Lawn care service complaints grow in Calgary, prompting warning from the BBB – Calgary

The Better Business Bureau in Calgary issued a warning after receiving reports of lawn care workers allegedly attracting customers with cheap deals.

As of Tuesday, the BBB Scam Tracker had received a total of 11 complaints and 38 reviews since the end of April.

Calgary homeowner Tyson Gallant was one of these complainants. He hired TreeTop Lawncare after getting a flyer delivered to his home offering ventilation, power and hand rakes – all for $ 99.

“I said, ‘Oh, that sounds like a good deal,'” he told Global News.

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Gallant went to the company’s website and said it all looked legitimate, so he booked a service call. He said the crew was late while he was at work and only his wife was home.

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“You knocked on the door, woke my little baby,” he added.

“We just need prepayment,” he told his wife. “So the woman pays them in advance. They just do a quick hack job and then they’re gone. They neither ventilated nor raked by hand – they completely messed up our garden. “

Gallant said he felt they had taken advantage of the fact that he was not home and his wife was dealing with a crying baby. He added that when he tried to contact the company several times to clarify his concerns, he received no response.

“They pretty much blocked me and that’s when I contacted the BBB.”

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Global News reached out to TreeTop Lawncare for a response to Gallant’s concerns as well as other complaints on the BBB website.

An email response from company owner Bob Folgnoski said there will always be dissatisfied customers “no matter what.” He also said the company has a lot of volume – 7,000 to 10,000 households per season – and only about 10-15 complaints on average.

Folgnoski added that he hired subcontractors with at least five years of landscaping experience to handle this volume.

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“This year I saw two of my subcontractors only going there to make money (they have a share per house) and not looking at the quality of the work,” he wrote.

“I found out about it after they built 100-200 houses. I took action immediately and fired the crews. “

The BBB told Global News that whether or not the work was subcontracted, the company should respond to its customers’ complaints.

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How to avoid bad work sh

The peak hours added by the BBB – like spring and summer – are the best times for consumers to get caught up in sloppy work. A few tips have been listed for homeowners to help ensure they are getting the job right.

  • Be wary of unsolicited offers. The BBB pointed out that most contractor scams start when someone offers a quote out of the blue.
  • Cheap, heavily reduced prices. Offers that are heavily discounted can be a warning sign.
  • A sense of urgency. Beware of limited time offers that will expire and require immediate action.

“You’re close by, it’s easy,” said BBB Calgary President and CEO Mary O’Sullivan-Andersen.

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“Consumers are in a hurry to get their work done, they want to get it done, and the fact is that contractors, home improvement – they’re all very busy right now and it’s easy to get the feeling that it has to be done now.”

The BBB advised consumers to look at reviews and not act impulsively.

“There’s no better time to just slow down and do your research,” said O’Sullivan-Andersen.

It is also recommended that consumers get everything in writing before the payment is even discussed, as well as pay with a credit card so that there is legal recourse if the work is not done properly.

The BBB told Global News that TreeTop Lawncare has not yet responded to complaints on its website.

The company currently has an “F” rating and is not accredited by the BBB.

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