Or Are You Throwing Your Money Away?

A lawn care company which does work from Colorado Springs to Fort Collins is boasting about its new product.

Mile Hi Services says Liquid Lawn Aeration produces amazing results and everyone who's tried it, loves it. But with the help of hidden cameras and a testing lab we found it may not live up to its claims.

Mile Hi boasts their method is "the future of lawn aeration." Our KKTV hidden cameras caught a Mile Hi Services technician in action, performing what the company calls Liquid Lawn Aeration. Mile Hi says it's another way to aerate your lawn, but we talked to customers who disagree.

Jessica Muzzio says, "I wouldn't do the liquid aeration again."

Fawn Vancil adds, "I thought I had been ripped off."

Turf specialists say traditional aeration is the single most important thing you can do for your lawn every spring and fall, especially in Colorado.

The aeration machine pokes holes in your lawn, pulling out plugs or cores of soil. Experts say it helps your lawn breathe, reduces thatch, and allows available nutrients to reach the roots, all for a cost of about $35.

However, many residents don't like the leftovers; the plugs left on top of the lawn. That's why some responded to Mile Hi's recording or notice left on their doors.

Mile Hi touts its $79 treatment which comes with a free spring fertilizer. Their Web site says its spray product gives you the same benefits as traditional aeration without leaving messy plugs or forcing you to mark your sprinkler heads.

Here's the ad which appears on the Web site... "...Seeing the tightly compacted soil break apart. As the soil loosens, air, water and nutrients are able to penetrate more freely, giving roots room to grow."

Fawn Vancil and Jessica Muzzio both have homes in Colorado Springs and both say they tried Liquid Lawn Aeration, but never saw a difference.

Muzzio says, "We've not seen it green up. We've not seen it do what it normally does. I wouldn't use them again."

Vancil says, "I felt like I had been stolen from. Yes, it's definitely a waste of money."

Both women say they complained to Mile Hi, but no one offered to redo their lawns like the company's Web site promises.

That's why they hired another lawn care company to do the traditional aeration and finally got the results they were after - a greener, healthier lawn.

11 News called Mile Hi to find out what ingredients are in Liquid Lawn Aeration, and this is what one employee said over the phone "I don't know what's in it, but it's a secret formula that we use and if we told you what was in it then customers would tell other people and it's our secret ingredient.... so. But it's very, very good. It's a very good aeration formula that's in there."

To see the product in action ... KKTV 11 News made an appointment with Mile Hi.

Our hidden camera recorded the technician at work. First stopping at the front door where he picked up $79 under the mat.

Seventy-nine dollars for what turned out to be about five minutes of work.

Using a backpack sprayer the tech laid down the treatment in just minutes.
Before the technichician left, 11 News approached him; "We're trying to find out what it is they're using and we've called and they won't tell us what it is."

And the technician's response: "Well, that's the problem I've had, too."

Then the technician poured us a sample of the product, which 11 News sent to be tested by Chemir Analytical Services in Missouri. The lab is recognized for analyzing products and identifying their components.

We couldn't believe what Chemir's scientists found.
They say our Liquid Lawn Aeration sample is mostly water with some urea, which is a common form of nitrogen fertilizer.

The lab also said there could be trace amounts of other chemicals, too.

We asked Dr. Tony Koski, a turf specialist with Colorado State University, if Liquid Lawn Aeration could duplicate traditional aeration.

Koski told us, "I would call it a rip off because it can't do what they claim that the end result will be... and it's not going to aerate your lawn. It's really a worthless application and a waste of money."

11 New's calls to Mile Hi Services to get the company's side of the story weren't returned so we visited its office in Denver.

When no one opened the locked door we called the company and were told only the owner, Florian McCann could answer our questions.

11 News then visited McCann's Lakewood home and again, ran into a dead end.

The Better Business Bureau says Mile Hi uses more than a dozen different company names, for a wide range of services, in addition to lawn-care.

The B.B.B. also says it has received close to 500 complaints about the company in the last three years.

The Colorado Department of Agriculture tells 11 News it's investigating Mile Hi and encourages customers with complaints about companies applying fertilizer or soil conditioners to contact them by phone or e-mail to report the problem.

Most of all, do your homework before you hire a lawn care company.
And remember, lawn care experts agree, nothing aerates your lawn like the traditional method.

Related Information:
Learn more about Chemir Analytical Services

To report a complaint against a company that apply fertilizers and soil conditioners or question about a lawn care product that's being used, call the Colorado Department of Agriculture, (303) 477-0086 or click on the link below.
Colorado Department of Agriculture


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Shawna Location: Denver on Mar 31, 2011 at 02:46 PM
    I have never had a problem with mile hi or the liquid aeration i have used it for the past few years and m yard has never been greener and i will continue to use the liquid and mile hi
  • by Sue Location: Littleton, CO on Apr 15, 2010 at 05:34 PM
    Darn, I was hoping this would be worth it because I never want to do traditional aeration again. I've had it done 1-2 times a year for 10 years but I think that may be how I got a fungus disease called ringspot. It's been 4 years and I can't get rid of the darn thing. One year I even used a professional service to see if they could. I think it was brought in from someone else's lawn.
  • by Scott Location: C/S on May 23, 2008 at 09:15 AM
    Claudia, you should contact your cc company and dispute the charges. Sounds like Mile Hi is not going to work with you.
  • by Robert Location: Colorado Springs on May 22, 2008 at 05:07 PM
    Mile Hi is a rip off con artist Look at their ratings with the BBB in Denver. They have hundreds of unresolved complaints! They are thieves that hire homeless people to pass out flyers and they don't pay the people that so the work...no insurance protect yourselves. These jerks should be in jail.
  • by Don Bunce Location: Colorado Springs on May 22, 2008 at 11:49 AM
    When it comes to issues dealing with your lawn, contact the Colorado Master Gardener Help Desk at 636-8921 for assistance. There are trained master gardeners who can give you the correct information when you have doubts about different products and processes.
  • by Glen Location: Colorado Springs on May 22, 2008 at 11:31 AM
    Good luck getting them to honor their guarantee or having them call you back. they have their money and that's all they care about. Great story and information, wish I had seen it a couple weeks ago. I hope this airs in the Denver area too!
  • by Debbie Location: C/S on May 22, 2008 at 07:07 AM
    Saw LazyMan Liquid Aerator on Desperate Landscapes & looked up online. 1 report of person in Seattle area that found area treated with product drained better than rest of yard when suffered heavy flooding over their entire property. Was the only report I could find, weeks ago. Rick's Garden Center says liquid aerators not really worth much as aeration and have better fertilizer (?) product when asked about liquid aerators.
  • by Claudia Location: Monument on May 21, 2008 at 10:44 PM
    We engaged Mile Hi to aerate our yard and paid by credit card and since then the only thing in our yard to indicate they had done anything was their sign. Our lawn is less green than others in our neighborhood that were not aerated at all. My question is this, is there any way possible to get the remainder of our money back since we bought the full 5 applications for $340 rather than the $79 since we are attempting to sell our home and wanted the lawn to look good. Do you have a number we can reach the company at to cancel the rest of this farcical, bogus treatment?
  • by Michelle Location: N/W Colorado Spgs. on May 21, 2008 at 10:19 PM
    I wish I had seen this earlier, they came out this past Monday 5/19 to "liquid aerate". I plan on calling the company to come back and use the traditional machines!!!
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