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Envy Lawn Service
03-27-2007, 12:43 AM
Sandbaggers is the term I use for any customer who is sand bagging around about confirming and getting started for the season.

They come in all types, and they shuffle around from year to year.
But I'm to the point I've had about enough!

I've already retained all of the commercial accounts I really wanted to keep.
I cut some loose in favor of getting some new replacements, hopefully residential.

After doing that, I've lost a bunch of residential. But even so, I'm glad to at least already know it since I had planned to be in full-swing with existing customers this week.

But I still have a bunch that are fiddle farting.

I'm sorry though... I might sound like a total JERK here... but enough already!

Mark my words, these jokers are going to start crawling out of the woodworks next week, wanting everything under the sun done and looking flash for Easter.

But I'm not playing that game PERIOD this year. I'm scheduling in favor of those customers who have done what was asked of them already... and I'm going to ramp up on my advertising efforts... and as far as I am concerned, if they get replaced... too bad!

And those that happen not to are not saving a dime not having me come this week. On top of it, like I said, I'm scheduling in favor of my good customers, and anyone who calls me next week wanting to get started and get this and that done also are going to get the answer SORRY...

If I still have room and they still want on the schedule I'll be by to pick up the paperwork and money (no breaks at all) and that is that.

Ideally, I like to have all the spring work done earlier and I like to be full swing on the regular mowing route a week or so before Easter so everything looks great.

But when they won't let you do that, and they start crawling out of the woodworks the week before Easter, wanting the lawn mowed and the extras too... what can you do???

I understand many of their lawns are off to a slow start, or no start yet on warm season stuff. And I know maybe the sense of urgency hasn't set in yet. But if they had done their renewals as I asked, they would have fert down already and spring spiffing done, and all but the warm season stuff would be greening and growing already.

Maybe this is all a bad attitude for me to have... But geez, it gets old, and when their sense of urgency does set in finally, there are only so many "1-week-miracles" I can perform and give all the routes a fresh cut for Easter.

Scag48
03-27-2007, 02:47 AM
Sometimes you just gotta put your foot down or they'll freight train you. The spring rush is best described as utter chaos for most, but like you say, enough is enough. You don't owe them anything, even though everyone would like to please every customer, we would all go insane if that was the case.

lawnguyland
03-27-2007, 06:42 AM
I agree 100% envy-

I alerady have enough customers to keep me happy this year. Latecomers will get serviced last and pay more.

nobagger
03-27-2007, 07:11 AM
I actually had to call about 25% of my customers yesterday and just tell them, now or never (so-to-speak). I was tired of waiting and I needed to know who's coming back. We had a new customer last year (funeral home) and it looked pretty bad but by the end of last year he and many others said it never looked better, he was one of the people I happend to call and he says, "yeah I guess so, I dont know, yeah what the heck".....What?:confused: People are even more strange this year. Their already complaining of 200-300 dollar clean up estimates.

lawnprosteveo
03-27-2007, 11:59 AM
I have a couple of those as well. They are going to have a big surprise when I tell them "sorry, cant help you"...I have picked up some nice yards and I really dont mind dropping these couple of accounts.

Need a Little Trim
03-27-2007, 12:08 PM
Man I am glad these are problems we don't have this far in the south we have been regularly cutting for almost a month now fert went down about a week ago. Of course our customers are year round due to the never having cold weather here. We still cut everyone at least once to twice a month all through the winter.

fiveoboy01
03-27-2007, 01:44 PM
What about a clause in the residential agreements which basically states that the agreement renews itself automatically each year?

lawnguyland
03-27-2007, 01:51 PM
What about a clause in the residential agreements which basically states that the agreement renews itself automatically each year?

Not a bad idea, but...

Two reasons I can't/don't do that:


#1. NYS DEC requires pesticide app contracts with dates so we need a new one each year, no doubt.

#2. I want the flexibility each year to adjust (raise) prices and don't want to set forth a percentage in the contract..


For those superlate comers: Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goooooodbye!

It's all about contracts. They are legally required.

FYI I gave out contract packages on Feb 2nd with stamped, addressed return envelopes and all they have to do is circle their choice of programs and sign and return. SO damn easy. Then I sent reminder letters at end of feb. I can't make it easier. Screw calling them, I have plenty of awesome customers. FU sandbaggers! I like that term envy, good one!

HOOLIE
03-27-2007, 05:57 PM
Yeah, every year I quickly get to 'that point' you know, that point where its all you can do to keep up with the mowing in the spring. Rapid growth, rain days...then customers start calling with all sorts of other projects that could very easily been taken care of in March.

Willofalltrades
03-27-2007, 06:26 PM
What about a clause in the residential agreements which basically states that the agreement renews itself automatically each year?

I'm pretty sure its illegal to have your contract automatically renew. If your going to go about that way just do a 2 or 3 year contract. Nothing against Envy but I disagree with his point of view. I understand your argument but you have to have some patience. I mean if you reach your capacity and can't take any more... so be it. Let them know and simply turn them down or strike up a non-compete and refer the clients to a good business just starting out. Theres always a solution to to much work lol.

lawnguyland
03-27-2007, 09:08 PM
I'm pretty sure its illegal to have your contract automatically renew. If your going to go about that way just do a 2 or 3 year contract. Nothing against Envy but I disagree with his point of view. I understand your argument but you have to have some patience. I mean if you reach your capacity and can't take any more... so be it. Let them know and simply turn them down or strike up a non-compete and refer the clients to a good business just starting out. Theres always a solution to to much work lol.

