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View Full Version : Husband-yes / Wife-no!!!!


all ferris
08-21-2005, 04:42 PM
I have a customer who wanted some work done and HE (husband) tells me how he wants things done. So I go to the prop and start measuring and the SHE (wife) comes out and asks what I'm doing. I tell her that her husband called and wanted some work done a certain way. She said that she does not want it done the same way the husband wants it done and said don't be surprised if things "change". I told her that I did not want to be in the middle and she and her husband need to figure out what they want. That was 10 days ago. 2 days after I measured the husband called and asked if I had the estimate done yet. I asked him what exactly he wanted done and he told me the same thing he said the 1st time I talked to him so I figured him and the mrs. worked things out. I asked him if it would be alright if I did the work today (I'm way behind) and he said it would be fine. I show up there this morning (25 miles one way)with 1 helper and unloaded the skidsteer to start work. I didn't get 50 feet and the wife came out in her robe and chewed me out. She said she didn't want the job done the way her husband did and then continued to chew my azz. Just so happen that the husband was not home at the time so I told my helper I didn't need this f-ing s*it and we loaded up and left. I don't think I have ever been talked to in such a degrading manor as the wife did to me this morning. What should I do?
Keep in mind that I make about $3500+/year on this customer and would rather not lose the account. I have never had a problem with this cutomer b4 (2 years). Husband pays all bills / Wife does not work.

QualityLawnCare4u
08-21-2005, 05:06 PM
All Ferris, I hate to run into these situations. Almost all my husband/wife arguments is how they want the shrubbery trimmed. I actually had one couple to get into an argument so bad that I got the heck out of there.If you do the work the husband tells you when he is there, the lady will become your worst complainer. Every time you do work for them she will find something wrong. If he pays the bills and he gives into his wife then he will never be happy with your work. Its a no win situation. I really dont know what answer to give you for this one but whatever you do someone is not going to be happy and you WILL hear about it from here on out. Domt make their problems your problems. I would let the husband know you was talked to rudely and it will not happen again. The more I think about it, the more that 3500 seems less important. No amount of money is worth this kind of sh-t. Im curious how this one turns out, keep us posted. Wished I could give you the perfect answer. BTW, think of how much time and GA$$ you wasted going over there already.

all ferris
08-21-2005, 05:22 PM
He WILL be billed for the time and fuel wasted! And I will keep you guys posted.

QualityLawnCare4u
08-21-2005, 05:28 PM
Good! And you should add on a "cussing out" surcharge (sounds like something BG would come up with). I really don't know at this point if the husband asked me to do it if I would touch it unless the wife was in agreement and ACTED like she wanted you to do it. These are touchy situations like this.

strickdad
08-21-2005, 05:33 PM
well she has half the money and all the (well you know the rest) its just a matter of time and she will get her way..

meathead1134
08-21-2005, 05:35 PM
I would speak with the husband on the phone and let him know situation on what is going on. I would aslo make it a point to tell him that you were ready to start the job, unloading equipment and then you were stopped and spoken in an inappropriate manner and that you didn't appreciate this at all. Make sure that you bill him for all wasted time.

olderthandirt
08-21-2005, 05:45 PM
Who signed the contract or work order?

all ferris
08-21-2005, 06:00 PM
Who signed the contract or work order?

He did......

Lawn Masters
08-21-2005, 06:25 PM
if HE signed the work order, or contract, HE has the final say, not her. I dont take my orders from anyone unless its the person I'm being paid by to do the work. otherwise, I wont even touch it.

if I get cussed out, I will load up my truck, and drive off, plus drop that person from my list. I dont need crap like that.

