ServiceMaster Lawn Care

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TruGreen Service = TruDisappointment
Posted by on
FREDERICKSBURG, VIRGINIA -- I received a letter from this company inquiring as to why I canceled my lawn service. I responded with a very detailed letter and was not even given the courtesy of a response. I am hoping that if I put forth the effort to put this on the internet for others to see that may be someone will decide it is worth their time and effort to respond. One day a salesman John Hutton came to my door from your company asking to treat my trees and shrubs. I have a lot of htem, so we walked out into hte yard and looked at all of htem, and he said he could treat them for $39. That was a great price so I signed up for it and he said he would send someone out hte next week to do the job. All went accordingly and a guy shows up at my door and says he is there to do the job, but that he would not do all the trees for that 39 dollars. I said that was the salesman's price not mine. So I called the salesman who had assured me that he would always be there to help me and I could have his cell number to call anytime. I told john what was going on and he siad he would talk to his supervisor and get back to me. In the mean time I asked hte service tech if he could at least treat my two big trees that were not looking too healthy. He did and left a bill for the 39 dollars. I never heard from John again and called the local office to inquire as to the status a couple of weeks later. The lady said she would look into it and give me a call. She never did as well so some time later I called again and hte lady said she would send someone out on Monday to finish the job. No one ever came. I called the national number in TN and the lady was very sympathetic and said she would contact hte local office again sometime later, because now it is about the principle of the thing and happened to get a guy named Jesse, who listened to my story and said he did not work in that office but that he would, as he was filling in for someone else, come and take a look. Surprise surprise, he shows up an hour later and I tell him the story again and he says that the tech should have never refused to treat all hte trees as that was not his call and that he would personally see that the guy came out and finished the job on Monday. Low and behold hte guy comes and does the rest of the treatment, but later I find that he has left me another bill. I had already paid hte first one, which I see was a big mistake on my part. So I call and get the TN office and she agrees that is is an error and says she will fix it. Then I get another bill and it is not fixed, so I call and want to speak to the local office and they tell me that I cannot talk to them, everything must come through them. After more attempts, I do get to the local office and the lady says she will issue the credit and do I want to cancel the service. I am pretty hot by now so I said yes and she says she will send me a check, since I had prepaid the entire year service for the lawn. I asked her when I could expect it and she said 5 to 7 days. Two weeks go by and no check so I call again and she again says she will process it and it will be 5-7 more days. So I ask for her sueprvisor and she says there is no one in at this time and it will be after 5 before one arrives. I said fine, have her call me. She never calls. I call back hte next day and ask to talk to the sup that was supposed to call me back. I do not remember her name and she was there and I asked why she did not call me back and she said she was supposed to issue a refund and since it was taken care of she did not feel a call was warrented. I asked her since the check was supposed to take 5-7 days to process does that mean the original one was never processed and I was lied to about it the first time and she says yes. I cannot tell you how many hours I spent on the phone with so many people, telling and retelling the story to that point, which got longer and longer, and alonger. I was frustrated to tears, never finding anyone who seemed competent to do their job, from service to billing and customer service. I am amazed that you are in business. Which is a shame because my lawn was looking good. If I do not hear from you I will then know that this goes all the way to the top. I would not have written this letter as I was resigned to let it go after getting my check until I got my letter from you asking why I wanted to cancel my service and how to get me back as a customer. That would take a lot of nerve if it was not just a mass mailing form letter. It did give me your name and position to vent the reason too. So here you are it is all in your hands from here. In all the businesses I have worked at there are problems, and you cannot fix problems you do not know about. Now you know, ball is in your court. This is the worst customer experience of my life. There was no place where the buck stopped.

