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  1. #1
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    Angry Mexican standoff...

    I have an annually recurring order with a local company to treat my lawn every year. $350 gives me 6 treatments per year (May to Sept). You know, weed control, fertilizer, aeration, the whole deal.

    Well, the first treatment was 2 months ago. The same day they sent out a bill with net 30. The day after the first treatment, several patches of my lawn were destroyed. Frankly, they looked like some UFO landed on my property and burned the hell out of it. So clearly, the treatment was not properly applied. Over spray? Over concentration? Who knows? I'm not in the business. All I know is that an otherwise healthy looking lawn was instantaneously destroyed.

    So I called the company to complain. They assure me that someone would come out to look at the damage. But they couldn't give me a concrete date, since this was their "high season", and they were quite busy. No problem. Cut them some slack. Come out whenever you can (within reason).

    One week went by. Two weeks went by. I called them again. They said "Oh, we're scheduled to come to see you tomorrow".

    Nada. Nobody showed up.

    Then in June, apparently, they came out to perform the next scheduled treatment. This was at 7AM, so I missed the guy. I just saw a flag stuck in my front lawn.

    Still no managerial visit about the damage.

    Last week, I got a "Past Due" notice for the annual charge.

    Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

    I hate owing people money. But this company simply is not addressing my concerns. I told them specifically not to treat the lawn any more until we resolve the issue. Yet they continue.

    So what to do?

    (I know, move to a condo, no lawn to worry about...)

    Vito
    Last edited by vito; 07-10-2005 at 04:38 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Wait until they show up and tell them you are only going to pay a prorated amount for the time that your lawn was not in acceptable condition.

  3. #3
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    Originally posted by blue27
    ...you are only going to pay a prorated amount for the time that your lawn was not in acceptable condition.
    Erm, what does that mean? The lawn was in perfect condition before their first treatment. Wouldn't the amount I owe them be ZERO?

    Vito
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  4. #4
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    You would owe them zero if you cancel the contract.
    If they repair the damage and continue the service then you would owe them the balance from the time the lawn was in good shape to the time the contract finished.

  5. #5
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    Don't pay them jack until they sort the issue out.

    I dunno about the US but here in the UK they have failed to provide a service in a competent manner and therefore trading standards would tell them to put it right to your satisfaction...

  6. #6
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    Heck, if they just fix my lawn, I won't split hairs. I'll cut a check for the damn whole year. I couldn't be bothered working out the math on partial payments.

    I'm just pissed off because they're sending me past due notices after not having done their job to begin with.

    Vito
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  7. #7
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    Try driving down and talking to them? Putting them on the spot might help get things moving.

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by DanX
    Try driving down and talking to them? Putting them on the spot might help get things moving.
    I tried that. Twice. It appears that they don't have full time office staff. Doors were locked. They're all busy on the road treating lawns...

    Vito
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  9. #9
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    Originally posted by vito
    I tried that. Twice. It appears that they don't have full time office staff. Doors were locked. They're all busy on the road treating lawns...

    Vito

    I'm surprised at you Vito.
    I would have thought you'd have sent your Cousin Gino by now.

    http://www.webhostingtalk.com/attach...postid=2786303

  10. #10
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    He doesn't handle small domestic disputes, blue. He'd just laugh at me if I asked...

    Vito
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  11. #11
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    If I were you, I would just cancel the contact. Do you have pictures of the lawn before they came and mess it up...and pictures of the lawn after they came and ruin it?

    Take care of the law yourself. My aunt took care of her lawn. She didn't have to hire someone to take care of her large lawn. Do this and save yourself some money.

  12. #12
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    Well, of course we didn't have a pic of our lawn before they treated it. Why would we?

    Vito
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  13. #13
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    Originally posted by vito
    Well, of course we didn't have a pic of our lawn before they treated it. Why would we?

    Vito
    Why shouldn't you have taken one? It is your lawn afterall...

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by indiaberry
    Why shouldn't you have taken one? It is your lawn afterall...

    Do you have a picture of all of your underwear?

    You should. It's your underwear afterall.....

  15. #15
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    Let me understand you here.

    I should have taken a picture of our lawn at the beginning of the season, because it's my lawn, afterall...

