Michigan Wildlife Control "Companies" Scamming Customers
Are you looking for a reputable bat removal or wildlife control company in South East, MI? In order to find one you need to do a little digging. There are a handful of trustworthy, ethical, and legitimate wildlife control companies in South East, MI. Then there are the companies on Google with nearly 60 listings across Google Maps. They use several different "business names" which are keyword stuffed and sound like a local company. Often times they use whichever city the fake company is listed in the "business name" title. You will see names such as "Bat Removal Lansing", "Bat Removal Rochester", "Bloomfield Hills Wildlife Removal", etc. The list goes on and on. On all of these fake Google Maps listings, there are different phone numbers for every listing. These are all directed to the same outfit. When you call the phone number you typically get the same person at the other end of the line answering their phone with a generic company name such as "Wildlife Removal".
Michigan Wildlife Control Company Reviews
These companies fill their reviews on Google Maps with fake ones. Whenever you click on the person leaving the review, it's typically someone with a generic photo pulled from the internet. If you dig a little deeper you will see that the person leaving the reviews has left other reviews for other service companies. The thing about it is all of the reviews are in several different states. Do all these people have several homes in different states across the United States or do they just move a lot?
These companies are taking it even further. They are leaving fake negative reviews on their competitors' Google Maps listings. We have been hit with a handful of fake reviews and other ethical, well-established companies are getting hit with the same fraudulent reviews.
It's a Financial Trap
This is not only spam, it's a scam and a trap. What happens when you are awakened by a bat in the house? The first thing you might do is google a "bat in the house" or look for a bat removal company near you. Because you are so scared you start calling the first "company" that comes up. You see "Bat Removal Clarkston, MI" as a company. This sounds good to you. You think they are a local company in the area so it only makes sense to call that company. Well, what happens when they show up and it's not the company you thought you called? You get some generic invoice or estimate with a different number than the one you called. There isn't a company name, website, email, or logo. Now you get an invoice and an estimate from a "company" you know nothing about.
After you have done all your homework, what happens when a company with a different name on the truck shows up? Chances are you have been scammed. What happens next is the company gives you a high dollar estimate with nothing to back it up. They claim to give you a "warranty", but in the end, the language is so generic they aren't legally binding to their guarantee. They are very careful in how they word their estimates. They offer you a service for "ridge guard installation", but really that's just part of it. They are providing a bat removal or wildlife control service, but they don't tell you this in the contract. So when you call, because you have a bat back in the house they tell you, "That's not what we were hired to do. We were just hired to do repairs on your house." They are very tricky.
How Can You Tell if the Wildlife Control Company is Legit or Not?
- The first thing to look for is a legitimate website. Something with the company name in it. Ours is MichiganWildlifeSolutions.com and MichiganBatControl.com. They clearly state our company name in the website address. Most of these fake listings use the website builder provided by Google My Business. These are just one-page listings with .business.site at the end of the web address.
- Research the phone number. Is this the phone number they list on their website if there is a legitimate website?
- Does the company have a real logo? Or does it look like someone made it on Microsoft Word?
- Are there any photos of the company's trucks, employees, or place of business?
- When you make the phone call, how do they answer? Do they answer by using a generic phrase such as "wildlife removal"? You need to ask questions such as, who is coming to my home? What is your business name? Most of the time they will give a name different than the one they have listed.
- Ask to see a copy of their liability insurance and worker comp insurance. You can look up Workers comp insurance here.
- Is the company incorporated in the state of Michigan? Look up incorporation documents. Notice if the name is used multiple times in a small geographical area. Does this make sense? What was the date of incorporation, and does it match the experience they claim? When searching look by "keyword." Business Lookup.
Find Out What Sets us Apart
Have You Been Scammed or Taken?
Did another wildlife control company rip you off? This seems to be a common theme in the pest control and wildlife removal industry.
You hire a company to get the wildlife out of your home. Companies will often push a product on you, such as a product called ridge-guard. They tell you that this deal comes with a 5-year warranty. Later, you discover that you still have wildlife in your home and you can't get in touch with anyone. Here are the problems you run into.
Only the Wildlife Repairs on the Home Are Covered
Remember the ridge-guard product that was pushed on you? Well, they forgot to mention that is the only thing covered. They neglected to seal up the whole house, therefore allowing multiple entry points into the home for bats, birds, mice, squirrels, and even raccoons. Now you are left with an open runway for critters into the home. You thought you had a warranty, but you are duped. Now their response is to charge you for all the openings they left open. Is that fair? We think not. These entry points should have been fixed in the first place.
Wait, what? The Company I trusted, No Longer Exists
Here's a tough one to swallow. Remember all of those fake companies online you put your trust in? Well if you hired them, now you are told that their company was bought out by another company and the new company won't honor the warranty. Here are some valuable questions to ask yourself when faced with this situation.
- How do you know that the company actually was bought out
- Does the same family/person in the other company?
- Is this done every few years intentionally to make you go away
- What is the history?
- Was the sale an asset sale or a stock swap? This can determine if warranties are transferred.
- Is the "old" company's listing still up and taking recent customer reviews?
- Do you have to simply take their word for it?
For some of these questions, you can find answers yourself, other times an attorney will get the answers. We looked up a local company and there are 8 different corporations using similar trademarks in the company name. If you look at assumed names under the business filing, a bunch of other names come up. If you run the search by individual names (of the resident agent), you discover even more company names you didn't know! Ask yourself:
- What company did I originally call?
- What company did the work for?
- What company did I pay for?
- And what company was allegedly bought out?
Just like any service company you hire, it's always the best idea to do your research. Not all companies are equal. We have many great local wildlife control companies and bat removal specialists in the area. We have created a page to help customers better understand how to hire a wildlife control professional. This isn't just a problem here locally it's a major problem nationwide. Not only with wildlife control or pest companies. Spamming the internet is also a major problem for Attorneys, locksmiths, plumbers, etc. Google is cracking down, but they could do a better job. By getting the word out it will help make the service industry a much better place. When dealing with a "company" that has over 60 listings using different company names it hurts all other small businesses. Ethical businesses that play fair are getting hurt. When you go from competing with a dozen or so real companies, now you are competing with 60 plus of the same companies with different names.
Joe, the founder of both Michigan Wildlife Solutions, & Michigan Bat Control is been in the wildlife control business for over 23 years. We are straightforward and honest with all of our clients. If something isn't covered under our warranty we are upfront about it. We have had the same email and phone numbers since the beginning. Our emails always come from info@MichiganWildlifeSolutions.com. So you know the company you are working with. Our estimates and invoices are sent with our company name and logo from that email address.
When we started in the wildlife control industry we called ourselves Michigan Bat Control, Inc. We now operate under the name Michigan Wildlife Solutions, LLC. We are the same company but do have different listings because many of our old clients still know us by our old DBA. You will know when you call us who you are dealing with. Here is a video on how our company evolved.