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Phone: (216) 731-7300 Fax: (216) 731-7373 PO Box 22423, Beachwood, OH 44122
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A BBB Accredited Business since
BBB has determined that J.D.F. Landscaping meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.
BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.
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Based on BBB files, this business has a BBB Rating of No Rating. The reason is as follows:
- BBB does not have sufficient information to issue a rating on this business.
Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details
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|Problems with Product/Service||0|
|Total Closed Complaints||1|
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Licensing, Bonding or Registration
This business is in an industry that may require professional licensing, bonding
or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain
any requirements are currently being met.
These agencies may include:
Ohio State Department of Agriculture
8995 East Main Street, Reynoldsburg OH 43068
Phone Number: (614) 728-6250
Fax Number: (614) 466-4346
Type of Entity
Business ManagementMr. Jeremy Fetterman, Owner
Landscape Contractors Landscape Designers Lawn Maintenance Concrete Contractors Snow Removal Service Water Gardens Fountains & Ponds Hardscapes
Industry TipsLawn Care Companies
PO Box 22423
Beachwood, OH 44122 (216) 731-7300
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Read Complaint Details
Complaint: My wife and I engaged JDF Landscaping in the spring of 2013 to help repair the lawn in our backyard. At first, JDF recommended that we do a full lawn replacement. However, JDF then determined that a full lawn replacement was not necessary because only portions of the lawn needed repair. It was made very clear to JDF that the focus was to be on the development of a healthy and sustainable lawn, and upon agreeing to terms, a contract was signed. The contract included a 1yr guarantee on both grass and shrubs. The guarantee reads as follows: "J.D.F. Landscaping guarantees the quality and craftsmanship of its work and offers a 1 year guarantee on both grass and plant materials".To date, 3 of the 4 rhododendrons that JDF Landscaping planted have died and virtually all of the grass is dead. On August 21, 2013, my wife informed ****** of JDF Landscaping that the rhododendrons had died and that very little of the grass was still living. ******'s response was as follows: "Hello, per our contract there is no warranty for lawn or shrubs - the lawn will be over seeded spring of 2014". Imagine my surprise to receive a response from the owner of the company that no warranty exists. I proceeded to forward ****** the signed contract documenting the undeniable existence of a 1yr warranty. Please keep in mind that this is JDF's contract. How does a company not know a warranty exists in their own contract? ****** of JDF Landscaping has informed me that the 1yr warranty for all plant and grass materials is not a 1yr warranty at all. It is a warranty that subjectively expires after he feels he has done enough work. I have been told that if any additional work occurs, the warranty is voided.Engaging JDF Landscaping for its services has been a terrible mistake. I have been misled through the entire process and despite being promised a beautiful backyard, I am left with dead grass, dead shrubs, and a company that refuses to honor the terms of its contract.*** ********
Desired Settlement: At this point, I would like a refund for services promised but not rendered. JDF Landscaping guaranteed a beautiful backyard for a minimum of 1 year and failed to deliver. I have no desire to ever work with JDF Landscaping again and request a refund in the amount of $1500 to engage a company that is willing to honor the terms of its contract and deliver on its promise.
I would like to start off by mentioning that the customers complaint included a quote off our contract that read “JDF landscaping guarantees the quality and craftsmanship of its work and offers a 1 year guarantee on both grass and plant materials”. However, this sentence was not a part of the contract that we had sent via email, rather the customers added it themselves.
The customer and his wife signed a contract for work for the backyard of their property. Before the work began the wife asked about repairing the grass on her tree lawn. When she was told the price she seemed conflicted about it, so we offered to do it at no additional charge, and we did. One of the tasks on the contract was to remove and haul away bricks from their landscape. The next day they contacts us to bring the bricks back, so we brought them back and neatly stacked them for no additional charge. About a week or two later the wife contacted us again to grass in an additional area that we had never discussed, again, we did this at no additional cost. At this time she stated that she wanted her new lawn to be overseeded. I explained to her that on the contract she signed it stated that we come out to overseed spring of 2014 (hence the one year warranty on grass). She opted out of the spring seed and decided to get it at that present time.
