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 (unannounced) 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 unannounced? 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... =)
They apologized and my lawn turned out just fine.
FREDERICKSBURG, VIRGINIA -- I received a letter from this company inquiring as to why I cancelled 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 maybe someone will decide it is worth their time and effort to respond. One day a salesman ** came to my door from your company asking to treat my trees and shrubs. I have a lot of them, so we walked out into the yard and looked at all of them, 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 the 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 ** what was going on and he said he would talk to his supervisor and get back to me. In the mean time I asked the 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 ** 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 the 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 the local office again sometime later, because now it is about the principle of the thing and happened to get a guy named **, 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 the trees as that was not his call and that he would personally see that the guy came out and finished the job on Monday. Lo and behold the guy comes and does the rest of the treatment, but later I find that he has left me another bill. I had already paid the 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 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 supervisor 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 the 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 warranted.
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 a longer. 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. ** - 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.
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!
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 pre emergents and herbicides 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 not 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.
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.