Chemlawn Charges For Services Never Performed Or Requested

The lawn wasn’t the only thing this grounds service was doctoring. Reader Al claims Chemlawn billed him for services he never received, even after he canceled his contract and they agreed not to charge him.

His story, and invoice scans, inside…

Al writes:

    “On 4-27-06 we received an evaluation from Chemlawn that there was some winter damage but no fungus on our lawn.

    After a large amount of our lawn died, we canceled Chemlawn.

    On 9-8-06 we received an evaluation from Lawndoctor that as much as 90% of our back yard was damaged by fungus.

    On 9-26-06 Chemlawn claims to have serviced our lawn.

    We spoke with Chemlawn and they provided a confirmation number that we would not be charged for the 9-26-06 service which we did not request. The confirmation number was 0926XXX.

    On 11-1-06 Chemlawn sent us a bill claiming our account was past due.

    We have returned the past due notice with appropriate notations.”

Al sent this into us last month so we’ve asked him if there’s been any developments since then. Hopefully Chemlawn came to their senses and refunded their money. We’re uncertain, though, about the link between Lawn Doctor and Chemlawn. Does Lawn Doctor subcontract to Chemlawn? — BEN POPKEN


Edit Your Comment

  1. levenhopper says:

    I’d imagine he contacted Lawn Doctor after his grass still wasn’t coming back to life…and the Lawn Doctor report shows that Chemlawn didn’t do any work, and that there was fungus when Chemlawn reported there wasn’t any.

  2. jwissick says:

    Call the consumer protection department of your local DA. They can help you with this.

  3. gypsychk says:

    ChemLawn is a Servicemaster company. Plenty of complaints of fraud to be found online related to Servicemaster’s many companies: Terminix (they got me, and good), American Home Shield, Merry Maids, and others.

    This is one of those companies that seems to focus on selling the contract. Once that’s done, they lose interest in you.

  4. homerjay says:

    Gypsychk has it. Chemlawn is a terrible company. They hire applicators that are virtually untrained and lucky to even be licensed. Its not a surprise that their guy improperly diagnosed this one. They barely have their eyes open when they arrive at a home.

    I just wish more people knew about how poor their service really is.
    There are SO many other options out there. There’s no reason someone should use them.

  5. sonmiles says:

    I’ve had a similar experience with ChemLawn. I was laid off work in the summer of ’04 and needed to get rid of expenses that weren’t necessary. ChemLawn was one of the first to go. I called and canceled service, was very polite, explained to them the situation and that my canceling had nothing to do with their service. I was given a cancellation number and thought that was the end of it. A few weeks later I was downstairs in my house and saw a shadow move across one of the windows. I looked outside and there was a ChemLawn guy spraying my yard. I threw on my shoes and ran outside, informing him that I canceled. He stated I would have to call the office. I did so and they said they had no record of cancellation. I gave them the cancellation number and they said it was not found in their system. I told them I was not going to pay for the lawn application that was just done. They stated that I would have to pay. This went back and for with supervisors and managers. Finally after about 3 weeks we were informed we would not have to pay. I will never do business with them again. Very unscrupulous!

  6. WhatThe... says:

    Chemlawn recently bought out many of our local spray companies, and the service is horrible. One time I was home, the guy pulled up in his truck, sat there for a while, then came and put the invoice on my door. He didn’t spray squat! I immediately picked up the phone and canceled my service. Before that the only time I actually got attention from them is when they made a mistake and thought I wasn’t a customer. I had a sales person and a tech doing a detailed inspection of my lawn, telling me what service I need, and that if we spray it with this…. etc, etc. I think gypsychk nailed it – they are after the contract, that’s all.

  7. Hoofhearted says:

    I spent a summer in between semesters at college working for the local TruGreen office as a “sales rep” – what a horrible job. They basically tell you what every lawn in your area is “most likely” infected with. Then we spent the morning going through our assigned routes filling out the same inspection report for every house and attaching them to people’s front door. Follow-up with a call in the evening to scare the homeowner into being un-needed lawn care service.