John Rodgers - General Manager at TruGreen - this was sent to you directly in the middle of December 2010. It is now Feb 1st and I have yet to hear from you. ...the ball is still in your court.
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Alain on 01/31/2011:
It sounds like they are waiting for you to give up. Try calling your states consumer protection office and see if they can give you some assistance.
Woodbridge customer on 08/13/2013:
I am have been waiting for John Rodgers to get back to me as well. I have called over 20 times. I have his email address I also found the president of the companys info and I plan on contacting them.. and I am even considering a lawsuit. They RUINED my lawn. I have a long story about this company and will write it in the near future. I would NOT use trugreen of Lorton is all I can say.
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Harassment and potentially ruined my lawn
Posted by on
Last year I signed up for the TruGreen lawn fertilization program. We had just moved into our new home and I wanted to hire someone to help keep the lawn nice as my time was limited. They came out every few months and walked around the yard spraying some kind of fertilization liquid on my lawn. It helped a little (maybe), I really wasn't impressed.

So this year I decided to do it myself. My father had just bought a nice spreader, so I borrowed it and bought some Scott's spring time fertilizer.

TruGreen had sent me an offer to purchase their services again this year via the mail. It had cost per application, or if I paid in full for the entire year I would get a discount. Since I decided to do my own fertilization this year I just tossed it aside.

So a few weeks back a nice day came along, and I spent an hour fertilizing my lawn. Went well, and that afternoon my wife and I ran out to lunch. We get back and we have bill taped to our front door. It was a TruGreen bill! They had come by (un-announced) while we were at lunch and re-fertilized my entire lawn! For those of you who do not know, double fertilizing a lawn can kill your grass if too much fertilizer is used.

You can imagine I was pretty upset. I immediately called them and inquired why they had just fertilized my lawn when I specifically did not renew with them this year. They told me their service "auto-renews" and that the letter I received in the mail was just to offer me different payment options. I went back and reviewed the document they sent me and sure enough in tiny print at the bottom it says the service auto-renews.

So at this point I realize, OK, I must have agreed to this small print at some point, so fine I take the blame for that. But why would they come out un-announced? What if I had a birthday party for my daughter planned that day and now no one could use the yard (since you are not supposed to go out on a freshly fertilized lawn). They did not have an answer, and said they usually notify folks. Well I cancelled the service and hoped my lawn would survive the double fertilization.

Next day I get a call from TruGreen. I'm thinking, oh they are calling to check how my lawn is doing, to make sure it isn't dying, how nice of them. No, they are calling to try to get me to sign-up for their fertilization package! I politely reminded them I had just cancelled the day before, and explained the whole double fertilization issue. The sales person still tried to get me to sign up, and I politely ended the call.

2 days later a TruGreen guy shows up at my door. OK, wow, these guys came to see how my lawn was doing, to make sure it wasn't burned out. No. The guy was trying to sell me on their fertilization package! Again, I politely told him I was not interested. He pressed me to make the sale. I said no thanks, I'm doing it myself. He would not leave. So then I went into the same story again about how pissed I was at them for not telling me they were coming out and eventually double-fertilizing my lawn, etc. He finally leaves.

At last, I think I have seen the end of TruGreen.

2 days later, the phone rings. TruGreen!!! This time the sales representative ignores my polite declines of his fertilization offer. I was being polite because I figured this guy has no idea, it is not his fault, he is probably being told to not take no for an answer in this economy. Well he would not let me get off the phone, and I had to go into my whole story with him. He then said "Well I promise that won't happen again, so can I get you signed up?" NO! YOU CANNOT SIGN ME UP! He then adds, "Are you sure, we can cut the price in half for the first 2 applications". Yeah, and I bet you will dilute my fertilizer by half for those as well.

No thanks!

Amazingly I have not heard from them since. Though I was out walking my dog the other day and I saw a TruGreen guy pitching a neighbor of mine... and my dog growled at him. Made my day... =)
Resolution Update 02/17/2013:
They apologized and my lawn turned out just fine.
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Soaring Consumer on 04/26/2009:
To be safe I suggest that you send them a letter to cease-and-desist contacting you in certified mail.
jktshff1 on 04/26/2009:
TruGreen,really good name for someone who spreads chemicals. So what if there are weeds in the yard, ya cut it anyway and it looks fine. Golf courses, football fields, soccer fields have to be kept in shape for playing purposes.
Sparticus on 04/26/2009:
Not a bad idea Soaring, thanks. Yeah, I don't mind the weeds so much (we don't have too many problems with weeds, knock on wood!). But our grass has trouble in our neighborhood. The builder pretty much scraped all the top soil and sold it off before building, so everyone's lawn struggles each summer apparently. The fertilizer is to just help it stay alive... but the good thing about doing it myself... I plan only doing it once in the spring and maybe once in the fall... TruGreen wanted to do it SEVEN times during the summer season!
Buddy01 on 04/26/2009:
You were too polite. If they call again and won't let you get off the phone, just hang up. They are being rude and counting on you being polite hoping you will just say yes to get them to go away.
madconsumer on 04/26/2009:
did the lawn suffer any ailments?
did you water it to leach out the exsessive fertilizers?
Sparticus on 04/26/2009:
I think the last time they called I did just hang up. Felt like a jerk, but what can you do?

