When choosing a company to take care of your lawn, you should be aware that the lawn care industry is not free-and-clear of scammers. Just like all other industries you will find many lawn care scams along the way. Educate yourself and be prepared to take these scammers head on. After all, you don’t want to deal with billing or warranty issues or even worse - damage to your lawn. Take a look at a few of our favorites.
The $29.99 Special
Wow – what a deal! Have you seen this nationally-known offer of a $29.99 lawn application? Of course, you have – it’s everywhere. The problem is that it is usually only good for a lawn that is under 5,000 square feet. Also, beware because only the first application has this great discount. Once your lawn is actually inspected by these companies, you will be charged for several more extra services, and all of a sudden that $29.99 special doesn’t even exist anymore.
Liquid vs. Granular
If any lawn care company tries to make you think that liquid is better than granular or granular is better than liquid – they are only trying to sell the type of product they use. Both liquid and granular fertilizers are equal – don’t let them fool you. The difference will be in the technician who will be applying the fertilizer and their training. Be sure to check out their certifications and licenses before you sign with such a company.
You’ve definitely heard from this type of company in the past. They send their sales reps door to door offering their services. You don’t see a car out front when their rep is standing on your doorstep because they come in groups and are just dropped off in your neighborhood to sell. The rep says he just sold to your neighbor up the street and can give you a discount since you are in the same area. That’s the first hint to beware. These companies usually are not local and often even have an out-of-state office. They try to collect a portion of their payment before the work has even begun. Don’t be surprised if they only work while you aren’t home, putting up their sign, so you think they completed the work while you were away. Often after the “work” is complete, they never appear again and finding them for any type of follow-up will be impossible after the money has exchanged hands.
So, how do you steer clear of these scammers?
The most important thing to do is to educate yourself. Know what you want and understand the services and guarantees you are presented before you sign the dotted line. For example, are you seeking fertilizing and aeration or simply mowing and weeding? Are you looking for long term care or are you seeking a project based service? Here are four definite ways to avoid such a scam:
- Research the company first – make sure they meet all local licensing requirements including liability insurance.
- Insist on a physical inspection before you are quoted on any type of lawn care service.
- Make sure your contract is detailed down to all services performed for each job.
- Get a second opinion. You aren’t always looking for the cheapest estimate when you shop around, but you do want to make sure the estimate of services that need to be done is close to the other options.
Have questions about an estimate you have received? Call us today - we are happy to answer any questions you may have.