PDA

View Full Version : Are people stupid, or just no common sense?


HighGrass
09-13-2006, 07:17 PM
I suppose there's a thin line between stupid and no common sense. Seems like every week, some of my customers always have to do something that erks the heck out of me.
Yea, maybe it's cause it's getting to the end of the season and I'm getting tired, but I have to tell, after dealing with some of these folks, I really don't feel like being social at the end of the day. Here are just a few examples but keep in mind, I have a policy letter that covers just about all of this stuff so it's not like they don't know about these issues. Each one is a different yard.

Excessive Dog Crap

6 chairs, two large tables, 3 huge rubber balls, two umbrellas. All in spread out over the entire yard.

5 bags of garbage in the middle of the yard.

Blocked driveway. (Three times in the same month)

Hoses, in three yards, just stretched out all over the yard.

Carpenters working all week to replace windows. Gee, ya think ya could of called me?

Painters working. Gee, ya think ya could have called me?

Glass bowl in middle of yard.

2 Large Adirondack chairs. These were heavy. Must be made of cherry. Right smack in the middle of the yard.

"Can you bag my grass this week but only in one part, don't mow the rest. Should come out to be the same price right? And oh yea, could you put the clippings into plastic bags for me?"

"Why should I have to pay more to mulch up my leaves when it takes you the same amount of time?"

"Could you spray this on all my bushes once a month?...Shouldn't take but a few minutes." I responded with a price. "Just to spray a few (30) bushes?"

All this and all the idiot drivers out there. As of next week, if I get one more car that doesn't understand what 4 flashers, 2 cones, and 6 flashing strobes mean, I'm filing a complaint with the police.

Customer decided they would do some gardening. The rocks they dug up (average size of each rock was about softball or baseball) should be placed on the lawn. There were 18 or 20 in all.

Another customer weeded garden. Left hoe in grass, face up. Almost didn't see it going around tree.

olderthandirt
09-13-2006, 07:22 PM
Put an end to it, send them a bill for the additional work/headaches
If they pay you won't mind the crap and if they don't you won't have them as customers

traman
09-13-2006, 07:32 PM
you forgot about the ones that park there car on the grass,and after you pack up and get ready to leave ,they finally come out to move it

Lazer_Z
09-13-2006, 07:49 PM
you forgot about the ones that park there car on the grass,and after you pack up and get ready to leave ,they finally come out to move it
tram, I think your sig line works best for this one. :hammerhead:

Rob

thesargent
09-13-2006, 07:57 PM
start mowing around all that stuff, dont move it. any dog crap i come across i mow around it, or do a wheelie over it.(hard to do with a ztr)he he.

RedWingsDet
09-13-2006, 07:58 PM
or when someone as teenage kids who dont respect anything and leave their pellet guns laying around the yard for me to break, and then shattering glass all over the backyard so either 1. I dont cut, and get bitched at, or two picking it up and sending them a bill and then still get bitched at.

and lets not forget those people who have a Harley but dont know how to start it up and move it out of the way when its blocking the driveway.

Liquidfast
09-13-2006, 09:09 PM
start mowing around all that stuff, dont move it. any dog crap i come across i mow around it, or do a wheelie over it.(hard to do with a ztr)he he.


I did that and I can tell you it does work. I trim around it and the next time, magically, the yard is clean.

Except this one customer. If she didnt have me doing 3 estate homes, I would have dropped her. Dog poop EVERYWHERE...lady, I am here at the same time, each day, every week for the past 3 years. She is first on my list every friday morning.

mowerman90
09-13-2006, 09:21 PM
My pet peeve is hoses left out. I'll tell them about it the first time and if it's still out the next week I mow around it. If I'm in a REALLY bad mood I've been known to "mulch" hoses.

barnard
09-13-2006, 09:46 PM
I hate to pick up hoses too,but this year with the drought we've had I figure those hoses and sprinklers are keeping me cutting.(on yrds without a system). So i roll them up. I bumped prices at the first of this season on problem cases, so i'm getting $5 to roll up the hose.

tcls83
09-13-2006, 10:07 PM
I'm sure all of you guys have your pet peeves about people, and believe me, I do too, I also feel common courtesy is lacking in too many people.

