Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Chem Gone

Up until today, I've paid Chemlawn to treat my lawn, shrubs, and trees. What do I have to show for it? Well, our lawn and trees have never looked worse, that's what...

Apparently, Chemlawn's primary business is convincing people to pay more money to Chemlawn; the actual process of caring for plants is secondary. I've been particularly concerned about our hollies (which lost leaves during the winter and look stalky and bare) and our Alberta spruce, which are brown and gappy. They all looked fine when Chemlawn took over, but have steadily deteriorated in spite of frequent calls to Chemlawn to express my concern.

Today, the technician, a Mr. Jordan, basically told me that my shrubs looked bad because I wasn't paying enough. If I'd contract for four more tree and shrub treatments, they could make them look better; otherwise, the problem was weather related. Now you and I see the contradiction in those statements, but apparently this sales pitch had worked for him in the past, so he was sticking to it.

"As few treatments as you're paying for, I'm not even supposed to make a service call to look at these plants," he told me. "I'm doing you a favor by being here."

"Tell you what," I said. "Let me save you from having to do me a favor. I don't want you to make a special trip. In fact, I don't want anyone from Chemlawn to make any trip at all. In fact, I'd like you off the property right now."

He was obviously confused; this wasn't at all the way he envisioned the conversation progressing.

He left. I called Chemlawn and told them to cancel my service immediately. "But your plants and lawn won't thrive without regular treatments," the persons said. I pointed out that my plants and lawn had done pretty well before Chemlawn, and I couldn't afford to have them "thrive" any further, lest I lose them entirely.

I also verified that Chemlawn is owned by the same company that owns Terminix, the pest control company that acquired our former pest control service, Mayday. They said it was; I told them I'd be calling Terminix to cancel before the week is out.

In the meantime, I'll recommend to any and all who have lawns and shrubs that you stay away from Chemlawn... in fact, I guess that's what I'm doing right now!

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