Customers bugged after Mosquito Man falls short
Posted October 9, 2012 6:00 p.m. EDT
Updated October 9, 2012 7:07 p.m. EDT
Cary, N.C. — With cooler weather moving in, the pests are finally moving out. But more than a dozen people say they didn't get what they paid for after hiring the same mosquito control company to spray their yards over the summer.
The Mosquito Man is now the center of a 5 On Your Side investigation.
In May, Courtney Brock joined a group of her Cary neighbors and hired The Mosquito Man. "He sprays the yard, he sprays the bushes, he sprays the trees, all the foliage," Brock told 5 On Your Side.
She paid $300 to owner Tariq Nizam.
Brock says Nizam promised to spray nine to 13 times over the summer. "It worked, I mean you could tell a difference after he had been here," Brock said.
The problem: she believes he only sprayed twice. "Once when he dropped off the invoice at the beginning of May, and then once when he collected the payment, and then we never saw him again."
At least seven of her neighbors also say they paid for services they didn't get.
Steve Gallopo says Nizam, "came three times, and then stopped coming." Mabel Andrew says the same, "despite our repeated requests in the last two months."
We also heard from a viewer in Raleigh. Tashon Ratley hired The Mosquito Man last summer and said he could really tell a difference.
So when he saw an offer pop up this past spring from the online discount voucher company LivingSocial, he bought it.
"I started calling him whenever the mosquitoes started coming out, and I would never get a return call," Ratley complained.
Ratley says he finally left a message threatening to call us to investigate. "'If you do not call me back this time, my next call is going to be to 5 On Your Side' is what I said... Literally, they called me back within a minute."
Ratley says Nizam told him the same thing he emailed to several of the Cary customers. That because of a "high volume of LivingSocial voucher customers," the business was booked this summer, but that he would spray next summer.
"I want my yard sprayed this year," Ratley said. "I did not buy the coupon in 2013."
Several of the Cary neighbors say The Mosquito Man also cited delays because of rain and a computer glitch. "Our neighborhood wasn't showing up on his list of clients ... but he assumed that we were still being serviced," Brock said.
We called Tariq Nizam, who operates out of his home in Wake Forest. He would not do an on-camera interview, but told us he is not overwhelmed by online sales.
Regarding the Cary neighbors, Niman says one of his secretaries made a mistake and that there was no computer glitch. He says he sprayed the yards of Brock and her neighbors nine times, fulfilling his agreement.
Nizam said he would provide us records to show that. He never did.
As for Ratley, Nizam told us that when he went to spray his yard, Ratley complained he was late, told him to leave and not come back.
Ratley was stunned, telling us that never happened.
Nizam eventually hung up on us, then called back apologizing, saying he wanted to be more professional. He said he can't offer refunds "because we offered about a 65 percent discount on the regular price" of the service.
He says he's been "doing everything he can to resolve this."
The customers who contacted 5 On Your Side disagree.
"I would settle for a refund," Ratley said.
"I don't want a credit, I would just like my money back that wasn't used," Brock said, adding, "I'll find another service next year."
Nazim had multiple customers send us emails saying they did see results from the spraying he provided. That's clearly not the issue.
Also, Ratley complained to LivingSocial about The Mosquito Man. He is waiting to hear back.