Caution: Upscale Landscaping Mulching

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  #1  
Old 02-12-2011, 04:56 PM
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Thumbs down Caution: Upscale Landscaping Mulching

Be wary of an outfit called "Upscale Landscaping" with a business address out of Orlando. They have been trolling our neighborhood, door to door, selling mulching services.

They don't give written estimates up front and loosely say the charge is $14 per "bucket", but never define what quantity a bucket is nor how many buckets your beds are estimated to require. At the end of the job, the customer is presented a whopping bill ... I've heard of $600 and $1,300 jobs. They theoretically weed the beds and are supposed to return every 4 months to weed and freshen the mulch. Time will tell if they are ever seen again.

They commenced one job while the homeowner wasn't home and where the homeowner had not given final authorization to proceed.

Yes, yes ... always get estimates in writing and for outfits like this either get a firm fixed price or a not to exceed estimate in writing.

Anybody else out there have any experience with this outfit????


Everybody else.... be very careful when dealing with them.
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:01 PM
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Thanks for the head's up.
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:44 PM
Carla B Carla B is offline
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He came by here (in Hemingway). I told him we weren't ready to mulch but he left his card. I'll be sure to NOT use him. Thanks for the warning.
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Old 02-13-2011, 06:31 AM
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A lot of people think door-to-door sales solicitation is prohibited in The Villages. Not true! It is against the covenants and restrictions but these only apply to homeowners - not the general public. Neither Sumter, Marion nor Lake Counties have laws against door-to-door sales. So an individual or company that is properly licensed can go door-to-door in The Villages. The key is "properly licensed". The State of Florida requires that individuals have a Home Solicitation Sales Permit in their possession when going door-to-door selling 'stuff' and that they show it to anyone who asks for it (Florida Status 501.022(1)(a)). If they come to your house, and you ask for the permit, and they don't have one or won't show it to you, you can call the sheriff/police. Community Watch can do nothing so don't waste the phone call there - they are not law enforcement.
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:44 AM
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An update.... a complaint was lodged with the company's number on Saturday. Surprisingly, they called back this morning and after a lengthy and heated conversation, the local area supervisor promises to get with the company owner and determine a resolution. Time will tell..

If they do come through with an acceptable resolution (fair value reimbursement for the excess charges), we will let you know.

In the meantime, and it's true of this company and all others you do business with around here .... get an estimate in writing beforehand and don't pay upfront for any work.

In our case, they did work without authorization and then charged an exorbitant amount. Had they given us an approximate estimate, we would never have agreed to the work. In our neighbor's case, he authorized them to proceed but was not given any type of cost estimate and he paid dearly.
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Old 02-14-2011, 11:52 AM
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Thank you so much for this information, O7. Working without authorization?? They think we are all old and stupid???

That makes me so angry to hear.
  #7  
Old 02-14-2011, 12:10 PM
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I guess I am old and stupid. They mulched my yard. It needed it and it looks great but it was pricey. I shouldn't have used them without the estimate before. I made a hasty decision and paid for it
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Old 02-14-2011, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSilvestrucci View Post
I guess I am old and stupid. They mulched my yard. It needed it and it looks great but it was pricey. I shouldn't have used them without the estimate before. I made a hasty decision and paid for it
Nope, you're not either of those. Just chalk it up to "living and learning" by our mistakes. It happens to all of us. Sorry, you were taken but so have I since moving to TV. Too many scam artists out there.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:08 AM
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They were in Amelia this morning with a load of mulch they said was for a job that got canceled so they'd give us a "good price". They walked around the house and when I said so how much for this job, the answer wasn't a price. It was so much per bag and about so many bags. No thanks. I should have asked who canceled the other job, see what they'd say! Personable young men, too, easy to fall for. Quick check of TOTV (while they walked around) found this thread. Thank you TOTV!
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:07 PM
784caroline 784caroline is offline
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My only coment is.... Do you have any idea what a job like this would cost from a reputable nursery ?? If not how do you know you were over charged?

