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Inspector deliberately planting bed bugs during inspections?

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  1. bigbadboi69

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Nov 6 2010 6:04:29
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    I've always wondered if this was a possibility.. say you schedule a 'free' inspection, and the inspector brings along a few buggies to plant so that your free inspection suddenly isn't very 'free' at all. Has anyone seen any cases like this?

  2. BBcoukHome

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Nov 6 2010 7:00:49
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    Hi,

    I am actually against free inspections for very similar reasons.

    If its free and you find nothing then the PCO has in fact actually lost money (cost of labour, time, fuel etc). I don't think it's common but I have seen quite a few cases where the house has been sprayed 2 or 3 times when it does not in fact have bedbugs, in fact it never did.

    I would advocate PCO's developing ways to educate and teach people to avoid bedbugs which can be utilised to add value to their assessment procedures and justify a reasonable charge for their time and expenses.

    I never ask my technicians to do a free job because I personally feel it devalues what they do and how well trained they are.

    As for potentially planting signs it is almost technically impossible to rapidly and discretely plant faecal trace signs so if you focus on them you really cant go far wrong.

    I hope that helps.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

  3. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Nov 6 2010 8:16:12
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    David...

    Maybe PCOs could use something like this:

    When i charge a consultation fee i always deduct that fee from the cost of any work (work related to THOSE issues discussed during that consultation) that i may be retained to perform if i'm retained during the following 60 days or so (i'm flexible on the time period but can't be like 4 months or more). That way, no one loses. I get paid for my time in consultation, the prospective client also wins by not having to pay a consultation and then full price on the work -- if there is any work to be done.

  4. Winston O. Buggy

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Nov 6 2010 10:55:29
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    I likewise agree that bed bug inspections should not be free. We will gladly ID a bug you have captured which can take some time given all the oddities folks submit not to mention non insects and even pick the sample up when in the area. We will supply information via email and web site and phone consultation too. However when you have to send someone out at a pre arranged time to a set location to encounter ??? a modest charge should be the norm not to mention travel, parking and parking tickets. I know of several firms that will charge $100 - 200 and put a percent of that charge toward subsequent bed bug treatment if warranted. As far as planting bugs I have not heard of this and given the up your ass presence of many clients, highly improbable, not too mention that it would probably not be as easy as one might think.

  5. Sleepless in NYC

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Nov 6 2010 11:29:13
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    With confirmed infestations on the rise, I would imagine this would be totally unnecessary. I'm sure they're plenty busy with actual infestations. Of Course there's no telling what an unethical, self titled, PCO would do, but you shouldn't be dealing with a company like that even if you did have an infestation anyway.

  6. bug-tired

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Nov 6 2010 11:35:33
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    I personally like to be right up the ass of my PCO so I can learn what to look for and what to do. I did ask if he minded if I watched and he said "no" but who knows what he was really thinking.

  7. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Nov 6 2010 12:06:43
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    Hi DeedleBeetle,

    Yeah I forgot to mention that, we actually have always done a refund against treatment costs if treated in a reasonable time frame.

    We also recommend that people watch what we do so that they know how to inspect themselves both at home and when traveling. I suppose its just part of the how we can justify a small fee for assessments.

    David

    I am happy to answer questions in public but will not reply to message sent directly or via my company / social media. I am here to help everyone and not just one case at a time.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bed bug infestations. I also have a professional relationship with PackTite in that they distribute my product under their own branding. I do not however receive any financial remuneration for any comments I make about pro
  8. The Reluctant Entomologist

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Nov 6 2010 12:32:39
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    Yeah, I think it'd be pretty hard to pull off in the presence of a concerned client.

    Let me throw out one more point:

    I really don't think just having the cost of the inspection count toward the treatment is the answer; that still means you stand to lose out on a hugely profitable opportunity if there's no positive "finding." And yes, you do have to charge for your time, work, and travel, so inspecting for free is definitely not the answer, especially when you won't even cover your costs unless you "find" something.

    Given all the critiques out there re: canine inspection (and for a multitude of other reasons), I truly wish there were more (or any?) really GOOD companies out there that don't just hyper-specialize in inspections but just plain JUST do inspections (i.e., don't do treatments).

    Reason:

    Separation of powers. This way, inspector gets paid the same regardless of positive or negative findings. (Of course, is there some kind of bb mafia out there that is all -- in bed; ha! -- with one another? How could be prevent THAT from happening? And lest one thinks I'm just being paranoid, just look at the inflated housing market from a few years back and who all was in on that one. When banks wanted to make money on a mortgage refis, it was as simple as sending their own appraisers out, who were fine claiming that even the biggest piece of crap house in a bad neighborhood was worth $800k)

    Now, I do understand that everyone says "visual confirmation is a must," so maybe people think the answer is as simple as that & that we don't, therefore, need a separation of powers. But I'd say if visual confirmation requires something like a jackhammer or a crow bar, then, um, no.

    I know I'll get a lot of flak for saying this, but I remember that one PCO made the point that once you have the X-ray to diagnose a broken bone, you don't then proceed to rip a person's body open to confirm that it's broken, and I think in some cases there's a lot of logic to that.

    Granted, I realize the metaphor only extends so far. (At least in most cases the patient can see the X-ray for herself, and I'll admit that I personally high-tailed it outta there when I had a new dentist who tried to tell me, "you can't really see the cavities in this X-ray," thinking, "yeah, that's the funny thing about stuff that DOESN'T EXIST! You usually can't see it." Plus, in many cases, at least your insurance PAYS for surgery).

