Canceled pest control but still getting charged

So this is similar to my gym membership thread but different. I pay for pest control service on a tri-annual basis. If I notice any pests between visits, they come out for free to perform service which is basically either spraying for insects or refilling bait stations.

I had my tri-annual service scheduled for 5/8 but on 5/6, there was a foul smell in the living room and we assumed it was a dead mouse in the wall. I called the pest control company hoping they would be able to find the mouse and get rid of the smell. They came but all they did was say “oh there’s nothing we can really do you just have to wait a few days for the smell to go away”. The guy sprayed some air freshener in the living room then refilled the bait stations in the basement. He didn’t even spray for ants outside.

They do not clean up mouse droppings, disinfect, cut a hole in the wall to find the dead mouse or seal the outside of the house at all. We actually found a different company that does all these things so we decided to switch. So 5/8 came and I called to cancel my service because I felt they weren’t helping our situation. I admit I called late in the day at 4:47pm (I didn’t realize my tri-annual service was on 5/8, I thought it was later). I asked the guy to cancel my service and he said I owe $150 for the next 4 months. I asked why and he said my tri-annual service was moved to 5/6 so I got billed that day. This was not disclosed to me.

I called management today and he said that by calling them on 5/6, I requested to reschedule the tri-annual service. He said since they performed a “service” (I believe they didn’t do anything) that I owe the $150 for the next 4 months. I said the only reason I called on 5/6 was because I thought it was free since my tri-annual service wasn’t until 5/8 - his response was that they can’t be coming out everyday like that. I then asked if they could help me out by pro-rating the 2 days and canceling the rest of the 4 months, he said he couldn’t do anything besides have a guy come to spray the outside for ants since they did not do that on 5/6. He kept arguing that I had them come out 3 times in the past month so the problem must have been serious - well yeah all of those service visits didn’t help and they are supposed to be free anyway.

Do I have any recourse here or am I wrong for trying to cancel at 4:47pm on the original renewal date? I can afford the $150 I’m just more annoyed that they don’t want to help me out by prorating it or anything, and their service doesn’t really solve the problem - another mouse will just eat the bait and get stuck in the wall again, making our living room unusable for weeks. Their ant spray doesn’t do anything either, I still kill 5-10 ants per day and they do not search for a nest or try to block openings where they enter the house. I’m going to remove their bait traps and use my own snap traps and ant baits. They are a local family business in town and I could easily bad mouth them on the neighborhood town forums but I’m not going to do that. If you guys think I’m wrong then I’ll just suck it up and pay the $150.

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You paid in January for the period of (roughly) 1/8 to 5/8, right? If so, I would say that the “moving the billing date up” thing is bogus. I would write them a brief, polite letter to that point. You paid for service to 5/8, the visit on 5/6 should be considered part of that service, you were incorrectly charged before your renewal date, you attempted to cancel on the renew date, and you would like that refunded and the service cancelled.

If (when) they refuse, initiate a charge back with your credit card issuer.

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Thinking about this more, they are probably wary of people attempting to get one last service in under the wire and then canceling before renewal. Understandable if they’ve dealt with a bunch of cheapskates in the past.

But, the fact that you had them out so often and were still seeing pests indicates a problem with the service. I would make sure you state that in the letter: “as you can see by my service history, your technicians have been out multiple times and I continued to experience issues; I chose not to renew because I am dissatisfied with the quality of service”.


Update: Got an email from the owner who zero’d out my balance!