Green Thumb charges hike

Hi, first post here.
My elderly parents have used green thumb now for maybe 10 years including at their last house which had lawns front and back. Were always happy with the service at their last house, but since they moved about a year ago it's a different team and they've not been so good at arranging when to come and they missed a couple of treatments.
Services ( weed, feed etc) used to be around £16 and I think they paid around £25 for scarification.
They received a letter a few weeks ago recommending scarification, which they agreed to.
Green thumb came last week and spent 20 minutes scarifying it and also left a load of mud in the garage and when they got the invoice it was for £77! 
I've checked the letter and it doesn't give a price and parents assumed that it would be around the same as previously.
They called the number on the leaflet and were told that Green Thumb have been taken over by another company. Anyway,they've told them to take a hike and cancelled the contract.
I'm wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience?

Posts

  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 5,192
    Hello, welcome to the forum  :)
    I haven't had much experience of Green Thumb, my dad has used them a couple of times, but eventually decided to do it himself. My understanding was that Green Thumb is a franchise , l haven't heard anything about a takeover of the company and can't find anything online.
    One of our neighbours used to use them but when the franchise was sold, he wasn't happy with the new guy and used a local business instead. 
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 4,049
    edited 12 February
    We use Green Thumb here and have always been happy with them. It is a franchise however so a local firm can change. The scarification and aeration treatments have been at the £70 level for the last 3 or 4 years.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 15,876
    Perhaps the £77 is for a year?

    Here is an earlier discussion about them.

    https://forum.gardenersworld.com/discussion/993983/green-thumb-are-they-worth-it/p1




    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Thanks everyone. Lizzie27 said:
    We use Green Thumb here and have always been happy with them. It is a franchise however so a local firm can change. The scarification and aeration treatments have been at the £70 level for the last 3 or 4 years.
    AnniD said:
    Hello, welcome to the forum  :)
    I haven't had much experience of Green Thumb, my dad has used them a couple of times, but eventually decided to do it himself. My understanding was that Green Thumb is a franchise , l haven't heard anything about a takeover of the company and can't find anything online.
    One of our neighbours used to use them but when the franchise was sold, he wasn't happy with the new guy and used a local business instead. 
    pansyface said:
    Perhaps the £77 is for a year?

    Here is an earlier discussion about them.

    https://forum.gardenersworld.com/discussion/993983/green-thumb-are-they-worth-it/p1




    Thanks for the welcome.
    I think it must be the local franchise that's changed as I couldn't find anything online regarding the actual company being taken over either. A few people on a local forum said they're ex customers since the company changed several years ago, so that would make sense too. Maybe people are selling their established franchise businesses on at a profit and the folks buying them need to increase prices to get a decent return. Unfortunately I think a lot of people won't be prepared to pay more than double what they were paying previously.We're in the NE, so often our prices for services etc are cheaper than further south. 
    The charge was definitely just for the scarification. I saw that other post, but my parents have always just paid per treatment. Their website doesn't even give prices for special treatments. Naughty not to state the price  in the letter they sent out. I thought that by contract law they had to.
    I've found someone local who's going to quote and his scarification rates start at £15.

  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 879
    edited 12 February
    On the Green Thumb website it does give a scarification price: from £15 for 40 m2. We pay monthly and the price has not increased in two and a half years but I did check the price for scarification on a pay as you go basis and it was £385 including post scarification treatment. I saw the chap working it out using a table of prices. Our lawn was in a bad state, untreated in over 30 years, riddled with weeds, awkwardly shaped and on a slope. I guess it is a bit over a quarter of an acre (1100? square metres) so no wonder it is not cheap.
  • BenCotto said:
    On the Green Thumb website it does give a scarification price: from £15 for 40 m2. We pay monthly and the price has not increased in two and a half years but I did check the price for scarification on a pay as you go basis and it was £385 including post scarification treatment. I saw the chap working it out using a table of prices. Our lawn was in a bad state, untreated in over 30 years, riddled with weeds, awkwardly shaped and on a slope. I guess it is a bit over a quarter of an acre (1100? square metres) so no wonder it is not cheap.
    I couldn't see any prices for scarification. The nutragreen treatments are from £15 based on 40 m2 and they're the only pay as you go prices I can see.  £77 for 20 minutes work is daylight robbery. You can hire one for the day for £30!
    In addition I've been told by several people that this is far too early to be scarifying anyway.
    Not sure how much some of the people who take on these franchises actually know about lawn maintenance.

  • Wonder whether @glasgowdan may be able to offer some idea on what price for lawn maintenance is fair and what is OTT ?
  • glasgowdanglasgowdan Posts: 626
    My thoughts, and knowing that I have a biased viewpoint as an independant lawn care provider, is that they are the McDonald's of the trade. Quality is as low as it gets to be honest.

    I would be very surprised if they did a scarify for £25. They scarify from December through to February, which is the worst time of year to do it. They don't offer waste removal and their scarifies are never thorough enough.

    Every one of their lawns ends up thick with moss and thatch due to bad management. 

    Their feeds encourage too much soft sappy growth. They then tell you to cut the lawn long, so it hides the rubbish beneath. 

    Anyone can buy a franchise, and they are rarely experts in lawns!

    However, they are experts in marketing, and this is why so many people use them. The public generally don't know much about lawn care so think they are happy and think they are getting good results. 
  • nicktennickten Posts: 61
    As with a lot of trades you're always worth going with an independent recommended by friends/neighbours.
  • Thanks for the info'. Unfortunately, up here at least, it's not that easy to find an independent who actually knows about lawn maintenance. Grass mowing, scarifying,  but treatments not so much. And as for pruning, forget it.  Many people nowadays have little interest in maintaining their lawns/gardens, if indeed they haven't ripped it all out and replaced with gravel, block paving etc. 
    My parents signed up for GT when they got into their 70's when we were living abroad. I don't think the lawns at previous house were ever scarified. The back lawn was fine, but the front had a lot of moss in it.
    Guess we'll just have to sort it ourselves from now on. We managed to look after an acre and a half in the USA so we'll manage if we do some reading. At the end of the day it's a lawn, and there's other more important issues to be dealt with.
    Thanks again.
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