Attorney General Hardy Myers today announced that a Lincoln County pest control operator is permanently out-of-business in Oregon after taking money from mostly elderly customers then failing to deliver the services. Named in an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance filed today in Lincoln County Circuit Court is Edward Harold Barry of Newport, who did business as Raging Bull Exterminators.
"Ten victims, most of them elderly, gave Barry hundreds of dollars for pest control assistance and received little or nothing in return," Myers said. "Not only did he not provide the service but he hasn&'t been licensed since December 1999."
Department of Justice investigators found Barry used his former association with Killers of Newport, another pest control company, to confuse potential customers. Many consumers thought they were renewing their contracts with Killers when they were signing new contracts with Barry's company.
Consumers paid Barry an annual fee of $200 and $400 for monthly and quarterly pest inspections but in most cases, Barry arrived for a short time the first day and never returned. Barry not only was not licensed as either a pesticide operator or applicator with the Oregon Department of Agriculture but he also worked as a pressure washer and painter without being licensed by the State Construction Contractors Board (CCB).
Under the agreement, Barry will permanently cease all pesticide operator and pesticide applicator business in Oregon, comply with all Oregon laws requiring licensure for any business or vocation and will not conduct any type of business activities with anyone 65 years or older unless he is an employee of an established employer.
Barry is currently on probation on a conviction of two charges of theft concerning altering checks received in payment for home repair work he supposedly had done. As part of his probation, Barry again is prohibited from doing business with older consumers.
Attorney General Myers reminds consumers to do the following when shopping for a pest control service:
Ask your friends and neighbors for referrals.
Call the Oregon Department of Agriculture to check for licensing as an applicator or operator at (503) 986-4635.
Call the Attorney General's Consumer Hotline and check for complaints. Also call the Better Business Bureau.
Look for membership in state and national pest control associations.
Ask for written estimates from at least three companies.
Before you sign a contract, read all the details and ask questions if you don't understand any part of it.
Make sure the company has liability insurance to cover any damages to your home during treatment.
Don't be rushed into signing a contract. Pests can wait a few days while you make a decision.
Be aware of unscrupulous businesses going door-to-door or selling their services over the phone with promises of special discounts. Make all the same checks on these companies.
Oregonians wanting more information on pest control may call the Attorney General's consumer hotline at (503) 378-4320 (Salem area only), (503) 229-5576 (Portland area only) and toll-free at 1-877-877-9392. Justice is online at www.doj.state.or.us
Consumers may check on licensing of pest control operators and applicators by calling the Oregon Department of Agriculture at (503) 986-4635 or online at http://oda.state.or.us/dbs/search.lasso#pesticide
Jan Margosian, (503) 947-4333 (media line only) firstname.lastname@example.org