The customers contacted me about giving them a quote for fertilization. Upon meeting with them and giving them a quote, they found my price too high. They asked for a recommendation of a cheaper company and I gave them a name. The customers chose not to call a professional company, rather they did the fertilization themselves. Had the customers hired me to maintain their landscape on a weekly basis, or hired a company that specialized in fertilizer, it is possible that the grass problem could have been nipped before severe damages occurred.
After a couple of months (in august) I received an email from the customer stating that there were dead plants and areas of lawn needing repair. Because the weather was too hot for planting I told him that we will address it in the fall. The customer decided it was fall and sent another email asking when we will be scheduling them in. After a day went by where we hadn’t responded yet the customer decided to write another email threatening to sue us.
I met with the customer to see the areas of concern. We agreed that I would come back and do the work, and once the grass germinated and greened, we would both wash our hands of the situation. However, when we made this agreement I was under the impression that something must have been wrong with the grass seed I used. After this meeting with the customer I called the company with whom the seed was from and explained the lawn issues at the customers home. Right away they knew that the dead spots were caused by a fungus (which is why a professional on the property could have possibly caught this before serious damages occurred). Because of this, I decided that it would be best to do the repair and plant replacing and wash our hands then, without a contingency on grass greening up.
Our company always has a one year guarantee on woody plant material. The customers never asked what our guarantee is or how it works. Had they asked, I would’ve told them that a plant guarantee means that we will replace the plant one time at no additional costs. When we do lawn installations the contracts always state that we will come out to overseed the following spring. So as long as the initial seeding germinates the only guarantee thereafter is us coming back to overseed that following spring, however his wife decided to waive that in lieu of overseeding soon after the initial job.
I feel I have gone out of my way to satisfy this customer. I performed work on multiple occasions at no extra costs. I met with them on their property several times. I have told the customer I am more than happy to come repair the bare areas and replace the dead plants, but he seems to be stuck on this “warranty” issue, even writing me an email with the dictionarys definition.
Again, I am more than willing to come repair bare lawn areas and replace dead plants, but upon telling the customer this he replied that “our communication is done”. The customer is unreasonable and will not cooperate. I will not be refunding any amount as services were already rendered.
Dear Better Business Bureau,
I was very disappointed to read the misrepresentations and blatant inconsistencies within the JDF Landscaping rebuttal. There are a few misrepresentations in particular that I wish to highlight to allow the BBB to have a better understanding as to just how deceitful JDF has been throughout this entire reconciliation process.
The rebuttal states that my wife and I never inquired about the warranty. JDF’s exact words within the rebuttal are “The customers never asked what our guarantee is or how it works”.
However, I have email documentation that on May 3rd, 2013, my wife emailed JDF Landscaping the following: “Can you please include in the contract what kind of guarantee there is for the grass and plant material?” JDF Landscaping responded on May 3rd with the following: “Grass will be I year plants as well”. Given this evidence, it is clear that JDF Landscaping’s comments regarding this issue are not truthful.
JDF Landscaping is correct in saying that I added the warranty language to the contract. When it was communicated to me via email that the contract included a 1yr guarantee and that guarantee was not reflected in the contract, it seemed only logical to add that language to the master agreement. I’m sure everyone would agree that critical information such as a warranty should be included in the contract. It is worth noting that JDF did not provide me with any warranty details other than the sentence above before or after doing work on my property and the warranty information is not available on JDF’s webpage. The rebuttal explains the terms of JDF’s warranty, but where exactly is this mystery document? It is not on the website and it was not provided to me before or after the work. How can JDF Landscaping cite warranty terms when it doesn’t appear that a formal warranty even exists? Is the owner simply making this up as he goes? What makes matters worse is that on August 26, 2013, JDF Landscaping responded to my wife’s email with the following: “Hello, per our contract there is no warranty for lawn or shrubs – the lawn will be overseeded spring of 2014.” I am so glad that I added the warranty language to the contract because it is evident by this statement that JDF Landscaping would not have honored the offer they made on May 3rd.
The examples above show the lack of transparency in JDF’s business dealings. It states in the rebuttal that we never inquired about the warranty. Clearly, this statement is false and when this misrepresentation is coupled with clear examples of JDF going back on its word (saying a warranty exists and then saying it doesn’t), it becomes easy to see a trend in the way JDF handles its affairs.
