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View Full Version : What would you do?


LawnBrother
09-24-2005, 04:59 PM
You pull up to a property you regularly service to find a lot of brush/tree pruning has been done sometime last week. The many small limbs have been piled here and there around the lawn, and left there. This is NOT one of your favorite customers (as a matter of fact you have given her a very undesirable nickname). It would take about 10 minutes to move the limbs and brush so you could mow, but know they would throw a fit if you charged extra. Do you: a. Mow around the piles, b. Mow over the piles, c. Move the piles for free, d.move the piles and put a surcharge on the bill. e.skip the lawn , f. call the customer and ask them what they want done before doing anything.
Well, what would you do?

1MajorTom
09-24-2005, 05:10 PM
Never skip the lawn, especially if you are getting paid by the cut. You are just screwing yourself out of money then. If the customer was around, I would ask, "you want us to take these branches/limbs away?" If she said yes, then I'd tell her there would be a charge. If she wasn't home, we would just mow around them.

brinlee lawn
09-24-2005, 05:10 PM
I would assume they were left there for me to deal with, so I would remove the piles of brush and add a pickup fee on there next bill.

nobagger
09-24-2005, 05:29 PM
I had this happen twice this year, one pyle not so big and they called the night before and no I did not charge her because the plye was maybe a wheel barrel full,NBD. But one other customer I had cleared her entire back yard fence line, she left them raked but still in the grass. I asked her if this was left for us and she said, of course, ya I was hoping you could just through them in your truck for me, I said sure, it will be $50.00 she kinda looked at me funny then I explained to her it will take us about 45 mins. to clear them, and it did. Then there is a diposal fee for other than grass clippings. It pyled up my truck (8ft bed-full sized truck) 2 ft over the cab top! WTF do people think? It probably took her the entire weekend to cut them down and she acts like it will take us 5 mins to clear it. So ya charge if its gonna take you more than a few minutes.

Sir mowsalot
09-24-2005, 08:49 PM
Since this is a customer you dont like. I would not do anything. I would simply mow around them, and wait for her to call me

olderthandirt
09-24-2005, 09:05 PM
I would do exactly what my contract says. Move them and bill at an hr. rate for the time it took

Sharp Services
09-24-2005, 09:06 PM
Since this is a customer you dont like. I would not do anything. I would simply mow around them, and wait for her to call me

I am sorry but I pride myself to much on doing a fine job. I would attempt to call the customer and if she did not answer either leave a message on the phone or leave a note on the door explaining that they were in the way and I could not contact her. I would then move the pile to the truck or street if, you have curb pick up for free, like we have here. I would then cut the yard and add a fee for the time it took to remove the trash.

If she did not pay then I would not cut again ... it would be no loss to you since you want to drop her anyway.

However, potential customers see your truck and sign at the job, then they see the yard were you cut around the piles and they say, "Glad this is not my Yard Guy".

I think it could hurt your reputation if you cut around it and if you just skip the yard, then you have lost money.

Just my 2 cents worth,

RonB
09-24-2005, 09:59 PM
You should do like many others have suggested and either charge extra for a few minutes of your time or just leave them or cut around them. That's the kind of attitude I hear from several new customers lately - when the old cutter gets dumped!

Keep that "holier than thou" attitude. Workin fer me!

Sir mowsalot
09-25-2005, 06:00 AM
I am sorry but I pride myself to much on doing a fine job. I would attempt to call the customer and if she did not answer either leave a message on the phone or leave a note on the door explaining that they were in the way and I could not contact her. I would then move the pile to the truck or street if, you have curb pick up for free, like we have here. I would then cut the yard and add a fee for the time it took to remove the trash.

If she did not pay then I would not cut again ... it would be no loss to you since you want to drop her anyway.

However, potential customers see your truck and sign at the job, then they see the yard were you cut around the piles and they say, "Glad this is not my Yard Guy".

I think it could hurt your reputation if you cut around it and if you just skip the yard, then you have lost money.

Just my 2 cents worth,
Yea, and i dont have any pride in my work. sure. I have been doing this long enough to know that doing things like that for a pita doesnt work out. Only way it would is if what you charged them is a ridiculous low amount, or do it for free, in which case it leads to doing something else for free or a ridiculous low price, and on and on and on.

mosmgras
09-25-2005, 06:49 AM
This has happened to me in the past. I've moved them and mowed. In my case, all the customers were good ones (pay on time, easy to deal with). I was there anyway. I loaded and hauled them away. Yea... it cost me a little, but in the end I think it worked out ok.

