TruGreen - 3 Year Customer... Lost.

TruGreen - Sent my PREPAID account to collections?

A beautiful lawn is certainly a beautiful thing, but sometimes that rolling green grass is hiding some ugly truths. Lawn care companies aren’t always completely on the up and up when it comes to setting up new contracts, keeping customers or billing for the services they have promised to do. If you’re setting up a new lawn care account, read over the fine print. Twice.

The Incredible Rising Bill

The first time you sign up with a new lawn care company they may offer you a great deal. How can you pass up that special offer? The price is almost too good to be true! And for a while you enjoy your lawn care at a discounted price – just the way you wanted.

But then the renewal comes around, and you suddenly receive a bill that is twice – perhaps even three times – as high as the previous year. What gives?

Often the bill has two shockers. The first is the “normal” rate without your special discount. But the second shock is that the “normal” rate is as high as the company imagines they can get away with. There is often no set price, so if you call and complain, you might wind up with a severely discounted bill each year. It’s a game, but with a bit of work you can come out the winner.

The Opt-Out

Another fun game to play is the game of “opt-out”. In this game, the lawn care service sends you a contract or other agreement about billing and services. You might glance at it and then put it away for filing or the trash. But take another look. That paper might just be an opt-out form.

The lawn care company doesn’t have to get your approval for changes to your service once you agree to the original contract. They can simply make changes and then tell you to “opt-out” if you don’t like it. If you never read the fine print or check out the statements on the page, you’re unlikely to realize that you might even need to opt out of anything!

Typically you don’t find out about things like this until you try and cancel your service only to find that you still owe money or that you are locked into a longer contract than you expected. Somehow this is your fault, however, since you implicitly agreed to the new contract by not opting out!

This can be trick to fight, but you can take some steps to protect yourself. Read all of the paperwork that comes your way and stay in control of your own billing. Of course, even with oversight, problems can crop up. One man had his account put into collections for non-payment after he paid off the bill in full a year in advance!

In a case like that, perhaps a new lawn care company would be your best bet.