Why I Hate Noon Turf Care

August 8, 2013

UPDATE: I received a call from the Noon Turf Care customer service team.  After talking it through, they removed the charge from my account, and notified the collection agency to make sure that it did not show up on my credit report.  This was a good example of working to make things right.  What I hope is that Noon Turf Care takes a look at their auto-renew policies and, at a minimum, sends a reminder to their customers before doing any work the following year.  At least they have the sense to look at their social media sites and take care of issues after there has been a customer issue.  Now, the trick for them will be to try and avoid the blow-ups in the first place.

I’ve deleted my “Noon Turf Care Sucks” Facebook page since they took the time to contact me and resolve the issue in a reasonable manner.  From my point of view, this is the end of the story.


I’ve got an issue with Noon Turf Care of Marlborough, MA.  Mostly, because they are trying to get me to pay them $254.40 for lawn service I don’t want.  Here’s the story…

Last year, I called them up and ordered lawn service for the year.  I was on the phone for quite some time as they sold me a ton of stuff, including the option for an $800 (I think) core aeration in the Fall.  Glad I didn’t pick this as the entire year was a mess, including calls and email to them for shoddy service.  When I hire a lawn service, I expect that the weeds will be gone after a couple of months.  No such luck.

Fast forward a year and I got a Noon Turf Care truck pulling into my yard for a new application this year.  I guess I told them on a call that it was OK to come back if I didn’t stop the service.  I would think the number of complaints, as well as me canceling the core aeration, would at least have caused them to call me up and ask me if I wanted the service again this year.  Nope… they just sent me a copy of the recorded call where I said “OK” to having the service continue if I didn’t call.

This is a shady business practice at best.  I decided to create a Noon Turf Care Sucks page on Facebook, where you can see links to all of the bad reviews – most of which have to do their high-pressure sales tactics and auto-renew business policies.

To top it off, I received a collection notice today from the agency Noon Turf Care uses.  I’m going to have to see how much they like me spreading the news about their business practices on all of my sites, Twitter, and more.

Enjoy the publicity, Noon Turf Care!


A Job Hunter’s Lament

February 5, 2010

The job market today is tough.  I understand this.  I’ve been out of a “real job” for over seven months, and it sucks.  It wouldn’t bother me, and I’d be going out on my own with abandon, if it weren’t for the small matter of healthcare for my family.  I’m walking the fine line between trying to build a business while unemployed and taking advantage of the healthcare subsidies that are currently in effect.  This also sucks because it hampers my ability to go full-bore at securing new business for Life Is Local because I don’t want to either a) lie about my income; or b) lose my unemployment AND healthcare benefits.

But what truly sucks is how hard it is to get a job (and I know a lot of top-notch people still looking) and the way in which companies go about interviewing and hiring in today’s economy.  There are too many applicants for too few jobs, and in many ways, companies are taking advantage of these facts.  Here’s what I’m talking about:

  • Horrible job descriptions: Most of the job descriptions on sites like Monster.com and LinkedIn read like the job descriptions from my past performance reviews.  They are written in a way to include every possible task that might be involved in the position, but with no real insight into what your day-to-day existence at the company would be like.  And the company descriptions are stripped straight from press releases.  Is there a reason that companies can’t use a little creativity and tell a story? These companies should be excited about hiring, and should have a very good idea of what they are looking for in a candidate, besides  “Must have 5 to 7 years experience in the field or a related field,” and “Must be familar with Microsoft Office applications.”  Boring and vague.
  • Very little creativity: Right now is the time for companies to sit back and rethink the way they do business.  Don’t just post the job description of the person you laid off eight months ago.  Now is the time to start looking at how the world is today, instead of believing that the world is the same as it was before the bottom dropped out of the economy.  Instead, take a look at the way that people interact with your business now, and tailor a position for someone who can truly help produce results for your company, not just another “business as usual” hire.  “Customer Acquisition Manager” or “Community Relations Director” seems more timely than “Marketing Communications Manager” in today’s connected world.
  • Even worse salaries: We know the economy sucks.  And we understand that market realities and supply and demand help drive salaries.  But when you have the attitude that you’re going to pay 30% or 40% less than a couple of years ago for more work (because you have smaller teams), then you are taking advantage of the situation.  Do you honestly believe that the people you hire at these greatly-reduced salaries will stay with your company after the economy picks up?  And do you believe that you company’s culture and philosophy about paying for good people will change as well?  You’re setting yourself up for a horrible long-term recovery because you know you have people at a disadvantage now.
  • No response to applications: Is it too much to ask for an email response that you received our resume and a little bit of encouragement that an honest-to-goodness human being will be reviewing your resume?  There’s nothing wrong with a well-written autoresponder response to my submitted application, but when the only email I receive when I take the time to send out a resume is the response from Monster.com or LinkedIn, it’s just plain laziness.  Spend a little time to craft an appropriate email thanking the applicant for their time, telling them what to expect over the next few weeks, and letting them know that you do care is such a little thing, but it will certainly make you stand out.
  • Irrelevant interview questions: Most of my front-line interviews have been via the telephone with an HR representative.  I understand that there needs to be some initial screening before passing on too many candidates to the hiring manager or team.  But does every single initial interview have to have the same questions, regardless of the company?  “Tell me about a difficult project and how you solved the challenge.”  “What is your biggest weakness?”  “Where do you see yourself in five years?”  Why don’t you tell me about your company, the position, and ask me how I would handle the job?  Are there any challenges associated with this position?  If so, why not ask me how I would handle those?  At least you’d get answers that are relevant to the position you’re trying to fill.
  • No follow-up after interviews: My biggest peeve with companies during my job hunt is the complete lack of follow-up after an interview.  You’ve got my hopes up – things seemed to go well on the phone or in-person interview.  You give me the standard parting gift of, “We’re interviewing a few more candidates this week and we’ll know more soon. We’ll be in touch.”  But, you never get back in touch.  It’s so bad out there, that I actually thanked someone for telling me that they were “going in a different direction” with their job search.  It was such a novel occurrence that I felt like I had to thank the interviewer for passing on my greatness.  Is that insane?

I don’t want to come off as whiny (which is going to be difficult because I’m whining), but it seems like there’s such an opportunity out there for companies to distance themselves from the competition during troubled times.  Real change starts with a shift in attitude that people are indeed your greatest asset, and not simply a cog in the wheel.  Treat your people as if they will make or break your company because they will.  And it all starts with hiring.

When the economy shifts back into gear, and it will happen, companies that have re-invented their culture and hiring process NOW will thrive, while those who descend further into the mentality of “you’re lucky to have a job” will falter.

I’d love to hear what people have to say about the current job market, their experiences in looking for a job, and some instances of how companies have stepped it up in their hiring practices.  It would be great if mine was an isolated experience, but it’s certainly fairly common in the job hunters that I know and talk to on a continuous basis.


See and download the full gallery on posterous

Posted via email from chuckbutt’s posterous


We Are the Long Tail

April 17, 2009

A very interesting video from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) about the Long Tail of content.  Specifically, it’s about niche content sites that use Internet advertising to run viable online businesses.  Some great sites that you may not have realized would be business-worthy.


279 Days to Overnight Success

Here’s a great (free) ebook from Chris Guillebeau of “The Art of Nonconformity.” It’s all about how he became an “overnight success” online in only 279 days.  It’s a great read for artists, writers, and anyone who is looking to get noticed online and build an audience (instead of just pushing products and services).

If you’d like to express yourself and perhaps move into a new life doing something you love (and that is creative), then spend a few minutes and read Chris’ ebook.  And, you should sign up for his email list or follow his RSS feed. He’s always got something interesting to say.


Mighty Putty Commercial Dub

February 18, 2009

This video killed me!


Did I Screw Up My Site?

February 16, 2009

I just did a manual upgrade of my WordPress site to 2.7.1, and right now, the site doesn’t show up.  I wonder if I killed it?  I’m hoping that this post will kick it back into life.

If not, I’ll have to fix it!