BBB Offers Tips on Hiring Lawn Care Services

June 5, 2014

It’s that time of the year again, when the temperatures rise and the smell of freshly cut grass fills the air. However, this spring follows an extraordinarily harsher than normal Wisconsin winter, and according to local landscape companies, there is atypical damage to lawns, plants, and trees as a result of the exceptionally cold weather, harsh winds, and salt damage we experienced these past winter months.

If you are starting to think about lawn care, Better Business Bureau has a few tips to keep in mind.

In 2013, BBB received more than 3,500 complaints against lawn care services. Many of the complaints involved shoddy workmanship, a faulty contract, or billing and collection issues.

BBB recommends the following when hiring a lawn care maintenance service:

Know what you want. Have in mind the types of services you are seeking (fertilizing, weeding, aerating, mowing). Ask about the products used (seed, fertilizer, weed killer), request a lawn inspection and estimate, and be wary of any company that quotes a price without first seeing your yard.

Understand pricing. While price is certainly a major factor in any purchasing decision, find out exactly what you are getting. Do you pay by the mow or by the week? What happens when it rains? Does mowing include edging? Do they mulch or bag the clippings? Are services performed by employees or sub-contracted out?

Check first. Always check the company’s BBB Business Review at Ask for references and check the company’s affiliation with national franchises or associations. Choose a BBB Accredited Business by utilizing the BBB Accredited Business Directory.

Scrutinize the contract. Some contracts automatically renew unless you specify otherwise. If you do choose to sign a long-term contract, make sure you get information about cancellation rights in writing, should you find the services to be unsatisfactory.

Understand the warranties and guarantees. If the service is not to your liking, or the lawn doesn’t look as you anticipated, understand what recourses you may have.

Shop around. Get written estimates from at least three different companies. Keep in mind that the cheapest estimate is not necessarily the best option. You may have to invest a little more for higher quality products and services.

For more tips you can trust, visit our website, Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

For an online version of this story click here

Community Watch

» Anodyne Coffee plans to open location in Wauwatosa Village Updated:  7/29

» Initial Reaction Podcast: Menomonee Falls baseball virtuoso Ty Weber and Big Ten Media Day Updated:  7/29

» Wauwatosa West girls basketball coach Ashley Imperiale resigns 7/26

» Store owners, police weigh in on string of protests at Mayfair mall Updated:  7/26

» Tosa police will not release squad video of officer-involved shooting Updated:  7/25

» Wauwatosa school district files lawsuit against WIAA over conference realignment Updated:  7/25

» Protest over fatal shooting forces brief closure of Mayfair Mall 7/23

» Reports into fatal Wauwatosa police shooting delivered to DA 7/22

» Social media story on the storms rolling through Milwaukee area 7/21

» Business Spotlight: Cranky Al's has grown from desperation to a Wauwatosa institution Updated:  7/20

» Initial Reaction Podcast: Wisconsin Badgers football, WIFCA All-Star game 7/20

» Michaelis leads Wauwatosa East past rival West in regional 7/20

» Milwaukee County Chargers earn overtime win over Muskego 7/20

» Activists push DA for disclosure on police killing in Wauwatosa 7/19

» Video: How a Pokémon Go newbie experienced the craze playing in Wauwatosa Updated:  7/19

» Tosa police, firefighters celebrated during First Responders Fest 7/18

» Ray's Wine & Spirits in Tosa celebrates 55 years with public party 7/15

» Wauwatosa's Relay for Life event slated for July 22 7/14

» Wauwatosa Mayor Kathy Ehley receives award for business leadership 7/14

» Video: Mayfair Collection's Bartolotta restaurants billed as 'triple threat' Updated:  7/14

» Bus rapid transit route clears two hurdles 7/13

» A look at the French restaurant Cafe Grace, opening Tuesday in Wauwatosa 7/13

» Wauwatosa West baseball team drops four of last five games 7/12

» Wauwatosa East baseball team falls to Marquette in Greater Metro semifinals 7/12

» Coalition for Justice, Black Lives Matter protest in Milwaukee, Tosa Updated:  7/12

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss

Best Summer Ever


We've made it easy for you to get out and go this summer. From hitting the trails for a bike ride or walk, to where to find beer gardens in the area, to the best places to swim in Waukesha County to the best summer drinks and summer reads, check out our 2016 summer guide.



Hidden Tosa


"Hidden Tosa" is a semi-regular feature where our Wauwatosa reporter explores the closed down and closed off parts of Wauwatosa.