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View Full Version : "Can you use the smaller mower on my lawn"


Sir mowsalot
09-20-2005, 08:15 PM
This is what some ole crank asked me. She leaves a message on the machine, saying she just doesnt want me to use the "big" mower . Yea, sure lady, i will use my 21" toro on your 8,000 s.f. lawn. Heck, i'll just ignore why i bought my "big" mower , and while im at it, i will keep your price the same, even though i might be there all gosh dang morning. These old miserable hags, can really pizz me off to no end. I knew better than to take her on in the first place, cause she was knocking the other lco about trivial little crap. sigh, sigh, i need to go bark at the moon or something to get this out of my system. Its been one of those days.

J Hisch
09-20-2005, 08:22 PM
First, you are looking at it all wrong. Customer is always right she is just not right for you. When you talk with residental accounts you must specify in your price what machine you are using or ask if they have a preference. To call one of your customers an "Old Hang" is wrong, wrong, wrong. She is not a fault you are for not explaining to her how you were going to service her account. The attitude you have is not a good one......

lawnmaniac883
09-20-2005, 08:25 PM
Sure, use the smaller mower, double your price and give Pedro 10 bucks to mow it all day with the 21.

Sir mowsalot
09-20-2005, 08:34 PM
First, you are looking at it all wrong. Customer is always right she is just not right for you. When you talk with residental accounts you must specify in your price what machine you are using or ask if they have a preference. To call one of your customers an "Old Hang" is wrong, wrong, wrong. She is not a fault you are for not explaining to her how you were going to service her account. The attitude you have is not a good one......
Let me clarify. I nver called her an "old hag" to her. Only on here. This is not a legitamit complaint, if it were i would not have a problem. This woman is a complainer , period. If i were to use the 21" then it would be another problem, and another problem after that, and yet another problem after that. I actually encourage my customers to air any problems they might have , as it is there lawn and not mine, as long as the problems are legit.

gorknoids
09-20-2005, 08:40 PM
This morning I was greeted by the wife of a local restaurateur who came out to tell me that her husband was MAD! The 24 yards of sifted topsoil we'd covered his sandbox of a back yard with last fall was really clay, and the Prosecutor Pro I applied last week killed his weeping cherry, even though there was sap piled up at the base of the trunk.
Having arrived there to aerate, seed and fertilize his yard, I grabbed a Ziploc bag and the Ryan, pounded out a cross section of the lawn in question, and started picking up plugs. When the bag was half-full, I crushed them all and was "amazed" to find that there was nothing recognizeable as clay in the bag. Half an hour later, I went to the door, handed the woman a bag of primo topsoil, and asked her to Google "bacterial gummosa".
If I don't get an apology next visit, I'm firing him. No, I'm not contracted to tend to his ornamentals. :cool2:
Some folks want a show. Others think that their notion of what constitutes "best practices" is validated by what they learned when they were pushing a reel mower in the 40's. I do push mow two yards with a 21", but it's the best piece of equipment for those jobs. If I could fit a 52" into them, I'd do it. Better blade-tip speed, less PSI, and infinitely more economical.

Sir mowsalot
09-20-2005, 08:47 PM
First, you are looking at it all wrong. Customer is always right she is just not right for you. When you talk with residental accounts you must specify in your price what machine you are using or ask if they have a preference. To call one of your customers an "Old Hang" is wrong, wrong, wrong. She is not a fault you are for not explaining to her how you were going to service her account. The attitude you have is not a good one......
As a matter of fact i did indeed explain to her from day one, which mower i would be using , and why i would be using it.

topsites
09-20-2005, 08:53 PM
Now the folks who want a show, so long I'm in the mood (which unless the turf is DANGEROUS) those I got NO problem with, be glad to show them the underside of the deck as I fly in and out of the ditch... I also love curving around a tree with low-hanging branches as I hunker down on the velke at full speed, it's just such a rush to realize you COULD kill yourself lol, I still love doing stunts with the Wb and the more HIP they are with it, the better it gets.

