Spring Masters Saga

This is in husband’s words.

Early this year, Spring Masters did a core aeration. The person doing the aeration initially filled out the wrong form, manually adding in the core aeration charge, which I signed. A few minutes later he rang the doorbell, explained that he gave me the wrong form, took it back, and gave me the proper invoice.

Sometime around May 11, 2009, after several calls from Spring Masters, I spoke with them and explained to the woman on the phone what happened with the forms, and that I didn’t want the dethatching done. She thanked me for explaining, and said that no dethatching would be done.

May 14, 2009 Spring Masters came and did a “de-thatch” of the lawn, after being told not to, and left an invoice in the door. They also left three bags of yard waste at the curb (filled mostly with green grass, not the brown dead grass I would expect). The picnic table was not moved, and there are bare patches all over.

It’s not exactly something that I would have paid for. And from a bit of research, dethatching also damages the lawn, and several websites recommend either topdressing and seeding, or fertilizing after having it done. Neither of those were on my immediate to-do list.

I called Spring Masters and spoke with Nicole. I explained about the confusion with the documents, and the phone call where I said I don’t want this done. She assured me that we would not be billed for this service.

Cricket here again.

They attempted to repair one part. The put down fresh dirt (any guesses whether it was from our big bag?) and grass seed over top. The birds are very happy.

Husband’s company values his time, way more than Spring Masters values their employees’ time. We now have to reseed, fertilize, and throw dirt over the lawn, and water it daily for two weeks. $50 for materials. Several hours time. We aren’t the type to sue, but they ruined our lawn, so if they try to collect for the dethatching, we may learn the ins and outs of counter-suits.

For next year? After six calls from one company, I let them go on long enough to get info to lodge a complaint. We’re on the national do not call list. Turns out I made the mistake of letting them give me a free quote last month, so we have a business relationship and it’s not cold calling. I took her name, and told her “No!” and that she was harassing me. Then send in the complaint.

Pictures of the de-thatching:


10 thoughts on “Spring Masters Saga

  1. I thought that dethatching was good for varieties like Bermuda grass, but not for others?

    /got Bermuda
    //Thought about dethatching
    ///Didn’t dethatch because they would undoubtedly cut the irrigation wires
    ////has the same fear w/ aeration

  2. I don’t know anything about Bermuda grass. Maybe it generates enough roots and such that the thatch is a problem. I.e. it’s thick and solid enough that rain and air and food can’t get to the roots, and new seeds don’t touch the dirt. (Many grass varieties are annuals or biennials)

    You could see the dirt through our lawn. It didn’t need dethatching.

    I suspect most lawns up here don’t need it, but the lawn care companies want you to buy something from them.

    You can get dethatching rakes, similar to garden rakes, that give you a lot more control than the power one. (Actually, I’ve never looked at a power one. Maybe it does have a depth setting.)

    I don’t want to baby our lawn. My theory is, if I ignore it enough, only the grass that’s easy to care for will survive, and our life will be much easier.

  3. I bought a plan from them on May 14th and haven”t seen anyone since the initiale aeration the day I sign their agreement. Springmasters (should remove the word masters) doesn”t return my calls or emails. Does anyone has a number for the GTA area.

  4. I think we called the number on the invoice, but may have used the phone book. In our case, it wasn’t worth the effort to escalate it past not paying the bill.

    Try the Better Business Bureau if their head office doesn’t co-operate.

    Best of luck!

  5. They are a bottom-feeding “company” or rather a shack in North York that gouges people with criminally inflated pricing and horrible service.

    Avoid at all costs.

  6. I used SpringMasters in the Hamilton region and I had pretty good service. I’ve tried other lawncare companies before and I was beginning to feel a little discouraged. Then I had a student stop by by house in the spring and do a core-aeration and tell me about some plan… it sounded good at the time and my lawn needed something so I signed up. Although I had to water my lawn after each time they were there (they said it was more natural products so I had to water them in, probably to get the seed going) All in all I was pretty happy with the results, I did see I difference (mainly in some bald spots I had) and it greened up quite a bit. I did wonder when they were going to be there at first as I signed up with a student at the door when he did the aeration. I called the first time after regular business hours and got a machine but I got a call back the next day explaining when they would be there. Surprisingly they were pretty close to when they said (it was a day after they said, due to alot of rain?) All in all I’ve tried alot of companies and this one seems alright, I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you. At least you got a free dethatch. My wife and I are probably going to use them again next year.

    P.S I dethatched my own lawn a few years ago and got the same thing, it is hard on the lawn but after I seeded it, it worked out. Judging by the length of your grass under the picnic table it hadn’t been cut in a long time, you would have alot of green grass come up as a dethatcher (at least the one I rented for an arm and a leg) is basically like a vertical lawn mower, so it basically cut your lawn and then kicked up all the thatch. As for not moving the table and pool, thats just lazy. How does your lawn look now after you put the seed down and did you find their seed grew for you?

  7. The problem was, I didn’t want a dethatch.

    We had no thatch to begin with! The brown stuff it dug up was roots, not thatch.

    I didn’t want to reseed the lawn.

  8. That just sucks for your cricket, I have work for Spring Masters for the past 2 years, and now i’m creating my own company, why? because I feel the service and quality is very very poor at Spring Masters, they will tell you anything so that you agree for the service, but once they do the service, they cut every corner as possible so that the job is done faster.

    They say when purchase the top dressing service, it is the best pre-heated hearth (so that their is no bugs). Its not, its cheap canadian tire earth.

    Just avoid that company.

  9. I kept an eye out for them this summer. Seems they drop a few students off in neighbourhood and pick them up in the evening.

    One week, two different teams knocked on my door, right there with the machines. Uh, didn’t your boss tell you our lawn was dethatched two weeks ago? That the neighbourhood was canvased twice already this month?

    They’re wasting the employees’ time. I bet they’re paid by piece work, so the company doesn’t lose any money by sending several teams to the same area (other than missing out on “fresh” territory).

    If they’re this bad organizing their employees, they’re probably just as bad at maintaining proper quality in service and supplies.

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