    Ummmm, OK, thanks for the advice. I guess I'll also take a pic of my interlock driveway in anticipation of the snow removal guy destroying my driveway...

    Vito
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  16. #16
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    Originally posted by blue27
    Do you have a picture of all of your underwear?

    You should. It's your underwear afterall.....
    As a matter of fact, I do.

    Do you have pic of your? Thought so...


  17. #17
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    Originally posted by vito
    Let me understand you here.

    I should have taken a picture of our lawn at the beginning of the season, because it's my lawn, afterall...

    Ummmm, OK, thanks for the advice. I guess I'll also take a pic of my interlock driveway in anticipation of the snow removal guy destroying my driveway...

    Vito
    Here:

    http://www.turfcaremaine.com/image/org1.jpg

    That's your lawn (but keep it on the low down ).

    Seriously, even though you are past due, that's not your fault. They didn't hold up to their end of the bargain, therefore, you won't pay them. Paying them only shows that you accepted their work.

    Call the immigration department. j/k.

    What I would recommend you do is send them a certified letter statng your problem, who've you spoken to, and explain to them that they've failed to remedy this issue. Furthermore, explain to them that if they do not fix this issue in the next 7 days, that you will take your business elsewhere and that your current outstanding bills will remain outstanding as they haven't completed their end of the deal. Also include that if they do not fix the issue, you will hire another company and will send THEM that bill to fix what they destroyed.

  18. #18
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    I guess what burns me, Rob83, is that although I know I'm in the right for not paying the bill, I will still have to eventually call someone in to repair the damage to the lawn (which still has not grown back in).

    Vito
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  19. #19
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    Originally posted by vito
    I guess what burns me, Rob83, is that although I know I'm in the right for not paying the bill, I will still have to eventually call someone in to repair the damage to the lawn (which still has not grown back in).

    Vito
    I assume you have taken pictures of the damage. Include those pictures with your letter. In that letter ask them if this type of lawn care service is the service the company prouds themselves of.

    I'm not sure how much damage has occured or the extent, but if you're up to spending a Saturday at home depot, you can buy some grass grower or a patch of grass and cover it up.

    But I know what you mean about having to call someone else, that's the whole reason for having the first company in the first place! So you don't have to worry about this kind of stuff.

  20. #20
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    Yes, I've taken pictures of the aftermath. Your advice is well noted. Rob. I should just send a registered letter with pics to the company and insist on repair.

    I would think that they would respond to the letter. Failing that, I suppose the last resort is to make the trip to the garden center for a bag of grass seed...

    Vito
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  21. #21
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    Don't give them anything. If you have anything like the BBB up there, report them to it. It's their fault for not following through on the contract, and destroying your lawn. If anything, I'd say you might have a small claims case against them, however it would probably be hard to prove. Tell them you won't pay a dime until you can get a manager out there to discuss your concerns and ask why they illegally charged your account after specifically told them not to. That's all I can think of. Good luck man.

  22. #22
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    Send the registered letter with pictures, and put a Cc line at the bottom of the letter with your attorney's name and address on it. Works wonders in most cases.

    If that does not grab their attention, have your attorney send them a stock letter saying remedy the situation or you will take them to small claims court. Should be enough to get your lawn repaired, and the balance you owe them wiped out.

    - John C.
    (unoffical lawn doctor - NPK)

  23. #23
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    This wasn't Clark's Pest Control, was it? Seriously, that same type of thing happened to me a few years ago. My wife and I were renting at the time and had a nice home in a nice area of town. I didn't have time to keep the lawn up and these people said they'd do all the care for it, make sure it wasn't getting to wet or dry, so no fungus or dead grass, or other problems that could happen. Basically, keep it kept, green and weed free. I'd still mow it. It wasn't much, like $25 a month and another $5 for the back lawn.

    The landlord said something about how she heard bad things about them when we mentioned it, but we had already hired their service. We figured maybe it was a waste of money, but she was a nice lady and we wanted to keep her yard in good shape. Well, eventually weeds started taking over and grass started dying. There was fungus and mold and bare patches starting. We told them and they came out to "fix it" a few times. Well, they completely ruined the back lawn. All that was left was weeds.

