Bonnie masquerades as a gardener. In my opinion she is not qualified and is completely unprofessional in her work.
Bonnie did not bring appropriate tools to the job site, but entered my residence (opened my garage door) without permission while I was away at work and used my own tools to conduct her business. Bonnie brought two (seemingly inexperienced) young people to the job site and left them unattended while she left the premises to go to another job. While opening the garage door, one of the young men locked it but continued to operate it so that it now the track has been dislodged. Bonnie left my garden a mess after removing weeds and expensive plants (which she had agreed to try to save, but did not do so). Piles of dirt and weeds were left scattered around, a small tree uprooted and left. Bonnie did not care or even follow up to ask whether I was satisfied with the work done.
Bonnie did not apologize for trespassing into my garage or using my tools nor did she address the poor workmanship but instead became dismissive and supercilious in emails stating that “99.9% of weeds were removed”. No, they weren’t. Bonnie refused to come back to address my concerns equitably, instead stating: “I will not be at your place” at a time I proposed, and “the job requires [no more than] up to 1 more hour of my time". Bonnie also dismissed my concerns as “not discussed” previously, when in fact they were. For example, I wanted to be home when she came to the property the second time: “I know you would like to supervise the laying of the tarp/plastic but this isn't something we discussed either. I'm not sure what your concern is about that?” Well, for one, I always try to oversee work done on my property, I do believe that is my prerogative, secondly, I could not trust this woman to be alone on my property again, after the fiasco I came home to the first time. In another email she strangely states: “you would have to agree that extensive work was done”. Really? No, I don’t agree. Bonnie was not willing to complete the job appropriately. Clearly the least of Bonnie’s concerns is customer satisfaction.
Bonnie talked very nicely at our initial meeting, stating that she was consummate in her work. Please all prospective customers - don’t fall for this or for her fancy website. I did to my regret. Bonnie’s interest is on the bottom line, and doing as little work as possible. I offered to pay half the price (not even worth that) of what was initially discussed. I waited one week to pay this woman, as I wanted to have my tools and garage door checked for damage (they were damaged). Within the week, Bonnie threatened me with legal action, stating she had no ‘choice’. Actually she did – she could have done a good job and this would have been a good review. To all prospective customers – use her ‘services’ at your own peril. Better yet, avoid at all costs and spare the headache.
- Company Response
Linda has missed out a few critical details in her version of this situation. This job was to remove 2 large areas of "Gout Weed" (approx. 600 sq feet) or Ground Elder as it is also known. The total price for the job was agreed at $350. 2 workers worked solidly for 7 hours in Linda's garden and removed all visible weeds and roots dug out. As this was not technical work, just labour, I attended the job for an hour in the morning and returned at 2pm to check on things. At that time, my workers told me that a courier came into the back yard asking them to sign for a package. They answered that they didn't live there. The courier said there was a note on the front door from Linda, instructing the courier to have the “gardeners” sign for the package and put it into the garage. They obliged. That is why they entered Linda’s garage - it was at her request, to do her a favour.
Linda came home at lunch time and was very angry at the workers. The garage door wasn't closing properly (or something to this effect). She blamed them, even though she was the one who had asked them to put her package into the garage!
She then asked them to remove a small tree. Tree removal would not be priced as part of a regular weeding job, so this was an afterthought on Linda’s part. In any event, to please the customer, the workers again did as she asked.
In removing the weeds, large boulders were uncovered which hadn't been visible at the initial consult. No discussion was had about these when I gave Linda the price for the job.
The 2 workers left the job site after completing what they had been hired to do – remove the gout weed plants and roots (as much as is possible, it's a very tough weed to eliminate) from two areas. I agree that it's quite possible they didn't completely clear everything. After many hours of back breaking work they would have cleaned up as best they could, however they knew I was planning to return to lay a tarp (or plastic) over the now cleared areas.
Linda’s attitude was very controlling, and she insisted that when I returned to lay the tarp that I bring a chain saw to cut up the tree, and also remove all the boulders! Again, NOT part of the original discussion or pricing. When I mentioned this to her, she became annoyed and said she didn't want me to return to complete the job (the hardest part had already been completed). I therefore offered to reduce the price to $275, to cover the cost of paying my workers plus gas. She refused, saying she would only pay me $175. After I agreed to this just to put closure on things, she said she would mail me a cheque. After a week I still had not received anything. I followed up with an email and got no reply. It was then that I advised her that I would turn this over to small claims court, and 3 days later I received her cheque – post dated for a week later!
This incident is the only issue I've have ever had with a customer, and it’s very unfortunate. Customer satisfaction is, and always will be, of the utmost importance to me. The take-away lesson here is to always make sure that even for small jobs, expectations are aligned, and that workers have more clarification on how to respond to customer requests.