So your old lawnmower finally went out on you. You’ve decided to hire a lawn service, and a quick google search shows dozens of companies. You call them up and they all sound like they offer the same service for around the same price. Which company should you go with!? These 6 questions will help you weed out the professional companies from the not so professional.
1. Do they have insurance?
If your lawn service does not have general liability insurance and Workman’s Compensation insurance you are putting yourself at risk.
General Liability insurance would cover any damages that could occur to your property or your neighbor’s property. This could be anything from a rock flying through a window to a lawn mower sliding into a car.
Workman’s Compensation covers any injury to the employees (and owners) of the lawn service company you hire. You might think that if someone working on your property hurts themselves then that is their own problem, but that is often not the case. If you are deemed to have been “negligent” then any medical costs would fall on you, and simply allowing uninsured labor to work on your property is often enough to prove negligence.
When you ask your lawn service about these insurances it should be very easy for them to show you proof. The insurance company will send them a proof of insurance paper and they should keep one in every truck.
While accidents are not super common in the lawn service industry, they do happen. If you do hire someone without insurance and they end up damaging something or hurt themselves you could be covered by your homeowner’s insurance, but that is unlikely. It is probably written somewhere deep in your contract with your insurer that you must check to make sure any contracted labor is insured or your policy will not cover it. Don’t get stuck with an enormous bill just to save a few bucks in the short term.
Read this article for more information on hiring unlicensed contractors.
2. Do they make you sign a lawn service contract?
There is no reason to sign any contract that says you must stay with one provider. If the company does good work then they will prove to you every week that they deserve your business.
Contracts are almost always a trick to keep unhappy clients with a company. If you are reading this and find yourself already stuck in a contract with a lawn service you don’t like, you can often fire them without any repercussions. The only action they could take would be to sue you and it will almost surely cost them more to hire an attorney than they would possibly get from you. What does this mean? This means the only reason for a lawn service to force you into a contract is to try and scare you to stay with them.
The only type of contract that could potentially be favorable for you to sign would be one where you have no responsibility (except to pay for work performed) and the company is obligated to service your property all year at a set price unless you fire them. I do not think this type of contract is necessary because any decent lawn service will already fulfill their responsibilities and the only ones you would potentially force to continue to do work for you would be inferior companies.
3. How do they correct mistakes?
While it would be nice to find a lawn care company that makes absolutely zero mistakes, that is a near impossible task. The fact is that everyone makes mistakes occasionally, or at least everyone I have met. The important part is how they will correct a mistake when it inevitably occurs.
If you ask your lawn service how they correct mistakes and the only answer they can provide is “satisfaction guaranteed” I would be very weary. The problem is that lawn care companies tend to get extremely busy during certain times (like spring). When rushing to finish work the most mistakes tend to happen, and when they are already running behind they often don’t take the time to follow up on any problems they may have created.
In these situations it is not uncommon for a lawn service to stop responding to your calls and maybe even disappear! This problem can be completely avoided by coming to an agreement up front. As long as both parties understand what should happen if the company happens to make a mistake it is much more likely for it to be resolved correctly when a mistake does happen.
At Metro D Lawn Care we have a lifetime money-back guarantee. If at any time a client has to call us to come fix something we did (or did not do) we will come immediately to fix it, and we won’t charge the client at all for that week’s service. We are very confident in our work and so we offer this bold guarantee. It is not necessary that your lawn service has this strong of a guarantee, they could do great work and just not be super confident in themselves for some reason. All that matters is that you feel comfortable with the way they will handle any issues that arise.
These three questions can help you insure you hire a quality lawn service company. A quality company will not only provide superior service, they will be much more likely to be in business for many years to come so that you will never have to worry about hiring another company.
I wish you good luck in finding a reliable lawn service provider in 2016!