There’s never a bad time to connect with a reliable, professional lawn company, but of course Spring is prime time – and like any other prime time, scams abound in the industry. Here’s our list of tips for how to find a great lawn and landscape service without becoming a ripoff victim.
- Avoid door-to-door “deals” if at all possible.
Many lawncare and contracting scams begin with an unsolicited door-to-door approach, frequently predicated on urgency – You have a dangerously damaged tree, your gutters are hazardously clogged, anything involving a liability issue – and other high-pressure sales tactics. Be cautious of door-to-door solicitors who state that they have extra materials or left over supplies from another job and can do the work, but must start the work immediately. Be wary of a person/company who has no printed materials – no written contracts, no business cards, no bid forms, etc.
>>Don’t be afraid to be rude.
- Check the company out with BBB at www.bbb.org.
BBB 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 questions.
If you are inclined to do business with a door-to-door solicitor, be sure to ask these four questions.
1. How long have you been in business?
If a business has been around for, say, 10 years, chances are it’s reliable. But a lawn care provider that says been around for just a month should raise suspicions, as the provider might be engaging in a fly-by-night scam.
2. Is your company a member of a professional lawn care group?
The National Association of Landscape Professionals recommends considering a lawn care company that’s licensed, accredited or certified by a national, state or local association. The association points out that some state laws require lawn care providers to be licensed, so inquire about that as well.
3. Are you insured?
At a minimum, a lawn care provider you do business with should carry general liability insurance in case something goes wrong on your property, and should be able to provide proof without hesitation.
- 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 and when you will be billed. This gives you some legal coverage – just in case.
more tips? see all our tips here.