    I think our office even got caught spraying water on peoples lawn (no fertilizer, etc.).

    I have since learned: go green, go organic and always do it yourself!

  8. Amen, hoofhearted!

    “I just wish more people knew about how poor their service really is. “

    What people REALLY should know is how TOXIC their service is and that it doesn’t stop being toxic after the 24 hours you’re keeping your kids and pets off your lawn. I can’t believe anyone with children — or even a dog they were fond of — would allow these people NEAR their lawn.

    TruGreen ChemLawn came last year and sent the guy walking around my yard to diagnose it WITHOUT my permission (trespass much?). He provided an incorrect diagnosis (I’m an avid gardener) and then reccommended killing off my deliberately-planted clover as a “noxious weed.”

    (“White Dutch” or “New Zealand” clover is the stuff that grows no more than 4″ high and has the little white clover flowers. It stays green in drought, requires no watering, and makes your grass greener and healthier through nitrogen fixing. We’ve deliberately planted it all over our lawn. It also never really gets tall enough to require mowing, so my husband is pushing to let the clover take over the grass entirely. After last summer’s drought when we had the only green lawn on the block, with zero watering, all our neighbors are overplanting with clover too.)

    They came to my door and informed me they’d be back next week to spray for me and leave me the bill. I told them if they got their chemicals within blowing distance of my lawn, I would sue their asses so fast for de-organicizing my lawn that their heads would spin, and that I’d call the cops for tresspass while I was busy writing up the court filing.

    Oddly they have not come back.

  9. acambras says:

    I’m wondering what state Eyebrows McGee lives in, because if I ever move there, I want her to be my lawyer.

  10. Illinois, but the back ass of it. Not very many people move here on purpose. :)

  11. *pokes to see if the lost post comes back*

  12. acambras says:

    Bummer, Eyebrows. Let “us” know if you ever move to Connecticut. :-)

  13. kaycee says:


    Could you direct me to some information about overplanting with clover? I googled that and didn’t come up with anything even close.

    I like the idea because I’ve always liked clover, and have actually thought it would be nice to have it all over the lawn.

  14. kaycee,

    I’d be happy to. If you want to e-mail me, I’ll give you an info dump on it. :) In fact, if Ben and Meaghann want it, I’d be happy to do a little “How to:” because cloverizing your lawn saves a lot of money on lawn maintenance, water bills, and not hiring the chemlawn jerks.

    Eyebrows_McGee AT yahoo DOT com

  15. 44ounce says:

    I worked for a collection agency for a few months, and practically all I did was read letters from ChemLawn customers. They would kill people’s lawns of they showed up at all, and keep charging them after they cancelled service. Then they sold their accounts to the collection agency and mess with their credit. What a great bunch of guys.

    Who knows what they spray on there, too. Anything with “chem” in the name can’t be good.

  16. WilsonSisyphus says:

    Comment on Chemlawn Charges For Services Never Performed Or Requested I decided to go with Lawn Doctor this year for because I thought if the
    service cost $350 dollars a year, surely it is a good investment and I
    would be the proud owner of the greenest, healthiest lawn on the block.
    Well, sixty five days later, I have the worse looking yard on the block,
    and my wallet is one hundred seventeen dollars lighter.

    Naturally the lawn service blamed it all on me.

    You can’t treat Saint Augustine lawns with heavy fertilizer.

    We are not treating for the rescue grass {Crab grass} ?? Uh, really? For
    $350 dollars a year I still have to go physically pulled up all of this
    rescue grass?

    We are not treating for fire ants, or bugs. Again, $350 dollars a year

    You have a fungus problem. By now you can guess what they said.

    I can go to home depot and treat for the ants and bugs for ten dollars.
    And I have always used Lesco for about twenty two dollars, and have
    gotten much better results. What was I thinking?

    Stay away from:

    Lawn Doctor, they are crooks.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lawn Doctor is an awesome company. I have them servicing my lawnfor the past 5 years and i recommend them to anyone. My lawn looks the best on my street. How can you call them crooks? You must be getting Lawn Doctor & Chem Lawn mixed up….they are 2 different companies!