Fortunately I think they use a pretty watered-down version of fertilizer, and that combined with all the rain we've had lately the lawn seems to be fine.
DigitalCommando on 04/26/2009:
Spart, auto renewal clauses usually renew for one additional year. If they let you out of it you are lucky. Read your contract to see what the renewal term is. You should also check your bank and credit card accounts to see if they are still billing you.
Principissa on 04/26/2009:
We almost went with them for our lawn as well. The guy was an absolute jerk and it took TWO cease and desist letters for them to stop calling and coming to the house. We actually had to threaten the last guy who came here with a call to the police for harassment and trespassing before they finally got the hint to leave us alone.
BokiBean on 04/26/2009:
Sheesh, they sound as bad as AT&T!
Anonymous on 04/26/2009:
And as bad as Vonage...
BokiBean on 04/26/2009:
lol! and Comcast!
Disaster Worker on 04/26/2009:
I do complete organic fertilizing and use dried molasses as the agent. I always have the greenest yard in the neighborhood without harmful chemicals. I used to use TruGreen before I changed to organics, which is very inexpensive as well!
karieF on 03/15/2010:
Tell them to put you on their do not call list. They have to comply even if you were a customer according to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). If they call back, file a complaint with the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) for violating the do not call request. Keep a log of the date, time and phone number of their calls. Also keep a log of the date and time of your requests to the company to put you on the list. Keep filing FCC complaints and they will be fined. and
PepperElf on 03/15/2010:
the Do Not Call doesn't usually work when it's a company you've been doing business with.

telling them in writing - send it registered mail - may help.

however yes, contacting the FTC can't hurt
Habibbidy on 04/29/2012:
I was a manager at trugreen they're horrible they do their best to fire employees who get hurt to not pay workers comp they do like 30 lawns a day also they don't maintain their trucks so they spill all the time from lack of maintenance I can remember numerous tumestime
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TruGreen Acworth, GA ruined my lawn
Posted by on
ACWORTH, GEORGIA -- Around 8 months ago I decided to follow a sales pitch of a TruGreen employee and signed up for a 1/4 treatment plan to keep weeds out and fertilize my then perfect conditioned lawn. They recommended a aeration and I agreed. Since then the lawn is ruined and looks from months to months worse. I assume that their infested aerator machine implemented a disease in my always healthy lawn - it was the best lawn on the block, lush green and like an expensive carpet. now I have island like brown patches, measuring around 20x 9 feet, and with a sporadic pattern. Complaining since the late fall, management finally showed up after calling 4 times (in Fall of 2010) with the promise to apply some minerals, which (quote) "will take about the dead grass and help to let new grass spread again". WRONG! It looks the same and even worse. Still the guys come out and apply and check always "Weeds" on their worksheet - didn't they promise *** control, and btw...I have no weeds left on the dead grass.

I am planning to get this story viral, with Youtube and a nice video showing before and after. Further will I contact the BBB and possibly the Attorney General office for this sleazy business practice. We are waiting now again since 3 weeks for a supervisor to come out, but nothing happens!

TrueGreen - get ready!
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madconsumer on 04/17/2011:
sounds like they burned your lawn. pull up some of the dead sod and verify there are no grubs.

to reduce the appearance of the dead grass, rake over it until it has been removed, then you are able to lay more sod or spread seed.

very helpful.
Nohandle on 04/17/2011:
Some people don't understand, especially those who utilize a lawn service, if the equipment is not cleaned after each home visit whatever disease was in the last lawn will be passed onto your lawn. Also if a neighbor has a diseased lawn it can spread to yours. Not gossip..a fact.

