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HOFFMANN: Special deals aren’t always special

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In our last column we provided a few tips to help select a lawn maintenance company.

Today we are going to discuss a few ‘special offers’ I received in the mail and why they may not be so special.

I received an offer from a well known national company.

The offer on the front of the mailer and inside was very clear.

“Sign up now and get your first custom lawn application for just $29.95.”

Well, I looked and looked for the fine print.

It took awhile to find it, as the discount details were buried in further details about a contest for a backyard makeover.

I could barely read it, even with the aid of my tri-focals.

When I finally found the details, it stated the offer was good for only new customers signing up for a full program, and it applied to only 5,000 square feet! That amounts to a total savings of about $6!

I wonder how many complaints this company gets as some people would likely call for service, only to find out the details of the offer, maybe after it was too late.

Why make an offer that is meant to confuse or take advantage of a prospective new customer?

I also received a second offer from another well know company, offering me a savings of $183 if I signed up for their annual program.

There are several problems with this offer.

One, they were going to give me a free application of grub control, worth $148.

That would be great, as grubs can certainly do major damage to a lawn.

However, I don’t have a grub problem.

Because of that, the application has no value to me, and would be an application of chemicals that is not needed.

Thinking ‘green,’ chemicals should not be used unless warranted.

Second, as this offer was made recently, I would have missed the first two or three applications.

I would have to pay for services that were not warranted oR  be applied as too late in the season.

So, where is the discount?

I feel the company would have made more money with this special offer as they would not have to make the early spring applications of fertilizer and pre-emergence, though I would have to pay for them.

Special pricing is not limited to lawn maintenance companies.

We all want to save money and get a good deal.

It doesn’t matter if it is for lawn maintenance, a gallon of milk or a new car.

However, read the offer, look for the small print, and as I stated in my previous article, ask questions.

Don’t hesitate to talk to neighbors about their experience, or even call  another company for a second opinion. MP

Donn Hoffmann can be reached at grasshopperturfcompany@yahoo.com or 615-971-6780.
Tagged under  Donn Hoffmann, Landscaping, Voices

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