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americanlawn
01-20-2008, 05:29 PM
Copying: your lawn program? your tree program? your spray rigs? your lawn flags? your brochures?


Our estimate forms were also copied by this outfit (EVEN THE MISSPELLINGS!!!:laugh:) .

Has this happened to you? If so, what is your opinion of outfits likes these?

Please note that I am not mentioning any names so as not to violate forum rules, but I sure wished I could, cuz of many more reasons>>>> like several other local companies who have fought back by hiring "tree experts".

Bankruptcy, false advertising, etc are also part of this organization's history. In fact, courts awarded us compensation (thousands of dollars) regarding the aforementioned culprit.

Any of you experienced outfits like this?

americanlawn
01-20-2008, 05:54 PM
I forgot to mention competitors stealing flags off lawns.

Copying: your lawn program? your tree program? your spray rigs? your lawn flags? your brochures?


Our estimate forms were also copied by this outfit (EVEN THE MISSPELLINGS!!!:laugh:) .

Has this happened to you? If so, what is your opinion of outfits likes these?

Please note that I am not mentioning any names so as not to violate forum rules, but I sure wished I could, cuz of many more reasons>>>> like several other local companies who have fought back by hiring "tree experts".

Bankruptcy, false advertising, etc are also part of this organization's history. In fact, courts awarded us compensation (thousands of dollars) regarding the aforementioned culprit.

Any of you experienced outfits like this?

GravelyGuy
01-20-2008, 05:56 PM
I forgot to mention competitors stealing flags off lawns.

That's pretty bad, and I thought it was bad around here:laugh:

bill8379
01-20-2008, 06:06 PM
Oh jeez, at first I thought u were talking about me because I just registered a new business name and when I googled it, it was already taken by an american co. actually there were several with that name but none in my area.

I went to one of their websites and thought.. man they got nice lawn signs:(

rcreech
01-20-2008, 08:31 PM
Copying: your lawn program? your tree program? your spray rigs? your lawn flags? your brochures?


Our estimate forms were also copied by this outfit (EVEN THE MISSPELLINGS!!!:laugh:) .

Has this happened to you? If so, what is your opinion of outfits likes these?

Please note that I am not mentioning any names so as not to violate forum rules, but I sure wished I could, cuz of many more reasons>>>> like several other local companies who have fought back by hiring "tree experts".

Bankruptcy, false advertising, etc are also part of this organization's history. In fact, courts awarded us compensation (thousands of dollars) regarding the aforementioned culprit.

Any of you experienced outfits like this?



That is definitly bull crap....but also a complement to you and your business!

They know you are good and know what you are doing!

Its still bull crap though!

PHS
01-21-2008, 07:35 AM
AL, I hate when companies do that stuff. It seems like wherever I've been there are always a few companies that seem to spend all their time following, copying, and badmouthing thier competition. Everyone else in the same business is seen as an enemy.

In your case where they are actually stealing your stuff they should be prosecuted for that without question. In a more general sense it is sort of a compliment. I figure they don't know enough or aren't confident enough in themselves to blaze their own trail so I just ignore them. In the long run if you are doing the best job you can your confidence and knowledge shines through with most customers. If you are spiteful and paranoid about your competitors that shows through too.

ted putnam
01-21-2008, 09:41 AM
I never had someone copy me but I'll tell you what I did have happen when I first started. One of my main competitors knew I was not the type to go after his customers.I try to go for the lawns that don't look so good or are just plain crap. He went into most of the really juicy neighborhoods and put one of his flags in virtually every lawn in the hopes that I would not pass a flyer to them. I'm all for a little competition but that seemed to me to be "dirty". Of course I passed them anyway, but I thought "what a schmuck!"

RigglePLC
01-21-2008, 02:53 PM
It felt so familiar, I worked for a company whose "Lawn Analysis " forms resembled those at Tru Green, where I used to work. But of course Tru Green borrowed heavily from Chem Lawn--in fact Tru Green's original name was "Chem Green" in about 1976. Until Chem Lawn's lawyers forced them to change it.

americanlawn
01-21-2008, 03:41 PM
I must admit that we copied the lawn care program of ChemLawn -- not the one now, but the "original" ChemLawn which is nolonger in business. But before I did this, I "ran it by" Iowa State University to see if it was a sound program. This was nearly 20 years ago.

