Wednesday, March 7, 2012
The univited guest
So here we are with the season looming and it will probably start early. I'm still hearing the buzz from the CBC's Marketplace broadcast on Weedman. I could go on about leopards and their spots, but do I really need to?
Despite the bad press, the tactics some companies have used year-in-year-out to bully people into paying for unwanted service have worked...so why change now?
I will lay money on it: There will be several of my customers, who are former clients of other companies and will find their lawns flagged by these intruders in the spring. This will force me to delay the start of their lawn care program while everything is sorted out.
How is this possible?
The customer cancelled their contract with Weedman etal. and gave us the confirmation, in fact, they've already paid us for our service for the year.
It's all about a barely legible clause on the invoice of a company like Weedman that states: "service continues year to year for your convenience." The bigger companies and perhaps some of the small ones will do anything to adhere to this principal and ignore the customer's desire to discontinue.
I can't say this has never happened to us where we did an unwanted application, because it has. But unlike our competitors we apologized for the misunderstanding, did not bill the customer, did not send them to collections and did not hound them any further for their business.
It may sound ridiculous to some, but we call each and every customer before the season to confirm they wish to continue with our service so we don't do unwanted applications and run into these situations.
So make sure you cancel in writing, get a cancellation number and write down any information you can to help you when this happens down the road...because it will.
I'm now advising some customers who have been repeatedly harassed by one company, or another, to threaten legal action for trespassing if unwanted applications are performed after cancellation notice is given otherwise, like the common cold- you can get rid of it for a while but inevitably it will be back again one day.