But, you should look at how courteous you are towards others at the same time, and if you realize that you are just as much of a pain in the butt as these people seem to be to you, then you personally have some things to work on with yourself. I try my best to be polite and courteous to others. And of course sometimes I do make mistakes by being a pain, getting in someone's way, etc. And I will apologize to them. That is if they deserve it.

I have rode along with friends who have ridiculous amounts of road rage towards "stupid motorists", when at the same time they pull the same "A-hole" maneuvers the people they get fired up over do. I explain it to them, and it seems to go in one ear, and out the other with them.

taproot
09-13-2006, 10:08 PM
And your "Policy Letter" says?.... Maybe you should follow up with "You owe me xxxx$ for picking up your crap" Sorry you had a bad week but thats the business.

GriffinLawnService
09-13-2006, 10:40 PM
An everytime its a green hose. Hides well in the grass. One day I am just going to mow rite over it...

lawnwizards
09-13-2006, 10:44 PM
"Why should I have to pay more to mulch up my leaves when it takes you the same amount of time?"

that is a reasonable question for a customer to ask.

HOOLIE
09-13-2006, 11:27 PM
A lot of things bother me but it's all a part of doing business (well most things) so I just stop the mower and move the hose...

Really the only things that get me fired up are safety issues...like the one lady that would send her kids out to play in the yard while I was mowing...real dumb stuff like that. And the guy that parked his $130,000 Mercedes 2 inches from where my $9 an hour guy was mowing. You can do the math there and see that's not smart :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

LawnBrother
09-13-2006, 11:32 PM
I did that and I can tell you it does work. I trim around it and the next time, magically, the yard is clean.

Except this one customer. If she didnt have me doing 3 estate homes, I would have dropped her. Dog poop EVERYWHERE...lady, I am here at the same time, each day, every week for the past 3 years. She is first on my list every friday morning.
Agreed. I had a dog problem with one account, but after I mowed around a few piles.....abrafrickencadabara, the crap is now being picked up every week. Usually a nice call does the trick, but I hate talking to this lady. I will move some stuff out of the way like A hose or A chair or A toy, but lawns full junk and trash will get a phone call from me, sometimes immediately if I'm feelin frisky, I'll grab my cell and call their asses at work and politeley ask them to keep the lawn free of debris or whatever. A call is usually all it takes, but otherwise I will mow around EVERYTHING. Those lazy thoughtless bastards will get the message real quick.

Tharrell
09-13-2006, 11:56 PM
I still have my first customer. He always brings me a check while I've got the backpack blower running. I guess he watches me or waits for the familiar sound. It never fails! I call him "ol faithfull". Even though I know he's coming, he still manages to sneak up on me and scare the poo out of me because I'm focused on what I'm doing.
Hey, if you're gonna deal with people, you have to deal with people.
You just need a vacation.

HighGrass
09-15-2006, 11:00 AM
that is a reasonable question for a customer to ask.


Really? Ever see what an hour of mulching oak leaves does to a set of blades?

lawnwizards
09-15-2006, 11:09 AM
Really? Ever see what an hour of mulching oak leaves does to a set of blades?but the customer just sees you cutting the exact same grass and it taking the exact same time to do it, so it is a reasonable question for a customer. they don't know how it affects blades and how its harder on the engine, thats why they ask.

HighGrass
09-15-2006, 11:13 AM
but the customer just sees you cutting the exact same grass and it taking the exact same time to do it, so it is a reasonable question for a customer. they don't know how it affects blades and how its harder on the engine, thats why they ask.

That quote....the one about the customer talking about time versus leaves, was taken out of a conversation I had with them regarding the effect that leaves have on blades. You're right, intially, I wouldn't expect a customer to understand, but even after all the explaining I did, they still didn't get it. Maybe it was me just expecting too much.

topsites
09-15-2006, 11:18 AM
I have to admit most of those things don't get to me anymore for the simple reason that nowadays I am FAST to pack up and leave while crossing them off the schedule if it ever gets to that point with someone...

