As the hot and dry spell continues, homeowners may consider hiring a company to rejuvenate their lawn and take care of routine chores like mowing, landscaping and trimming.
While hiring a lawn service or landscaper can ease the burdens of caring for a yard, Connecticut Better Business Bureau advises consumers to obtain clear, written expectations for what services the company will provide for the agreed-upon fees.
Over the last year, consumers filed more than 200 complaints against lawn maintenance and landscaping companies. Many of the complaints allege dissatisfaction with services provided and companies not performing the expected services. Other complaints alleged billing issues.
BBB offers the following advice to help you find a lawn care company you can trust:
- Know what you want from a lawn service - Lawn care companies provide many services, so it is important to decide what services and products are appropriate for your needs and budget.
- Find a trustworthy company - Utilize BBB’s Accredited Business Directory to find a company you can trust. Check out any company’s BBB Business Review at http://ct.bbb.org/Find-Business-Reviews to see important background on the business, such as how long they’ve been in business, ownership information and how they resolve complaints.
- Check references - Ask the company for references and photos of previous jobs. Call all references and ask what their experience was like working with the company and if they were satisfied with the services provided. Make sure the references have a similar scope of work.
- 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. A company should be willing to visit your home to provide you with the most accurate estimate.
- Get a written agreement - A contract should clearly state the services you will receive, guarantees and refund policies, as well as how and when payment will be handled. If you are contracting for a recurring service, the contract should also include how often the company will come out to service your lawn, how to cancel the services and a schedule for when payments are due.
To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit bbb.org.