Jpocket
09-25-2005, 03:59 PM
mow around it if it doesn't look hideous...and if it does move em and put a $10.00 surcharge on the invoice.

Sharp Services
09-25-2005, 06:25 PM
Yea, and i dont have any pride in my work. sure. I have been doing this long enough to know that doing things like that for a pita doesnt work out. Only way it would is if what you charged them is a ridiculous low amount, or do it for free, in which case it leads to doing something else for free or a ridiculous low price, and on and on and on.

I did not mean for it to read that I did not think you had any pride in your work. Was just trying to say that I would do it differently. Was not tring to offend, sorry if you took it that way.

South Florida Lawns
09-25-2005, 07:01 PM
Not me. I'm per month so in winter when I come eow I can still collect the same amount and not lose out. I would just mow around the piles of crap and tell my crew to do the same. Unless the homeowner comes out with some extra money; I ain't getting off my Z.

Branchland
09-25-2005, 07:16 PM
I would just mow around them She's not a favorite customer plus if there's a problem with it she'll call you and then you can tell her how much to remove the limbs.
I've mowed around brush myself if it wasn't a great customer and you could tell they really didn't care about the yard. But I've also hauled stuff away before with out asking or charging because the customer cares about their yard and spends the money on it.

grassyfras
09-25-2005, 07:39 PM
mow around easy call.

LawnBrother
09-25-2005, 11:58 PM
Well thanks for all the opinions. Like I said, it's a pita account anyway; she's not my favorite customer (for many reasons) she's a slow payer, and she doesn't give a crap about her yard.
(I think that because her bushes were overgrown the city came and cut them (I know her fat azz sure as hell didn't do it) It is also a nice hood where I mow a lot of lawns, and I don't like to leave it looking crappy. If this were a good customer I suppose I would gladly move the piles and not even charge, but because I hate her so much I can't stand the thought of giving her something for free. I am going to mow around it, and if she calls and complains I will tell her how much it will cost her to remove it. I feel that in this case she would take my generosity as license to try to take advantage like Sirmowsalot suggested, and before you know it she would be wanting more free work. The reason I posted this question is because I try my best to be as professional as I can, and I strive to go the extra mile and deliver more than expected, but with customers like this it just doesn't seem worth my while to go out of my way.

Tonyr
09-26-2005, 12:21 AM
Guys....

see, this is why yas should be running Rear Discharge Decks! :)

well, reason is these things chew anything, just mow the crap, no probs, instant clean-up! LOL! payup


OK then, maybe not on your nice lawns, but on vacant blocks I cut here where folks like to dump palm fonds, grass clippings etc onto, I mow over, works fine! Looks way better than mowing around....but if pile is big obviously ya gotta! LOL!


Seriously, on a lawn....I would mow around the rubbish, don't touch it without instruction.

topsites
09-26-2005, 01:49 AM
I would assume they were left there for me to deal with, so I would remove the piles of brush and add a pickup fee on there next bill.

It's been my experience with customers who have not-so-nice nicknames given the choices are defined to few options. The LAST time I did anything where a non-fave customer of mine 'got in my way' such as in this example, I got reamed and it was the LAST time I ever did anything to try and please this type of folk.

- A surcharge with OUT their approval is 99% guaranteed to result in a nasty phone conversation later and GFL with the money.
- Doing anything out of the ordinary at NO charge is out of the question (ONLY for better customers) because again GFL with the money.
- If they don't care, neither do I. This CAN backfire a bit but I just play dumb and USUALLY this works.
- If it's down to the last straw, see 'ya later BUT it's a trade, I'm a bit leery right now, just lost a few accounts... One gets to that point, if ya gotta suck it up a bit, then suck it up before you really mess yourself up.

How much sucking? Well, how many accounts do I got left, how much money do I got in the bank, that answers it. In my case, a little sucking right now wouldn't hurt. I COULD make it to next spring with NO more income from here on out, but why make things so tight, why draw things down to the last wire...

So, mow around OR mow over and see if it breaks / chops them up good. Side discharge is fine, whether float or fixed deck, if it spews whole pieces out might have to run over them 2-3 times. It MIGHT dull the blades a bit but for the most part, sticks and twigs are really nothing for a Wb or Ztr.

sheshovel
09-26-2005, 01:58 AM
OH RIGHT topsites since when do you do any sucking up to you customers!RIGHT!!! LOL