Tuesday, April 23, 2013

How To Choose A Lawn Service Company

Q. I'm thinking about using a new lawn service company in town. Do you have any advice?

A. Yes, I do. Here are some thoughts in no particular order.
  • Have you been quoted the lowest price in town? Maybe the owner doesn't know how to price the services. Give the company a chance. Try it out on a month-to-month basis. Don't sign a long-term contract. If you're not satisfied, discuss it with the owner. Don't expect blue-ribbon service if you're only paying for "mow, blow and go." You should get service commensurate for what you pay. If you get big promises and unsatisfactory service at any price, forget about it. That business won't be around for long.
  • Is the company advertised as "licensed and insured"? It could mean he only has a driver's license and required liability insurance on the truck. Ask questions. Request documents.
  • Does the company offer pesticide control? It should be licensed by your state. Check to make sure. Ask for documents.
  • Are the company employees trustworthy? Illegality is a big issue, but time will tell. The burden of proof shouldn't be on your shoulders.
  • Is the lawn service company owned by an established garden center or franchise? Establishment is a good thing, but is no guarantee.  Ask friends and acquaintances if they've had experiences with the service. Check reviews online, but be suspicious. Competitors sometimes post bad reviews.
  • Does the company advertise "organic" and/or "sustainable" lawn care practices? Double-check that. Those words are way overused. Does the company mow your grass with scythes? Ask for details.
  • Do you know who to call for a quick response? Make friends with the business owner. If you can't call someone any time day or night (like when your irrigation system has been cut and looks like a geyser in the middle of the night) and get a response pretty soon, you should find another lawn service company.
  • Once you've made a wise choice, be fair. Don't short-change the lawn service company.
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