Tips to Avoid Landscape Contractor Scams

Posted By: Michael Schoen on  in Articles

Getting your outdoor landscaping done is an exciting prospect and can seem like a real treat! However, you should be aware that some landscape contractors only want to make a buck and do not have their customers’ best interests at heart. Avoiding the scams which might be out there sometimes can be difficult.

Atlanta Landscapes and Pools wants you to know how to avoid landscaping contractor scams. With our combined experience of more than 40 years in successful landscape design and creation, we can help you avoid the scam artists, and achieve the landscaping you’ve always wanted for your yard and home. We want you to know that as an honest contractor, we never employ the following dubious techniques. If you want to avoid big problems, heed this advice!

Scare Tactics

If a landscaper approaches you and tells you something has gone very wrong with your yard or other areas, and if you don’t fix it soon, someone will get hurt or the yard will be destroyed, he is using a scare tactic. These landscape contractors who try to frighten you into doing business with them are usually scam artists. They’ll tell you if you don’t finish the project or get something done right away, you’ll be accountable for what happens – and they might even try to scam you by scaring you with the idea of a lawsuit.

At Atlanta Landscapes and Pools, we’re not into scare tactics. We’ll look at your landscaping needs and give you honest answers about what we think should be done and what it’s going to cost. We won’t scare you into working with us.

Hasty Quotes

If a landscaper approaches you with a quick quote on a very big job, consider his approach as a quick heads up for very big worry. Be careful if someone offers you a quote within moments of seeing your yard or hearing about what you’d like done. Everyone wants to get work done quickly, but no one wants a hasty quote with sketchy details, if any details at all.

You’ll appreciate the timely quote Atlanta Landscapes and Pools will offer you. Our offer will be a detailed, written quote so you can see exactly what your payments will be used for. Legitimate contractors like Atlanta Landscapes and Pools do not hastily scribble numbers on scrap paper, or give you estimates off the top of their heads.

At Atlanta Landscapes and Pools, we will never employ dubious selling techniques.

Remember, it is your responsibility to be sure you don’t leave any doors open for being ripped off. There are lots of scam artists out there who might try to pass themselves off as legitimate landscape contractors.

Deal with a name you trust. Atlanta Landscapes and Pools, serving the North Metro Atlanta Area, is a name you can feel confident in. Check out our website at atlantalandscapesandpools.com or call us today at 404-543-3007.

No Identification

If the landscaper tells you he’s left his business cards at home, or gives you a post office box for an address, think twice before doing business with him. Legitimate contractors, like Atlanta Landscapes and Pools, won’t ever be deceptive. We present ourselves in a professional manner, with business cards and a real address you can check if you want. Be cautious of anyone who refuses to produce identification for you. Sometimes, these contractors are operators – people who “work over” an area and then completely disappear.

No Referrals – No Work!

Lastly, if a contractor fails to provide you with referrals, don’t trust them. A legitimate contractor is always willing to give you the names of happy customers – who wouldn’t want satisfied customers to talk about how great their business is? At Atlanta Landscapes and Pools, we’re happy to provide you with a list of satisfied customers whom you can trust!

How Do You Know When a Landscape Contractor is Fake?

In an age when everyone wants to get ahead, sometimes you have to weed out the fake opportunities from the real ones. Unfortunately, when it comes to landscape design, you have to be sure to weed out the scam landscape contractors from the real ones. At Atlanta Landscapes and Pools, we’ll never scam you or cause you to lose money. In fact, we want to help you know how to avoid scams on your own. Here are some ploys that exist out there.

Pressure!

One of the biggest warning signs you are dealing with a scam artist or someone who is trying to get your money is pressure. If a landscape contractor tells you to hurry up and sign up for their offers because they won’t last long, or tries to pressure you into making a snap judgment in order to avoid rising costs, take this pressure as a signal he may not be what he claims to be. Many times scam artists will try to pressure you into making a snap decision before you have time to figure out they are a fake contractor, or before you are able to research their offer to you.

At Atlanta Landscapes and Pools, we will never pressure you into an answer or claim our prices will go up if you don’t make a decision fast. We give you the time you need to be sure the project is right for you – and our prices aren’t going to go up overnight, either.

With Atlanta Landscapes and Pools, you can have the landscaping of your dreams for very little time and cost.