Piles and piles of dog crap? No way, no how, see ya.
Oooodles and boodles of toys and chairs and tables, really at least a dozen different things I have to pick up and move out of the way? Not me, first time ok, but don't get in the habit is all I gotta say.

A hose or two can be frustrating but I've learned the method to get it out of the way fast, which is pick up the very end and drag to the beginning: Now it's folded in half, go back out and grab the very end again and bring it in, now it's down to a 1/4 of its size... Do this once or twice more and blam, it's out of the way, it's not rolled up but it's not too awful looking either and it doesn't take but a minute.

What I like is when they cut the grass themselves and never call to let me know. Now I've heard some of you guys talk about 'well just cut it anyway and bill them,' but around here that don't work when they come RUNNING out to make sure they tell you to STOP STOP NONO and so on... That's another one I have learned: Pack up, cross them off the schedule, and leave.

Here's the thing:
Once a customer is off the schedule, the next time they call it's $5 more.
Matter of fact, once this happens they come AFTER all my regularly scheduled customers, and it costs however much it is going to cost such as if the grass got really tall, had one last week with an $85 lawn who got billed $125 because I couldn't get to it for a week. Not my problem anymore, you wanted to cut your own grass, I figured my services were no longer needed.
Fixes the problem one way or another, every single time.

lawnwizards
09-15-2006, 11:24 AM
but even after all the explaining I did, they still didn't get it. Maybe it was me just expecting too much.you said it all right there.:waving:

topsites
09-15-2006, 11:26 AM
Then there's the back burner, which is where some of the pita accounts get placed, and it means I get to you when I can finally get my truck to turn down that road.

Sometimes, lo and behold, they call someone else when I always put them off but not always. Still it helps, I figure so long they don't mind being on the back burner then that helps me out too because I can take care of my picky accounts in short order and get to the back burner folks and so long that it works out like that, all is good.

Yup yup, between the back burner and the 'cross them off then when they call it's 5 more' method, most of my problems have virtually disappeared (well, almost).

sheshovel
09-15-2006, 11:35 AM
Well Topsites..have you ever called or sent a customer a letter informing them that you will no longer be servicing them and why after you cross them off?
From your posts here I have come to the conclusion you do not.
That makes you just as thoughtless about other people as they are.
You HAVE gotten so much better about dealing with customers than you were at one time though. I highly commend you for that, you have done well.

topsites
09-15-2006, 11:39 AM
That quote....the one about the customer talking about time versus leaves, was taken out of a conversation I had with them regarding the effect that leaves have on blades. You're right, intially, I wouldn't expect a customer to understand, but even after all the explaining I did, they still didn't get it. Maybe it was me just expecting too much.

It does get better with time, this is one problem I just don't run into much anymore, very few of my customers ever question my prices but they used to... Nowadays, I do the job and set the price and bill them - The reason this takes time is today they trust me, they know I'm not ripping them off and I LOVE the rein-free estimate (i.e.: we don't care what you'll charge us because we know you're a fair guy and you won't do us wrong, so just do it and bill me).

In most cases, explaining things is a waste of breath. I'm not the slightest bit surprised that they wouldn't come around after the explanation, but once this happens it is a sign this one might need to go, dunno, but maybe... Depends how hard they question my prices, way I see things I've been around 5 years so the burden of proof doesn't rest with me anymore, if anybody has anything to prove nowadays, it's them: Prove to me that you're a customer worthy of my services.

For one, I see them coming over the phone anymore... If, when they first call I even sense the slightest hint of PITA, I don't even go out to estimate. I've also learned how to recognize the pita yard by the look of things, hard to describe because you get this way with time, but again if it looks like a pita yard, no sense in even pricing it, get back in the car and leave (and let them call someone else hehehe).

I always say: ALL of these can be prevented and screened out long before the first visit. But, you don't always see them coming, I call them the sneak-a-pita, they done snuck up in there and I didn't even see it lol. So along those same lines, you pick up better customers and slowly and gradually drop or discontinue service on the worst of yours and things improve, slowly but surely, but it does take time.

p.s.: raising your prices a little bit always helps.

