Kathleen G. Kane - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General - Protecting Pennsylvanians

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Lawn Care Services

Spring is here, and while many Pennsylvanians are attacking their lawns and gardens with mulchers and spreaders, others, however prefer to contract with a lawn care service to maintain their lawns. Because consumers may be required to sign lengthy and expensive contracts for these services, it's important to know what to look for in order to chose the best service for your lawn care needs.

Looking for Services

  • Talk with neighbors who have had work done in the past. Find out who they recommend and why.
  • Shop around. Get estimates from several companies. Which services are included in the price?
  • Find out if the companies offer a free lawn analysis. Since every lawn is different, you want to make sure you are getting a customized service.
  • Once you decide on a company, check to see if they have liability insurance. What happens if an accident occurs while working on your lawn?

Using a Pesticide

  • Get, in writing, the name of any pesticides used and read the Environmental Protection Agency label carefully.
  • Ask if there are any less harmful compounds or alternatives that can be used instead of the pesticide and at what price.
  • Is there any special training required for the employee applying the chemicals?
  • Check to see if the company will post a notice alerting the neighborhood to the fact that pesticides were used.
  • Ask about the harmful characteristics of the chemicals and what precautions to take, especially concerning young children, pregnant women, the elderly and pets.

Signing the Contract

  • Get everything in writing and read the contract carefully before signing anything. Are there any extra charges that you did not agree to?
  • Is the company's work guaranteed? If so, get that in writing as well.
  • Check for the "Notice of Cancellation" or "Right of Recision" in the contract. According to Pennsylvania law, you have three days to cancel a contract for services (over $25) entered into at your home.

The Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer protection is here to help. If you need more information, visit the website at www.attorneygeneral.gov or call the toll-free Hotline at 1-800-441-2555.