally stopped.

Here’s some advice for others who may have a pest problem in their home:

  • If it’s a small problem, you might be able to fix it yourself using baits and traps and save a lot of money.


  • If you need an exterminator, research at least three companies and get bids from each. Make sure they have the proper licenses and insurance.


  • Ask about the safety of their methods and research the chemicals used. Let them know if you have children, pets or plants in the house.


  • Make sure you understand the contract before signing anything.




- The ABC News Fixer

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Stephanie Zimmermann

Most people groan at the thought of spending hours on the phone with a customer service call center, but Stephanie Zimmermann relishes the chance to slice through red tape.

Before joining ABC News, Stephanie untangled consumer problems at the Chicago Sun-Times, where her popular column recovered more than $1.4 million in refunds, credits, and merchandise for consumers in the Windy City.

Stephanie, who lives in Chicago, has also worked at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and has bachelor's and master's degrees from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. But most of all, Stephanie is a consumer who hates to see anyone else get ripped off.