The Prudent Investor

October 16, 2013, 7:33 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 TrueGreen 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.