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BBB advice for taking care when selecting lawn care
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This year’s early spring here in Kansas is causing many area residents to think about lawn care issues. For those who hire the work out instead of doing it themselves, the challenge may be finding the right lawn care company – one that will keep your yard green without taking too much of the green out of your wallet.
Your Better Business Bureau urges that you be methodical about selecting a lawn service. After all, throughout the growing season the amount of money you pay for lawn care can add up to a sizeable sum. It makes good business sense to take the time required to make a smart choice. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing your lawn service contractor.
Those sprouting business cards
During early spring it can seem as if lawn care company business cards and brochures sprout more quickly than any plants in your yard. The cards are left in mailboxes, taped to storm doors and wedged beneath screens. What you should keep in mind is this: a nicely designed card or brochure is no indicator of a company’s level of professionalism. It is not a guarantee that you will be happy with the work done on your yard.
A better predictor of your satisfaction is your friends’ and neighbors’ experiences with a company. Ask around. Find out what lawn services are used in your neighborhood and how happy they have made their clients. If you see them at work on your neighbors’ yards, watch carefully and note what sort of job they do.
Know your lawn’s needs
There will always be unanticipated treatments needed, based on variables like weather conditions and yard wear. But you may be able to get a more accurate estimate of your expenses if you can tell a prospective contractor what your expectations for your lawn are, for example:
• Do you want landscaping changes made?
• New plantings?
• Drainage issues to be addressed?
• Are you looking for advice and ideas on ways to enhance your yard?
• Do you simply want to maintain the current condition and appearance?
Jotting down a few reminders for yourself ahead of time can make the conversation with the lawn service representative more efficient. But beware of anyone who gives you an estimate for yard work without actually seeing your yard.
Environmental issues
If you are among the growing number of people with environmental concerns, you should ask whether the company has a philosophy about using organic, natural or manufactured chemicals. Potential effects on children and pets are worth finding out about.
Preventative applications of chemicals before pest problems arise are an issue for some consumers. You may want to ask if the company routinely does this, or if they wait until the need is obvious. (Be aware of the downside: waiting too long can reduce the effectiveness of some applications.) Unnecessary treatments can be both environmentally and economically costly.
Get specifics
Here’s a short list of other vital areas of concern:
• Does the company require a contract of a certain length?
• How frequently do they come?
• What happens when it rains and they cannot come?
• Does the contract automatically renew from season to season?
• What if the service is not to your liking? What if your lawn doesn’t look as good as promised?
• What are your cancellation rights?
Check out any lawn service company at Scrutinize their BBB Business Review and check for unresolved complaints against them.
For other questions or concerns about choosing a lawn service company, contact your BBB by calling (800) 856-2417, or visit our website at