We've had enough patience! Homey don't play dat no more!

fiveoboy01
03-27-2007, 09:12 PM
I'm pretty sure its illegal to have your contract automatically renew.

Got a link to prove that? Not trying to be argumentative but I have seen several agreements that state automatic renewal.

casco73
03-27-2007, 10:27 PM
I actually had to call about 25% of my customers yesterday and just tell them, now or never (so-to-speak). I was tired of waiting and I needed to know who's coming back. We had a new customer last year (funeral home) and it looked pretty bad but by the end of last year he and many others said it never looked better, he was one of the people I happend to call and he says, "yeah I guess so, I dont know, yeah what the heck".....What?:confused: People are even more strange this year. Their already complaining of 200-300 dollar clean up estimates.

How do the lawns in your area look right now? I'm just seeing the weeds pop up on the local lawns. What area are you from??

Willofalltrades
03-28-2007, 12:04 AM
Got a link to prove that? Not trying to be argumentative but I have seen several agreements that state automatic renewal.

No links... I am taking a business law class and we went over contracts. I don't even know where to look for proof... I'll ask my first year law friend tomorrow.

chipk1
03-28-2007, 12:20 AM
I got tired of handful of customers crying excuses every year as to why they need to cancel just before winter and then call back in the spring and ask me to start again. I did that for 2 years but not anymore. I had 5 people quit again when winter started and called back this month and ask me to start again. I told them NO. I still have to fill 3 of them, but I would rather take the loss than to deal with these jerks anymore. It is funny how these customers think thier reason for temporarily pausing service is believable. Same excuses different customers.

casco73
03-28-2007, 12:15 PM
I got tired of handful of customers crying excuses every year as to why they need to cancel just before winter and then call back in the spring and ask me to start again. I did that for 2 years but not anymore. I had 5 people quit again when winter started and called back this month and ask me to start again. I told them NO. I still have to fill 3 of them, but I would rather take the loss than to deal with these jerks anymore. It is funny how these customers think thier reason for temporarily pausing service is believable. Same excuses different customers.

That sounds like throwing money away. I guess I'm just money hungry when work comes my way and I have the time then it's schuduled in no problem.:weightlifter: "GIT R DONE"

KrayzKajun
03-28-2007, 12:20 PM
Man I am glad these are problems we don't have this far in the south we have been regularly cutting for almost a month now fert went down about a week ago. Of course our customers are year round due to the never having cold weather here. We still cut everyone at least once to twice a month all through the winter.

same Here!! its nice to cut all year long!

WJW Lawn
03-29-2007, 07:27 AM
I feel your pain Envy...and don't blame you one bit!!

Envy Lawn Service
04-12-2007, 12:55 AM
Mark my words, these jokers are going to start crawling out of the woodworks next week, wanting everything under the sun done and looking flash for Easter.

But I'm not playing that game PERIOD this year. I'm scheduling in favor of those customers who have done what was asked of them already... and I'm going to ramp up on my advertising efforts... and as far as I am concerned, if they get replaced... too bad!

And those that happen not to are not saving a dime not having me come this week. On top of it, like I said, I'm scheduling in favor of my good customers, and anyone who calls me next week wanting to get started and get this and that done also are going to get the answer SORRY...

If I still have room and they still want on the schedule I'll be by to pick up the paperwork and money (no breaks at all) and that is that.

Ideally, I like to have all the spring work done earlier and I like to be full swing on the regular mowing route a week or so before Easter so everything looks great.

But when they won't let you do that, and they start crawling out of the woodworks the week before Easter, wanting the lawn mowed and the extras too... what can you do???

I understand many of their lawns are off to a slow start, or no start yet on warm season stuff. And I know maybe the sense of urgency hasn't set in yet. But if they had done their renewals as I asked, they would have fert down already and spring spiffing done, and all but the warm season stuff would be greening and growing already.

Maybe this is all a bad attitude for me to have... But geez, it gets old, and when their sense of urgency does set in finally, there are only so many "1-week-miracles" I can perform and give all the routes a fresh cut for Easter.

Well lo-and-behold... it happened exactly as I said it would!

I stuck to my word too dang-it!!!

I only made one exception for one fellow, which really doesn't count because I hadn't been pushing him this spring. He's my farthest north account and I wasn't sweating him because I figured his lawn would be lagging behind... and he's not too bad about getting all-excited over things and wanting them done 'today'.

I told everyone... "sorry, first come first serve"...and being as they were late, I had scheduled pre-easter work already to fill the gap I thought I had... and explained I would get to them if I could... but it was doubtful.

But this other guy, I had put no extra effort towards him, and he called and left a message to let me know the grass was getting pretty high, which was a surprise to me.

I called him back, thanked him, brushed over the situation and let him know he could count on it being done, even if I had to knock some others off to get out there to do it... and I did just that.

When I arrived, it did need cutting and was a job. He wasn't there, so I did my job and left him a thank-you note because I was sure glad he didn't wait any longer to call. This was Wednesday. A couple of days later I recieved his payment postmarked the next day, and inside was a nice note and the check included a 25% tip.

As for the other sand-baggers, I didn't get to them, including a few I would have done in place of the other guy. I was tired by Friday and it snapped off cold. I took off Saturday, Sunday, and Monday... plus Tuesday because it was cold and solid rainy all day.

If they are in no hurry until it convienent/last minute for them...
Then neither am I.

At this point, I don't know where I stand with any of them.
They didn't get what they wanted done before Easter and may have went elsewhere...
I could really use to NOT loose the accounts too...

But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.