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Lawn Care reviews in Millville

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  • Started researching April 4th, 2011 for replacement stairs, retaining wall and the addition of a fence needed for my house located in Millville, MA.  I called several vendors listed in the 2010 Yellow Pages to schedule free estimates from at least 3 vendors.  One of the three companies found in the Yellow Pages and invited to bid on the projects was:

    • Civitarese Enterprises
      • Also operating as: Norfolk County Property Management
      • Owner, Operator(s):
        •  Frank Civitarese
        • Phone numbers:
          • 1.888.370.9881 ? Main number listed in Yellow Pages
          • 508-840-1600 ? Main cell/contact number Frank uses
          • 508-384-6001 ? Other identified phone number
          • 508-525-4630 ? Other identified phone number on YP.com
          • Websites:
            • www.civitareseinc1.com - listed in Yellow Pages
            • www.civitaereseinc.com ? listed in Yellow Pages
            • www.gotlandscape.net - listed in brochure
            • Claims in advertising:
              • Ad claimed he had been operating since 1988
              • Licensed (in brochure, on company website, on YP.com)
              • Fully Insured (In brochure, on company website, on YP.com)
              • BBB accredited
              • Known Addresses:
                • PO BOX 414, Wrentham, MA 02093 (listed on websites, contracts and brochure)
                • 481 Creek St, Wrentham, MA 02093 (found on internet review sites)
                • Known Email Addresses:
                  • Civitarese.enterprises@hotmail.com

    Frank, Norfolk County Property Management (a.k.a. Civitarese Enterprises), was selected as vendor for both retaining wall/stairs & fence contracts for the following reasons:

    1. Claim of being fully licensed and insured
    2. Claim of being BBB accredited
    3. Put in contract that he would pull all necessary building permits (something many others would not do and our town strongly suggested/demanded given nature of work and associated liabilities with stairs).
    4. Binder of pretty impressive photos, testimonials of relevant jobs (stairs and walls). 
    5. Prices seemed fair ? not the cheapest but not most expensive.
    6. Promised start and turnaround times were quicker than competitors. 

    CONTRACT #1 ? Retaining Wall, Front & Rear Stairs (also known as project #1)

