Consumer court: Exterminator sued over termite damage

The respondent was not available for comment.

Our Correspondent August 05, 2013
Petitioner asked the court to direct the respondent to return his Rs11,000, award him Rs500,000 as damages, and a further Rs400,000 as compensation for the damage done to his house. PHOTO: FILE


A consumer court has set September 2 for initial arguments on a suit against an extermination service for allegedly botching a job at his house.

Petitioner Abdul Baqi submitted that he had hired the Base Termite Control Service in Model Town on November 10, 2012, to destroy a termite infestation at his house.

The exterminators drilled holes in the walls and the grounds and poured in Fipronil, an insecticide. They also sprayed the cupboards and other wooden furniture.

The petitioner said that he had paid them Rs11,000 for labour and the cost of the chemicals.

He was given a guarantee that there would be no termite problem at his house for 10 years, he said.

But on July 9, 2013, he noticed that some wooden racks and the documents they carried had been destroyed by termites.

He said that he complained to the respondent, but he did not accommodate him.

He asked the court to direct the respondent to return his Rs11,000, award him Rs500,000 as damages for stress and the loss of wooden racks and documents, and a further Rs400,000 as compensation for the damage done to the floor and walls at his house by the drilling.

The respondent was not available for comment.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2013.


Bewildered | 9 years ago | Reply

Only a few days ago, I lodged a complaint with Consumer Protection Council of Punjab against PTCL's fraudulent "UPGRADING" of the 256 Kbs and 512 Kbs Internet connection customers to 1 Mbs connection without taking their consent or even informing them. Both the old packages had the allowed usage limit of 300 GB per month, while in the new "upgraded" package the usage limit was reduced 30 times to just 10 GB with a penalty double the amount of the package price on exceeding this limit. As PTCL did not take the customer's consent for "upgrading" their connection, nor were they informed of the change, most customers, like me, unknowingly exceeded the 30 times reduced usage limit. Now, they have been sent a bill demanding to pay three times the amount of their usual monthly charges after including the penalty. As one can see that the customers of 256 Kbs and 512 Kbs belong to the lower end of the spectrum from the lower middle classes and the students belonging to the poor class, they could hardly be a challenge for a mighty organization, as big as PTCL, to their wrongdoings and victimization.

Now, one can genuinely believe that this is the right occasion where the Consumer Protection bodies or councils can play their role in protecting the poor and the weak against the exploitation of the powerful. But today, I was told by their Assistant Director (Legal) that Consumer Protection Council of Punjab cannot help me in this regard, as they only deal with poor shopkeepers regarding petty issues effecting only a single individual, instead of taking on a mighty organization openly defrauding their hundreds of thousands of customers. One only wonders then why to waste such huge amounts of public money, running into many millions per month, on these teeth-less and mostly useless departments and councils if they cannot protect the most deserving hapless classes.

Amir | 9 years ago | Reply

This is great. Companies providing services should be held accountable for their claims. Similar problem I faced where our new marble floors were drilled by the exterminators, promises of no termites, yet few months later termites cropped up. However our vendor did come back to fix it.

Unlike western countries where consumers have rights, Pakistan faces problem of false promises, and shoddy services.

We need more courts to take these shamans so they can provide proper services.

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