Archive for August, 2011

BBB issues warning on St. Louis lawn care business

August 30, 2011

The Better Business Bureau recently warned consumers to beware of Matthew Buckingham of Greener Spaces operating in the St. Louis area.  Greener Spaces currently has a F-rating from the BBB with 35 complaints in the last 3 years.  Some customers had to involve the police to get refunds:

“Several Buckingham customers said they have been unable to get their money back for unfinished work, two homeowners said they received refunds after involving the police. One homeowner said a police officer was at his home in Chesterfield when Buckingham arrived to refund his money.


“He was real nice about it,” the customer said of Buckingham. “He was apologetic.”


A Ladue homeowner said she learned of Greener Spaces from a flyer attached to her mailbox. She hired the company in March for five lawn treatments at a cost of $480, but it never finished the work. She said she found it odd that Buckingham insisted that the check be written directly to him, instead of his company. She has been unable to contact him.””


The business has been registered with the BBB since 1998 but the website says they’ve been operating for nearly 25 years.  In addition to lawn mowing the website says they offer landscaping, lawn aeration, debris removal, fungicide, fertilizer, retaining walls and paving services.


One interesting note is as recently as February 2011 the company was still hiring additional workers:


At the time of this writing the website is still live and somewhat ironically states “Don’t trust your lawn to anyone. We offer a wealth of experience and expertise, at lower prices as the larger companies.”



Worse drought ever delays expansion to Dallas and Atlanta

August 27, 2011

If you are in the Midwestern US you may have noticed it has not rained in awhile.

What’s being called “The Great Drought of 2011” has hit 14 US states and is seriously wrecking havoc in Texas where they’re calling it the worse drought ever.

We had originally planned on expanding our services to Dallas and Atlanta this summer but seeing that both are being effected by the drought we’ve decided to consider other cities that are not being hit by the drought.

I apologize to any potential customers in Dallas and Atlanta that were looking forward to us offering services there, I promise we will be there in 2012.

To our customers in St. Louis, Houston and Miami:  yes, we’re still here!  We’re not going to stop providing services just because of a drought.  We know a lot of you have lost your regular lawn care providers because they could not afford to operate this long with so few orders.  LawnMowingOnline does not have to worry about that since many of our contractors have other jobs and only use LawnMowingOnline for supplemental income and with hundreds of local contractors if one decides to quit we have someone that can take their place so you’ll never have to worry about your lawn as long as we’re around.


Customer asked if we are profitable with $19 mowing

August 10, 2011

Received an email a few days ago from Josh that read:

“I was amazed by the genius of your system until I read that 90% profits go to the mower, and the other 10% go to credit cards handling fees. I am almost intrigued enough to try the system for myself but wonder why you do not run this for a profit? Or am I missing something?”

Yes, we’re profitable, but first let me explain were the “90%” figure comes from.

When a customer orders $19 mowing, $17 of that goes to the contractor.  17 is 89.47% of 19, which is where the “90%” number comes from.  Out of the other $2, almost $1 goes to credit card processing fees.  The remaining $1 goes to the website.

$1 multiplied by several hundred (soon thousands) of orders a month makes the website profitable.


Landlord uses LawnMowingOnline to see if renters moved out

August 5, 2011

One of the best features about LawnMowingOnline is that you can easily communicate with the contractors and ask them any questions you need without calling and leaving voicemails and waiting for someone to return your call.

Recently a landlord decided to use LawnMowingOnline to see if their renters had abandoned the property or not by ordering mowing and asking the contractor if the property still appeared occupied:

This is very valuable information, because as a landlord you might not find out for months if a renter moves out which can lead to vandalism and theft of expensive copper piping:

“”My house got broken into again. They crawled in through the basement window and stole all the copper piping out of it. I took the ‘for sale’ sign down immediately after that…I hope the city cracks down on people getting their copper stolen,” said Wagner.”

This exact scenario happened to me on a property I was renting out a few years ago before I started LawnMowingOnline.  Renters moved out and I didn’t know, and someone broke in and stole all the copper pipe that had been installed only a year earlier.  It cost approximately $1,000 to replace the stolen pipe.

So was the property abandoned?  The contractor answered:

It appears that property is still occupied, good news for the landlord.


How to order tree/bush trimming, raking leaves, pulling weeds, snow removal, etc

August 4, 2011

According to a recent survey approximately 60% of surveyed customers said they would like to see LawnMowingOnline offer other services or might want to see us offer other services:

The jobs that came up most often were tree and bush trimming, removing of tree limbs or other debris, raking and removal of leaves, pulling weeds by hand and snow removal.

A customer recently asked how if there is a way to order tree branch removal through the website:

The answer is Yes!  Here’s how to place orders for services besides lawn mowing:  when you place an order for mowing in the Message to the Mower area of the order page put what service you’re interested in and ask the contractor to contact you through the website.  When the contractor accepts the job he can send you a message through the website asking for more details and you can negotiate what work is required and a payment arrangement.  

If you don’t need your lawn mowed right away you can still place a order for a future date so the contractor can accept it now and begin negotiations, perhaps they’ll even come out early to perform the work before the mowing date.

However the website is not responsible for any payments to the contractors outside of the website.  If you pay a contractor directly for a service and he does not do a satisfactory job we can not offer a refund since the website was not involved in the transaction.  This is similar to contacting a eBay seller outside of eBay and trying to purchase an item, obviously eBay would not be responsible if there was a problem with the purchase.

Thanks for the great question!  If anyone else has any questions or concerns please contact us.