The rebuttal also states that my wife waived our over seeding clause when JDF returned to our property in June. JDF’s account suggests this work was done a week or two after the initial job on May 4th, but it was actually done approximately 4 or 5 weeks after the initial job. Nevertheless, JDF states that this visit and the work performed constitutes the over seeding. If this is in fact the case, then why did JDF Landscaping state on August 26th that it would be back in the spring of 2014 to over seed? This is another example of the incredible inconsistencies of JDF Landscaping. JDF says one thing on Monday and the exact opposite on Tuesday. JDF’s behavior is indefensible and I hope the BBB can assist in encouraging JDF to do the right thing.
I believe that one of the major issues between me and JDF Landscaping pertains to perception. JDF states in the rebuttal that the grass that was planted in the front yard was done as a courtesy or some sort of favor that we should be grateful for. This is absolutely incorrect. When my wife was negotiating the contract, she stated that the quote was too high. In an effort to sweeten the deal, JDF threw in the tree lawn. With this added perk, my wife decided to move forward with JDF. This was not a courtesy or an example of JDF being generous; this was part of the negotiation. Also, I will agree with JDF that they took and then returned bricks. Again, this is a perceptual issue and perhaps simply a miscommunication. We did not wish for the bricks to be taken and made that clear on multiple occasions. While we do appreciate that JDF brought the bricks back, this was not a courtesy or a favor, this was correcting an error. Lastly, JDF references the work that they performed when they returned in early to mid-June. JDF once again positions this as some sort of favor our courtesy. This is not the case. The contract states that the customer defines where work is to be done and these areas were clearly defined to Jeremy of JDF Landscaping when he first visited my house in April and then again when he performed the work in early May. It’s unfortunate that these areas were overlooked during the initial visit, but it is something that needed to be corrected. JDF was well aware of what areas needed work, and that is why “need defined by customer” was built into the contract. Using the fact that they underperformed during the initial visit as a reason why the warranty should not be fully honored is ridiculous.
I also take issue with the fact that JDF Landscaping states that had a professional fertilized the yard, they would have recognized the fungus and possibly saved the lawn. This statement makes no sense to me. By its own account, JDF Landscaping made several visits to my house in the weeks and months following the initial job. If this fungus was so obvious, why did JDF, professionals in this line of work, not recognize it? The answer can only be one of two things.
There was no fungus
JDF does not have the level of expertise to identify it
Either JDF is lying about the fungus or JDF is incompetent. I’m not sure which one is worse but neither is favorable to JDF Landscaping. JDF’s professional credibility pertaining to poor placement of two Rhododendrons has already been submitted for BBB review.
The fungus issue opens up an entirely new issue. JDF has stated that the seed company determined that the grass was killed by an “early stage fungus”. Please note that “the seed company” has never been to my house and has never seen my lawn. Given this, how is the seed company in any position to rule on what killed the grass? Using the seed company as a character witness for the quality and integrity of the seeds seems like a conflict of interest, no? Is the seed company capable of objectively identifying the cause of the issue even without seeing the lawn? Absolutely not, yet JDF refuses to perform any warranty work unless I waive future warranty rights. This is unacceptable. It’s also worth noting that my neighbor planted grass at the same time and his lawn looks great. It seems peculiar that the fungus infestation was such an isolated event (my backyard) and the only areas affected were the areas JDF Landscaping repaired. I’m not in a position to say what did or did not kill the lawn and the shrubs (and to be clear, some of the lawn was not killed, it simply never grew), but I find it egregious that JDF blames a fungus or my watering or my fertilizing for the issue rather than at least considering that the seeds or the plants or JDF’s lack of execution could have been the problem.
A few other inconsistences within JDF’s rebuttal is the statement “the customer decided it was fall” and “after a day went by” which can be found in the 4th paragraph of the rebuttal. To be clear, the customer didn’t decide it was fall, it was fall. That email was sent on September 23rd and I followed up two days later on the 25th. These are clearly minor details, but JDF’s inability to recount the events accurately are both puzzling and concerning.
