Beware of lawn mowing company scam

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Houston residents: If you pay a company to mow your lawn, watch them from late September through early November. Some of them put down rye grass seed without telling you. This keeps them busy cutting your lawn year-round.
This has happened to my next-door neighbor two years in a row. I'm curious if this scam is done in other areas of the Gulf Coast.
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On 2 Nov 2003 15:03:04 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@watchingyou.com (Lou Minatti) wrote:

A reputable lawn service will tell you exactly what is applied, what was done, and why. Here (in TN) a lawn service contract charges a fixed fee all year round. Scamming customers will eventually lead to fewer customers and/or lawns that looks like crap.
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Two years in a row? Sounds like your neighbor is OK with what the lawn service is doing.
Is he complaining, or is it only you?
Shepherd
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On Mon, 03 Nov 2003 03:33:47 GMT, "Shepherd"

Some call it overseeding and like the strong winter color...
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opined:

We used to overseed, but the mowing is amazingly boring all winter. I actually like the break in winter. Most commercial landscapes have winter fescue or rye. For that, it's heaven sent. The landscape looks nice all year long in warmer climates. V
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With an eye on not hijacking this thread, what are the attributes of winter fescue and is it of any use on zone 6/7???
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To clarify, I live in south central Texas. The ground never freezes and temperatures are cool enough to support these cool season grasses. In summer, rye and fescue drop dead immediately.
The benefit of these turf grasses are especially important to commercial application where occupants want an alive turf all winter. It has no other benefit unless it's rye grown on open soil as a cover crop.
I don't overseed any more. I like to put the mower away in winter.
V
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I don't think you understand. This is a scam numerous companies are running, not just one company. They get away with it because there are hundreds of thousands of first-time home owners in the southern US who don't know squat about their lawns.

Let's try again.
Neighbor has winter rye dumped on her lawn without her approval. Neighbor doesn't want winter rye on her lawn. Neighbor is now stuck paying a lawn company to cut the grass 52 weeks every year, rather than 40 weeks out of every year. Neighbor will now have to pay at least $240 more than she was expecting to for lawn care this year.
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O.K., let's try again!
Maybe the lawn service pulled the wool over her eyes the first year, but she must have been aware of the use of overseeding with annual rye the second year and could have prevented it and/or refused to pay for it if was not mentioned in the contract she signed.
As I said, sounds like she wanted winter rye so she could have a nice green lawn all year. Many people do.
Besides, many of my neighbors have lawn services and only those who specify winter rye used for overseeding in the winter get it and the service. However, most don't even get their lawns overseeded.
Shepherd
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Yes, let us. You still don't understand.

Who says she's using the same company? You are assuming something I never said.
Now, you say she can simply not pay once the rye grass is discovered. True. However, that doesn't solve the problem - a lawn that has to be cut once a week from December-February. She can't do it, so she's incurred a needless expense to service a product (rye grass) she never requested.

But she doesn't.

But she didn't request this service. Do you understand yet?
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She got a contract, or at least should have. Didn't she read that contract before signing it? Again, she should have!
If the lawn service did something, or did not do something, which is not called out in her contract, and it cost her to lay out more money than agreed upon, she can, and should take them to small claims court.
Do YOU understand yet?
Why doesn't she just get rid of the lawn services and have you take care of her lawn for her?
Shepherd
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She read the agreement. She also showed it to me a few days ago. Nowhere does it say anything about winter rye.

How does one prove this sort of thing? She didn't witness it. Few people would. I'm not aware of many people who watch their lawn crews while they work.

Yes, but I don't think you do. No one should even have to go to court over this, which is why I am warning people.

Why should this be my responsibility?
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If winter rye comes up, then winter rye was planted, whether she saw it done or not. Did she ever consider telling the service, or better yet, sending them a registered letter stating she does not want her lawn overseeded with winter rye. Then if it is planted and she has to pay to have it cut, she can take them to small claims court and sue to be rembursed for the cost of the mowings.

Going to court is a nuisance, but so is being required to pay for something you don't want and didn't ask for.

of
You seem to be the only one concerned about the matter.
Shepherd
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On 3 Nov 2003 18:19:43 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@myway.com (Lou Minatti) wrote:

So hire a new company....and clearly indicate your to cheap to have a green lawn year round
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(Lou Minatti)

I cut my own lawn. This is about my elderly neighbor who did NOT sign a contract agreeing to lawn mowing year-round. But thanks to their scam, now she has to have it done - which costs her 25% more than she budgeted for annual lawn care. Can you grasp that?
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For some inexplicable reasons, snipped-for-privacy@myway.com (Lou Minatti) wrote:
:I cut my own lawn. This is about my elderly neighbor who did NOT sign :a contract agreeing to lawn mowing year-round. But thanks to their :scam, now she has to have it done - which costs her 25% more than she :budgeted for annual lawn care. Can you grasp that?
    I'm sorry that your neighbor was duped by the same scam two years in a row. Why don't you help out and mow for her?
--
Wendy Chatley Green
snipped-for-privacy@cris.com
  Click to see the full signature.
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On 4 Nov 2003 03:46:04 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@myway.com (Lou Minatti) opined:

Everybody grasps it. If it's a scam, she should call the district attorney's office and register a complaint and sue for damages. Is that what you want to hear?
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(Lou Minatti)

So, be a good neighbor, mow her lawn for her this winter, for nothing.
If you really want to help your elderly neighbor, advise her to get a written contract from now on, and read and understand it fully before signing it. Or, better yet, have her get someone she trusts, who is knowledgeable about such matters, read it and advise her before she signs it.
Shepherd
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Shepherd wrote:

signs
Exactly.
And make sure it explicitly states that they will not overseed in the fall. If the contract is silent on this, she could have a harder time in small claims court, especially if it's the customary way lawn services in that area work. It's not a scam if it's the customary procedure especially since they can point out that it doesn't just benefit them, but benefits the customers by giving them green lawns year-round.
--
Warren H.

==========
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(Lou Minatti)

Non sequitur noted.

Why do you assume she didn't have a written contract? Why do you assume she doesn't fully understand it?

Nothing on the agreement said anything about spreading winter rye. Yet there it is, sprouting up all over her front lawn as the weather finally cools down. She didn't put it down, and there's no Magic Grass Fairy, so who would benefit by doing this?
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