South Florida Lawns
08-21-2005, 06:26 PM
I would have just ignored her and continued to work. They obviously have a problem and you are there just doing your job. Dude people like this make me so damn mad, they say they want it done one way then change their minds and then in the end they are unsure of what they wan't. I would have said make up your mind now or find someone else.

olderthandirt
08-21-2005, 06:28 PM
He did......
If he signed the work order and he pays the bills then I would tell him politly that he owes you for the time that you were there.Then I would politly tell him that I will not take anymore verbal abuse from his spouse and That you will be there to do the job only when he is home to hande any situations that arise from her disagreeing with him. If he tells you there will be no further problems then show up and work and if she starts again just leave and bill the guy. Sooner or later he will get tired of paying you for just showing up OR you will have made the same profit without doing the work.
I have a feeling that you won't have this account long, Usually when the husband and wife can't agree on a project and you get caught in the middle, you end up being the one that gets blamed for there problems, which usually run a lot deeper than a landscaping prodject.
Good Luck

southlin
08-21-2005, 06:31 PM
smileys Get Em

sheshovel
08-21-2005, 06:43 PM
I would do the work and tell her that this is what her husband has contracted you to do and that he is paying the bill and if she has a problem with that she needs to take it up with him because you are working for him.She got what she wanted by verbaly abusing you and getting you to stop,and you lost out on the $$.So go do the job and get your $ .

all ferris
08-21-2005, 06:45 PM
I have a feeling that you won't have this account long, Usually when the husband and wife can't agree on a project and you get caught in the middle, you end up being the one that gets blamed for there problems, which usually run a lot deeper than a landscaping prodject.
Good Luck

Kinda what I was thinking. However, IMO the husband is very reasonable and is smart. I'll find out tomorrow what is happening.

mcwlandscaping
08-21-2005, 07:17 PM
Since i have never dealt with anything as bad as this, all i can say is good luck. I hope that you get the job and keep the customer. GOOD LUCK!

wbw
08-21-2005, 07:45 PM
[QUOTE=all ferris]
Keep in mind that I make about $3500+/year on this customer and would rather not lose the account. QUOTE]


How much will you make with the new customer that you replace him with?

If you are a grown man you shouldn't take that from anyone.

nobagger
08-21-2005, 07:51 PM
He WILL be billed for the time and fuel wasted! And I will keep you guys posted.
all ferris, holy crap I had the same thing happen to me 2 weeks ago A guy wanted some minor landscaping done and when we went to measure for materials the wife, I guess, came out and asked "who the hell we were" I told her and she called the husband to ask him whats going on she gave me the phone and he told me sorry but he's going to talk to her about it and he will call us back that night. Well 2 weeks went by and 3 or 4 phone calls and no response so I just sent him a $30.00 bill for wasting my time.

Bulletproof
08-21-2005, 07:59 PM
Last week we had a customer chew out one of our guys big time. Yelling at him, telling him that he's a liar, wouldn't shake his hand when my employee came to meet him.

Kicked him to the curb, I don't talk to my employees that way, and neither will anyone else. There lots of money to be made elsewhere.

Lake Claire Lawn Ranger
08-21-2005, 08:41 PM
If he signed the work order and he pays the bills then I would tell him politly that he owes you for the time that you were there.Then I would politly tell him that I will not take anymore verbal abuse from his spouse and That you will be there to do the job only when he is home to hande any situations that arise from her disagreeing with him. If he tells you there will be no further problems then show up and work and if she starts again just leave and bill the guy. Sooner or later he will get tired of paying you for just showing up OR you will have made the same profit without doing the work.
I have a feeling that you won't have this account long, Usually when the husband and wife can't agree on a project and you get caught in the middle, you end up being the one that gets blamed for there problems, which usually run a lot deeper than a landscaping prodject.
Good Luck
Again, I agree with older'
I wish you luck with it :waving:

cantoo
08-21-2005, 11:42 PM
I had a wife come out yelling at me when I was spraying the back lawn around her flower gardens. Her husband told me to spray around everything even after I told him it wasn't a good idea around the flowers etc. She came out screaming about not wanting any spraying on "her" property at all. I told her she better talk to her husband then I turned off the sprayer, loaded up and sent them a bill for the complete job.

imdawrlus
08-21-2005, 11:57 PM
if some housemaid came out yelling at me and cussing me out about how she wanted the job compared to her husbands, i would have told her to get her asz back inside and call him and work it out with HIM.