It does not take much work and material to run a bill up in the landscaping business.....especially if they were weeding beds and laying mulch. For example if I were laying pine straw, I could buy it for $4.50-$5.00 a bale but then I would have to load it and transport to my house and lay it myself. It I hire someone to do this job $10 a bale (or more) would be a typical price and if you need 20 bales thats already $200 or more and we hae not included the weeding aspect. Pine Bark mulch is even more expensive.

I agree an estimate should have been asked for and provided and they should not have done work without authorization. BOTTOM LINE: your case will be stronger if you have comparable estimates from reputable nurserys rather than just your gut feeling that you paid too much.

Good Luck!
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:04 PM
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Keuka.... wow, I'm so glad you shared your story and were able to avert a costly transaction. Their MO sounds very familiar. Of now 5 customers I am aware of, they have failed each time to give a concrete estimate up front and for the 4 that went through with it, all felt they were grossly overcharged.

In our case, they completed the work without any prior authorization. I'm still not quite sure why Mr 07 paid them, other than he was in a hurry and they were physically imposing individuals. We did complain back to the company and got some restitution for the overcharge. That still doesn't excuse how they do business.

A very elderly gentleman on our block, with a large corner yard, informed us he paid $2,300 for weeding and mulching. Sorry, 784Caroline, there ain't no amount of work these guys could have done in 2 hours to warrant that charge. The neighbor knows he was bilked and should have gotten an estimate, but, as Keuka noted, they can be somewhat charming upfront.

To your question directly, 784, we asked our lawn guy what he would have charged for our job and he said roughly 200-300 and they charged us 600 (although we did get 250 back).

Unless Florida has a statute requiring written estimates, what these guys are doing is probably not illegal but certainly is dishonest and unethical. Best we can do is inform each other.

They do the job and the final result looks good, but, this ain't rocket science and their charges are way out of line.

Customer Beware!!!!

Thanks to TOTV for providing this forum for us to help and inform each other on both the good and the bad operators out there.
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:36 PM
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Hey..Im the last person to support crooks like this..just trying to offer a suggestion to make your case more suportable rather than using emotion.

The poor guy that paid $2300 well that just does not make much sense ..sounds ike they simply took advantage of an elderly person who didnt know better.

they really must have a great sales pitch f so many people are taking advantage of this deal they offer???

Glad you got some $$ back
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:30 AM
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All the advice given here is great. If you have been scammed by one of the "just happen to be in the neighborhood" outfits you need to report them to Seniors vs. Crime. (352-689-4600 ext 4606) This is a good place to check if anyone else has had problems with the particular contractor in question. If everyone would report the problems then we would resource for us to use before we agree to have work done.

Last edited by army one; 02-24-2011 at 10:31 AM. Reason: grammer
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:07 PM
Carla B Carla B is offline
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This discussion caused me to look up what we paid for mulch two years ago...it was $40 a cubic yard for 8 yards of large pine bark mulch delivered and spread. That included gathering up the old pine straw and taking it away.

We thought the price was very good then and probably less expensive than it is today, but it gives an idea of a starting point when getting estimates.
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by villages07 View Post
Be wary of an outfit called "Upscale Landscaping" with a business address out of Orlando. They have been trolling our neighborhood, door to door, selling mulching services.

They don't give written estimates up front and loosely say the charge is $14 per "bucket", but never define what quantity a bucket is nor how many buckets your beds are estimated to require. At the end of the job, the customer is presented a whopping bill ... I've heard of $600 and $1,300 jobs. They theoretically weed the beds and are supposed to return every 4 months to weed and freshen the mulch. Time will tell if they are ever seen again.

They commenced one job while the homeowner wasn't home and where the homeowner had not given final authorization to proceed.

Yes, yes ... always get estimates in writing and for outfits like this either get a firm fixed price or a not to exceed estimate in writing.

Anybody else out there have any experience with this outfit????


Everybody else.... be very careful when dealing with them.
I'm quite familiar with "Upscale Landscaping." They came to my front door in my Gainesville neighborhood. I was home while they worked. They took about 1:45 to finish. I wasn't watching them, so I have no way of knowing how much weeding they might have done. They charged me $1,775, agreeing to take a post-dated check for the majority of it because I get my check next week. They went immediately to the bank and cashed the check, leaving me with $0 in my account. I think they ahould be stopped.
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