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View Full Version : the most unusual complaint i ever heard


bobbygedd
05-01-2006, 10:01 AM
a trainee of mine, in a neighboring town, called and asked how the heck to answer this complaint: the guy is just starting out, he has 15 or so properties, and he's no expert. he does a nice job, but u can clearly see by the way he handles the equipment, that he's new. he also has a crappy old truck. ok, so with my help, he is signing some clients. there was this one that called the evening after the first service. this is what he said- " i am very disapointed in you. by the way you guys talked to me, i was under the impression that you had a large business and were very experienced. instead, when u showed up to mow my lawn, you rolled up in an old unsightly vehicle, by yourself. we are not used to this. the services we've used in the past, would show up in a more presentable fashion, with 3 or 4 employees, and do a great job in less than ten minutes. you were here an hour and a half, and it looked like you were struggling to do everything. we are just very disapointed in the seemingly lack of professionalism." he said he asked about the work itself, and the client said the end result WAS acceptible. everything else, was not. i'm not even sure on how to advise him on this, as i, myself, use older crappy trucks, and have never had a complaint like this. i'm sure some customers have THOUGHT this in thier heads, but no one ever said anything. this guy is a bit upset. he's very professional, uses contracts, is well spoken, is very reliable, and an all around good guy. if it were me, i'd tell the client to go screw. but, he doesn't have that many to lose. my advice was to explain that he's just starting out, is under the guidance of a professional, and is doing the best he can. he should also ask why, if the work is good, is anything else a problem? opinions please

Coreyb
05-01-2006, 11:37 AM
it seems the customer is mad because this guy misrepresented himself. so either the customer misunderstood or the provider is saying things to make people think he is bigger than he really is. it's a funny complaint, but some people like big fancy operators with nice new trucks.

Mower For Less
05-01-2006, 11:46 AM
You guys arent thinking like BG yet. Just tell him that you will be happy to go out and get a nice new truck and a few more helpers, and his new rate will be $200 per cut. Or, he can keep his existing rate and level of service. Its good to give your customers choices. :rolleyes:

Kevin

topsites
05-01-2006, 11:49 AM
it seems the customer is mad because this guy misrepresented himself. so either the customer misunderstood or the provider is saying things to make people think he is bigger than he really is. it's a funny complaint, but some people like big fancy operators with nice new trucks.

Yeah, I would carefully tread around the matter to see about the possibility of missrepresentation on your guy's part, but if that is not the case then I would go with bg's advice to explain that he's just starting out, is under the guidance of a professional, and is doing the best he can. he should also ask why, if the work is good, is this ok? good, good, thank you sir. (well, hopefully)

That last part of the sentence was changed from: is anything else a problem?

Should the thing about the new truck stuff come up, explain this is coming but it's down the road a little ways and you can't quite see it yet but it's coming for sure.
Thanks again. :)

bobbygedd
05-01-2006, 01:20 PM
nobody misrepresented anything. i talked to him personally during the estimate. i do actually come across as very knowledgable and professional, but never once was trucks or equipment discussed . apparently, after my presentation , and the signing of the contract and everything, HE WAS SO IMPRESSED BY ME, that he thought he was gonna see a rolls royce roll up and three men in tuxedos jump out and make his lawn look like the one at the playboy mansion. mower for less, you got it right btw. i had a customer ask me about the fact that i don't send paper invoices. i replied, " u like the price right? if i have to pay someone to do invoicing every month, somebody has to pay for it."

J&R Landscaping
05-01-2006, 01:34 PM
I don't think its possible to misrepresent your company about being large unless you out and out lie! Not to sa he did that but..... Did he tell the cstomers he had a crew of guys with him or that he was a solo operator? I do all my work solo and have never heard anything like that.
Its just the oposite, people compliment me on my ability to handle larger jobs with ease. My work veilches are not fresh off the show room floor either!
That is very odd! What type of neighboorhood was this in? Is he still doing work for these people?

ENDURO
05-01-2006, 01:46 PM
I bet I know why this guy is complaining. It's all about image to him. He wants his neighbors to see a big expensive looking operation servicing his lawn. Makes him feel important. You see it all the time. I bet he dumps you next year for a big fancy outfit regardless of how good a job you do. I hope that doesn't happen. Don't sweat it, you can't please everyone and if you try, you'll drive yourself nuts. Good luck.

