Landscaper complaints bloom in spring

March 29, 2010 8:22:00 AM PDT
Spring is here and so are increased complaints about landscapers - that from the Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina. It says it gets a big bump in the number of inquiries and complaints about landscapers and lawn care companies each spring.

Last year, it got over 26,000 inquiries. More than half of those came in between March and June.

To help, the BBB announced ten questions that it says should help consumers:

  1. What services am I looking for, and what can the business provide? Weekly mowing, or a summer long program that includes fertilization, weeding and core aeration? Knowing what you want from a lawn care professional will help ensure you compare apples to apples.
  2. Does the lawn care company’s concept of a well-maintained landscape meet your expectations?
  3. Ask neighbors, friends and family, “Would you refer your landscaper or lawn care professional?”
  4. Does the company apply pesticides? If so, are they licensed with the N.C. Department of Agriculture Structural Pest Control and Pesticide Section to apply the chemicals? You can find a company’s license information by visiting the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services online.
  5. Ask the lawn care service representative to visit your home and provide you with an evaluation of your lawn, as well as a written estimate of recommended services. Does the company individualize its services? Or is it one lawn service fits all?
  6. Do you have a choice in type and amount of products used on your lawn?
  7. How is the price determined? Most companies base their prices on a property’s total square footage of the turf area.
  8. What happens if you have an issue that arises between scheduled visits? Some providers may offer an annual contract, seasonal contract or be available on an on-call basis. Be sure to ask.
  9. Does your contract with the company clearly state the services you will receive as well as how you will pay for it? Request a written contract from the company you hire. Have a trusted friend or relative read over the contract if you are unsure about any part.
  10. Does the company have an acceptable rating on their BBB Reliability Report? Make sure you review the company’s history with BBB to determine if you are interested in doing business with them.

To find a BBB Reliability Report on a landscaper or lawn care company, visit bbb.org.

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