We came across an article that we thought would be good to share with our fellow Greenville SC homeowners.

This article was written by Mike LaFollette

It is a good read, because spring is here and it is time to hire a lawn care professional to take care of our lawns.

After paying for lawn treatment for more than a year, Angie’s List member Carol Campbell of San Antonio became suspicious because her lawn’s appearance didn’t improve. Her technician always came when she was away, and she only knew he’d been there after noticing the treatment markers in her yard.

Deciding to set up her own “sting” operation, she pretended not to be home the next time he came. “The technician rang the doorbell, which I didn’t answer, but instead watched as he ‘treated’ my lawn,” she recounted in her 2012 review. “The treatment consisted of the technician walking to the backyard, placing a treatment stake in the yard, and then walking around to the front yard and doing the same. He then got into his truck and drove off. Nothing other than the lawn stake was applied to my lawn.”

Campbell’s review is just one of several that detail negative experiences members have had with lawn fertilization and treatment companies. Unlike with mowing, lawn treatment doesn’t produce immediate results, so it can be difficult to monitor the quality of service. In some cases, homeowners went months or even years before realizing they were paying for shoddy service.

Here are four of the top complaints we found in member reviews:

1. The phantom company

Several members described companies that were eager to take their business, but then avoided them like the plague.

Member Edward D. of Spring Branch, Texas, told us his lawn turned yellow after he hired a treatment company. When he complained, the company claimed it was a normal and temporary part of the treatment. A second company told him the lawn had been burned from over-fertilization.

Many cited frustration with trying to file a complaint or dispute a bill. In most cases, the members were unhappy with the quality of service, and when they tried to complain to the company, their calls were never returned or they were told a manager would come out and correct the problem. But as the days turned into weeks, nobody ever returned their calls, and a manager never came to assess their lawns.

“Not only was the fertilizing service poorly done, but when I called to ask them to improve, I never could reach them and they never called me back,” wrote Anthony M. of Wexford, Pa., in a September 2012 Angie’s List review. “The only time they called me back was to sell me more services.” His review noted how he was never able to reach the local office, and all of his complaints were sent to an out-of-state call center.

2. The over-the-phone estimator

In another complaint, members said their providers started treatment without first inspecting their lawns.

The members said they hired the company after getting an extremely low quote over the phone. However, when the technician arrived to treat the lawn, they were told there was an unforeseen problem, additional treatments would be needed and, of course, it would cost more money.

Whether a scam was involved or not, many members reported that they paid the extra money out of fear that their lawns would deteriorate. The ones who refused the upcharge were disappointed because they received only partial service.

Some companies charge extra for services such as crabgrass removal, so ask about these services before making a hiring decision.

Todd Sikorski, owner of highly rated Loyalty Lawn Care in Saint Charles, Mo., says a reputable lawn treatment company will always visit the property before quoting a price.

The initial visit “determines if there are any special needs for the lawn,” Sikorski says. “You have warm-and cool-season grasses and they have to be treated differently, so you have to look at the lawn to determine the type of grass. You also need to look at specific issues in the lawn like weeds or disease, and you certainly want to know all of these things before going out [to start a job].”  Read the rest of the article here =>Homeowners reveal lawn care scams and shoddy service <=

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