Charles
05-01-2006, 02:46 PM
I bet I know why this guy is complaining. It's all about image to him. He wants his neighbors to see a big expensive looking operation servicing his lawn. Makes him feel important. You see it all the time. I bet he dumps you next year for a big fancy outfit regardless of how good a job you do. I hope that doesn't happen. Don't sweat it, you can't please everyone and if you try, you'll drive yourself nuts. Good luck.

I agree, Image is everything with many people.
When I hire someone to do a job around the house I get kinda stressed too if the job doesn't go smoothly and takes longer than it should have--even if in the end the work is done correctly

rodfather
05-01-2006, 05:33 PM
Tell that customer to call me BG so I can tell them it takes years to get to the point everything is shiny and brand new. You've seen my op...did ya think I got like that overnight?:laugh:

daveintoledo
05-01-2006, 05:44 PM
Tell that customer to call me BG so I can tell them it takes years to get to the point everything is shiny and brand new. You've seen my op...did ya think I got like that overnight?:laugh:

i wish it was that easy, good things take some time...:)

firefightergw
05-01-2006, 06:00 PM
You guys arent thinking like BG yet. Just tell him that you will be happy to go out and get a nice new truck and a few more helpers, and his new rate will be $200 per cut. Or, he can keep his existing rate and level of service. Its good to give your customers choices. :rolleyes:

Kevin

But he wasn't paying $200 per cut when the new nice truck and a few more helpers were doing it before.

The Lawn Boy Pro
05-01-2006, 06:27 PM
I bet I know why this guy is complaining. It's all about image to him. He wants his neighbors to see a big expensive looking operation servicing his lawn. Makes him feel important. You see it all the time. I bet he dumps you next year for a big fancy outfit regardless of how good a job you do. I hope that doesn't happen. Don't sweat it, you can't please everyone and if you try, you'll drive yourself nuts. Good luck.
I would agree 300%. I have 2 neighbors that i know of right off hand that want the same outfit mowing their lawn. Its practically a competition. This is one of the factors i considered when i bought a John Deere Z-Trac 727. Many homeowners see the Deere on the trailer and instantly think "GREAT MOWER = GREAT SERVICE!!! SOLD!!!!!!!!" just to prove that point, i was dethatching a lawn not 3 weeks ago now, and the man i did it for came up to me one day before church and stated that multiple neighbors approached him and complimented his "lawn guy" for using a deere! I thought "unbelievable". Personally, i would have bought a Lazer, but somehow i thought the "John Deere" would do some good...:cool2:

befnme
05-01-2006, 06:51 PM
he musta said " WE " will do a great job for you and " WE " will be here on ? day . then " WE " didn't show up only " HE " did.

bobbygedd
05-01-2006, 07:41 PM
"we" , could have meant "my company, and me". afterall, you guys always say, the company is a different "entity" than yourself. in any event, you can always tell a persons character, by the way they treat people who may appear, to be "beneath" them, or, on a lower level financially. and in this guys case, he is scum in my book. funny part is, i quoted the job for that guy, and i quoted it high (i usually do in that neck of the woods, cus i get a % of the take). i know how the big operations up there price, and it's substantially cheaper than my pricing.

Idealtim
05-01-2006, 08:15 PM
Who cares about the truck if the lawn looks good? the truck is there for an hour a week, the lawn is there the rest of the week. Mabey they expected something more, I wouldn't think much of it.

specialtylc
05-01-2006, 08:16 PM
One of my trucks I use for spraying is a 1976 Chevy. It was getting rusty and looking pretty shabby a few years ago. So I took it in to the body shop and had it repaired and painted, so now it looks like a brand new truck. Point is you can drive older trucks, but they shouldnt look like they are ready for the junk yard. A professional looking image is very important to some folks. Myself included.

yrdandgardenhandyman
05-01-2006, 08:37 PM
You guys arent thinking like BG yet. Just tell him that you will be happy to go out and get a nice new truck and a few more helpers, and his new rate will be $200 per cut. Or, he can keep his existing rate and level of service. Its good to give your customers choices. :rolleyes:

Kevin


Alllllllllllllllllllllllllllll right!!! payup

DLS1
05-01-2006, 09:09 PM
a trainee of mine, in a neighboring town....

