The Prudent Investor

September 13, 2013, 8:24 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

We make money so that we can trade it for goods and services. Last year our lawn was taken over by crabgrass so I sprayed it and got rid of the crabgrass. I did not realize that one needed to spray pre-emergent solution so the crabgrass returned. It was at that point I decided to trade some of my money for a service that would take care of this for me.

Asking around it was suggested that I contact TruGreen, which I did, and which was also my first mistake. I am not sure why I blindly took the recommendation before Googling “Trugreen review,” but had I done that I would not be writing this.

When I called I explained the problem with the crabgrass and was told that this would not be a problem, and I paid for a year of service. A week later they came and, as I refer to it, “watered the lawn.” When I work at home my desk is oriented so that I can see the entire back yard, and watching the person work I was struck by the fact that he rather haphazardly applied the water. I had been very careful to cover everything with solution when I did it, but I thought that perhaps he was doing something different so I did not take too much notice.

Weeks passed and the crabgrass thrived. I had been told that it would take a couple of weeks, but I waited and waited and nothing happened. Actually, the crabgrass appeared to be liking the situation. There was a knock at my door and I opened it to see a TruGreen representative. Initially I thought that he might be doing a follow-up to see how things were doing, but he was a salesman wanting to sell me more product. I showed him the proliferation of crabgrass and he told me that he would call the office and have someone come out again.

Weeks passed with nobody coming out, but I did get two more sales calls from TruGreen hoping to sell me something. I called the office and explained that the crabgrass was still growing and was told that another application was scheduled soon, so that would take care of things. That was when I made my second mistake, I did not cancel my service. I will explain why I should have cancelled later.

Finally, the same person who initially watered my lawn came out and again somewhat haphazardly applied the solution to the lawn. And again the crabgrass had a field day. After several weeks of no success I called the office and was told that someone would be out within 48 hours. The following week the man arrived and randomly spread pellets amongst the grass. Weeks later, nothing.

I called TruGreen and cancelled my service, asking for my money back. I had already made my third mistake. My understanding of the words “100% satisfaction guarantee” on their home page meant that if I was not satisfied then I would get my money back. That understanding was my mistake – digging through their website I came to realize that the guarantee meant that if you are not satisfied then they will return and do the same thing that did not work in the first place.

I was told that a portion of my money would be returned, but I would have to pay for the initial watering. This ties into the second mistake I made, mentioned above. By allowing then to make the second application, that implicitly meant that I felt that the first application was fine.

After speaking with Customer Support, then their supervisor, then the supervisor of the supervisors (supposedly), I was told that not getting all of my money back was policy and nothing could be done. I am now at the end of the summer and the crabgrass is smiling at me. I will be doing my own application once the leaves are off the trees and next spring I will remember to apply the pre-emergent solution. At least this has been a learning experience.

Epilogue: TruGreen called and told me that they would like to send someone out at no charge, which I accepted. I waited weeks without hearing from them about the timing and just now called. I was told that someone had come out last Tuesday. I asked why no note had been left and it was explained that they could not do that because it was not possible to generate a work order for an account that had been closed. I guess that applies to pen and sticky note? I hung up the phone with the knowledge that I worked at home last Tuesday, and if anyone came then they definitely did not enter the back yard.


3 Comments so far
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Did you had to pay them first before they give you your contract? Ive not pay them yet, but theyve told me they will email me my confirmation and the bill, but i received nothing. Im thinking about not paying them yet until i get my contract letter, but i feel like they wont give it to me until i pay them first. Is that right?

Comment by Douglas

I don’t remember getting a contract. I just wish I had understood that the guarantee did not mean that if things did not work then I would get my money back, but meant that if things did not work then they would do the same thing that did not work yet again.

Comment by GLSmyth

Thanks for letting us know about that, i would not have known too. And think the same as you. Great blog.

Comment by Douglas

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