Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Certainly not Scott(s) free...

First, a bit of history. When we built a home out here in countrified Rockwall, a bulldozer had cleared the land...leaving us a home with no grass and a tremendous erosion problem. After about 3 years of hard work, maybe too hard, we had a pretty good yard established. Then I made the mistake of going organic and holding hands with Howard Garrett, the self-proclaimed "Doctor of Dirt".

So the next few years were spent shunning chemicals and instead, scattering on my yard massive amounts of barnyard poop, Texas green-sand, and something called "Garrett Juice", a smelly concoction composed of blackstrap molasses and compost squeezin's. The result was a rapid deterioration of the lawn quality and a migration to my yard of every weed known to man. All our hard work was in vain.

In desperation, I did something that I had chided folks for in the past: I hired Scotts Lawn Service for growing season 2007. It worked. By the middle of the summer, my yard was as green as a fairway at Augusta. The turf was so thick that my mower had to be set on the highest cut possible or it would clog up and shut down.

But then I noticed that Scotts made a trip to put some sort of something on the grass in January. And then in February. And then I got a bill for nearly $400. Today they called and asked why I hadn't paid up. I told them I had not signed on for another year. And that I wasn't going to re-up under any circumstances. The lady asked me to check my previous statements and look for a little statement, "Service is continued from season to season for customer convenience." And it's there all right. Pretty small print, too.

Tonight I emailed the general manager accusing him of deceitful practices and telling him that I won't be paying. I tried to use whatever latent journalistic talent I have to tell him what I thought of the "for customer convenience" line. If only Scotts and other companies realized that the way to repeat business is through REAL customer service, not slimy, stinky, used-car salesman-y tactics that smell worse than Garrett Juice.

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