Investing in landscaping and lawn care is a good method to boost the value of your home. A nice, well-maintained lawn gives a good first impression of your property. If you’re intending to sell your home in the future, this is one of the first things that potential buyers see.
Lawn maintenance can be daunting for some people. That’s why some homeowners hire a professional landscaping company for the job.
Unfortunately, you might encounter scam artists when searching for lawn care services. These fraudsters use different techniques to fool clients. You should be alert and identify the signs of a potential scam. Below is a list of tips to protect yourself from getting tricked by them:
Ask for Referrals
A reputable landscaper will never hesitate to provide references for new clients. Reviews and word-of-mouth referrals act as proof of the quality of their work. On the contrary, a fraudulent contractor will make excuses for their lack of references. The reason why they cannot give referrals is due to their bad reviews and reputation.
In this case, you wouldn’t want to hire them for landscape work. Always look for online reviews of companies in your area.
Be Wary of Fly-by-Night Lawn Care Companies
These companies usually provide shoddy work or take your money and run. Fly-by-night contractors start the work without finishing it. Once they have your down payment, they will disappear and won’t answer you anymore.
It’s easy to spot and identify these fraudsters. They will knock on your door and offer their lawn care services. Don’t trust these door-to-door scammers. Instead, support a locally owned landscaping business by hiring them for lawn maintenance.
Don’t Hesitate to Ask Questions
Not all landscaping companies are the same. This is why you should know who’s the best person for the job. You can dig into their qualifications and background by asking the following questions:
- How long have you been in business?
- What type of services do you offer?
- Are you bonded and insured?
- How long will the project take?
- Will you be the one to complete my project?
- Do you hire subcontractors?
- Do you have a portfolio or work samples from other clients?
- Do you provide references?
- Are you a member of any professional lawn care association?
Watch Out for Unusually Low Prices
Many homeowners get duped by cheap prices and promotions. Always remember the phrase “if it’s good to be true, it probably is.” Low rates can also mean low-quality services. Cheaper isn’t always better. If a landscaper offers rock-bottom pricing, they might use cheap lawn care products. As a result, you’ll get subpar services that may harm your landscape.
Request Important Documents and Paperwork
To check if a company is legitimate, ask to see their portfolio, proper identification, and other paperwork. These documents will come in handy when doing some background checks. Whether they are a new company or not, make sure you’re working with a reputable company.
Don’t Succumb to Pressure
High-pressure sales tactics are one of the indications of a landscaping scam. They will manipulate and pressure you into hiring them. Part of their strategy is to point out the flaws in your lawn, so you’ll pay more for their services.
When they use their pressure tactics, stay firm. Never sign a contract or pay a deposit without finalizing the terms. Keep in mind that you have the right to refuse their services if they don’t seem like genuine contractors. Listen to your gut feeling when it’s telling you that something isn’t right. Decline politely and let them know that you’re not interested.
Don’t Make Upfront Payments
As a general rule, don’t pay in full until they give you a copy of your contract or receipt. If you’ve paid them in advance, chances are they will not fulfill their obligations. Never pay for lawn care services before the job has been completed. Always do your own research before signing a contract or handing money over.
These are some of the tricks that fraudsters might use. When choosing your landscape contractor, always be on your guard so you don’t end up being a victim.
Here at Midstate Landscaping, we specialize in transforming your landscape. We offer a wide range of services from customized design plans to hardscaping. To schedule an appointment, do not hesitate to give us a call today!