Frequently asked questions
Customer Service Questions
How will I know when you are coming to perform service?
You will receive a notification in the morning on the day we are coming to perform service.
Due to the unpredictable nature of the weather, we do not schedule a time window in advance. We dispatch jobs for each crew in the morning. You will receive a text or email notification (whichever you signed up for). This notification will tell you that a crew is on their way, and what service they will be performing. You will also receive a notification after the service is complete.
You can update your communication preferences (including how you receive dispatch and scheduling notifications) by clicking on the communications preferences link in the email you received when you signed up for service titled "Welcome to Terra Mira!".
Please Note: On occasion, we will dispatch jobs later in the day due to scheduling changes (e.g. we have decided to work a longer day today to account for bad weather forecast tomorrow).
Do you have a referral program?
Anyone you refer who signs up for recurring platinum full service will earn you referral credit. Both you and the person you refer will receive a $25 credit to your account. Refer as many people as you want, there are no limits! Please note the person you refer must be in our service area.
How do I provide feedback on your work?
About every 30 days, you will receive a one-click survey via email asking you to rate your service on a scale of one to ten.
There is also an option to leave comments about the service if you choose. This is the best way to provide feedback about each service. You can always email us at email@example.com or call us at 941.776.5111.
Should I really respond to the quality survey?
Yes, we ask all of our customers to respond to this one-click survey each month.
Our crews have specific performance goals to meet each day, week, and month, and the most important of these goals is to earn an average minimum star-rating from the clients they service. So, your response to this survey helps determine crew bonuses. This keeps your lawn crew motivated to always do their absolute best to earn a top rating from you each month. This also is the best way to notify us if there is a problem, so we can get to work fixing it ASAP. If there’s ever an issue, you don’t have to wait for the survey - please bring it to our attention immediately so we can resolve the situation.
Can I add-on a task while you're on my property?
We can not accommodate requests to perform additional out-of-scope work while on your property. A common example is mow-only clients who ask us to trim their hedges while on-site.
Sometimes, you may have something extra you'd like done while a landscaping crew is on your property (like weeding, picking up debris, etc). Our crews are trained to perform the task you hired us for thoroughly and efficiently. They have performance goals they are trying to reach each day. If you have other work you would like done, we will be more than happy to provide a quote to you (click here), but we can not accommodate requests to perform additional out-of-scope work while on your property.
Should I tip the crew?
Tips are never expected, but you may tip the crew if you wish.
The best way to tip your crew is to give them a ten rating on the feedback survey. Because this feedback is tied directly to crew bonuses, it's like tipping your crew—on our dime!
What if I'm unhappy with my service?
Let us know immediately, by either replying to the one-click survey, emailing us, or calling us at 941.776.5111.
We strive to communicate job expectations clearly and thoroughly with our customers, and we hold ourselves accountable to these expectations. If we determine a service was not performed properly, we will send out a Rescue Tech to fix the problem as soon as possible, at no charge to you.
If there was a miscommunication about job expectations, we will talk with you and do our absolute best to find a solution that works for everyone.
What area do you service?
We service the Manatee County area for lawn and landscape maintenance. For landscape design and installation we service the Sarasota, Manatee, and Hillsborough County areas.
Mow & Trim Questions
What height will you cut my lawn?
We typically trim between 4” and 5.5” for St. Augustine and Bahia turfs.
We follow the University of South Florida guidelines for trimming turf. Due to the extreme heat and large amounts of rainfall we receive during rainy season we don’t mow shorter because the grass can have a host of issues like fungus, cinch bugs, dollar weed, and other issues.
Can you cut my lawn shorter?
Maybe. If we're already cutting your turf at 4", we won't cut it any shorter than that.
The bottom line is that all warm climate grasses are healthiest when cut between 4 " and 5.5". Cutting it shorter is not only stressful on your turf, which makes it more vulnerable to pest and disease, it also lets more sunlight hit the surface of the ground, which promotes weed growth. When grass is tall enough to shade the ground, new weed seeds that sprout are starved of sunlight and die.
Remember, for your turf to stay healthy, you should ideally be cutting no more than 1/3 of the hight of the grass off. So if your grass is 5" to 7", cutting it down to 4.5-5.0" is ideal. If your grass is 5" to 7" and you ask us to cut it down to 3", what you're asking us to do is stress out your turf.
You may be thinking to yourself "But what about my local golf course?" Putting greens and fairways are seeded with a specific variety of grass that can tolerate being cut very short. The most common of which is bermudagrass. While this variety can tolerate being cut short, it also requires much more maintenance. In order to stay green at this height, it is cut roughly every day depending on weather, and a very extensive fertilization program is in place. This is not practical for a typical residential lawn.
If you have any further questions about how we care for your lawn, just click on the "Contact" link at the top of the page
Can I request a specific day for service?
We can not accommodate day-specific mowing requests, but try to make every attempt to work the schedule in a way that is convenient.
In order to keep our pricing competitive and our quality exceptional, we use software to optimize our routing and logistics. This means your property will be added to our schedule in the place that results in the least amount of driving.
Our clients greatly value our reliability. We're able to deliver reliable weekly service because we optimize our routes and make the most of our crews’ availability. Weather is always a factor that has to be worked around. Sometimes it's hot and dry, sometimes it's wet and rainy, but you will never be left wondering why we didn't show up to perform service, because we will always show up.
What day of the week will my lawn be cut?
We schedule all mow & trim services between Monday and Friday.While you will be scheduled on the same day every week, please understand that we are not able to commit to a specific day. Sometimes we’ll need to shift days around due to holidays, inclement weather, or other Most of the time your lawn will be mowed on the same day. In the event we're not able to service your property on the scheduled day, we will advise you via text or email of when your property has been rescheduled for service within the same week. On very, very rare occasions (generally caused by extended periods of very bad weather) we will deviate from this rule.
What if my lawn doesn't need to be cut?
We will not skip a mowing unless the crew leader determines that mowing will be harmful to your lawn.
Occasionally if the weather has been hot and dry for an extended period of time, and your lawn does not have irrigation, it may not need to be cut. If you would like us to skip your service on a given week, please let us know as soon as possible.
Bear in mind that although our services are provided weekly, we bill one fixed monthly rate. This rate is calculated by averaging together 40-42 mows per year and dividing by 12. Therefore we expect to skip about 10 mows a year due to dry or wet conditions.
What happens if my yard is too wet to mow?
We will skip areas of your yard that are too wet to mow.
If your yard is too wet, and the crew leader is concerned about damaging your turf with our equipment, those sections of your lawn will be skipped. We will mow these areas on the next visit to your property, so long as they have sufficiently dried out. If an area stays wet for many weeks and we can't get our equipment on it, we may bill you hourly to service those areas with a string-trimmer. We will get your approval before doing this.
In most cases, we will be able to mow the wet section normally the following week (or sometimes two weeks later). This does take us on average 55%-70% longer due to mowing more slowly and emptying the grass collection bags more frequently. We do not charge extra when "catching up" on a wet section of lawn in this manner. Because of this, we do not pro-rate your service when skipping wet sections.
We generally only have to charge extra for areas that have been wet for multiple weeks and need to be serviced with a string trimmer, as this is a very time consuming process.
We are also more than happy to offer a free consultation on what we can do in order to help solve water drainage issues.
Do you mow & trim in the rain?
We do mow and trim in the rain when necessary.
During rainy season in Florida, we cannot stay on schedule if we don't sometimes mow in the rain.
We put freshly sharpened blades on our mowers every day. Our mowers are much more powerful than residential mowers and provide a great quality cut, even in light rain. We do exercise extreme caution when it is raining, paying special attention not to damage the turf, and we do stop mowing if rain is particularly heavy. If there is thunder and lightening is present, we won’t mow. We make every effort to come back the next day and mow but we will contact you and let you know.
If you would like us to skip your property when it's raining, just reply to the dispatch notification and let us know. Please note that if we are in your neighborhood on a given day, we cannot reschedule you for another day that same week. We will cut your lawn the next week, when we're in your neighborhood again.
Do you offer every other week mow & trim service?
Our mow and trim service is only available as a weekly service.
How often should I water my lawn?
The short answer is about 1-2 times per week, for 45-60 minutes per irrigation zone. If you notice pooling water in an area that doesn't go away within 30 minutes of irrigation, reduce the watering time for that specific zone.
Many people set their irrigation systems up to water every other day for 10-20 minutes. This wets the top 1-2" of soil. Because this is where the water is, this is where the grass develop most of its root system. When it's very hot and dry, the top 1-2" of soil is the first thing to dry out.
By watering frequently you are training your turf to be very intolerant of dry weather. By watering one to 2 times per week (once per week for soils with a lot of organic material, twice per week for sandy soils) for a longer period, you are wetting the soil several inches down. This causes the grass to strengthen its root system several inches below the surface of the soil. When the weather is very hot and dry, it takes much longer for the lower layers of soil to dry out. This produces a more drought-tolerant and healthier turf.
If you'd like help setting an irrigation schedule for your lawn, just let us know. We will gladly provide you with an irrigation plan tailored specifically your property at no charge.
Should I install an irrigation system?
We recommend irrigation for all lawns that experience drought dormancy
Depending on your type of turf will determine if you need an irrigation system. St. Augustine and Zoysia turf generally requires some type of irrigation system to keep it looking its best. Bahiagrass is much more drought tolerant, and although it is more susceptible to weeds, Bahia does well with or without an irrigation system.
