Pitfalls (and pit bulls) of ‘latchkey accounts’


April 28, 2016

Screen shot 2016-04-28 at 4.34.36 PMDo you have any “latchkey” accounts? That is, accounts that you service when the client is not home? I’d imagine it could be a fairly dodgy minefield unless you’ve got failsafe rules in place that inform your company’s handling of such an account. Based on what pest management professionals (PMPs) I’ve talked to have said, it would be fairly unusual — and potentially dangerous from both safety and litigious perspectives —for a PMP to enter a home when the client is not there, unless accompanied by a landlord or building manager. However, many companies might agree to perform outside treatments or other types of yard and perimeter work when no one’s home without a host on-hand to monitor the service, unlock gates, etc.

That said, consider this cautionary tale from April 25 of a PMP in North Las Vegas who, upon entering the gated back yard of a client, was mauled by two pit bulls, which led to him nearly losing his hands. The news report linked below has scant details on the exact circumstances surrounding the attack, but it was enough to get us thinking about so-called latchkey accounts and how different companies might handle them … if they handle them at all.

Have you ever agreed to service a latchkey account? Is there any portion of your clientele who are exclusively “treat while I’m out” accounts? If so, how do you handle it? In other words, what safeguards do you have in place to avoid liability or injury to you or your techs? We’d love to hear about how your company handles any latchkey accounts you might serve. Likewise, we’d be interested to hear any stories you might have that stem from servicing such accounts. Leave a comment below or email me at wnepper@northcoastmedia.net.

The original news story from the Las Vegas ABC News affiliate can be found here.



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