JDF has delivered an ultimatum that no work warranty work will be performed unless I waive future warranty rights. How is this at all a reasonable request? Can a car dealer that issued a 5yr warranty tell the car owner that no work will be performed unless the warranty is waived? Absolutely not - The 1 year warranty is part of the contract and was accounted for in the final sales price. It cannot be subjectively voided simply because the company says so and the terms of the warranty cannot be defined 5 months after the fact.
JDF Landscaping guaranteed to my wife and I that it would deliver a beautiful backyard. All I have to show for it is dead grass and dead shrubs. Why would I waive the only assurance I have in order for JDF to honor the terms of the agreement and fulfill the warranty?
I’m looking to the BBB to help me resolve this issue as I believe JDF Landscaping has acted in a manner unbefitting of a company with an A+ BBB rating. It has failed to deliver on its promises, failed to honor its contract, and failed to act in a truthful and transparent manner. I am not willing to waive my warranty simply to have warranty work performed and I hope the BBB can help me retrieve some of my investment so that I can engage a company with more experience and more integrity.
It seems apparent that the customer and I both feel that there are misrepresentations and inconsistencies with one another’s portrayal of events through these last several months.
After the customer threatened to sue us over email we still sent him a contract stating we would come back to seed some bare spots and replace two dead plants. We have never had such threats made to our company, and did not take to these threats lightly. Because of these threats my lawyer had advised us to have the customer sign off on a contract to complete the warranty work.
Because of the current weather conditions grass seed can no longer be put down this year and would have to wait until spring anyways. We are still willing to come back in spring and repair the bare lawn areas and replace the two rhododendrons.
The customer likes to use the analogy of a car needing work under warranty and how the dealership honors their warranty through its entirety. I have an analogy myself; When you buy an electronic device from a big box store and buy the warranty, you will “cash in” your warranty should you need to use it. If you get that electronic replaced, your warranty is then void, as it has already been fulfilled. The customers lawn grew in all green, lush and full. The customers wife ***** sent me the following email on 6/7/13;
We finally finished mulching this weekend and the yard looks great. Thanks for all of your hard work!
Because the lawn filled in, my only obligation to their lawn is to overseed it the following spring. The customer’s wife frankly waived this right when she had me out to overseed early, however like I’ve said multiple times I am still willing to do it this coming spring along with the plant replacement of two rhododendrons. At this time the original contract will be fulfilled.
While I feel that the customer has embellished and lied in many of his statements in his rebuttal, I don’t feel it pertinent to correct these, as the real issue is we are willing to do the above mentioned work, but the customer is not being cooperative.
With each rebuttal from ****** of JDF Landscaping, it becomes more and more apparent to me how little regard he has for telling the truth or reciting facts.
In his final sentence, ****** states that he is willing to do the work but cannot because the customer is not cooperating. This is simply not true. For months now, I have been pleading with ****** to do the work that he is contractually obligated to do. However, ****** has stated that no work will be performed unless I sign a document that was never discussed or disclosed during our original agreement. ****** has placed an unreasonable contingency on the work, but I’m the one not cooperating? I was more than willing to have ****** come and do the work all summer and all fall, but he refused. Again, I’m the one not cooperating? Let me remind the BBB that the 1yr guarantee was for all grass and plant material. JDF planted approximately 11 plants when they performed the work and all 11 are entitled to a 1yr guarantee. However, ****** is asking that I waive all future warranty rights in order for him to come and replace the 3 rhododendrons that have died. Does it make sense to anyone why I would need to forego the guarantee on 8 other plants simply to have 3 of them replaced? Obviously not, but nor does ******’s contingency riddled ultimatum. He stated that no work will be done unless I waive all rights, and yet he calls me uncooperative. I’ll defer to the BBB to rule on who is and who is not being cooperative.
You will probably notice the bolded and underlined 3 above. In his rebuttal,
****** states that his warranty contract that he asked me to sign was for 2
dead plants. However, the contract that
he drafted clearly states it’s to cover 3 dead rhododendrons. Why is it so hard for JDF to get the story
right? ******, feel free to provide the
BBB with the contract so you can explain to them how you meant 3 even though
you said 2. ****** and JDF Landscaping lack
the ability to tell the complete story no matter how big or small the topic.