The echo I don't play with nomore but the new Stihl does lend itself extremely well to baton-like twirls and throwing it around in the air from one hand to the other, ninja-style weed-eating with one hand like it's a sword, you gotta love it especially with your left hand.

But I do find it interesting the original poster like myself notices WHEN a customer complains about a prior Lco, watch out! Yes, I've noticed this trend as well and at LEAST half the time when they start trashing the prior Lco, it is a sign of future INCOMING (and this time I do NOT mean the phonecalls).

However, the prob. with the ole lady has a simple solution, either ignore the call and cut as usual (yup, play dumb as $h17 and if she says anything then you did NOT get the message right, yes) OR return the call to inform her of the new price and I would suggest at LEAST double but the problem is you HAVE to watch your attitude before you call, I like it best when my voice shows no hint of anger.

Personally, I'd show up and DO the yard AS usual (I really LIKE how I have no 21" mower) and then IF they say something, just let them know you'll be glad to do it for x-amount (whatever double the price = x) next time.

One of 2 things will happen:
1) It will shut her up and the problem is fixed.
2) She will go on about whatever and it is obvious the problem is NOT fixed, at which point you tell her please find someone else, and leave.
2a) IF after you start to leave she starts going 'HEY come back here' or whatever other crap, just keep right on walking.
Either way, your problem is now fixed.

p.s.: there IS the payment issue, you may have SOME problem getting paid BUT usually they will pay just they will delay you.

topsites
09-20-2005, 09:03 PM
Here is another favorite of mine:

When I've had enough of someone AND they have a payment problem, that is the most AWESOME way of dropping someone. See, I have a No check - No cut policy thou MOST of the time I will send reminders through the mail or at their door when the balance needs paying BUT:

When it's someone I don't care to work for no more, if they have a SMALL balance then that's enough but with a larger balance I make sure I'm fairly paid up-to-date first and THEN I go out one LAST time and cut the grass and leave a bill and sayonara as usual... Now if they're slow payers who HAVE to be reminded, you do NOT remind them because THAT is not your job and so long they haven't paid for the last cut, well, sorry, no check = no cut.

I found over time, MOST of them never pay so long I don't remind them, ain't that some cool chit. Well I DID leave a bill for the last cut, what IS the problem?

Hell yeah, I dun got rid of a few pitas that way and believe you me, the $35 I give up GLADLY in return for not having to deal with them NO more. Funny thing is, some do call and some call for a while but almost NONE of them will follow up by sending the check so long I forget to remind them, the problem is again fixed. Far as messages, the BEST way to deal with that is listen closely to your messages and as SOON as you hear THEIR voice DELETE it! Do NOT listen to what they have to say, it can and will mess you up.

p.s.: The customer is most certainly NOT always right.

Sir mowsalot
09-20-2005, 09:26 PM
Topsites,
I like the idea of your ,pretend not to hear the message about the different mower. Im going to put that away in my mental file cabinet for future reference . As far as this lady goes, i beleive its time to let her "explore" other alternatives. I mean, its only a matter of time before she gets someone else to harass or i quit anyway, its inevitable, its going to happen, so i just might as well put an end to it tomorrow. I know that she wants me to use the 21" because it will take me longer to mow, it has nothing to do with "preferance", she cant stand the thought of me mowing her lawn in such a quick time. To her, it is like im ripping her off. I almost always explain which mower i will be using with new customers, because i have run into this problem before, and 9 times out of 10 it is because they just cant stand the fact that you can mow a lawn and be out of there in 10 minutes, and charge them x amount of dollars.
Funny thing is, is the other lco probably was thinking " i pitty the poor basta*d that will be next" i know im thinking that right now.

olderthandirt
09-20-2005, 09:29 PM
When you talk with residental accounts you must specify in your price what machine you are using or ask if they have a preference.

