Am I a jerk for removing a contractor's lawn sign from my lawn? That's the question I asked myself recently after I had some work done to my house.

After hiring a company to come to my home they appeared on my doorstep as scheduled. A crew went right to work, finishing the job to perfection and cleaning up the yard. You would never know that they were there except for one annoying thing they left behind.

After the trucks rolled away I discovered that the workers had planted a huge sign in my yard with their company name and phone number.


Should Companies Advertise on Your Property Without Asking?

Of course, this isn't something new. We've all seen these signs in front of homes that are having a new roof put on, a driveway paved or siding replaced. It used to be that companies would give you a discount for being able to advertise their business with a sign in front of the house, but now it's just become an accepted practice.

Every time we hire someone to do work at the house they plant one of those signs in the front yard. Not once did they ever offer a discount or even ask permission before doing so. From the number of these signs I see around town, it appears that most homeowners don't seem to care, but it strikes me as disrespectful and downright obnoxious.

We have neighbors with a lawncare service that posts two huge signs in front of their home from spring through fall. Why this homeowner pays so much money to make their yard look beautiful only to have it ruined by these enormous signs is mind-boggling.


Am I a Jerk for Immediately Removing the Sign?

As soon as I noticed the company had left an advertising sign in front of our house I picked it up and threw it in the garage. After discussing this with some friends they suggested that I was "being a jerk" and should have left it up. I don't think I was a jerk at all.  If anything, the company was the one in the wrong.

In my defense, I paid a fair price for the job. Once I gave them my money and they provided the service our partnership ended. I don't think I should feel responsible for giving any company free advertising above and beyond the price I pay for their service.

Perhaps if they had asked for my help in advertising their company I would have agreed, but the fact that they didn't even seek permission, let alone offer a discount to put up the sign, rubbed me the wrong way.

I feel the same way about those license plate frames that come with a new car. The first thing I do when I get home from the dealership is to remove them. I already paid thousands of dollars for a car and now I'm supposed to drive around as a billboard for the company that profited from my purchase? That doesn't seem fair at all.

I'm sure the car dealerships and the contractors getting the free advertising feel very differently about this. But, as a consumer, I think it's an obnoxious practice that too many people have accepted.

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