    I called the head guy in the local area and told him of the problem and how we paid them to keep weeds out and now the lawn was ruined. It was fine when we moved in, this wasn't good at all. The landlord had never had such a problem either and we didn't want to tell her and upset her. So, we meant to remedy the problem. The guy came out and said "those aren't weeds, that's crab grass". While you can debate if that's a weed or not, this was what took over the back lawn from a nice green, actual sod lawn. It's basically a weed if there ever was a weed. It was their own doing, too, whatever he wanted to argue.

    I just told him that they ruined it and they should pay to replace it. He said he couldn't and wouldn't. I explained how it was their liability. It was senseless what these fools were trying to rationalize when they ruined the lawn. I just told the guy I'd see him in court and he left--some redneck idiot. I ended up doing it all myself. I'd have sued, but it wasn't enough money to justify the time and effort and we didn't want to upset the landlord. So, I got out there in the pouring rain (it didn't stop for over a day for like three months at this time!) and took up the old grass with my bare hands over a couple of days, got new soil and sod and it was a major thing to deal with, when it's not even your home.

    We had pictures from before (when we first moved in) and after their screw up, as well as all the steps and progress I made replacing it, but legal recourse just wasn't worth it at the time. We never bothered to tell her what happened and she just got a nice new lawn out of it, which she said looked great when we moved out after buying our home. So, whatever you do, don't let them do further damage, because unless you feel like a good workout over a week, depending on the size of the lawn. It's nice to do your own home, if you plan it and didn't have a great lawn to start with, but to do it all for no good reason, other than the problems some company create for you, it's just no fun at all. I don't recommend anyone use a service like that, after speaking with a dozen others that had the same experience, or "sudden infestations" of their home when turning down the pest control service.
    Last edited by Tim Greer; 07-11-2005 at 06:14 AM.

  24. #24
    Wouldn't this be a Canadian standoff?

  25. #25
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    Originally posted by RossH
    Wouldn't this be a Canadian standoff?
    RossH

    Vito
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  26. #26
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    If there is fungus in the soil under the grass, when you kill the fungus, it will also kill the grass. It's the chemicals release by the fungus when it dies that kills the grass. It's best to allow that to happen rather than let the fungus grow all the way. Just re-seed the areas. The bad thing about certain chemicals is while they kill certain things such as fungus, also serve as food for certain weed types. So when you do one thing, you need to do it all. Fungu & weed killer, etc, etc. Doing only one is basically doing it half a$$ed, which unfortunately is what a lot of these places do.

  27. #27
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    Their scheduled visits are as follows:

    Early spring fertilizer
    Crabgrass control
    Spring fertilizer/weed control
    Merit grub treatment
    Summer fertilizer/weed control
    Chinch bug control
    Fall fertilizer/weed control
    Aeration
    Spot seeding


    Vito
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  28. #28
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    Originally posted by vito
    I guess what burns me, Rob83, is that although I know I'm in the right for not paying the bill, I will still have to eventually call someone in to repair the damage to the lawn (which still has not grown back in).

    Vito
    Make the people who did the damage pay for the damage. Do not take no for an answer. Also tell them you will be contacting your lawyer if they do not do something about it in one week. You gave them enough time to screw off in which you should not have to wait much longer.

  29. #29
    If you need a before picture, I'm sure someone here can photoshop one for you, aslong as you have a few good patches.

    We had the same problem with TruGreen, they screwed are lawn up, and it hasn't looked the same ever since. (this was last summer)

    We water our lawn every day, and we still have huge patches of brown grass, the only way we can get rid of it is by digging it up and growing new grass.

  30. #30
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    Not quite true. Throw some nitrogen and iron in those spots, and they will green right back up...

  31. #31
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    Originally posted by Hosemeyer
    If you need a before picture, I'm sure someone here can photoshop one for you, aslong as you have a few good patches.
    Haha, thanks, but I don't think I need to go to that extreme.

    Originally posted by Hosemeyer
    We water our lawn every day...
    I wouldn't advise that. I have always been told that you should water less often, but for prolonged sessions. This will promote deeper root growth.

    Vito
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