So next time that a customer ask to have a wall or patio or a swale cut I should ask if it's ok to bring in equipment or would the prefer I do it all by hand with a shovel?? :dizzy: :dizzy:

dwc
09-20-2005, 10:19 PM
I had a cry baby last year that had a 12,000sf lawn. I was able to use the 48" Sentar on the front and had to use the 21 in the back. Anyway, he decided he wanted me to "use a push mower only on my yard and never ever use that large machine on my lawn again". It was at the end of season so I mowed a couple more times then when leaf time came, he has some scrub pick up the leaves with a riding tractor and it looked like you had a 4WD John Deere out there running over it.
I just dont understand some people.

lawnwizards
09-20-2005, 10:45 PM
So next time that a customer ask to have a wall or patio or a swale cut I should ask if it's ok to bring in equipment or would the prefer I do it all by hand with a shovel?? :dizzy: :dizzy:first of all, i love the new avatar. (don't have to look at your ugly mug anymore) :p second, i would never dig a swale with a shovel..... way too much digging....

topsites
09-20-2005, 10:50 PM
Topsites,
I like the idea of your ,pretend not to hear the message about the different mower. Im going to put that away in my mental file cabinet for future reference . As far as this lady goes, i beleive its time to let her "explore" other alternatives. I mean, its only a matter of time before she gets someone else to harass or i quit anyway, its inevitable, its going to happen, so i just might as well put an end to it tomorrow. I know that she wants me to use the 21" because it will take me longer to mow, it has nothing to do with "preferance", she cant stand the thought of me mowing her lawn in such a quick time. To her, it is like im ripping her off. I almost always explain which mower i will be using with new customers, because i have run into this problem before, and 9 times out of 10 it is because they just cant stand the fact that you can mow a lawn and be out of there in 10 minutes, and charge them x amount of dollars.
Funny thing is, is the other lco probably was thinking " i pitty the poor basta*d that will be next" i know im thinking that right now.

Well you just didn't go through your messages is what happened :) I mean I hate to lie but there are those instances where to save my tail from a disaster and NO I don't lie to my good customers EVER but when push comes to shove and I know things are coming to an end, all I want at that point is to get out of there with the LEAST amount of trouble AND in the nicest way possible, yes, so as to avoid bad word of mouth but also so she don't get pizzed and then YOU get pizzed and then you gotta go driving all pizzed...
...
I do the pretend I forgot thing with bagging the grass as well, when someone insists I bag and I KNOW I can do a nice job without bagging now hopefully they're usually not home so then I've done the job half-a-dozen or better times by the day they finally catch me (and it's really not funny at the time but later it usually makes me laugh) I just play kinda dumb and oh yeah well and just kinda be nice (if lame ok but NICE) and maybe an excuse of some sort (scratching your head works good and just kinda uhhhh) ... I mean, you know you're guilty and so do they, lol, but so long the grass always looked good before then MOST of them realize they haven't really noticed the difference anyhow and from there on out, no bagging :)

Sorry to hear the thing go south but now you have an open slot and over time you find really good customers and those I hang on to like crazy glue, that is how I can afford to get rid of pita after pita, so to speak...

Only sux when you run REAL low on customers and you have no other choice AND when I was new it happened a LOT but nowadays I can almost always see it coming (still sometimes I DONT see it) but it gets better, it really does.

topsites
09-20-2005, 10:57 PM
I had a cry baby last year that had a 12,000sf lawn. I was able to use the 48" Sentar on the front and had to use the 21 in the back. Anyway, he decided he wanted me to "use a push mower only on my yard and never ever use that large machine on my lawn again". It was at the end of season so I mowed a couple more times then when leaf time came, he has some scrub pick up the leaves with a riding tractor and it looked like you had a 4WD John Deere out there running over it.
I just dont understand some people.

ohhhh that reminds me, do NOT be a pita to me throughout the year or I just MAY not do your leaves, since I don't advertise that I do them but yes EVERYBODY wants them done.