HighGrass
09-15-2006, 11:56 AM
When I look back, I can see that every year, I get less and less "PITA" customers as I learn what to ask and what to look out for. Normally, I expect a few customers to be "PITAS" but it just seemed like the last two weeks, everyone was.

I did have one customer who had made several demand over the summer that I thought were unfair, I finally called her husband and said that I would be happy to mow for them one more time but after that, I would have to terminate my services due to a conflict between myself and his wife. Primarily, due to the fact she didn't know how to manage her lawn, and would not leave it to someone who knew how.

topsites
09-15-2006, 12:04 PM
Well Topsites..have you ever called or sent a customer a letter informing them that you will no longer be servicing them and why after you cross them off?
From your posts here I have come to the conclusion you do not.
That makes you just as thoughtless about other people as they are.
You HAVE gotten so much better about dealing with customers than you were at one time though. I highly commend you for that, you have done well.

uhm well like i said it gets better with time but i am not perfect, i am still working on some that stuff heheh the bit with the letters i have started but it is taking time to word it in the right way that is the hardest part for me lol. but no, if a mower other than mine cuts the grass, then my services are no longer needed, correct? I mean... i dunno, still working on that, lol.
'n ty 4 the compliment, it means a lot to me

sheshovel
09-15-2006, 12:10 PM
You may think I am not following your progress but I am Topsites.
You have surprised me and have exceeded my expectations about learning to deal with your people problems. Never said you were perfect, but compared to how you were just a year or so ago...I say you have come a heck of a long way in that area.
Sorry thread starter, I did not mean to go off topic here..please continue.

Willofalltrades
09-15-2006, 12:46 PM
You may think I am not following your progress but I am Topsites.
You have surprised me and have exceeded my expectations about learning to deal with your people problems. Never said you were perfect, but compared to how you were just a year or so ago...I say you have come a heck of a long way in that area.
Sorry thread starter, I did not mean to go off topic here..please continue.

Looks like shes got a crush on ya topsites! lol just kidding

To answer your question in the title: Being stupid and having no common sence are the exact samething. Just bite your lip, pick the crap up and put it in a nice spot neat and in order, and kindly bill them for your extra time. As far as dog crap goes.. Thats where I draw the line. I always charge a machine cleaning fee (thats not cheap).

terrapro
09-15-2006, 06:01 PM
wow guys!!!......

i dont know what to say. maybe its cause im not a lawn guy and i dont have to go through the same situations. i bill by the hour or half hour and if i have to send the problem customer a slightly larger bill to deal with those problems so be it, i made more money.

ChadsLawn
09-15-2006, 06:41 PM
I have a customer that has 2 full size trucks and when there both home. Both trucks tires hang off about 1/2 way. So there driveway hardly ever gets edged. She finally came out today and asked why I havent been edging the drive. I walked her to each truck and showed her why. She then asked if I could just edge between the front and rear tires. NOPE!
She then said that she never really realized how much room both trucks took up. Next week she said she will park them in-line so I can edge..

Yes its very nice to have a customer that will work with you when something is a inconvenience.

Precision
09-16-2006, 09:31 PM
Most people are a very inconvenient blend of stupid and no common sense.

After much training, some can be learn rules, but very few can be made to understand why if they didn't already start out knowing.

I had a customer call the week wanting to know why she had a late fee on her newest bill.

Well, you haven't paid the last bill, which means you are two weeks late and as of now you are on suspension.

what does that mean?

well in addition to owing us 5% extra for last month, we won't be mowing until we get paid.

Why?

How many hours per week do you work?

40

And what happens if you don't get a paycheck on Friday, are you mad?

yes

can you pay your bills

No.

Same here.

I mean really, people like that should be put out of their misery.

corey4671
09-17-2006, 01:53 AM
you forgot about the ones that park there car on the grass,and after you pack up and get ready to leave ,they finally come out to move it

Yep! That one has GOT to be my favorite of al time!