Thursday, March 1, 2012


At this time of the year, it is not uncommon to find ourselves competing with other lawn companies when quoting lawn care.

We show up, measure and assess the property then leave a quote based on square footage and lawn conditions, (previous grub damage, compacted soil etc.)

The recommendation usually involves a few notes/ suggestions and the price. We ask the customer to contact us with their decision when and if they are ready to proceed.

Yesterday, a potential customer sent us a quote from one of the larger competitors and I was amazed at all the bells and whistles before they actually got around to conveying a quote.

Does this sound like a bottom line proposal to you, or a lawyer trying to deflect attention away from the real issues?

The names have been omitted to protect anonymity, but I am here to read between the lines and educate you on what is really being said. After all I used to work for a company like this before I started my own business.

We would like to thank you for the opportunity to provide you with a quotation for the 2012 season as well as provide you with some further information regarding our programs and services offered for your home at (potential customer address)

OK, so far so good.

(This lawn company) has lightning fast service calls for those with a passion for being pampered.

As long as you can afford it.

We guarantee your complete satisfaction and are committed to our 24 hour response time on our free unlimited service calls!

Careful now, "unlimited" means I could call and have you there every day of the season for your 24 hour yet, lightning fast service.

One of our Senior Lawn Care Service Advisors...

Warning: Senior Lawn Care Service Advisor may be an unlicensed summer student.

...will visit your home to assess and resolve any problems or answer any questions you may have regarding your lawn or services applied.

And we'll up-sell you applications to fix those problems.

If you're not at home we will leave you a detailed written report and follow up that evening with a phone call to go over your concerns and resolutions to solve them.

Oh, I see now...get as many service calls as you want. If you don't follow our recommendations and pay for the extra service, you have no one to blame but yourself and the satisfaction guarantee is off the table. Hey, we told you so.

In addition to unlimited free service calls,(this lawn company) offers unlimited free re-applications on all services we apply!

In truth, this would not be a good idea as doubling up on an application could severely hurt the lawn health. Anyone seen fertilizer burns? Maybe they haven't been in business long enough to know better?

(this lawn company) is simply the best, with over 40 years of longevity and industry proven success! You can trust our total satisfaction guarantee and that we will keep our promises.

40 years? I guess I was wrong, but when are they going to tell me how much I have to pay instead of blowing their own horn? This is a quote right?

(this lawn company) is proud to have moved into this new era of Natural lawn care in Ontario where legislation allows for only the use of Natural and alternative approved products to be used on all turf grass areas. (this lawn company) has been testing and mastering these alternative products over the last few years and have the best Natural Program and value proposition on the market!

Then, it might concern them to know there are other companies using the same products and charging far less.

For the 2012 Season...

Alright! Finally the quote.

...we are very excited to be offering our all new Program which is our greenest and most environmentally friendly approach that we have ever had to offer! This program contains a revolutionary new liquid weed control product called Fiesta WHICH WORKS IN HOURS NOT WEEKS AND REQUIRES NO WATERING TO BE 100% EFFECTIVE!

Still no quote! BTW Fiesta has been out for a few years now. Everyone in the industry uses it and liquid weed control has never needed water as it would be rendered ineffective.

You will receive 4 scheduled applications of this weed control throughout the season plus unlimited access to free re-applications by just contacting us via a quick phone call or e-mail!

I guess they haven't heard how expensive this product is? F.Y.I. they keep using the words "weed control", which is correct yet, I've seen this company's lawn sign proudly promote, "We kill weeds".

Also this program includes 3 Slow release granular polyon coated technology golf course grade fertilizers,

The key word here is "grade", but the customer will see golf course and go "wow". You do know that golf courses are exempt under the Provincial bylaw and allowed to apply what the lawn care industry can no longer use, don't you? It's not the fert alone creating beautiful turf grass on the fairways.

and a free mid-summer inspection of your lawn as well as a Summer Stress Relief application for Chinch Bugs.

When last I checked there are no products legally registered in Canada for the control of Chinch Bugs. There are soil amendments that seem to deter this insect activity, but this is the same type of wording that had the government pulling Neem Oil off the shelves last year. Jesus! Grow a brain!

We are on your lawn a minimum of once a month from April through September for a minimum of 6 visits. The cost for your property at (potential customer address) would be $318.1 payable on a by application basis over 5 equal payments of $63.62

Finally payment info!...oh...wait a minute...

...or if you wish to prepay and save making it only $302.195 HST included that's a savings of $15.905 by prepaying now.

Wow! Save $15.905! Whatever will I do with the extra half penny? Just round it up people.

Back By Popular Demand!!! Our Special Beat the HST Offer!

They haven't done one application yet and here comes the up-sell already.

We also have an amazing special offer for this year.

Actually it's a special offer every year, but nothing sells like the fear of passing up a deal.

We are offering a Special Beat the HST offering which allows you to have our program as described above as well as your choice of 2 premium add on services, that's 8 actual visits to your lawn. You can choose 2 of the following services to be added as part of your Beat the HST program: mechanical core aeration, natural grub control, and natural crab grass preventer. For an additional $199.0895

$199.0895? Anyone else find this confusing and wonder why they're doing it? Seems more mechanical than personal to me.

you can have this deluxe package. The original cost for this program is $544.41 but by prepaying this you will save $27.2205 that's an amazing 25% off. Making the total prepaid price only $408.3075!

OK let's see...hmmm...original program $302.195 + another $199.0895 should equal $408.3075 which is 25% of %544.41 making me save $27.2205, but it doesn't add up. So maybe I should carry the one, divide by 13% x the square root of lawn square footage....why does having a nice lawn suddenly seem so hard?

Me thinks, someone needs to go back to school.

Perhaps we all need to study harder. I recommend a site called Homestars to see what other customers have to say about services they've used, or Google the company name and "complaints" to gain a better understanding before you say "yes".

If a company is worthy of your business then the pretty words and window dressing will be evident elsewhere and not just on the quote.

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