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This is the type of crap that gives us all a bad name

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by naturescaretaker, Dec 1, 2004.

  1. naturescaretaker

    naturescaretaker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 854

    From Lawn and Landscape Magazine (Credit Givien)

    Unhappy Customers Spur Probe of Lawn Firm

    By The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio)

    CLEVELAND – Police are investigating a lawn care company accused of cheating five customers who paid up front for landscaping work.

    Suburban Acres Landscaping, owned by Rasheem Smith, donated several hours of yard work to winners of a Cleveland Plain Dealer contest looking for "desperate housewives."

    But after the company's name ran with a story announcing the contest winners – nine women from Sagamore Hills – a reader called to warn about problems with the company.

    The reader, Wendy Moran of Shaker Heights, signed a contract with the company for nearly $2,000, she said. She said that she paid up front but that Smith's company never showed up to do the promised work.

    Moran and several other people took the company to small claims court and complained to Shaker Heights police.

    Suburban Acres lists a Shaker Heights address but has only a post office box in the city. It is run out of a Cleveland office.

    Police Chief Walter Ugrinic said detectives investigated the company and will soon take five complaints to prosecutors. Smith is not charged with any crimes related to the lawn care claims. Police have not been able to locate Smith, who, court records show, uses many different names.

    He is also wanted on a felony drug warrant in the county. Smith, who could not be reached at his business or home phones, has a long criminal history of drug and theft offenses.

    The Plain Dealer will choose a new company to perform the lawn services for contest winners.

    Moran said she should have investigated more thoroughly.

    She was angry about the money she lost but was more hurt when she discovered that an elderly woman said she, too, had been scammed. "That really hit me in the stomach," she said.

    Ugrinic warns consumers to check out companies that they contract with and to never pay for services up front "regardless of how good the deal may sound."
  2. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,366

    Unreal. Nuff said. :realmad:
  3. Mo Green

    Mo Green LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,487

    Yep, what a shame. Seems to be bad apples in every bunch.
  4. richard coffman

    richard coffman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 341


    there's allways a bad apple in the bunch. having a good reputation is the name of the game.you get guy's like that in all different kinds of industry's, just wish you never run into one. :rolleyes:
  5. Ol'time Lawncare

    Ol'time Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 497

    some guys don't remember, when u first started out. just because of guys like this makes it hard for me ( the new guy)to get signed contracts, so what do i do? i have no other choice but to operate with out a contract.bottom line ,it's all about the money or go hungry
  6. chevyman1

    chevyman1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 852

    If anything, people like that can help us too. If we have a loyal customer base with great referral business, they can talk to prospective people and say 'so and so has always made good on his promises and delivery of services' and people will come to guys like us more
  7. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    I read the article about two weeks ago. Unbelievable
  8. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    there you go, convicting poor mr. smith without even hearing his side of the story. it is quite possible, that mr. smith has a very good explanation for all of this. this is still america, aint it? where a man is innocent, till proven guilty
  9. richard coffman

    richard coffman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 341

    I think the words conviction and warrent don't give him any justice Bobby.
  10. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    just because he was previously convicted, doesn't make him a life long criminal. poor guy. maybe he needed the money to pay for an operation or something? i'm sure there is a very good explanation for this. give the guy a break, will ya

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