More recently, we've had several customers call us reporting XYZ company stole our lawn flags from their front lawns. One day, one of my guys saw a compeitor in his truck at a comvenience store with one of our flags in his hand. To this day, I can tap on a competitor's website and read "ver batum" our tree & shrub care program that I designed back in 1990.

I don't feel threatened by the actions of these competitors, but I question their character. Most lawn/tree companies around here pretty much know each other. They all know who are "good people" and those who they don't have a whole lot of respect for. The vast majority are respectable outfits. It's just 2 or 3 that...............

lawnservice
01-21-2008, 08:57 PM
let me get this straight.....you KNOW you have misspellings on your estimate forms, yet you use them anyway?
huh, interesting

garydale
01-22-2008, 09:38 AM
A couple of thoughts:
Copyright your original work.
Recommend the bad company to your pain in the A** customers.
Imagation is the best compliment

americanlawn
01-22-2008, 12:15 PM
let me get this straight.....you KNOW you have misspellings on your estimate forms, yet you use them anyway?
huh, interesting

I corrected the 3 misspellings, but the competitor did not.:laugh:

DUSTYCEDAR
01-22-2008, 12:24 PM
gotta love copycats

lawnservice
01-22-2008, 01:04 PM
I corrected the 3 misspellings, but the competitor did not.:laugh:

then it sounds like an inside job. Disgruntled employee??

we had a competitor who would call our customers (not just our customers but I'm sure they called every lawn with a lawn app sign on it). They would say they bought us out and they would begin to service the property as soon as the customer confirmed some info. Then they would proceed to ask questions like 'how many sq ft is the lawn? and how much have you been paying?'
Thankfully, people aren't complete idiots. We got many calls from our customers asking if we sold then they said they knew something was fishy. If we had sold surely the company that bought us would have that basic info like app price and lawn size.

I'm 99.9% sure I know who was doing this. I actually went out to find him...but he moves alot?!?! But I did get the word out via vendors and several landscapers that I was looking for this individual. All problems have stopped.

americanlawn
01-22-2008, 01:26 PM
You have loyal customers. That speaks highly of you. Most lawn guys here know each other, so word of mouth flies pretty fast. We just keep plugging away.....life's too short anyway.

crazy4green
01-22-2008, 07:55 PM
Last year I actually caught a TGCL guy taking my invoice off the door and take it in his truck took it out of the bag and looking it over. Then the next app customer told me they had called giving price 5 dollars cheaper saying the price they are paying now is on some data base thats how they know it would be cheaper. Later I called all customers in that particular subdivision an everyone of them had received the same call. Those guys have no ethics at all. Its good to know though that all my customers stayed and even a couple noticed them doing this as well and reported it to better buisness bureau. Loyal customers go along way and I even got more buisness from neighbors because of this.

xtremelawn
01-22-2008, 08:56 PM
A couple of years ago a friend of mine that works at the local office supply store in town help me design and print my door hanger. A couple of weeks after we passed them out my friend called and said he had something for me to see. A guy had brought a word for word hand written copy to the store and needed it typed and 50000 printed. My friend did just as the guy told him except he reversed the last 2 digits of the phone number. The guy was so dumb he did not even catch it when he signed the prof. The store required him to pay up front for a quantity that big. Then me friend told him of a company that would pass them out for him. So he paid twice for nothing.

I wonder if he is still waiting for the phone to ring:laugh::laugh::laugh:

jdmcat
01-22-2008, 09:07 PM
let me get this straight.....you KNOW you have misspellings on your estimate forms, yet you use them anyway?
huh, interesting

here's an interesting fact... road map companies deliberately make mistakes on their maps and copyright them to stop others from copying their work. It's annoying when you find one of these the hard way.

PHS
01-23-2008, 01:21 PM
It's annoying when you find one of these the hard way.

Dang it I hate when that happens!!! The couple times I've had it happen to me it was always way out on some rural road where you couldn't just swing around the block to fix it.

