5 On Your Side

Cary woman in turf battle with lawn care company

Posted June 9, 2010 5:15 p.m. EDT
Updated June 10, 2010 4:30 p.m. EDT

— Many homeowners hire professionals to ensure their lawn is green, but a lawn care company's mistake created a turf battle for a Cary woman.

Michelle Collier says the bare patches in her yard make her once-green lawn look more like a deserted wasteland.

The grass died in March after her lawn care company, ProLawn, treated it, she says.

"I noticed that the grass was starting to turn brown after they put it down, and it was early spring, so everybody else's grass was greening up, and mine was just getting progressively browner," she said.

Parts of her neighbors' yards are also brown.

After assessing the problem, ProLawn owner Mark Schaffer offered to aerate and seed the affected areas.

When the seed was down, however, Collier got opinions from other lawn companies who all recommended the yard be re-sodded.

So Collier asked Schaffer to pay for another company to do the job. He refused, and the dispute reached a standstill.

"I had an established, green, healthy, uniform, even grass before they killed it," Collier said. "I think I should have the same thing back."

So Collier called 5 on Your Side, which contacted Shaffer.

"This has never happened in thousands of applications," he said, adding that he's still not sure what was sprayed on Collier's lawn.

"We went back and reviewed all the records, and we couldn't find any mistakes," he said.

He believes the spring seeding, combined with a re-seed in the fall, would have fixed the problem. But as long as his company does the job, he agreed to re-sod nearly the entire yard.

"We're going to sod sections of the yard, and we'll do the back and side and portions of the front as well," Shaffer said. "Hopefully, we can make it right for (Collier) and gain a little trust back."

Schaffer says he will also fix the neighbors' yards. Both he and Collier also say they have decided to wait until the fall to put down the sod.