Do you perchance have a photo you can share? Sod is very expensive to have replaced. I know that firsthand.
Anonymous on 04/17/2011:
Scotts did the same to my lawn last year. I have used Trugreen for years with great success and switched to Scotts for the tremendous cost savings. They took my lawn down to dirt patches in some spots. I actually shed tears over it. My lawn is like my 5th child. I think I will review Scotts today.
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Posted by on
BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA -- I'm not a customer of TruGreen, but today I found a statement on my door saying they had treated my yard. The home that should have been treated was 20 doors down the street.

According to the service summary their "specialist" had used preemergents and herbacides on my yard. What's the problem, you ask. For years I've kept my yard free of these toxins and poisons. I grow berries and other food crops ORGANICALLY. They've destroyed years of work.

I called the local office and was told "we can't do anything". I asked that they bring a truck of pure water and clean the yard. They said that wouldn't help; the liquid toxins are already on the yard. The office said they didn't spray garden beds; but if the employee couldn't read large numbers on a mailbox to verify the address, I'm sure he couldn't discern what were bed plants and what weren't.

Since the summary left had the name, address, and phone number of the man whose yard should have been sprayed, I contacted him to let him know that TruGreen did no work on his yard and not to pay any bills they may send him.

I guess I'll just wait and see how bad the damage is to my yard and plants.
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Skye on 09/24/2010:
That's awful. You might need a lawyer, if your property starts to go downhill, but you'll also have to prove damages. Hopefully, your property will be OK. I understand you have kept your property free of toxins, and I really hope there isn't any damage later on.
raven2010 on 09/25/2010:
WOW, I would be livid beyond words if I were in your shoes. I have no idea how you could prove damages, however, it is quite obvious they have ruined your hard work.
Venice09 on 09/25/2010:
This may be a dumb question, as I know nothing about gardening, but how will you know if your yard and garden are ruined?
raven2010 on 09/25/2010:
Venice, I think if the OP is trying to grow organic, that is automatically ruined if the surrounding soil is treated chemically. I assume the chemicals are close to the garden and can seep over when it rains.

Just an assumption on my part, as I am clueless on gardening.
Venice09 on 09/25/2010:
I realize that the organic aspect of the gardening is compromised, and the OP views it as being ruined, but I don't think the company will see it that way if the garden continues to grow. I would be upset if this happened to me, too, but I just don't think there is any way the OP can prove damages or get the company to do anything about it. I also don't think this situation is permanent. Won't the pesticides diminish over time and eventually disappear?
PepperElf on 09/25/2010:
"I have no idea how you could prove damages, however"

they put toxins in the yard and left a sign stating that they did it. that's proof enough.

I'm all for the OP on this one 100% They had a nasty product FORCED on them and then were basically told "suck it up" when calling to complain.

Screw that. In my opinion the company is responsible for returning the yard to it's pre-chemical state. And if they say it's "too hard" because the chemicals have leeched into the soil... well then they have a LOT of digging due to to remove that tainted soil.

And if it's "too expensive" for them? Who cares. It's called a learning process for a reason... and the lesson is ... you do not have the right to force your product on unwilling people. And it's your responsibility to ensure you treat the right house.
Venice09 on 09/25/2010:
Pepper, you're right, but what you are suggesting just isn't practical. I'm sure the OP doesn't want her yard and garden dug up, and I also don't think watering it down will work either. If that were the case, a rainstorm would wash the product away.

I just think this is one of those things. I don't think it can be undone, and the only thing the company can do is offer monetary compensation, but that won't change the condition of the yard.
raven2010 on 09/25/2010:
Venice, I tried to google how long the pesticides would stay in the soil and could not get a straight answer.