One of my better nutcases bought their OWN pushmower (the guy had a 2-acre lot) and he would cut OFF-schedule by himself several squares and rectangles (it looked like he'd go out a day here and there for 15-20 minutes at a time) and it drove me absolutely NUTS because the cutouts would keep me from seeing my own lines so then I'd mow off track, and just when I thought it MIGHT be ok he comes out one day decides to tell me he wants ME to use HIS mower on certain parts of the yard and it was too much to bear, it really was...

Come to think of it, there is one excellent lesson I learned early on:
NEVER *EVER* use customer-provided equipment.

lawnwizards
09-20-2005, 11:05 PM
ohhhh that reminds me, do NOT be a pita to me throughout the year or I just MAY not do your leaves, since I don't advertise that I do them but yes EVERYBODY wants them done.

One of my better nutcases bought their OWN pushmower (the guy had a 2-acre lot) and he would cut OFF-schedule by himself several squares and rectangles (it looked like he'd go out a day here and there for 15-20 minutes at a time) and it drove me absolutely NUTS because the cutouts would keep me from seeing my own lines so then I'd mow off track, and just when I thought it MIGHT be ok he comes out one day decides to tell me he wants ME to use HIS mower on certain parts of the yard and it was too much to bear, it really was...

Come to think of it, there is one excellent lesson I learned early on:
NEVER *EVER* use customer-provided equipment.topsites, you are a waste of space. everyone of your replies are long as hell and they don't pertain to the question being asked. why don't you go back to the star trek website and bug them.

iluvscag
09-20-2005, 11:10 PM
Ohh yeah I can put the smaller mower"'into" use for the same cost, but you'll have to operate it. LMAO :)

Kelly's Landscaping
09-20-2005, 11:14 PM
So next time that a customer ask to have a wall or patio or a swale cut I should ask if it's ok to bring in equipment or would the prefer I do it all by hand with a shovel?? :dizzy: :dizzy:


Grrr you beat me to it Mac that line rubbed me the wrong way too as one of the dumbest things you could do with a customer. So how has the season been treating you haven't spoken with you in a while? I'll have to pm you latter on gota share this just bought me truck number 4 and she is a beauty.

olderthandirt
09-20-2005, 11:14 PM
topsites, you are a waste of space. everyone of your replies are long as hell and they don't pertain to the question being asked. why don't you go back to the star trek website and bug them.

ROFLMAO :D

BTW-Mr. Wizard is that short and sweeet enough to get the point across ?

pcguy
09-21-2005, 12:21 AM
Do you have any larger equipment, say a 72"? When she comes out just say: "Oh, I thought you said you wanted me to use a BIGGER mower."

lawnwizards
09-21-2005, 07:59 AM
ROFLMAO :D

BTW-Mr. Wizard is that short and sweeet enough to get the point across ?
sure is mac. :waving:

Ramairfreak98ss
09-21-2005, 09:32 AM
As a matter of fact i did indeed explain to her from day one, which mower i would be using , and why i would be using it.

still, who expects a lawn comapny to TELL them what kind of lawn mower theyre using? Ive run into this since many old small accounts i cut with a 21", then went to a 34" commercial and a few complained, then others said they didnt like how it looked etc, well sorry, i didnt just spend thousands for me to bring my little shizzy mower with me to mow your yard and take 3x longer...

I have NEVER told a customer what type of lawnmower i was using 21/34/61" brand, model, if i ride on it or follow it etc.. Ive had a few ask me what i was using since i once did a few 1.5 acre lots with a 21" lol, took 3+ hrs, that sucked. :realmad:

dishboy
09-21-2005, 09:43 AM
This is what some ole crank asked me. She leaves a message on the machine, saying she just doesnt want me to use the "big" mower . Yea, sure lady, i will use my 21" toro on your 8,000 s.f. lawn. Heck, i'll just ignore why i bought my "big" mower , and while im at it, i will keep your price the same, even though i might be there all gosh dang morning. These old miserable hags, can really pizz me off to no end. I knew better than to take her on in the first place, cause she was knocking the other lco about trivial little crap. sigh, sigh, i need to go bark at the moon or something to get this out of my system. Its been one of those days.


