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Rentokil - £400 to get rid of a mouse?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Is This Quote Fair?
16 replies 90.8K views
scarterscarter Forumite
367 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Is This Quote Fair?
We recently moved into a new house (7 year old bungalow) in the country.

Yesterday I went into the utility room cupboard where we keep the big bag of dog kibble and a little field mouse ran out. I popped next door to the neighbours and they said that the previous owners never had a mouse problem (which I believe completely) and they've only ever once seen a field mouse in the garage - again, after the dog kibble! They suggested that the mice had probably popped in to keep warm because of the cold spell we've had - if we removed the food source and put down a couple of traps that'd probably be an end to it.

My husband wanted to nip out and get some traps, but a google search revealed that mice breed quickly and carry disease so it's important to knock the problem on the head quickly. I phoned Rentokil and asked them to come out.

The inspector (salesman?) found mouse droppings under the units in the utility room and also in the loft. Now we were in the loft a fortnight or three weeks ago and the droppings weren't there then. So I'm sure this is a recent thing and perhaps only one or two mice. But the inspector said you can never tell the extent of the problem.

He said he wanted to find the cheapest way to deal with the problem and after some thought decided that a 1 year contract with 8 visits was best as mice aren't always easy to get rid of. This would cost £80 a quarter. Later it transpired that this was £80 + vat...so nearly £400. We agreed - we were afraid of the mice eating through cables and doing all sorts of expensive damage.

I've been worrying about this all night feeling that we've been taken for mugs. The rentokil guy was SO nice that I believed all he said. I looked at the contract again this morning and it seems that he's signed us up for the most comprehensive option - "Option A - Pest Control Service Agreement (Commercial)". I mentioned to him that I work from home but that hardly makes us commercial customers! I telephoned the company this morning to find out if this was normal procedure when one mouse is found and they were evasive - it all depends upon what the inspector finds at the premises. Told me to phone back on Monday.

I've looked through the terms and conditions and it seems that we don't have a right to cancel.
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Replies

  • I think this might apply -

    If the contract was made at home

    If you enter into a contract away from the trader's premises, for example during a visit to your home, the 'Cancellation of Contracts made in a Consumer’s Home or Place of Work etc Regulations 2008' give you a seven-day cooling-off period during which you can cancel.

    There are some contracts these regulations don't apply to:

    things worth less than £35
    perishable goods, such as food and drink
    land, insurance and investment agreements.


    http://www.which.co.uk/advice/how-to-cancel-a-contract/your-rights/index.jsp
    I am the Cat who walks by herself and all places are alike to me.
  • keystonekeystone Forumite
    10.9K posts
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Your neighbour is correct. Remove the food source and they will go elsewhere.

    FM is correct too - you have 7 days cooling off period.

    Cheers
    The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has it's limits. - Einstein
  • scarterscarter Forumite
    367 posts
    Thanks for this!

    They've already put bait down and I don't mind paying for this. But I've been a complete idiot signing up for a 1 year commercial contract!

    Although I do wish I'd tried taking away the food prior to putting down poison. I'd really rather not kill the poor little things.
  • ormusormus Forumite
    42.7K posts
    get a cat. works everytime.

    simple init.
    Get some gorm.
  • macmamacma Forumite
    912 posts
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Posts Photogenic Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭
    We had a problem a few years ago with mice in our garage and under the stairs,they ate my hyacinth bulbs under the stairs and in the garage there was no food but they chewed several things for I assume bedding.We bought plug in deterrents and while the cat scaring type for the garden was useless the mouse ones were great and both areas have been mouse free ever since.Oh and just thought we keep the bird food in the consevatory so we plugged one in out there and NO MICE :T
  • scarterscarter Forumite
    367 posts
    Having looked in more detail at the link provide I'm not sure we do qualify for this cool off period.

    We telephoned Rentokil and asked them to call. It was a solicited visit and so I think this law doesn't apply?

    But I do think we were missled. We were very stupid, I know.

    1. The salesman/technician told us that the 'scheme' we signed up for was the cheapest way for us to solve our problem as it would probably take a few visits to get rid of the mouse. I think in fact it was the most expensive! I suspect they do have a 'one visit' charge - he should have offered us this rather than tell us the cheapest approach was a service plan when there has been no prior history of mice in the house or in the estate.

    2. He's signed us up for a commercial service agreement. Now it does clearly state this on the contract that we signed, but we didn't read it properly (stupid, I know). We trusted the guy.

    I did mention that I worked from home so is this why he's put it down as a commercial agreement?

    He didn't tell us the cost of any other options. But I'm pretty sure they'd be out of business if they charged everyone £400 to get rid of a single field mouse in their house! Now I realise that there *might* be more than one mouse but we're pretty sure that there were no mice until two or three weeks ago (the very cold spell). I can't help but feel that he took advantage of the fact that I panicked because I found a mouse in my house! Also I trusted him because they are the experts.
  • SailorSamSailorSam Forumite
    22.8K posts
    ormus wrote: »
    get a cat. works everytime.

    simple init.

    Haven't you ever watched Tom and Jerry, the mouse wins every time.
    Liverpool is one of the wonders of Britain,
    What it may grow to in time, I know not what.

    Daniel Defoe: 1725.
  • much easier to remove all food sources and then lay traps. The only food source for them will then be the trap and one by one they will find it no matter where in the house they are. We had a similar problem a while ago, a few £ for some traps and a bit of chocolate spread on the traps (they love it and it isnt easy for them to get it off the trap without triggering it)

  • scarterscarter Forumite
    367 posts
    I did a little more searching and it *seems* that Rentokil charge about £200 to eradicate mice from your home. This involves about three visits. This would have suited us better as all we want is to get rid of what's there. I don't know why the sales guy told us that a one year contract at £400 would be cheaper!

    I realise that we would have been cheaper doing it ourselves completely, but the guy did come out and do a survey and put down some boxes so it's only fair that we pay them for that.

    So I'll phone up on Monday and try and get them to switch us to that. If they do then I'll be satisfied. If rentokil can get rid of any mice there right now we can surely keep them at bay by

    - putting all food in airtight containers,
    - blocking up entry holes (with wire wool),
    - peppermint oil (lots of people swear by it)
    - a plug in device
    - bait boxes and traps to catch any that do get through our defences.

    Thanks to all of you!
  • I know this wont help your situation, but for advice for others - try contacting your local council environmental health dept if you find you are being visited by mice.
    I had mice in my loft and cupboard under the stairs (and most prob everywhere else too!), and Rentokil quoted about £180 to get rid. Someone suggest the council, but I was sceptical as I own my house. However for £45 the mice were dealt with and have never returned!
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