JimLewis
08-22-2005, 03:59 AM
......... What should I do?


If it were me, the phone call would go like this;

[B]"Mr. Jones? Hi, this is Jim with Lewis Landscape Services. I went out to work at your home today and unfortunately your wife created a very rude confrontation for the 2nd time now. So unfortunately, I am going to have to decline working for you guys. You seem like a very nice and reasonable guy. But your wife needs a little help on how to treat people. In addition, I think the two of you need to get on the same page before you hire a contractor in the future.

Anyway, no hard feelings. No charge for the 5 minutes I was there. But I won't be able to come back. Best wishes for the future. I hope you're able to get it all straightened out."

And then I'd let him go.

And by the way, that comment you put at the end of your post Keep in mind that I make about $3500+/year on this customer and would rather not lose the account. That shouldn't matter one iota. In fact, it should matter a lot more to HIM than it should to you. If you do it right, he'll be PISSED at his wife for losing a great contractor and maybe for once he'll get some balls and tell her to quit contradicting him. But why does a $3500 per year sticker tag make it okay for a customer to harrass and degrade you in such an aggregous way? I made up my mind a long time ago that I wasn't going to work for jerks - period. I also made up my mind a long time ago that I wasn't going to put all my eggs in one basket. That is, I wasn't going to have any given account be more than 2% of my yearly income. Because I never want to be in the position to have to put up with something I normalyl wouldn't put up with just because it's a large part of my income. So nowadays if someone is a real jerk - they get canned. I am always landing new accounts every week anyway. And I got another 160+ maintenance customers where they came from. So why do I care if I lose one jerk. I am actually MORE happy. I figure, "Cool. I've just made my life easier!" You should consider some of the same policies.

meathead1134
08-22-2005, 09:37 AM
^^^^^ We need more people on this site like Jim

olderthandirt
08-22-2005, 01:38 PM
Sorry I have to disagree with one part of what your saying Jim
No charge for the 5 minutes I was there
Read the original post
I asked him if it would be alright if I did the work today (I'm way behind) and he said it would be fine. I show up there this morning (25 miles one way)with 1 helper and unloaded the skidsteer to start work.

That was the 2nd time the lco showed up and this time he brought equipment
Theres no other companies that do not charge for a service call and in essence this is what it ended up being.
He lost billable hrs. showing up to start work and he has the right to be compensated for that time.

mbricker
08-22-2005, 02:28 PM
I've had at least 3 situations where the husband and wife seemed to be at some sort of low key war with each other. In one case the husband actually told me to mow some rose bushes off at the ground. I'm thinking, "Sure, and you will tell the wifey, Honeybunch I don't know why that cr@ppy lawn guy mowed your rose bushes."

The other 2 cases I can recall were just a matter of wifey telling me to do the work, and hubbie mad about her spending the money. In one case the guy started out refusing to pay for doing work they hadn't requested, and then semi- apologized when I explained Yes, his wife HAD asked for the work.

I didn't last long with any of these customers after the conflicts between them arose. I hate being in the middle.

SHOWCASE LAWNS LLC
08-22-2005, 02:44 PM
in the off season i help do sales for a friends home improvement co......in his contract there is a clause that basically says if its on the contreat we do it...but if its not then nothing will be done until a change of contract release is signed.....and it states that it WILL COST MORE MONEY !

