What kind of shrub warranty should you offer?

You get a call about a potential job that includes some plant installs. So you stop by the potential customer’s house. You walk the property, find out what the homeowner wants, and present a bid. Great news, the customer accepts and you are off to the nursery to purchase a trailer full of shrubs. The next day, you show up to the property and spend the entire day planting the shrubs. When you are finished, the customer smiles and shakes your hand saying thank you. Then he wants to know what kind of warranty will be included on his new shrubs? You do have a warranty don’t you? If you don’t or haven’t thought about it yet, consider this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum and figure out which warranty method would be bested suited to you and your company.

One lawn care business owner said “what would be a general rule of thumb for warranty on shrubs after installation? I have a job coming up that requires about 200′ of shrub installs. I am hoping to install them within next two weeks.”

A second lawn care business owner said “this is based on what kind of warranty you are getting where you buy your materials. Some nurseries will offer a year, some less, and some more.

I get a two year warranty from my supplier on all shrubs and trees. For me, this is a no brainer to pass it onto my clients. Plus I offer free labor if we have to replace the shrub or tree within a year and a 50% discount if we need to in the second year. To get this 2 year warranty, the customer needs to buy a maintenance agreement. With that we will inspect the shrubs or trees, three times a season. This way I know if the client is following the care sheet we left with them, if not, no warranty.

Offering a maintenance agreement is a good way to continue to build a relationship with the customer and show that we care. Generally when we inspect the shrubs, we just make sure there are no insects and that the shrub looks healthy. While onsite we will look around for other things we could do for the client as well.”

A third lawn care business owner said “we give a one year shrub warranty if the property is irrigated otherwise there is no way of knowing if the customer is going to water the new plantings or not. If they are under an annual lawn care contract, we will make sure the shrubs are being taken care of. If they are not, then we won’t check up on the status of the shrubs.”

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