    To be clear, I do not at all mean this as an indictment of any k9 handlers or PCOs. I'm just saying I wish this had been better thought out as a business model because it would just plain make much more sense.

    Wow, I'm all the way back into procrastination mode. I've got to stay away from this site and get back to work!

  9. so unsettling

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Nov 6 2010 14:03:33
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    I don't understand why anyone expects them to be free in the first place. The deduction idea makes sense, but that would be in cases where the client learned he/she needed the treatments.

    We still pay for a clean bill of health when our doctor finds there is nothing wrong with us. Don't see why it would be any different with this.

  10. Richard56

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Nov 6 2010 19:28:16
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    There is always the possibility of dishonest providers, whether it be PCO's, mechanics or MDs. Frankly, I don't see why whether one charges for an inspection relates to the honesty or dishonesty. In fact, if the PCO is really dishonest, why not charge both for the bogus inspection and then for the extermination?

    But as long as charging for the inspection has somehow been brought up. The way I see it the inspection is equal or perhaps even more important than the actual extermination. I would therefore gladly pay for an inspection I had confidence in as opposed to a sub par inspection for free. As for deducting that fee, I think a lot depends on how the inspector values his or her time. If for example an inspection takes 3 hours, not sure I'd expect the entire cost to be deducted from a potential extermination fee, although I could understand why some might in a competitive marketplace. I really see it as two separate things and hopefully there will be no need for a deduction, meaning no bed bugs! I also think the more people are educated in this field, the more they will be willing to spend money for a good and thorough inspection.

    Richard

  11. bedbugman

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Nov 9 2010 7:24:41
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    I had a case where a surveyor had claimed to have found a live bug he could not show it to the customer who was stood behind him as it was too small....... It was in a hotel where bb were in one room, the company were attempting to charge for the adjoining rooms as well I inspected and found the one room had a very light infestation. So yes some people will try it on.

  12. Grateful for Help

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Jan 10 2011 17:50:14
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    Reluctant Entomologist wrote
    'Given all the critiques out there re: canine inspection (and for a multitude of other reasons), I truly wish there were more (or any?) really GOOD companies out there that don't just hyper-specialize in inspections but just plain JUST do inspections (i.e., don't do treatments).'

    This is just exactly what I'm trying to find. JUST an inspector/consultant. One who would be willing to tell me how big my problem is, and interpret for me what my different findings could mean. This could be with or without a dog. And, it should be paid, I think, because people should be paid for their expertise, or why will they offer it to you reliably?

    I don't think we are going to get this 'product' in the marketplace until we ask for it repeatedly. And if this epidemic is as big and as bad and as rapidly spreading as I gather it is, then we are going to need inspector/consultants who aren't tied to PCOs and who are reliable. (for a variety of reasons...peace of mind, information before shop for and interview PCOs, those who cannot afford PCOs, people who have had treatments and aren't sure whether they worked, etc.) Other options include pressuring a family member to become a trained bedbug specialist
    Anyhow, the search continues.
    -Grateful for Help

  13. Grateful for Help

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Jan 10 2011 18:02:42
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    Sorry if this shouldn't have been posted on this thread...I guess it doesn't really respond to the title, just one of the comments on inspection in general.

  14. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jan 11 2011 9:47:47
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    Grateful,

    I think your post was relevant to this thread.

    There are lots of canine teams that only do inspection. (I believe in some places bed bug canine handlers must be licensed to do pest control, and perhaps in those places, the firms are more likely to do both. Not sure.)

    However, I have not heard of humans that ONLY inspect. One reason is that a good human inspector who finds bed bugs where they're hiding in unusual places stands to be a better person to treat them and determine when they're gone.

    Based on what others are saying above, you might try to find a human who inspects carefully and charges for it. The suggestion above is that this may lessen the hard sell and any potential for dishonesty.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  15. Grateful for Help

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jan 11 2011 10:52:17
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    Yes, thanks, nobugs. I was in a bit of a frustrated mood. Feeling better, now, with some leads.
    Appreciate it!
    -grateful

  16. DustinBBKiller

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Jan 12 2011 15:28:02
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    I work for a PCO here in the Twin Cities area (intentionally leaving company name out. not here to sell anything ) and we always charge for BB inspections. 99$. I am usually at a house for 2 hours at the most inspecting, so that 99 bucks gets eaten up quick. If it is found that there are BB's present then that 99 is just taken out of our treatment charges. If nothing is found, then it's 99 and were on our way.

    I have heard so many horror stories from my customers about their previous experiences with "free" inspections. Basically I would avoid anything that says "free". Nothing is "free". Those "free" costs are almost always rolled into the final amount for treatments. here in the metro most treatment costs I have found have been anywhere from 1.5k+, for all styles.(heat, chem, etc)

    As far as PCO's planting bugs in an otherwise uninfested home is mildly laughable. I encourage all of my clients to follow me like a little puppy. Most of the time I don't even have to ask, they just do. So I find it awfully tough to be so sneaky. Now with that being said, I wouldn't put it past some slimy company to try but as others stated before, it's gonna be real hard.

  17. Grateful for Help

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Jan 12 2011 16:11:27
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    DustinBBKiller, I agree, andI think there are so many other things to have conspiracy theories over, I wouldn't waste time on this one.
    -Grateful


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