Spring Garden Prep with the Better Business Bureau

It’s that time of year to start thinking about lawn care. The Better Business Bureau joined us live to discuss tips and tricks when it comes to hiring help for your lawn.

BBB Tip: Avoid Spring Cleaning Headaches with Reputable Lawn Care Companies

As warmer weather arrives, Michigan residents ponder how to deal with the aftermath of winter in the yard. Hiring a helping hand might seem like a great idea to keep your garden fresh this spring or to help you create the outdoor oasis of your dreams. But before you start your spring chores, make sure you’re dealing with the right people.

“Companies in these types of industries have such a bad reputation thanks to the many scam artists out there looking to make a quick buck and rip people off,” says Lisa Frohnapfel, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau Serving Western. Michigan. “That’s why it’s so important to use the BBB as a resource for finding the right companies. You can breathe easier knowing that you are working with honest and trustworthy people.

Yard workTips for finding the right help:

  • Research companies before hiring. Make a list of the projects you need and decide which ones you need professional help with. Whether it’s lawn maintenance or a complete makeover, check the company’s rating on BBB.org. You can use the “Get a Quote” feature to find qualified companies near you.
  • Ask for a lawn inspection. Services that quote a price without seeing your lawn can’t be sure what your lawn might need. Companies will sometimes charge you to discuss specific landscaping ideas to protect against clients who want to get their ideas and implement them themselves. If you contract with the company, they will often reimburse you for the initial costs.
  • Have a clear scope of work before asking for quotes.This includes defining the area to work on and what you want to do. When making offers, don’t compare apples to oranges. Make sure each company has included the same services. Also, make sure each company breaks down the cost in the same way (by visit, month, year, etc.).
  • Get pricing details and be clear about what services are included.Are you paying for a specific project or ongoing maintenance? Do you pay by the mowing or by the month? What if it’s raining on the day someone is supposed to mow your lawn? Does mowing include edging? Who packs and disposes of clippings and other waste?
  • Apply for pesticide licenses and insurance.If the company applies pesticides, it needs a license from Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Does the company offer liability and workers’ compensation insurance to protect you in the event of an accident on the job? Obtain proof of insurance from the company’s insurance agent.
  • Put everything in writing and read all agreements and contracts carefully.Make sure the contract contains all the topics covered and the promises made. Document the duration and expected results of the service. Some consumers are unaware that contracts can be indefinite, that is, they are renewed until the customer specifically terminates them.

YardUse the “Get a quote” function on bbb.org to compare multiple pricing options with accredited companies near you.

File a complaint with a bad company at bbb.org.

Report scams to bbb.org/scamtracker

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