When entering into a contract with any home renovation or maintenance company, including those specializing in lawn care, always insist upon a written contract. Verbal contracts are hard to prove or refer to in the event of a dispute.
Service Alberta has prepared a tip sheet with timely information on what consumers should know about the Fair Trading Act.
The Fair Trading Act applies to unfair business practices that occur before, during or after a consumer transaction. An unfair practice may occur even if a consumer transaction was not entered into or concluded.
Always make sure you understand the terms and conditions of the contract (i.e. the fine print) before you agree to them or before you sign any contract.
Landscaping businesses whose contracts require prepayment and are solicited, negotiated or concluded away from the contractor’s place of business (e.g. at your home) must have a provincial business licence. Check Service Alberta’s website to see if a business in licensed.
If possible, check references before you hire any company to do work. The best way to find any home contractor is through other satisfied customers.
When you’re shopping around for a lawn maintenance firm, get a written estimate that describes:
- the work that will be done;
- dates for starting and completing work;
- itemized costs;
- quality guarantees or warranty;
- cancellation procedures; and
- the required method of payment.
If you find yourself in a dispute with a contractor who engaged in misleading or other unfair practices, you may lodge a complaint with Service Alberta’s Consumer Contact Centre online or toll-free at 1-877-427-4088.
Service Alberta is responsible for Alberta’s consumer protection and tenancy laws.