SHOWCASE LAWNS LLC
08-22-2005, 03:06 PM
Sorry Guys I Forgot My Favorite Psycho Customer Story From Another Friend. He Installs And Services Smart House Systems Including Security/home Theatre And Any Other Hi Tech Big Dollar Gizmos For These Mcmansions.
Butch (alias) Installed A Whole House System That Controls Every Last Thing In The Vp Of A Large Insurance Co House. The Guy Basically Screws His Company For The 20grand Left On The Bill. A Call Is Placed To The Guy For Payment. Well Joe Homeowner Goes Nuts And Tells Them To "blow The Bill Out His Azz" A Few Days Go By..........
Butch Goes To The Public Library , Goes On The Net (the House Has Its Own Ip Address ) And Enters The House System With Through A Part Of The System Meant To Help Diagnose And Repair The System Remotely . Hits A Few Keys And Shuts Down Every Last Thing In The House !! Customer Calls To Complain, Butch Tells Him That His Acct Is Not Current So No Warranty Work. Bill Must Be Paid In Full Cash Or Bank Cashier Check . A Service Charge Will Apply. Service Charge Must Be Paid For In Advance Of Work Starting. Did I Mention Its Saturday Before The Superbowl??? And He Has 50 People Coming Over For A Fully Catered Party ? Anyway Butch Walks In Gets Paid.......goes In The Cellar Types In A Code And Joe Homeowner Has Jis House Functioning Again. In All Of 3 Minutes Flat. That Customer Now Pays On Time And Gives Him A Fresh Ben Franklin Every Service Call. Some Of These Rich Egomaniac Types Only Respect Power.

I Wish I Could Do That To My Lawn Customers That Dont Pay !!!

Remsen1
08-22-2005, 03:09 PM
Bill for the lost time. Tell him you'll work on the condition that she is not there or at least not seen and that if she is seen, so much as one word and you'll pack up and leave and bill for the time. Make sure your contract states exactly what you're going to do and how you're going to do it, and make sure you do it to the letter.

If you can afford to lose this one walk away.

JimLewis
08-22-2005, 05:50 PM
Sorry I have to disagree with one part of what your saying Jim

Read the original post


That was the 2nd time the lco showed up and this time he brought equipment
Theres no other companies that do not charge for a service call and in essence this is what it ended up being.
He lost billable hrs. showing up to start work and he has the right to be compensated for that time.

I read it. Two thoughts;

1) The fact that he drove 25 miles one way is his choice. Maybe that's part of the job where he lives. But drive-time isn't something you can charge for. At least it's not something I've ever heard of or seen any LCO in my area charging for. So I don't see that as being pertinent.

2) I didn't say he didn't have the RIGHT to be compensated. I just said I would not have bothered. I have plenty enough business. I am not going to whine about some 25 minute drive and 5 minutes of work I lost. I'd just be happy that another jerk was out of my life and I'd be on to the next job with a laugh and a smile. Life's too short to go chasing jerks around for 30 minutes worth of work. That's just my personal choice. Some of you may get all worked up about that 30 minutes and bill him, send him to collections, take him to court, etc. Fine. That's how you wanna spend your life, more power to you. You definitely have that right. I am not arguing that.

LawnScapers of Dayton
08-22-2005, 06:11 PM
Forget the money, remember your self-respect, ethics and professionalism.....dump them, politely......

D

olderthandirt
08-22-2005, 06:26 PM
I read it. Two thoughts;

1) The fact that he drove 25 miles one way is his choice. Maybe that's part of the job where he lives. But drive-time isn't something you can charge for. At least it's not something I've ever heard of or seen any LCO in my area charging for. So I don't see that as being pertinent.

2) I didn't say he didn't have the RIGHT to be compensated. I just said I would not have bothered. I have plenty enough business. I am not going to whine about some 25 minute drive and 5 minutes of work I lost. I'd just be happy that another jerk was out of my life and I'd be on to the next job with a laugh and a smile. Life's too short to go chasing jerks around for 30 minutes worth of work. That's just my personal choice. Some of you may get all worked up about that 30 minutes and bill him, send him to collections, take him to court, etc. Fine. That's how you wanna spend your life, more power to you. You definitely have that right. I am not arguing that.
I guess we'll have to agree to disagree
Drive time is always pertinent gas ain't getting cheaper and only an estimate is free. No other service industries that come to your home to work do it with out charging a min show up fee.
Although life is short getting boned by some customer that can't get together with his spouse about what is suppose to be done is not my problem, I'm not there marriage counselor, I'm in this to make money, and it not 30 mins we would be talking about. It would be breach of contract or they would be paying for my time which would be roughly 1 hr + the helpers wages and bennies and the skid steer min of 4 hrs. My personal way of handling these situation is to send an invoice, if they refuse to pay then I'll call the attorney and let him handle it, if I have to waste a day or a wk for that matter it does not matter to me as lost wages are fully recoverable in court and the crew can keep thing running while I'm gone. Its not how I want to spend my life but I don't believe in being taken advantage of and then consider myself lucky that the jerk won't be doing it more than once. Once is one time to many.JMO

yrdandgardenhandyman
08-22-2005, 07:15 PM
^^^^^ We need more people on this site like Jim


