BBB: Get Contract, Set Clear Expectations When Hiring Lawn Service
DETROIT (WWJ) - As the rain dries up and the grass turns green, homeowners may be considering hiring a service to rejuvenate lawns or take care of routine chores like lawn-mowing and trimming in the coming months.
Hiring a lawn service can ease the burdens of caring for your yard. To avoid headaches or misunderstandings, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises consumers to make sure you and the lawn service have clear, written expectations for what the company will provide for the agreed-upon fees.
“A lush, green lawn can be a source of pride for homeowners. But if a lawn service fails to mow regularly, leaves a mess or doesn’t do what the homeowner expected, disagreements and complaints often arise,” Patrick Bennett, BBB Director of Community Relations, said in a release. “Consumers should get a clear understanding of what services are provided and how much the service will cost in advance.”
Over the last year, consumers have filed 138 complaints against lawn maintenance companies with the BBB in Southfield. The BBB received 9,145 inquiries about lawn services last year and already has received 5,069 inquiries this year.
Many of the complaints centered on service issues, such as whether the company performed expected services or did unauthorized work. Other complaints were about billing issues or sales tactics. Many complaints were resolved with assistance from the BBB.
The BBB offers the following advice to help consumers find a lawn care company:
Know what you want. Lawn care companies provide many services, so it is important to decide what services and products are appropriate for your needs and budget.
Ask around. Ask friends and family what lawn care companies they use. This is one way to determine a company’s reputation and quality of service.
Check the company out with the BBB - their business reviews provide important background on businesses, such as how long they’ve been in business, who owns them and how they resolve complaints.
Ask for a lawn inspection and free estimate. Lawn care companies that quote a price without seeing your lawn cannot be sure what you need. Quality companies will only offer an estimate after they see what they are working with.
Request a written contract. A contract should clearly state the services you will receive, as well as how you will pay for it. If you are contracting for a recurring service, it should state how often the company will mow your lawn.
For more time on how to protect yourself from scams and misunderstandings, visit detroit.bbb.org.