What mower are you using that she is complaining about? What type of grass and what cutting height?

dmc456
09-21-2005, 10:12 AM
I had a customer ask me to use a WB on the front of her lawn since it was so small. Takes 4-5 passes with the 48" ZTR. Sure no problem. Next time I used the walk behind mode on the "Convertible" and she didn't say a thing.

Kinda funny. Of course it did take an extra 5 second to switch from the ZTR to a WB. Maybe I should raise my price.

bill w
09-21-2005, 10:36 AM
I had a customer ask me to use a WB on the front of her lawn since it was so small. Takes 4-5 passes with the 48" ZTR. Sure no problem. Next time I used the walk behind mode on the "Convertible" and she didn't say a thing.

Kinda funny. Of course it did take an extra 5 second to switch from the ZTR to a WB. Maybe I should raise my price.



Yes, you should. By requesting something over and above the usual service, she entered the realm of "Custom Cut Pricing".

topsites
09-21-2005, 10:50 AM
topsites, you are a waste of space. everyone of your replies are long as hell and they don't pertain to the question being asked. why don't you go back to the star trek website and bug them.

Please don't make me go through all of your 467 posts to find all the ones from you that are off thread (such as this one) and I won't bother you to go through mine to find all the ones that are ON thread, you're no better than me.
...
Just as soon as you have a million+ hits/month site that's listed on Yahoo, I'll be glad to start taking those kind of lessons from you as well.
...
Now please get off my tip, you've been on this rant ever since I got on this forum and it's beyond old, I can't wait until the day you get your head back out of the sand over this ongoing minor trifle, Mr. Capulet.

pgiambat
09-21-2005, 10:55 AM
Sir mowsalot,

Whenever the subject of $$ or equipment choices comes up with a customer I take off my sunglasses and get all serious and contemplative and tell them:

"Here's the deal, I bid and cut to get $1 a minute. I'd be glad to use my 21" on your yard, I'll just keep track of the time (from cut start till I turn off the blower) and charge you accordingly".

This comes out to about $60/hour. When they sqwak about it, tell them how much a 21" costs versus a 36", 48", 52" or bigger.

If they still talk... ask them what they do for a living. Then ask them if they would do more of what they do for the same $$ or perhaps more for a little less.

Maintain eye contact and don't get nasty, they'll come around. If none of this works... whip a picture of your kids and beg (just kidding).

Good luck!

http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/7619/hag2oc.th.jpg (http://img6.imageshack.us/my.php?image=hag2oc.jpg)

Sir mowsalot
09-21-2005, 02:03 PM
What mower are you using that she is complaining about? What type of grass and what cutting height?
Im using a 60" cut dixie chopper. The cutting height is 3 3/8 inches. The type of grass is a blue rye i think.

Sir mowsalot
09-21-2005, 02:10 PM
Sir mowsalot,

Whenever the subject of $$ or equipment choices comes up with a customer I take off my sunglasses and get all serious and contemplative and tell them:

"Here's the deal, I bid and cut to get $1 a minute. I'd be glad to use my 21" on your yard, I'll just keep track of the time (from cut start till I turn off the blower) and charge you accordingly".

This comes out to about $60/hour. When they sqwak about it, tell them how much a 21" costs versus a 36", 48", 52" or bigger.

If they still talk... ask them what they do for a living. Then ask them if they would do more of what they do for the same $$ or perhaps more for a little less.

Maintain eye contact and don't get nasty, they'll come around. If none of this works... whip a picture of your kids and beg (just kidding).