Me too. I would love to have 160 good, reasonable,maintenance customers. :)
Maybe, soon, I'll learn the best way to market my services. I don't put up with pita's though. Maybe that's why I am still so small. Maybe I need to put up with it for a while in order to grow and then cull them out. I usually drop them right away when they start nit picking. They always seem to get another LCO to work for them though. ;)

stumper1620
08-22-2005, 07:22 PM
I guess we'll have to agree to disagree
Drive time is always pertinent gas ain't getting cheaper and only an estimate is free. No other service industries that come to your home to work do it with out charging a min show up fee.
Although life is short getting boned by some customer that can't get together with his spouse about what is suppose to be done is not my problem, I'm not there marriage counselor, I'm in this to make money, and it not 30 mins we would be talking about. It would be breach of contract or they would be paying for my time which would be roughly 1 hr + the helpers wages and bennies and the skid steer min of 4 hrs. My personal way of handling these situation is to send an invoice, if they refuse to pay then I'll call the attorney and let him handle it, if I have to waste a day or a wk for that matter it does not matter to me as lost wages are fully recoverable in court and the crew can keep thing running while I'm gone. Its not how I want to spend my life but I don't believe in being taken advantage of and then consider myself lucky that the jerk won't be doing it more than once. Once is one time to many.JMO
I agree Mac,
the man agreed to the service, even if he don't pay he should still be invoiced for the service call. I'm even starting to get fed up with free estimates when they call in others to do the job. I'm ready to start telling people, The estimate is 20 dollars (or whatever the mileage calls for) and it will be credited to your service if you accept the est.
I got screwed out of an insurance job that my est. was used for then the friendly nieghbor did my 1500 dollar tree removal for the wood. customer kept the insurance money. I got nothing.

yrdandgardenhandyman
08-22-2005, 07:23 PM
Sorry Guys I Forgot My Favorite Psycho Customer Story From Another Friend. He Installs And Services Smart House Systems Including Security/home Theatre And Any Other Hi Tech Big Dollar Gizmos For These Mcmansions.



Good story but very hard to read with every words first letter capitalized.
I wish we could do what your friend did, to late payers.

all ferris
08-22-2005, 08:42 PM
Ok guys heres what happened this morning. I call the guy and the first thing he says is "did she chew your azz like she did mine?". I told him that indeed she did and it is something I can get over as I know it was no fault of mine. I told the guy that it might be a good idea to get someone else to do this job as I don't want to be the one in the middle. He said he had a talk with his wife and they came together on the original plan :dizzy: and he would still like me to do it. I told him I would do the job but I would rather the wife not talk to me as I will never say another word to her. He said thats fine and does not blame me for not wanting to talk to her. He also apologized numerous times for his wifes tyrade. He also said he will pay the bill in full today (b4 the job is is even started) along with some extra to compensate for yesterday. I almost feel sorry for this guy because it seems like he is having to put up with alot. I sometimes wonder if the only reason he is with her is because he doesn't want to loose 1/2 of everything (he is very successful)?

BTW- Since I do full maintenance for this customer I did not have to go out of my way to measure/bid this particular project.

Lake Claire Lawn Ranger
08-22-2005, 08:48 PM
Sitting on the edge of my seat to see what happens when you try to do the work again :cool:

QualityLawnCare4u
08-22-2005, 10:08 PM
Sitting on the edge of my seat to see what happens when you try to do the work again :cool:

I agree! I got 20 payup that says all ferris gets chewed up again! This time the wife may not be as nice as the last time.

yrdandgardenhandyman
08-22-2005, 10:28 PM
I agree! I got 20 payup that says all ferris gets chewed up again! This time the wife may not be as nice as the last time.


