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TruGreen questions

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by capnsac, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. capnsac

    capnsac LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 702

    Hello all,

    I have a friend who is a customer of TruGreens (first mistake). He wants to know what he should, well, know about their method of operation so he can really hammer the rep he has. He also wants to know what he needs to be looking for when they do service his account, before and after results.

    I know they mostly use liquid fert so that way they can dilute the product further, but other than that I am guessing. I know they deal on ignorance, and also on sheer volume rather than quality.

    Please let me know each and every gripe you have with these guys. I really want him to have a lot of ammo to use.

  2. Tommy Boy

    Tommy Boy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 220


    Watch how long they walk the property. Spray pattern in the front will be better then in the back. Survey a few weed sites and watch results, keep calling them back for the free call backs. They are volume guys, the pace and the spray pattern determins a lot. I know TruRipff here uses Tracker so the yard looks covered, (TRACKER IS REALLY CHEAP) but your right, what's the quality of the chemical used or the mixing rate. They error on way under so they don't burn the yard and keep billing. But my the yard looks green when it's dormant.

    Hire some one else
  3. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,988

    Just google trugreen chemlawn and you will get site after site of what to look out for. If your friend hasn't prepaid, he may be able to get out of his contract, which is what I would recommend.

    Things I have seen TGCL do.

    1. What they call a splash and dash. (That they even have a name for this shows what they are.) Where a "tech" pulls up, rings the door, no one is home so he throws some fert on the drive near the lawn, and puts his stake in the lawn and drives off. I've heard lots of former TGCL clients complain about this, but wasn't sure I believed them.... till I saw one.

    2. Just treating the front.

    3. Treating the lawn with pets on the lawn.

    4. Overselling, if a TGCL salesman senses he can get away with it, he will just keep piling on services. I have seen people here getting 10 applications/season just for the lawn.

    5. When he does cancel, they will likely try to keep coming, as long as he pays, they will keep coming. Every year, I lose hundreds of dollars because I sign on people who have canceled TGCL, and TGCL comes anyway, sometimes 2 or 3 times. I tell people right up front, when they sign up, that it might happen, and NOT to pay for it.

    I know some nice folks who have worked for TGCL, heck, I worked for Terminix, (same company), but there are some bad apples in that bunch, and some managers who push production, production, production and don't care about quality.
  4. Josh.S

    Josh.S LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,085

    You are 100% correct. Our branch does this all the time. The techs even have a name for it, they call it "ghosting"

    I talked to a lady that was getting 12.... I repeat 12 applications per year. They were charging her $120 per app on a 10,000 sq foot lawn. Want to talk about a rip off??? :hammerhead:

    This is also true. A friend of mine canceled their service, then they came back anyways. When he made a big fuss about it because it was BS they turned him into collections. He eventually gave up and paid because $42 wasn't worth that much of a headache. ANY reputable company would have apologized and deleted the invoice out.

    And yes, there is a reason they sometimes spray without gloves while wearing tennis shoes... straight water isn't a very strong chemical :)

    Also TGCL will call you ALL THE TIME trying to sell you extra stuff.

    One time I had TruRipoff come to a property while I was doing a leaf cleanup and start spreading granular fert on top of the leafs. When the furious customer told him to go away the "tech" walked around to the front, put the bill in the door, and left.

    So there are a couple things to look out for... if your friend likes taking it up the @ss then stick with TGCL. Otherwise I would HIGHLY suggest getting a new company.
  5. tlg

    tlg LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 645

    Seems to me if he feels the need to really " hammer them" he should just cancel his service. I have seen TGCL applicators do things that would really make anyone second guess their choice to use them in the first place. I have seen applicators " hang Paper ". Meaning that the pulled up and just left an invoice. I have seen spraying done with winds gusting over 40 MPH. I have also witnessed damaged equipment leaking chems everywhere with duct tape as the method of repair. Any company can have bad employees and bad management. TGCL I'm sure has many satisfied customers as well or they wouldn't be doing as well as they do. If your friends not happy with them just cancel them and be done with it. Why deal with the stress if you don't have to?
  6. Real Green

    Real Green LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 389

  7. capnsac

    capnsac LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 702

    Thanks for all the input everyone, I appreciate it. I took a look at this link and printed every last word it had, came out to be 39 pages long. I handed him this 'book' and told him that he probably shouldn't even deal with the headache and just find a company based out of Omaha to do his fert. He agreed, case closed :usflag::usflag:
  8. 1.2.3. green

    1.2.3. green LawnSite Member
    Posts: 63

    Enough said on prior posts,I used to work for these jokers, get a camera and tape them from inside the house, or however you can without them knowing of coarse, then when they are annoying you about collections or you just want to get rid of them just tell them you have documented them not doing the proper service.Youll be notifying main headquarters (Memphis I believe) and they will be notified of the court date.The last thing you should do is pay them, they have numerous people on phones all day giving threats of collection or whatever else.Another good won is they will give you a free application if you pay...yeah right. Just google trugreen complaints
  9. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Posts: 2,636

    Priced their current local cost yesterday. The local sales rep on the phone filled me with such crap.. not even customer service related.

    First thing he did was volunteer that they were "expensive" and justified it by saying they were the only company in the nation that offers a root growth program. They use Urea in the spring (locally). Oops and Oops.

    He said that over time with their root growth program the lawn will stay healthy... I have observed the opposite from TG, and have the customers to prove it. oops

    Hey said their technicians were very knowledgeable. I have asked their technicians what they were applying, their response was "I don't know". Oops

    He said they do a winterizer/sulfur app last, and they charge double for it (cause it is winterizer and sulfur app.). Ironic I suspect they just use Ammonium Sulfate. Ooops

    He said they are the only company in the nation that does a preventative bilbug treatment. I know of PLENTY others that offer this. In fact 4 locals advertise this heavily. Oops

    He said that a higher percent (100%) of liquid fert gets to roots, while granular is less efficient. Oops.

    And the background noise? A room full of other sales reps probably filling people with the same exact BS. I can't blame him for not knowing better though, he IS just a salesman.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2009
  10. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,988

    In Omaha? Try Ground Solutions, I believe he is a member here.

    I have gotten people out of Chemlawn contracts. I had one where they would come without notice and treat the lawn. These people had 2 aggressive Rottweilers, no way in heck a spray tech could have done the back, which was most of the property. They called to cancel, and were told flat out "NO", TGCL would finish the contract. So I called right there from their house. I asked for the branch manager, and told him they were canceling because their services weren't being done. The branch manager swore that they were getting their services done, and had the record to prove it. He gave me the dates, and I responded that both the dogs were out that day. I asked him what the re-entry interval was on pre-em and 3-way, he stumbled a bit... maybe shocked that I knew those terms. Then I asked him if he wanted me to call the Dept of Ag, and file a formal complaint, or if he wanted to revise his BS story about the back being done.... He chose the latter option, and agreed to cancel the contract and stop collections on the last app.:laugh::laugh::laugh:

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