    • Timing for Project #1:
      • Contract signed on April 8th, 2011.
      • Check in the amount of a deposit of $5,500.00 was cashed on 04/11/11. 
      • Materials were to be ordered before work was to commence on April 18th, 2011
      • Work was to be completed 4 to 6 days later. Targeted goal date (weather permitting) for completion: April 28th, 2011
    • Overview of project experience (SEE ALSO: PHONE LOGS OF CALL ATTEMPTS)
      • Immediately started with weather delays.  Once they finally did arrive, the demo portion of the project took longer than expected because they were doing the demo work manually with hammers, picks and one guy.  After a couple days of beating at an old fieldstone wall with a sledgehammer and a shovel, they finally showed up with more men and a power jackhammer.  They filled the dumpster which then sat in the driveway for weeks, causing sink holes from the weight, because they over-filled the dumpster (or got the wrong size) and the company?s two trucks were unable to remove dumpster without multiple attempts from different trucks. 
      • When the demo was finished, we were unable to use the back stairs altogether (more than a 4 foot drop to the ground) and the only other staircase had been reduced to a couple single stacked cinderblocks that we had to balance on to get in and out of the house.  We had no usable, safe stairs until May 18th.  A month, not 4-6 days, after the work was supposed to start.  And while they?re safe entries, they?re still VERY unfinished. 
      • They quickly laid the first level of blocks but once it got to custom cuts, the team didn't seem to know what to do, how to handle.  They experienced significant delays when the rented saw kept breaking down.  From this point forward, we literally had to stalk, question, beg, threaten and/or make demands of Frank ALMOST EVERY DAY to get him and his crew to return and continue work on the project.  And oddly enough, they only showed up on pouring rain days.  (Telling me they were focused elsewhere when the sun was out.)
      • Finally, after an emotional phone exchange Thursday May 12th, Frank offered to come sit with us and explain the situation.  Frank sat at my kitchen table on Monday, May 16th with my partner and I to discuss ?the situation?.  He offered/admitted that he took the money I gave to him for both Project 1 & 2 to pay other debts, fund other customer?s projects. The problem: He had finally run out of money and could not finish the work on Project #1 or start the work on Project #2 because he had too many outstanding projects elsewhere and no way to recover the money until he finished those projects. He would have to take on and complete other work before he could return and finish what I had contracted him to do.  He apologized profusely, offered that he took on more than he could handle, had too few people to do the work, the weather had not cooperated and managed each project poorly catching him in a ?bind?.  He offered multiple times that he is not a scumbag (we never spoke to him in that manner, this was clearly something he had heard somewhere else) and that he wouldn?t disappear, he will do the work but just not on the timelines we discussed/previously agreed to.  (By the way, he has officially ?disappeared?)
      • In the meantime, because of my sense of urgency to get a set of stairs, we agreed that to pay Meads Pre-fab (a vendor he was using for the rear stairs) directly in order to get stairs installed within a week.  The amount owed to Meads was very close to the fairly insignificant unpaid balance on Project 1 ($100 less).  Knowing how much of a liability hung out there without any safe, usable stairs to enter or exit my home ? we reluctantly gave the remaining money just to get stairs - even though the project would not be completed at that time.  Because I had to travel for business on May 18th, my partner and another friend met Frank, his team and the stair delivery guy at the house to finally ?finish the wall, install the stairs, deliver the loam/mulch?.  We gave Meads delivery guy $1,250 cash as friends, neighbors and Frank witnessed the exchange.  We demanded a receipt by Meads Pre-fab for the transaction.  
    • Contract #2: Fence - Overview of project experience: (SEE ALSO: PHONE LOGS OF CALL ATTEMPTS)
      • Horrible.  He literally took the money, spent it on other things and ran.  On May 16th, as I mentioned earlier, Frank sat at my kitchen table with my partner and I to discuss ?the situation?.  He offered/admitted that he took the money I gave to him for both Contracts # 1 & 2 to pay other debts, fund other customer?s projects.  He had run out of money and could not finish the work on Project #1.  He also couldn?t buy the materials for or start the work on Project #2 - the fence. He would have to take on and complete other work before he could return and finish what I had contracted him to do.  He apologized profusely, offered that he took on more than he could handle, had too few people to do the work, the weather had not cooperated and managed each project poorly catching him in a ?bind?.  He offered multiple times that he is not a scumbag and that he wouldn?t disappear, he will do the work but just not on the timelines we discussed/previously agreed to.  We discussed the severity of the situation, how I needed a fence asap to keep my dogs safe and how he had not kept his commitments - we agreed he would refund my money on the second contract, give me $1,600 by the weekend (and then repay the remaining $3,350 in equal installments over the course of a month.  He offered these amounts and time schedules because that would allow him to complete other projects and repay me.  Several calls and multiple excuses weeks later, he has finally disappeared without a trace.  No shows on committed work dates, no return calls, no delivered refunds. 
    • Frank/Norfolk County Property Management/Civitarese Enterprises has been:
      • Seemingly operating without a certificate of registration
      • Seemingly operating without a license or insurance (neither can be verified at this point)
      • Abandoning wall & stairs project/contract before completion
      • Abandoned fence project before even starting it
      • Making material misrepresentations in procurement of contract(s), making false promises
      • Publishing, directly and indirectly, advertisements relating to home construction or home improvements which are false, deceptive, misleading
      • Failure to pull necessary building permits as clearly outlined and agreed to in the contract
      • Demanding and receiving payments in violation of Massachusetts regulation, which includes asking for a deposit greater than 1/3 of the total contract price or actual price of any materials which must be ordered in advance of the commencement of work
      • Knowingly taking deposit(s) and using for other debts not associated with contracts/projects. 
    - Lisa C.
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