Let's hope not but all signs point to a permanent pita. At least he won't have to worry about getting paid.

QualityLawnCare4u
08-22-2005, 10:34 PM
I hope it all goes well but I still dont feel that way about the situation. A zebra/pita/ never changes their stripes. And yes,the getting paid upfront is a big plus.

Frontier-Lawn
08-22-2005, 11:50 PM
personal i would told her that he pays my bills not you and i have work to do now get out of my way!

meathead1134
08-23-2005, 06:36 AM
Sorry Guys I Forgot My Favorite Psycho Customer Story From Another Friend. He Installs And Services Smart House Systems Including Security/home Theatre And Any Other Hi Tech Big Dollar Gizmos For These Mcmansions.
Butch (alias) Installed A Whole House System That Controls Every Last Thing In The Vp Of A Large Insurance Co House. The Guy Basically Screws His Company For The 20grand Left On The Bill. A Call Is Placed To The Guy For Payment. Well Joe Homeowner Goes Nuts And Tells Them To "blow The Bill Out His Azz" A Few Days Go By..........
Butch Goes To The Public Library , Goes On The Net (the House Has Its Own Ip Address ) And Enters The House System With Through A Part Of The System Meant To Help Diagnose And Repair The System Remotely . Hits A Few Keys And Shuts Down Every Last Thing In The House !! Customer Calls To Complain, Butch Tells Him That His Acct Is Not Current So No Warranty Work. Bill Must Be Paid In Full Cash Or Bank Cashier Check . A Service Charge Will Apply. Service Charge Must Be Paid For In Advance Of Work Starting. Did I Mention Its Saturday Before The Superbowl??? And He Has 50 People Coming Over For A Fully Catered Party ? Anyway Butch Walks In Gets Paid.......goes In The Cellar Types In A Code And Joe Homeowner Has Jis House Functioning Again. In All Of 3 Minutes Flat. That Customer Now Pays On Time And Gives Him A Fresh Ben Franklin Every Service Call. Some Of These Rich Egomaniac Types Only Respect Power.

I Wish I Could Do That To My Lawn Customers That Dont Pay !!!

hehehehehehehe now thats funny wish I could have thought of something like this

MarcSmith
08-23-2005, 07:36 AM
I read it. Two thoughts;

1) The fact that he drove 25 miles one way is his choice. Maybe that's part of the job where he lives. But drive-time isn't something you can charge for. At least it's not something I've ever heard of or seen any LCO in my area charging for. So I don't see that as being pertinent.

Jim.

when you bid work, you should bid the work like you are driving from your base of operations one way. This goes for all work. Not just installs, but also for regular mows. Like Mac said, Gas isn't free. If you have to drive 25 miles one way with two helpers, your robbing yourself of 1 man hour of labor... Often we get into the habit of cutting deals or making consesions sicne that house is close to others or on a particular route. How we schedule is not our customers concern. If one house on the street was one price, all houses on the street were the same price, unless they had a smaller/larger yard, ect.

Now if you have to go to a house for an install that covers multiple days, they you need to bill for each day's travel...

Don't forget to charge "rental" fee on the loader or for an operator as well. Too often it seems that we forget the little things and the little things add u to Big $$$ at the end of the year.

We just had a new building come on line and with that building I got a new emnployee, but thats it....It seems that the bosses above me forgot that it cost money to outfit the employee, IE Uniforms, Hand tools, ect. so I have to eat about $2k in expenses for this employee...I'm good at watching budgets, but that 2K just ate into some of my "set aside money" for new equipment....

Always have keep our eyes on the big picture. Good luck with this situation....

Remsen1
08-23-2005, 10:38 AM
"... but I know what turns Mr. Hand into Mr. Fist..." -Sam Kennison

If she has a black eye, you'll make an exception for this case and look the other way. :)