I agree there is no real way to prove anything. However, if the OP is selling his fruits/veggies/herbs, he can no longer sell them as "organic"
jktshff1 on 09/25/2010:
Typically, a space must be free from pesticides and chemicals for as long as 3 yrs to be certified organic.
I would be livid if that happened to me...get a lawyer and explain to him his cut will come from the winnings..cause you will win this one. My yard and garden have been "organic" for several years.
PepperElf on 09/25/2010:

That's a kiss of death to anyone who is trying to sell the product as organic. No income from the garden - unless there's a chance you can legally sell the product to non-organic people. and that's assuming the toxins didn't make it unfit for human consumption, and that it's financially possible to re-label them in time

but after 3 years it will take a lot of work to get the word of mouth and reputation back to where it was pre-treatment.
madconsumer on 09/25/2010:
you can use zeolite to absorb the chemicals. you may have to look for it, but can be found in many garden centers that sell organic products.

broadcast onto contaminated soil to detoxify. rates can vary from 10- to 50 pounds per 1,000 square feet. more than 50 pounds won’t hurt anything but is probably a waste of money.
Venice09 on 09/25/2010:
Raven, it didn't occur to me that the OP might sell the produce. If that's the case and they can no longer sell it as organic, I would take the company to court. Other than that, I don't know how far the OP would get with a lawsuit.
jktshff1 on 09/25/2010:
Pepper, nearly everything you purchase that is not organic has had pesticides, weed killers and God knows what else put on it or in the ground. Not to mention commercial meat and what is in the feed they give them.
Anonymous on 09/25/2010:
Even if they aren't trying to sell them and it's for their own consumption, they should be compensated for having to go out and buy organic produce elsewhere.

I was interested in mad's zeolite recommendation, as I've never heard of it before. Although it does sound like an interesting product, they don't mention it being used for removing pesticides from the soil, but it does sound beneficial in other ways. Thanks, mad, for enlightening me on this product. I do like to grow vegi's when I'm home and I'm going to look into this product.

Enables better plant growth
Improves the efficiency and value of fertiliser
Improves water infiltration and retention
Improves yield
Retains nutrients for use by plants
Improves long term soil quality
Reduces loss of nutrients in soil
PepperElf on 09/25/2010:
"nearly everything you purchase that is not organic has had pesticides"

the question isn't whether or not the food has pesticides but... whether or not the mix used by the lawn company is one that can be used on produce.
Venice09 on 09/25/2010:
If the mix shouldn't be used on produce, the OP can only hope that the worker did actually avoid the garden. Certainly this would be something the employees would know.

I agree that this is a terrible situation, but I just don't think there is much that can be done. The only thing the company could have offered was a genuine apology and possibly an amount of money to make up for the mistake, and as sing said, to buy organically grown produce.

This was an honest mistake. Maybe the house number on the work order was smudged or not clear for some reason. I don't think it happened because the worker couldn't read the number on the mailbox. The proper reaction to this mistake from the company could have made a world of difference. If they were sincerely sorry and offered a detailed explanation about how the work is done with an assurance that the garden was not sprayed, I think the OP might have felt a bit better. But if they didn't seem to care and only said there was nothing they could do, that would just add fuel to the fire.

Jkt, I worry more about meat than produce. If an animal is feed questionable things, there is nothing I can do about it. At least produce can be thoroughly washed.
PepperElf on 09/25/2010:
it doesn't matter, helpful.

your private land is yours to do with what oyu want as long as you stay within the law (or HOA agreement).

no company has the right to just waltz in and say "now we do it OUR way" .. not without paying for their mistakes.
jktshff1 on 09/26/2010:
Lots of things that come from God ain't good for ya, poison ivy, ticks etc.
Alain on 09/26/2010:
I'd like to think, Jktshff, that God gave us a brain to decide which things aren't good for us!
jktshff1 on 09/26/2010:
I think that a lot of the complaints on this site would prove otherwise, or do not use that ability:)
Alain on 09/26/2010:
You're right!
LH on 08/27/2012:
they just did the same thing to our organic garden and yard!!! I wish I knew the outcome of this, we are thinking of getting a lawyer. My dog was also in the yard when they began spraying.
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Dishonest representation of services
Posted by on
DAYTONA, FLORIDA -- The Salesman that set up our account offered us our first lawn treatment for $30.00 and then the balance of treatments would be $60.00. We agreed to get the first treatment. After this treatment was received, an invoice for $30.00 was received and paid. A few days later another invoice was received for the same application date for an additional $60.00. I called and cancelled my service with TruGreen and gave them an extremely detailed explanation. I have written and spoken to the Company and cannot get any satisfaction. I have now been turned over to a collection agency and am hopeful that this can be resolved.

