Milwaukee, Wis., May 11, 2011 –
As the grass turns green this spring, 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,” said Randall Hoth, Wisconsin BBB president & CEO. “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. 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 67 complaints against lawn maintenance companies with the Wisconsin BBB. The BBB received almost 19,000 inquiries about lawn services in the past 12 months, and almost 3,200 in the past month.
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 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 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.