As usual I don't read your long winded takes you 30 minutes to come up with a made up story routine. You know it goes downhill after "trainee of mine". The poor poor guy even if he is a figment of your imagination. :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Mower For Less
05-01-2006, 09:24 PM
But he wasn't paying $200 per cut when the new nice truck and a few more helpers were doing it before.

Well if they were doing such a good job, why did he switch? Obviously $200 is within reason considering the fine level of service Bobby and his cohorts will provide, and mind you he will be able to get a very nice new truck too. $35 for the cut, and $165 for the truck and helpers. You could even itemize it on his bill that way. (Did you notice the sarcastic expression the first time???) :rolleyes:

Kevin

JJLandscapes
05-01-2006, 09:58 PM
pull a 7x12 trailer with a pile of shiiiit 97 gmc jimmy always covered in dirt...always wearing ripped or stained clothes and no one cares as long as the lawn looks good and we servce 100+ seperate people

drop the customer

Damian
05-01-2006, 10:19 PM
Essentially, he's upset that it took the guy so long and my bet is he feels his neighbors are thinking he's going cheap, and either taking advantage of the guy or is having money problems and can't afford a more prosperous looking "firm".

Wayne Landscaping
05-01-2006, 10:35 PM
Ive always thought that my lack of a pick up and exclosed trailer gave thougts to customers, but theres nothing i can do about that right now, unless they wanna give me 30K for the new F350 i want.

Dashunde
05-01-2006, 10:55 PM
WHAT a pompus ahole!
Tell your friend to hold this guys feet to the fire with the contract, do a nice job as usual, and wait to see what happens next year.

Saying anything further to the clown will only result in more frustration and leave your friend feeling puny.

lrose2
05-01-2006, 11:57 PM
BOY! Everybody missed the obvious reason for the rift with this client. BG said it himself in post #5. He is the one that talked to this customer.

Envy Lawn Service
05-01-2006, 11:59 PM
Well, it's the customer's right to speak his mind about this I guess.

My guess is either:

A) The guy doesn't want a ragged looking outfit servicing his lawn

B) The guy doesn't want someone at his house making noise for 1.5 hours

C) All the above


I think the moral of the story is you can't always have the means to please them all and please yourself too. That's just how it goes.

Personally I try to play it smart and not go overboard. I shoot for neat, clean, presentable, and uniform... not flashy, shiney and new.

Coreyb
05-02-2006, 09:20 AM
Well, it's the customer's right to speak his mind about this I guess.

My guess is either:

A) The guy doesn't want a ragged looking outfit servicing his lawn

B) The guy doesn't want someone at his house making noise for 1.5 hours

C) All the above


I think the moral of the story is you can't always have the means to please them all and please yourself too. That's just how it goes.

Personally I try to play it smart and not go overboard. I shoot for neat, clean, presentable, and uniform... not flashy, shiney and new.

thank you envy, for making the point. why are some of you guys blasting the customer. it's only HIS house, HIS money, and HIS decision. if he feels he was sold a bill of goods that wasn't delivered than his perception is his reality.

bwilder10h
05-02-2006, 10:19 AM
You have to learn not to take it personal. This guy sounds like one of those that can't be pleased.

Now granted, if I hire someone to do something around my house (which doesn't happen unless it's HVAC :dizzy: ) I prefer not to have some rust bucket pull up outside and leak oil on my driveway, etc. However, I would never give him an earful because he didn't drive up in a shiney F250 like mine and look a certain way. The society we live in is pathetic when someone with a little more money than the next guy thinks it puts him on a higher level. Your money means nothing and if you don't treat the guy with nothing the same as the guy that has everything... you're not worth the shoe leather you're walking in.

dkeisala
05-02-2006, 12:31 PM
You can't be all things to all people, everyone has different expectations. I look back on the early days of my business (a home depot trailer, mom's borrowed Ranger p/u, Honda mower and Ryobi multi-tool) and I wonder what people thought. Flash forward 10 years and it's a totally different story. Everyone's gotta start somewhere and you've gotta take your knocks along the way. There's always going to be bigger and better out there, I guess that's the beauty of capitalism.

If the client in question wanted a bigger outfit, he should have done more research and selected a company with more trucks and manpower, buyer beware and all that. If he's getting quality work at a reasonable price, I don't see the problem. There may be more to the story that the guy simply isn't sharing. If it's an image thing, he should have (or could have anyhow) known this from the start.