3 lawn care scams to watch out for in 2024

3 lawn care scams to watch out for in 2024

3 lawn care scams to watch out for in 2024

3 Common Lawn Care Scams to Watch Out for in 2024Learn to spot common lawn care scams

Scams remain ubiquitous. The world of lawn care is no exception. In this guide, we'll share how homeowners can protect their lawns and wallets from three of the most common and deceptive lawn care scams. We'll cover:

  • Treatment-based scams

  • Door-to-door and high-pressure selling tactics

  • Overcharging scams

These schemes crop up every spring. Scammers prey on homeowners wanting to take advantage of the warmer weather. That landscaping project they've saved up for, a con artist can't wait to get started. 

 Treatment-based scams 

Treatment-based scams often tout a new, quicker way to improve lawn health. These scams are too good to be true, but the savings and the convenience make homeowners think twice about giving it a try.

Lawn care is an ongoing process. Quick fixes remain a rarity. Why? Every yard is different. There's no one-solution-fits-all. Great lawn care service providers formulate plans specifically for the goals you'd like to accomplish. Be wary of individuals claiming their treatment will quickly cure your lawn's problem.Be cautious of treatment-based scamsExpert lawn care professionals take the time to get all the facts and clearly communicate the steps and processes they'll use to complete the job.

On the other end, scammers might urge homeowners to apply more and more pesticides and fertilizers to their lawns each season, even when they aren't necessary. They might suggest that such treatments are required or even essential for a healthy lawn but provide little to no benefit.

Others may receive your payment and then do sub-par work. 

This type of scam becomes quite costly as homeowners will most likely need to pay more money later down the road for a reputable company to fix the damage the scammers cause.

Tips to avoid the scam

One way homeowners protect themselves from scams is by using GreenPal, which vets lawn care companies before allowing them to use the platform. This vetting process includes: 

  • Asking the contractor to submit photos of their equipment and experience verification

  • Checking for valid bank account information

  • Using pictures to verify the quality of past work

  • Conducting professional reference checks

As an on-demand platform for lawn care services, GreenPal doesn't provide any lawn care services itself. Instead, GreenPal has laid a foundation of quality standards all business owners must adhere to while listed on the application or face fines or expulsion from the application. 

On top of that, GreenPal users only pay after they have confirmed the service is completed. GreenPal does not charge cards upfront. GreenPal's guarantee backs all lawn care services. If something isn't right, users can dispute their service, putting the onus back on the service provider to solve the issue. 

 Door-to-door and high-pressure selling tactics 

Many lawn care businesses utilize door hangers for marketing. It's not uncommon. Flyer campaigns work. Then, what's the concern? Lawn care scams thrive by promoting low-priced work. Any company worth the money charges what they're worth.Protect againts low-cost lawn care scams A promotion is one thing, but receiving an offer for ongoing services way below market price is cause for concern. No business can survive at such low rates. Sometimes new companies may offer low prices to break into the market, but always remain cautious. Or, do some research. Call a few lawn care companies to price shop to understand better reasonable quotes (or use the GreenPal app and eliminate the concern that you're being scammed). 

Also, be wary of unsolicited offers from people who contact you out of the blue. Door-to-door salespeople or pushy cold callers might attempt to pressure you into buying a service.

Professional lawn care companies do not utilize high-pressure tactics. They're knowledgeable and helpful. Scams can often be felt out by how they go about selling. Great account executives working for legitimate lawn care businesses seek to help and earn your trust. 

These professionals provide you with a wealth of information. Yes, they do ask for your service. However, they provide help and will accept a no once they've determined a potential client is not interested or a good fit for their services. 

Tips to avoid the scam

If you're speaking with someone who presses forward despite repeated attempts, it's either a scam or an unprofessional salesperson, and both should be handled with an ended call or closed door. Also, be on the lookout for salespeople providing demonstrations. 

Though more common in overcharging scams, a demonstration may be a distraction for a crew to come in, provide poor service you didn't ask for, and demand payment. Do not engage with such services until terms are agreed to. A professional company will not conduct business in this way or will understand the cause for concern. They won’t get mad and continue despite objections — as many scammers do.

Never allow these individuals inside your home. Politely ask for the individuals to contact you later for the terms and to leave the property. Contact local authorities if needed. 

 Overcharging scams 

Overcharging schemes are one of the more common schemes. Though they play out differently based on location, the scheme is in the name. A homeowner is promised a low service price but finds a much higher bill. Beware overcharging tactics promising low prices

Some Bossier City, Louisiana residents were scammed by a lawn care company that promised to put pine straw in their flowerbeds for a set amount. Once the job was completed, a representative of the lawn care company allegedly told homeowners that they used a lot more pine straw than what was and told the homeowner that their bill was thousands of dollars.

Tips to avoid the scam

To avoid overcharging scams, only do business with reputable companies with clearly spelled out prices and positive reviews or recommendations from friends. Always get clearly written contracts that outline services rendered.

Ask for an estimated quote before scheduling any service and get it in writing. Avoid vague estimates and verbal quotes, as they could lead to overcharging down the road.

In addition, ask questions and demand clarifications regarding services. Having clear and precise knowledge about the job, the products that will be used, and the outcome you can expect from the service is the best way to make the most of the services you use and avoid being cheated.

Homeowners should also be wary of sudden increases in price or unexplained fees. If you receive a bill that seems much higher than the ones you've had before, even if there has yet to be an improvement in service quality or scope, ask questions. 

A good company will be happy to explain the rationale for a change in charges and any other concerns you might have. 

Using an application like GreenPal, homeowners receive bids from reputable, local lawn care companies. The process works like this: 

  1. A homeowner posts their lawn on GreenPal. The platform provides an all-in-one place to find, schedule, and pay the best-fit lawn professional for their yard. In less than a minute, a homeowner can list their lawn. GreenPal then works to get the homeowner five grass-cutting bids within 24 hours from local lawn care companies.

  2. The homeowner receives bids from a pool of local businesses that have undergone GreenPal's thorough vetting process, which provides peace of mind for the homeowner

  3. Homeowners can then schedule and pay through GreenPal's secure desktop and mobile application.

Quick Summary

Scam Type
Tips to Avoid
Treatment-based scams
- Be wary of quick-fix solutions and excessive use of pesticides/fertilizers.
- Use platforms like GreenPal for vetted lawn care services.
Door-to-door and high-pressure sales
- Beware of unusually low-priced offers and high-pressure tactics.
- Research and compare quotes from multiple lawn care companies.
Overcharging scams
- Only work with reputable companies with clear pricing and positive reviews.
- Get written contracts and detailed estimates before any service.
- Question sudden price increases.
- Use platforms like GreenPal for bids from trusted local businesses.

A manicured lawn is a point of pride for homeowners, but a drive for the perfect lawn can leave consumers vulnerable to con artists looking to make a quick buck. In this guide, we’ve outlined three common scams. There are more out there, so read company reviews, follow local news channels, and use applications like GreenPal to keep yourself and your lawn safe this spring. Choose the finest landscapers via GreenPal

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