Herring reaches settlement with Ashland-based pest control company
Attorney General Mark R. Herring has reached a settlement with Venture Pest Control of Charlotte, a North-Carolina-based pest control company with offices in Ashland, to resolve allegations that the company failed to properly notify consumers of their three-day right to cancel a home solicitation sale, and failed to provide required disclosures in connection with a continuous service offer.
“For many Virginians, door-to-door sales can be a useful way to find out about a product or service in your neighborhood, but oftentimes the sales tactic can be abused by sellers who use high-pressure techniques on consumers,” said Herring. “Virginia has important laws on the books that protect consumers and give them time to reconsider on-the-spot sales. My team and I will continue to make sure that those laws are followed and hold businesses accountable when they are not.”
Some of Venture Pest Control’s services were sold via door-to-door sales. The Virginia Home Solicitation Sales Act requires in most situations that home solicitation sale customers be given a minimum three-day period to cancel their transactions without obligation, and requires businesses to properly disclose the right of cancelation in a receipt or written agreement that is presented to the consumer.
Herring alleged that Venture Pest Control failed to properly notify consumers of their three-day right to cancel, and that the company’s contracts violated new laws that went into effect in 2019 regarding agreements that either automatically renew at the end of each term or that continue until the consumer affirmatively cancels them.
Herring further alleged that Venture Pest Control violated these laws by failing to display the terms of these agreements to consumers before they became obligated, and by failing to give specifics on how consumers could cancel their agreements in accordance with the law.
Under the terms of the settlement, Venture Pest Control agrees to refrain from engaging in any future violations of the referenced laws and the Virginia Consumer Protection Act. Venture Pest Control also agrees to offer refunds totaling $17,463 to 145 consumers who entered into agreements with the company, and who were required to pay an early-termination fee to cancel their agreements. Eligible consumers will receive notifications from the Office of the Attorney General.
The settlement, which is in the form of an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance, has been filed for approval with the Hanover Circuit Court.