Mr.GreenJeans89
01-23-2008, 03:39 PM
A-Lawns,you are right.It is very irritating having competitors copying you.I have one guy in my area that actually calls me and wants advice and to use equipment and hes my competitor!I used to help these guys that dont have any blood sweat and tears in this business,they just know what they have read on here and what they see pros do then they get some money and presto,they are buying equipment and stealing your accounts by underbidding you.I thinj my days of helping garage shop lawn cares are over!:nono:

humble1
01-23-2008, 04:24 PM
Last year I actually caught a TGCL guy taking my invoice off the door and take it in his truck took it out of the bag and looking it over. Then the next app customer told me they had called giving price 5 dollars cheaper saying the price they are paying now is on some data base thats how they know it would be cheaper. Later I called all customers in that particular subdivision an everyone of them had received the same call. Those guys have no ethics at all. Its good to know though that all my customers stayed and even a couple noticed them doing this as well and reported it to better buisness bureau. Loyal customers go along way and I even got more buisness from neighbors because of this.

I would have pulled him out of the truck, and pulled it from his hands. That is your property not his. That chit pisses me off. It didnt happen to me but reading it makes my blood boil.

crazy4green
01-23-2008, 05:33 PM
I wanted to rip his arms off but you know the way it goes quiet subdivision lots of neighbors out wouldn't been in my best intrest at the time. Plus like I said worked out to be the best thing. Not only are those customers even more happy with me I think I got all their accounts in the sub because didn't see any TGCL flags at the end of year. Maybe next time I see him though he will have to watch his back.

americanlawn
01-23-2008, 06:33 PM
That's TOO FUNNY:laugh: Here's a pic of our lawn flags that were removed from our customers' lawns by a local competitor. We were the only company around who used two-sided flags. Turned out that the guys who stole our flags from our customers properties began using two-sided flags with the 'same colors and print size' as ours the very next spring. I really don't understand it cuz all they had to do was ask. Over the past couple of years, I have NEVER refused to help out others on this site. Never......spray rigs, pumps, spray boots, chemicals, ..........anything! I even had to post pics of our real estate, trucks, equipment, warehouses, office, etc just to PROVE who we were. (lawnservice -- you know what I'm talking about...I have even helped out the outfit here which you know here in the Des Moines area).

I am NEVER afraid of "competitors", cuz if you're good enough, you won't have to worry. I really want to say much more, but I won't. The proof is in the pudding!!!!:weightlifter::usflag::walking:

A couple of years ago a friend of mine that works at the local office supply store in town help me design and print my door hanger. A couple of weeks after we passed them out my friend called and said he had something for me to see. A guy had brought a word for word hand written copy to the store and needed it typed and 50000 printed. My friend did just as the guy told him except he reversed the last 2 digits of the phone number. The guy was so dumb he did not even catch it when he signed the prof. The store required him to pay up front for a quantity that big. Then me friend told him of a company that would pass them out for him. So he paid twice for nothing.

I wonder if he is still waiting for the phone to ring:laugh::laugh::laugh:

bill8379
01-23-2008, 11:02 PM
oh those are lawn signs, I thought you guys actually used little flags.;)

Whitey4
01-23-2008, 11:13 PM
oh those are lawn signs, I thought you guys actually used little flags.;)


Newbie, eh?

PHS
01-24-2008, 06:24 AM
Newbie, eh?

Not necessarily. Not all states require them. I've never seen one before except for those used in agriculture.

crawdad
01-24-2008, 06:37 AM
I never understood, if the sign is gonna say, "Do not remove for 24 hours," Why don't you put a date, and time, on it?

mattfromNY
01-24-2008, 07:08 AM
I took my employee with me yesterday to a local auction. We ran into a competitor, and as always, shook hands and said hi to him. I listened while he bad mouthed a few commercial plowing accounts that I signed this year, come to find out he had them last year (I didn't know this, I only knew they weren't happy with their previous contractor)

Later my employee told me the other LCO had pulled him aside and offered him a job. :nono:

This is the same guy that went around this fall and offered a few of my commercial accounts 'whatever it takes to get the account', even offering to drop $1000 off his proposal to steal one from me. (Luckily, my customers see through this sh**, and re-signed with me). Then, when I see him, he preaches how he doesn't step on anyones' toes, and we all need to work together....:dizzy:
I still maintain that what goes around, comes around. Keep doing a good job, and there will be no worries.

Whitey4
01-24-2008, 10:07 AM
Not necessarily. Not all states require them. I've never seen one before except for those used in agriculture.

He knows why I said that.

PHS
01-24-2008, 10:54 AM
Ahhh:laugh: