SPOKANE – Attorney General Rob McKenna announced an agreement with TruGreen, L.P. of Memphis, Tenn., that provides for refunds of over $83,000 to Washington consumers whose accounts TruGreen improperly debited, and for payment of over $50,000 in costs and attorney fees incurred by the state.
Under the Assurance of Discontinuance entered today in Spokane County Superior Court, TruGreen, a company that provides lawn and yard care services nationwide, denied any wrongdoing but entered an agreement to ensure compliance with the Consumer Protection Act. The Attorney General’s Office alleged that TruGreen engaged in unfair and deceptive business practices that included the improper taking of residential customers’ credit balances, failing to adequately notify customers of the continuous nature of its lawn care services, and failing to honor customers’ requests to cancel services.
“Honesty and transparency are integral to ethical business practices,” Attorney General McKenna said. “We are pleased that TruGreen has agreed to make the interests of Washington consumers a priority.”
Under the terms of the Assurance, TruGreen must adequately notify consumers of its services that are continuous in nature, immediately cancel services upon a customer’s request, and obtain express consent before renewing a previously cancelled service.
Also, TruGreen agrees to refund credit balances that were improperly swept from customer accounts as income to TruGreen. A former branch manager of TruGreen is alleged to have been responsible for over 1700 separate instances by which TruGreen swept a total of over $83,000 from residential customer accounts from 2002 to 2005. This activity appears to have been limited to TruGreen’s Spokane office. The Assurance requires TruGreen to contact affected consumers at their last known addresses and either credit their existing TruGreen accounts or confirm their addresses so refund checks may be mailed.
Any consumer who believes that TruGreen improperly debited his or her account should contact TruGreen or the Washington State Attorney General’s Office to request a refund. TruGreen is obligated under the agreement to acknowledge the request, investigate the matter, determine whether a refund is due, and provide a refund if justified.
TruGreen Assurance of Discontinuance
Media Contact: Kristin Alexander, Seattle Media Relations Manager, (206) 464-6432
Jack G. Zurlini, Jr., AAG, Spokane Consumer Protection Team, (509) 458-3538