Hanging Around the Neighborhood

Another classic scam is easy to fall for: If a landscape contractor knocks on your door and tells you he has just finished up with your neighbor and has some materials left over – beware. He probably will try to tell you it looks like you’ll need work soon, and he can give you a really good deal if you sign up right away. Honest contractors never do that. A legitimate contractor would never buy extra materials for a project and then just assume the neighbors will take him up on the offer. At Atlanta Landscapes and Pools, we won’t show up at your door begging for work.

Paying Upfront

Upfront payment is another issue you should be aware of. If a contractor asks you for the entire payment before they start the work, put up a red flag! Don’t pay for services up front without a contract and without checking into the background of the company.

At Atlanta Landscapes and Pools, you’ll pay a deposit only on very large jobs – and not until we’ve made estimates, decided upon work, and signed a professional contract. That’s how professional contractors work.

Signs Your Landscape Contractor Is a Scam Artist

Getting work done on the outside of your house and yard can be fun and exciting! Especially when you go with a trusted company like Atlanta Landscapes and Pools – you can have the landscaping of your dreams for very little time and cost. However, you must be sure you are dealing with a good company, and in order to do so, you must also be sure to avoid scam artists. Be aware of the following signs your landscape contractor might be a scam artist.

Dealing Under the Table

If a landscape contractor asks you for cash under the table, it often means they are dealing outside of taxes, and therefore outside of the law. You want to be sure you aren’t falling into the same trap, and that you are able to take pride in the work you’ve had done. It might seem like a cheaper deal to pay in cash under the table, but remember this means you have no receipt and no written guarantee. If something goes wrong, you have no way of making sure it gets fixed. It can be a costly gamble for you.

At Atlanta Landscapes and Pools, we’ll never ask you for cash under the table, so you can be assured in writing that our work is guaranteed.

At Atlanta Landscapes and Pools, we will offer you a price based on the work needing to be done, and our price isn’t going to change.

Selling Referrals

If your contractor offers you a large amount of money, or a big discount or rebate if you refer customers to them, beware. If they offer you cash to put a sign in your yard to advertise their services, or ask you to sign off on good reviews in order to get your discount, it is – at best – a marketing gimmick. At Atlanta Landscapes and Pools, we let our work speak for us, as well as word of mouth. We never pay anyone to talk about how good we are, and so you know the good things you hear about us are actually true.

Red Flags to Watch Out for with Landscape Contractor Scams

Landscape contractor scams can cost you lots of money. Fortunately, here are some red flags you can watch out for which should help you avoid these scams whenever possible.

Low Price Pressure Tactics

Offering you a price much lower than normal and then telling you to hurry up and sign before the price goes up is a huge red flag for landscape contractors. You want to avoid companies who do this. Again, they use this tactic so you won’t have time to research their background or their offer to you. The work may not include all the items you are lead to believe is in the offer.

At Atlanta Landscapes and Pools, we will offer you a price based on the work needing to be done, and our price isn’t going to change, even if you take a few days to make up your mind about getting the work done.

Unverifiable Business Background

You should be able to look into the background of any contractor you are hiring. Not being able to get information on your contractor is a huge red flag. If they don’t have a physical address you can visit, or if they don’t seem to have been doing work for very long, chances are good they are a scam artist. Check the Internet and the yellow pages to see what you can discover about a contractor.

With Atlanta Landscapes and Pools, you can find plenty of information about us, our history, and the way we run our business. You will find you are dealing with a company you can trust.

Insufficient Contract

When you deal with a landscape contractor, you should have a contract you trust. If the company you are dealing with refuses to provide you with a contract, or the contract you are given seems to be missing parts, don’t do business with them.

With Atlanta Landscapes and Pools, your contract will be complete and helpful in every way.

Atlanta Landscapes and Pools will never make promises we don’t keep.

Request for You to Purchase Things

Buying your own materials or paying for permits is not something a contractor should ask you to do. Stay away from contractors who want you to purchase your own things. This is their responsibility. At Atlanta Landscapes and Pools, we’ll take care of all of the permits and paperwork for you – just like we should.