I was intrigued by ******’s big box store analogy, so decided to vet it out myself be contacting Best Buy. What I discovered was quite interesting. For small ticket items, those comparable to a rhododendron or a bag of grass seed, Best Buy offers a time based replacement warranty. What this means is that if an item is defective, Best Buy will replace it with no questions asked and the remaining term of the original warranty will be transferred to the new item. For larger ticket items such as high definition televisions and laptop computers (none of which are comparable to the individual items supplied by JDF), Best Buy offers a time based servicing warranty. Meaning, the item can be repaired as many times as needed during the life of the warranty. So ******, as it turns out, you’re wrong again. No surprise. Big Box stores do have warranties that are time based – And, unlike what you provided to me, Big Box stores have the decency to disclose the terms of the warranty upfront so the proper expectation is set. You’re warranty explanation (which you said we never inquired about and I have since proven that to be false – another example of you lying) said that it was for 1 year. If it was 1 replacement instead of 1 year, why did you say 1 year? Why didn’t you say 1 replacement? And, since I’m only asking for 3 of the plants to be replaced, how can you justify mandating a waiver that eliminates the warranty on the other 8? JDF’s position cannot be defended and ******’s procrastination and lack of business ethics have delayed this process to the point that no work can be done until the spring. Good Job, ******!
This will probably come as no surprise to the readers of this dialogue, but yes, JDF made another false statement in most its recent rebuttal. ****** references an email that my wife sent on June 7th, 2013. ******, please check your records – that email was sent on June 17th, 2013. Again, why is it so hard for you to document the facts accurately? JDF performed work in early May and by late May, my wife contacted ****** to express her displeasure with some aspects of the job. On June 7th, 2013, I personally reached out to ****** to find out when he would be out to do the work. JDF Landscaping returned to do the work on or around June 13, 2013. Upon seeing he had returned to our property, my wife emailed ****** thanking him for his work. Keep in mind of course that all we could really see at this time was a bunch of hay laying over browns spots where grass had just been planted. What is really interesting to note in this scenario is ******’s comment that: “The customers lawn grew in all green, lush, and full”. ******, since you did the work on or around June 13th and my wife’s email was sent on June 17th, are you stating that in 4 days the grass grew in “all green, lush, and full”? I didn’t think grass could grow that fast. Since we all know grass cannot grow that fast, ******, how are you in any position to say it came in “all green, lush, and full”? Between mid-June and late September, you never came to my property. How do you know it came in “all green, lush, and full”? You don’t because it didn’t. The grass you planted never materialized to anything and while you say it’s because of some early stage fungus because that’s what the seed company said, I say it’s because of your lack of execution and industry knowledge. And, just as a reminder, the seed company never saw the property yet ****** felt their opinion valid in diagnosing the issue.
****** states in his rebuttal that I lied in my statements. I challenge ****** of JDF Landscaping to document one single instance where anything I have said or written is not true. Empty statements like this are worthless without support, and since I have no problem documenting your lies and misstatements, I encourage you to do the same.
****** ********* of JDF Landscaping is a novice in the industry and an
unethical business owner. Despite
knowing that my yard slopes to the back and catches all the water run-off, he
decided it best to plant two rhododendrons (plants that I have since come to
learn prefer dry soil) in the moistest part of my backyard. So moist in fact that during his initial
visit, he observed some moss growing.
Would any real professional make such a careless mistake? No. Yet, he is surprised that the plants died,
and had he come to replace them, I suspect he would have planted them in the
exact same location and doomed them to fail again.
****** and JDF Landscaping have been unprofessional, unknowledgeable, and deceitful through this entire process. Given the contentious nature of the relationship, there is no way I am willing to sign any of JDF’s documents in order to have the contract fulfilled. Particularly seeing as though ******’s procrastination has led us to December and my yard is lacking grass and living shrubs. I don’t see the benefit of bantering back and forth with a company that has a distorted perception of reality, so I hope the BBB will take the information they have at its disposal and make a ruling on this issue. I would like to be reimbursed $1500 for services never rendered and contracts never fulfilled so that I can engage a knowledgeable and reputable company to do the work the right way.
