Lorain woman issues warning about lawn maintenance contractors

Don't pay for all services up-front

LORAIN, Ohio - Janet Siedlecki of Lorain thought she could trust her landscaper of five years, but now she can't find him, even though she paid him $480 up front for the 2014 lawn care season.

Siedlecki contacted the 5 On Your Side Solutions Center after Prayten Landscaping signed a contract and made numerous promises to start work at her home this spring.

Siedlecki reports the company has been doing great work at her house since 2009.

"He took out big trees for me, re-seeded everything, he put gutters on," said Siedlecki. "But now I can't get ahold of them to do anything."

Siedlecki told NewsChannel5 she was hesitant to pay for the entire season up front, but she thought she could trust company owner Steven Sturtevant.

"I had paid him half, and then he called and asked if I could just please just give him the rest of the money," explained Siedlecki. "I told him I just retired. I didn't want as much done this year as usual, but he came back out and I gave him the rest of the money."

NewsChannel5 attempted to contact Prayten Landscaping to get its side of the story, but the main phone number has been disconnected.

Siedlecki admits she doesn't even have a good address for the company, so she doesn't have any way to contact the people involved.

"I mean before I paid him $800, $900 for work that he's done, and he always did it," said Siedlecki. "I didn't have any trouble with in the past. I've been with him several years, back to 2009"

"He said he was taking a day off from work, and he would be here for sure. There was a Saturday I stayed all day, but he never showed up. He would say he was coming never showed up."

Siedlecki has this advice for anyone looking for a landscaping company this spring.

"I would definitely go with a well-known company that guarantees their work and you can get ahold of them and make them come back out," explained Siedlecki. "I wouldn't do this again. And up front money, oh no, never. Half down is the most, even someone said maybe a third."

NewsChannel5 and newsnet5.com will continue attempts to reach Prayten Landscaping for comment on this case.

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