Disaster Chasing

If a big storm or some other natural disaster has moved through your area, be cautious of contractors who move into the area after the storm. These floating contractors often scam already-ravaged homeowners into thinking they can restore their yards cheaply and easily. Often these contractors perform shoddy work or, worse, they’ll take your deposit and never come back.

At Atlanta Landscapes and Pools, you can trust we’ll never make promises we don’t keep, and we are always here for you, even after our work is complete.

Exaggerations

You know you need some work done, but if a contractor shows up and is exaggerating about how much work needs to be done, or how quickly it must be finished, consider his words a huge red flag. In reality, you may not need as much work done nor have it finished too quickly if you don’t want. Avoid contractors who exaggerate.

At Atlanta Landscapes and Pools, we’ll give you an honest estimate of the work that needs to be done – not for our sake, but for yours. We want you to be happy and satisfied with not only our work but our recommendations as well. We will work with you as a team in deciding what is best for you and your yard.

How to Make Sure You Are Dealing With the Good Guys When It Comes to Landscape Contractor Scams

Plenty of good guys exist out there when it comes to landscape contractors; however, plenty of bad guys exist as well. Luckily, there are lots of ways you can be sure you are dealing with the good guys when it comes to landscape contractors.

Do business with the landscaping good guys – Atlanta Landscapes and Pools.

Atlanta Landscapes and Pools will never scam you or ask you to pay more money than our work is worth.

Ask Questions

First of all, it is important to ask good questions when you are dealing with landscape contractors. At Atlanta Landscapes and Pools, we’ll answer your questions fully and without hesitation, and we’ll give you honest answers. Be sure when you are dealing with landscape contractors, you are always asking good questions.

You should ask the contractor if they’ve completed a job like yours before. Be wary of the ones who say they have but refuse to give you more information or show you examples. At Atlanta Landscapes and Pools, we’ll be honest with you. If we’ve done a similar project, we’ll give you proof, and if we haven’t, we’ll let you know what we plan to do for yours.

Request References

You should ask the contractors if they have lists of references whom you can contact. Be wary of companies who won’t provide references to you, or tell you they want to protect the privacy of their clients. Remember you can always go online to check for reviews of contractor work, but having a contractor who is able to provide a list of customer references to you upon request is invaluable.

At Atlanta Landscapes and Pools, we’re proud to tell you we’ve got customers who will stand up for us, and we’ll give you references if you want them. We also protect the privacy of our customers by listing only those clients who agree to provide a reference for us.

Get a Schedule

Be sure the contractors tell you when they’ll start, when they’ll be working, and when they estimate they will finish. Also, be sure this schedule is part of the contract – especially if you have your own deadlines to meet. At Atlanta Landscapes and Pools, we’ll give you a contract with an estimated schedule, and be there for you every step of the way.

Require Openness

You also want to be dealing with contracting companies who make you feel good about the work and are positive towards you. Never deal with a contractor who is mean or gruff with you, or refuses to give you the information you’d like to have. These are all signs you might be working with a scam artist. At Atlanta Landscapes and Pools, we know how important this work is to you, and we want you to know how important you are to us as customers. We’ll always treat you with the respect you deserve.

Your landscape contractors should be there for you every step of the way, and give you plenty of good information about what they are doing. If not, don’t stick with them. At Atlanta Landscapes and Pools, we’ll always give you the information you need so you can know for sure your work is getting done.

Common Sense

The best tip you can have when you are dealing with landscape contractors is to simply use your common sense. Remember you’ll probably be able to spot scams head-on if you keep your eyes open and your ears peeled. It’s often up to you to notice the red flags which might be popping up as a landscaper is working in your neighborhood or in your yard. With a little common sense, you can avoid the scams. And the best way to forgo any problems is to go with a name you trust – Atlanta Landscapes and Pools.

Go With the Trustworthy Contractor

Atlanta Landscapes and Pools is proud to have your business and will provide you with timely and cost-effective ways to enhance your landscaping and your yard. We’ll never scam you or ask you to pay more money than our work is worth. You can depend on us!

Atlanta Landscapes and Pools services the North Metro Atlanta area. Contact us at atlantalandscapesandpools.com or call us at 404-543-3007 for more information.

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Locations we service: Atlanta, Canton, Woodstock, Roswell, Dunwoody, Alpharetta, Marietta
                                          Ask for Michael Schoen at (404) 543-3007