If your landscape includes a lot of drought-tolerant plants, irrigation isn’t necessary. However, be prepared to hand water occasionally during hot, dry periods. Drip irrigation works for the plant species that require regular watering.
I have irrigation, why does my lawn still get brown/not look as green as my neighbors?
We recommend a fertilization program to make your lawn the healthiest it can be. Caring for a lawn is best thought of as a three legged stool: Proper Mowing height/frequency, Proper Watering, and Proper fertilization. If any of these three things are not what they should be then your results will be less than desirable.
Account & Billing Questions
Do I have to sign a contract?
No, we believe that if you’re not happy with our service we don’t deserve your business.
You can cancel the service at any time. We will earn your business every time we show up! We bill in advance for the upcoming month and bills are due on the last day of the month. If your payment isn’t received by the 15th day of the month following the invoice date, a $25 late fee will be applied to the account. We make every effort to provide you with reliable weekly service and if our clients don’t pay us on time we can’t pay our staff.
Can I pay with cash or check?
Our preferred payment is credit or debit card, however we do accept checks if they are mailed to our remittance address. We do NOT accept cash at this time. Our crews do NOT accept payments.
Invoices are mailed on the 1st and you will receive a payment confirmation when your payment is processed. For services such as mulch, irrigation, or cleanups, cards are charged the same day as the service is completed.
How do I add a credit card to my account?
When you receive the monthly invoice from Quickbooks, simply add your credit card and make sure you check the box that says "Save this card for faster future payments". You can also save a bank account and pay securely via e-check.
What about credit card security?
We keep your card information secure. Here's how:
Credit cards offer some awesome benefits. Convenience, fraud protection, points, miles, cash back, and other rewards. In today's market, credit card security is extremely important, and we take it very seriously at Fast Lawnscapes. We do not store your credit card information with our company. We use a credit card processor (Bluepay) who keeps your credit card information on our behalf. Bluepay is used by some of the biggest brands you trust like Southwest Airlines, Clif Bar, Susan G. Komen Foundation, and many others.
Bluepay adheres to industry standards for keeping card information secure (a standard called PCI-DSS). Once we input your card information it is tokenized (a process that keeps it away from hackers) and sent securely encrypted to Bluepay. They store the card information on our behalf. We can only see the last four digits and the expiration date. This is the same credit card information that gets printed on a receipt from the grocery store when you pay by credit card.
So, no-one at Fast Lawnscapes has access to your card information after we input it. Even if your own account (or our system) is compromised, they can not access your card information, because it's not stored with us. If you have any questions about the security of your card information, please don't hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 941.776.5111
When do you send your bill and when is my payment due?
We send out our bills for contract service on the 1st of each month for services to be rendered during that month. The payment is due in our office by the last day of that month, usually about 30 days later (net 30 terms).
Beginning March 1, 2020, a late fee of $25 applies to any account not paid within 15 days of their due date. For example, on March 15, a late fee will be assessed for any invoice dated 2/1/2020 that has not been paid. Exceptions are commercial clients who have different payment terms negotiated into their contract, such as discounted terms or net 45 terms.
How much do you charge to hang Christmas Lights?
We are charging by the hour at a rate of $45 per man, per hour which equals $90 an hour for our two man crew. We have a minimum charge of $60 per service call. You will be billed for actual time our crew spends on the job and that may vary depending on the complexity of the installation, but most homes take between 1 and 2 hours.
Do you provide the lights?
Client is responsible to provide lights, extension cords, and other decor that they wish to have installed. If you don't have roof clips we can provide them at a nominal rate of $8 per box.
Do I need to be home?
It is not necessary that you are home for your appointment but we do prefer it where possible to ensure that we've placed things where you like it. Alternatively you can provide our office with instructions or leave a note for our crew. We can also call or text you when we are headed to your property to allow you time to leave work or wrap up errands and get home to meet our crew.
How should I prepare for my appointment?
As the appointment date approaches, pull your lights and other decor out of storage and check to make sure they function, are in good condition, and weren't damaged during storage. If you haven't already upgraded to LED lights it might be a great time to do it. There are lots of lights at all the big box stores now at reasonable prices. They tend to sell out completely of some styles and colors the closer we get to Thanksgiving making things much harder to find. So please, take a moment before your appointment and check the condition of your lights to avoid any last minute runs to the big box store while we're on site! Keep in mind that Fast Lawnscapes assumes no responsibility for the condition of the lights, fuses, or bulbs provided by the client. Most of the products we use to decorate our homes now are made in China and don't last more than a season or two. Personally I'm disappointed by the quality of the materials as well. If you are interested in purchasing Commercial Quality materials that will last more than one or two seasons, please reach out to us and we can set up an appointment to plan a design and price out those materials