Good luck!

http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/7619/hag2oc.th.jpg (http://img6.imageshack.us/my.php?image=hag2oc.jpg)

When i first estimated her lawn i happened to have my trailer and equipment on. She saw my dc, scag wb, and toro 21 ". At seeing this, she asked me which mower i would be using as she would prefer me to use the 21". I told her i would be using the 60" dixie chopper. I explained that this is why i bought this machine and paid lotsa money for it, because it would save me time, able me to do a better mowing job. I told her at that time, i would not use the smaller mower eveen for more money, i just wont, I dont care if i made a $100 mowing it with the toro, i still wouldnt do it. When i know i have a mower that can "git r done" im going to use it. She then agreed. Now she is trying to go back to me using the smaller mower.... IN a way this is my fault , because i knew from day one she was going to be problems. When someone , is busting on the former lawn company, and wants you to use the mower they request , they are red flags, and i knew better. Her lawn just happened to fit right into my route so i thought i will do it.

pgiambat
09-22-2005, 02:35 AM
You summed it up!

" i would not use the smaller mower eveen for more money, i just wont, I dont care if i made a $100 mowing it with the toro, i still wouldnt do it."

Sometimes a Sucky Situation is just that!

Show up and cut in just your underware and cut some crazy stripes. :cool2:

Cut like it's the last time you will be there and the day it is... go treat yourself to a soda.

topsites
09-22-2005, 02:48 AM
Cut like it's the last time you will be there and the day it is... go treat yourself to a soda.

Hey I really like that, when all else fails and I can see the end coming but am not sure WHEN it's going to happen, yes, I will file this idea for later, thanks!

lawnwizards
09-22-2005, 08:24 AM
Please don't make me go through all of your 467 posts to find all the ones from you that are off thread (such as this one) and I won't bother you to go through mine to find all the ones that are ON thread, you're no better than me.
...
Just as soon as you have a million+ hits/month site that's listed on Yahoo, I'll be glad to start taking those kind of lessons from you as well.
...
Now please get off my tip, you've been on this rant ever since I got on this forum and it's beyond old, I can't wait until the day you get your head back out of the sand over this ongoing minor trifle, Mr. Capulet.exactly! i've been on here for 2 years with 467 post and you've been on here for 6 months with 1700 posts. so now, who does the more useless posts? thats what i thought. :dizzy:

mslawn
09-23-2005, 11:07 PM
I decide which mower to use on the lawns we cut. I personally think a wider deck leaves a better appearance anyway. The only place we use a 21" is where our 36" turf tracer won't fit. I only use the 36TTHP if our 60XP or 72XS wont fit.

QualityLawnCare4u
09-23-2005, 11:49 PM
I decide which mower to use on the lawns we cut. I personally think a wider deck leaves a better appearance anyway. The only place we use a 21" is where our 36" turf tracer won't fit. I only use the 36TTHP if our 60XP or 72XS wont fit.

I agree with that 100%, I did not spend big bucks to spend more time on a lawn. I have found if you let the client start dictating on anything at all it will never end.

lawnprosteveo
09-24-2005, 12:07 AM
I had the same thing happen to me earlier this summer. The guy asked if I could use my "little mower". Just said "No, I can't...I don't have time to mow people's yards (and his is a big one) with a 'little mower'."
He said "I'll pay more..." Still I said no, just dont have time for that crap.. especially when the temps hit 100 +!!!!!!!!

Ramairfreak98ss
09-24-2005, 12:25 AM
I agree with that 100%, I did not spend big bucks to spend more time on a lawn. I have found if you let the client start dictating on anything at all it will never end.

yep, thats what happens... :realmad:

Sir mowsalot
09-25-2005, 04:24 AM
Here it is, i took a picture of this ladies yard. This is her back yard, and it is about double in size of what you see on the photo, i could only fit so much on in the picture. I think the lawn looks just fine with the "big" mower. It would look alot better if she would pay for some ferts, and aerating. btw, if you look at the hedge row in the very back of the pic., that trimming was done by another lco that strictly only does trimmming and no mowing. We have a really good thing going, i hate doing shrubs, so i let him do my customers that want done. Since i dont offer it, and they need done, i let him come and do it, and since he dont mow, he refers me to any of his customers who need it. I only recommend this setup to someone you can positively trust.

QualityLawnCare4u
09-25-2005, 09:59 AM
Ill be dam if Im using a 21" on that yard!