As a small business owner I take much pride in being BBB accredited. I strive to meet and go beyond the expectations of my customers and I believe I had done the same with the ********* from the very beginning. After performing the scope of work to transform their backyard, I repeatedly went above and beyond responding to their concerns and providing additional work, because, like I said, I strive to make my customers happy.
When the ********* asked me about a warranty over an email and I told them there is a one year warranty, they never asked what that entailed. Had they asked, I would've been happy to explain that what that means is that I am responsible to get the seed to germinate, and once that happens, I come back one year later to overseed to ensure the lush green growth every homeowner should have. The ********* asked me to overseed soon after the initial job in lieu of next spring in which I obliged.
Soon after the work had been done I met with the ********* to discuss fertilizing the lawn, and mulching of the beds in which I gave them a price. They weren't happy with my price as it was too high for them, which I understood as fertilization is not an everyday service for us, the expense is greater than a company who specializes in it, hence why I suggested they call TruGreen. They decided not to take my advice and rather do it themselves. How can I be held liable when my grass seed grew and filled out and the customer takes it upon themselves to spread chemicals on it? I used the exact same grass seed that season on several other customers yards and not one of them had a problem.
The customer has recently brought up the issue of the grade of the lawn. Our contract never said anything about regrading the yard, nor had he brought this up at any point until now. I simply don't see how this has relevence in this ongoing case. Also, the customer has recently brought up the issue of the size of his planting bed. Nowhere in the contract does it say I was to shrink the size of this bed. However, when they raised concern after the job had been done, I happily went back and added more soil, seed and seed barrier to create more lawn and less bed at no expense to them.
Mr. ******** addressed the issue of the two estimates he received for his yard and expressed that he doesn't understand how my said $221 doesn't compare. First of all, in the quote from ***, they included enough round up to kill off the entire lawn and start over. This estimate is above and beyond the scope of what I would need to do had I been granted the authority to do so. The price of $221 covers 3 shrubs, some soil, peat and seed to do repairs, all at my cost, and 3 hours of labor time. The estimates he received had materials that were marked up for resale and included work above and beyond what would've been necessary for me had I been granted the opportunity to go back to the yard last fall.
When Mr. ******** raised the issue of warranty and forwarded me a copy of their signed contract, I was bewildered and upset to realize that they had doctored it. I have never encountered this before and it honestly baffled me. I feel that they did this to hold the contract as a bargaining chip to get anything and everything they want out of me regardless of the relevancy. I felt used and mistreated. While Mr. ******** and I were writing emails back and forth last fall he seemed fond of using analogies to try to make a point about how a warranty works. I'm not sure why he believes that the word "warranty" will cover anything he sees fit.
All in all I believe this whole case is not a warranty issue, rather an issue of the customers negligence. During the back and forth texts and email communications with the customer I told them there is no warranty, and it was my fault that I hadn't elaborated during that specific message as to why. I have never encountered a customer that I had to constantly go back and forth with over texts, emails, phone and in person meetings, until the *********. I truly feel that I had gone above and beyond to satisfy the *********, to the point where I was doing extra work for free, even the case of the bricks that the contract stated I was to haul away and they had me bring them back, which I did, I even neatly stacked them. When Mr. ******** forwarded me the signed copy of the doctored contract I realized that these customers played dirty. I felt used, taken advantage of and yet I was still happily willing to go back and repair the grass and replace the shrubs. Mr. ******** kept trying to add contingencies on me coming back to do the repairs. Because of the doctored contract, I wanted to be done with these customers ASAP. I no longer trusted them and felt that they would keep hounding me over texts, emails and phone calls. I expressed that I would gladly come back to do the work but after that we were to be done with one another, and for him that wasn't enough. Nothing I could do was ever enough, and that was the problem.
Services were rendered, additional services were provided at no charge, I was constantly there (whether virtual or in person) for them to ask questions, advice or raise concerns. I went above and beyond the scope of work that was to be provided. The grass grew in and filled out, if that happens, how can the contractor be at fault if it later dies? We stand by our offer to come back and repair the lawn and replace the three shrubs, or the customer can receive a refund for $221.