Another Salesman for this Company came to my door last week and offered their services for $45.00 a month, quite different from the first Salesman. I told him of my dilemma and he wasn't in the least bit interested. I would never do business with this Company in the future. They are not an honest Company.
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goduke on 07/20/2010:
Where's the dishonesty? They quoted $90, they billed $90. Am I missing something?
Ytropious on 07/20/2010:
I think the OP is upset that the second salesman is quoting a lower price. A) How do you know the service/quality will be the same at this lower price and B) If you didn't want to pay 90 then why did you?
FlShopper on 07/20/2010:
What was the detailed explanation you gave them? Sounds like they did exactly what they said they would and what you agreed to.
Anonymous on 07/20/2010:
I'm confused.
Anonymous on 07/20/2010:
For some reason, this is bothering me "another invoice was received for the same application date". Maybe they were charged $30, paid it, then were billed an additional $60, for the same application? I don't know.
Anonymous on 07/20/2010:
Well if I read this correctly the first application was supposed to be $30 but the OP got billed $30 + $60 for the first application. Perhaps a misunderstanding but in the end the OP didn't get their 90 dollars worth because there were no subsequent treatments.
Ytropious on 07/20/2010:
Maybe they bill in advance? Like maybe the OP's contract of sorts started that day, so they had a separate bill for the first actual application, then a different one for other future applications? I really don't know.
Anonymous on 07/20/2010:
Thanks Dry and Stew, that makes more sense. I read it as they were billed $30 and then received another invoice of $60 for the remaining applications...which seemed to be correct.
Anonymous on 07/20/2010:
Well this company sounds really shady. I use a lawn service. Juan charges a flat rate for the year. No contracts, no slick salesman or anything of the sorts. Just Juan and his cousins keep my lawn free of weeds.

A lot of these lawn care places are really shady. I know I would avoid TruGreen because although short in stature this review speaks volumes about TruGreen's business practices.

Anonymous on 07/20/2010:
Of course they would bill in advance for the 2 latter treatments.
It is hard to repossess fertilizer already in the soil.

Stew: Juan? What happened to the goats?
Anonymous on 07/20/2010:
Any idea if Juan is a legal citizen, Stew?
Anonymous on 07/20/2010:
JC, Juan's legal status is of no concern to me.

Here's how I hooked up with Juan. A few years ago he accidentally or so he says treated our lawn by mistake because he got the address screwed up. He didn't charge us a cent of course but left his card with us in case we were happy with his work. Now I don't know what he sprayed on the lawn but our yard never looked better. I've been a Juan client every since.
goduke on 07/20/2010:
My Mom used TruGreen for a number of years in Tulsa. Had no problems. No contracts.
Jalbie on 07/21/2010:
You are missing the concept of this. I was told the first application would be $30.00, which was invoiced and paid. I received a second invoice for an application dated the same day for an additional $60.00. The $60.00 is not a prepayment for my next applicationm it stated it was for an application on the same day as the invoice for $30.00. I have not paid this $60.00 nor would I since it was not what I was quoted.
goduke on 07/21/2010:
Ah...that clears up a lot. What did they say when you called them?
Jalbie on 07/23/2010:
They don't say anything, but they send letters asking why I don't respond. I have sent letters and they do not respond to them either.
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Lawn Destroyed
Posted by on
TAMPA BAY AREA, FLORIDA -- After having been harassed into signing up with service, instead of beautifying my lawn, they have virtually destroyed it. Now they fail to respond to my problem.
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Anonymous on 11/10/2009:
Your complaint is missing details.

let me say though that anytime I read that someone was 'harassed' or 'talked into' or 'convinced to buy' something, I generally chalk it up to a lesson learned by the adult who refused to say NO.
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Posted by on
HORN LAKE, MISSISSIPPI -- They lied to me like they will give me two lawn treatment at half price but they only gave me one now want to charge me for two more treatment never will I do business with them again
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Anonymous on 06/24/2009:
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