September 1999 Edition

Do The Termite Stakes Really Work

We have seen great claims for a do-it-yourself termite extermination kit. Do they really work? 
Hundreds of thousands of people using a popular do-it-yourself termite extermination kit may not be as protected as they think, and those people may be entitled to a refund.


Commercials for Terminate, a so called do-it-yourself termite protection, first hit the air last summer. The claims were questioned by local entomologists and the Attorney General. Federal regulators looked into it and took action. Do-it-yourselfers across the country paid anywhere from $50 to $100 for the insecticide treated stakes that are placed in the ground around a house. But, the Federal Trade Commission says those homeowners were misled into believing Terminate was an easy fix. That is the same thing local entomologists warned people about when the product first came on the market. "We are concerned that people will believe that all they have to do is put the product in the ground and there are no worries," said Carl Falco of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
Four months later, North Carolina Attorney General  Mike Easley joined eight other Attorneys General and the FTC in filing legal action against the manufacturer. The FTC found United Industries Corporation failed to tell consumers the product requires frequent inspection and that it did not work against certain termites. Now, United Industries has agreed to a settlement and vows not to make claims about the effectiveness of Terminate unless it can back them with scientific proof. The settlement also requires all Terminate ads to say what the experts have said all along. If someone has termites in their home, they should get a professional inspection.                        
United Industries also agreed to provide refunds to consumers dissatisfied with Terminate. To get one, send proof
of purchase such as a receipt or the box to:
Consumer Services Department, United Industries Corporation, 8494 Delport Drive, St. Louis, Missouri 63114. The Georgia legal action was by STATE OF GEORGIA, ex rel., BARRY W. REID, Administrator of the Fair Business Practices Act of 1975, Attorney General THURBERT E. BAKER, Office of the Attorney General, 40 Capitol Square, S.W., Atlanta, GA 30334-1300. 

Source: WRAL-TV, RALEIGH, NC,   

 Another Polybutylene Class Action Settlement 

Is there another class action settlement for the people who own homes with polybutylene piping? 
Yes! The Spencer Class Action covers homes that were plumbed inside using polybutylene plumbing systems with polybutylene pipe connected with acetal plastic insert fittings. The polybutylene pipe is usually gray plastic. The plastic acetal insert fittings are usually gray and occasionally white plastic. There are a variety of other fitting systems used with polybutylene pipe, but only the systems with gray or white plastic insert fittings are eligible for reimbursement under the terms of the Spencer Class Action. The homeowner must own or have owned a home with the above polybutylene system and must have had it replumbed in order to be considered for reimbursement under the Spencer program.


The DuPont settlement of the nationwide class action of polybutylene (PB) plumbing systems in Alabama (Spencer et al v. Shell), has received final court approval. DuPont will make its settlement payment to you in one of two ways: You can apply to the Spencer Class Facility. Under the terms of the Spencer settlement, DuPont will reimburse you for 10% of the replacement cost of the polybutylene system and 10% of any unreimbursed past damages caused by leaks, if you have replaced the system. DuPont will pay under this settlement if you replace your system within 15 years of its installation. This 15-year limitation period does not apply if you acquired your property after May 12, 1995 and you replaced your system by November 1, 1999.  
For eligibility forms to make a claim under the DuPont settlement plan or for further information write to:  
Spencer Class Facility
P.O. Box 81448
Atlanta, GA 30366
or call (800) 490-6997 


We would like to welcome Tammy Trover who will be replacing Leslie. Tammy is an experienced  professional who will truly be an asset. We wish Leslie the best in her future endeavors. 

 If you have a question, change of address, comment, home tip or would like to send Home Tips to your clients, send your letter to Home Tips, Christian Building Inspectors, Inc., 3697 Habersham Lane, Duluth, Georgia 30096. You can E-Mail your questions to us at We reserve the right to edit questions for length.

Quote Of The Month

“Did is a word of achievement;

Won’t is a word of retreat;

Might is a word of bereavement;

Can’t is a word of defeat;

Ought is a word of duty;

Try is a word each hour;

Will is a word of beauty;

Can is a word of power”

- Unknown 

 A Tip Of The Hat To:

John Santiago

Re/Max Executives NE

3350 Northlake Parkway

Atlanta, Georgia 30345