Sticky Predicament with local competitor - any thoughts?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by DA Quality Lawn & YS, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,309

    If you see someone make an illegal left turn do you call the authorities. I'm sure that you have done things in your life that are not legal but did someone turn you in?

    LET IT GO.
  2. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,750

    You have a neighbor down the street. He's a bootlegger. He's selling booze to anyone who's got the money. He's even selling to teenagers. You know this because you've seen people come and go. They arrive with nothing and leave with a bottle in a brown paper sack.

    Do you:
    A. Let it slide. People just want to unwind every so often. Besides, he's a lot closer than the liquor store. He's just making a little money on the side to supplement his income.

    B. Call the authorities and let them handle it. What he's doing is illegal. Someone could get hurt or even killed. Do you want to read in the newspaper about a kid that died and you might have been able to stop it but didn't.

    The decision is yours...
  3. grassyfras

    grassyfras LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,475

    When he "stole work for you", do you mean he stole contracts from you and scratched your name out? Or, do you mean he did better work than you, was easier to deal with from a customer stand point, or advertised a cheaper price? What I'm getting at is your upset your loosing work to someone doing a better job that probably wouldn't matter anyway if he had the proper license.

    If this isn't true you have nothing to worry about because most rational customers will realize you were the better service provider and switch back after a year. Why blow it with your old clients because they heard a rumor that you turned in a lawn-service for operating illegally? Honestly, I bet most my customers think I run some tax-evasion operation.
  4. The guy is applying illegally. What more needs to be said. He is stealing work bc he didn't pay his dues to be legally licensed and is now operating with those services.
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  5. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,296

    'Stealing work' is bit strong - we are talking about my neighbor's account right next door. My neighbor said I could treat his lawn again this year, on a handshake. He said first he was having 'his buddy' dethatch the lawn. Fine. (I offer tine raking but I was like who cares let the ding-dong get it done then I will do 1st round). Turns out that he put down fert+pre right after he power raked and bagged. My neighbor says he did not ask the guy to do that. I asked my neighbor if his buddy is lic. to apply. He said he didn't have a clue. We left it at that, peaceful like. Thats all the facts jack.

    I should go put one of my flags on the lawn, call the guy, and say "looks like you forgot to flag after your illegal app, so I stuck one in for you":)
  6. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,643

    Wow. How come the majority of the posters saying "Let it go" rarely post in this forum? Hit a nerve?

    Bottom line has been echoed by Ric, Ted and others already. If you pay to get your license they need to as well. No exceptions. Will the customer come back as some others have suggested? Maybe, but that's a year that this unlicensed individual made a years salary by taking it out of other LCO's pockets. No thanks.
  7. lazyike

    lazyike LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 302

    DA would you turn in a suspected drunk driver???? Do everyone in the state of Minnesota a favor and report him to the Dept. Ag, It is a very simple process, I have turned in other non licensed applicators and they did a very good and discreet job of checking out the facts, I understand that it is not so much of the fact that he is taking your customers, but the fact that he is not operating his business on a level playing field. You maintain the required ins. and the proper license, and testing, fees and then this guy is skirting the law and of course able to be run his business cheaper.
    The is also no accountability in his work, if he misuses chemicals he is not only hurting the yard he is working on but also potentially the water my kids drink as well as your kids, I think you have a responsibility as a good Stuart of this industry to report the incident.

  8. cod8825

    cod8825 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 501

    Coming from a guy that has actually been turned in when he started operating in Kansas but based in Missouri the very first day that I was spraying in Kansas I was called on. I was spraying on a Saturday because it was a school. In Kansas unlike Missouri you have to have your Pesticide business license, business name and contact number on both sides of truck and back. I was in an unmarked truck as I was doing the work subcontract for another LCO and I did want any confussion for the customer(school) I had all the record keeping required just not my truck lettered. That was a cluster**** of a mess to deal with. Three meetings and yearly audits later I am still dealing with the issue.

    Turn him in absolutely it has nothing to do with pricing, money lost or anything we know they are breaking the law.

  9. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    Maybe you should take this as a wake up call. Why is he getting your customer and DOES IT MATTER??? One of my competitors does Fire Ant spraying on several house in my neighborhood. He is $ 35.00 a treatment and only treats 4 times a year. No way I can compete with that and I really don't care to. He doesn't hurt me, He is legal and so I just let Karma do it's thing.

    If Competition is too hot, get out of the fire and flip burgers for a living. Or you can get a consultant to help you be more competitive.

  10. rob7233

    rob7233 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Contact your licensing and enforcement authotities and gather info to explore your options. Inquire as to his actual licensing status and how hard it would be to get what's required. Assess his ability to recover from your reporting him and the likely outcomes. Then weigh your options.

    Point is, he is potentially endangering the public by not notifying, flagging or documenting applications not to mention the impact to your business and reputation.

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