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View Full Version : tried 3 times to aerate, now she's mad


americanlawn
10-28-2007, 06:54 PM
In the fall, we try to aerate lawns that are irrigated right away before their system is shut down, so they can mark the heads, etc.

Recently, we called ahead to allow a particular customer ten days to mark their system. Then we called the locating company which marks utility lines (at no cost to the customer) . The utility lines were marked. We sent an aeration crew out to aerate their lawn. Everything was marked except for the sprinkler system, so the crew left. A week later, we sent a crew out again....same thing -- sprinkler system was not marked. Following week, we sent a crew out (for the 3rd time)........same thing.

After all this and our phone call notices to the customer, we finally gave up and called them (again) stating that we could nolonger send equipment, personel, & trucks to their home because it was costing us time, money, etc, plus......we had many many others who wanted us to get their lawns aerated.

Then we received a very nasty phone call from the Mrs (the "F" word was used several times). We explained our efforts during the past three weeks. Soon after that, we received a cancellation notice in the mail from this customer explaining how bad our service was:laugh: Her letter also told us they would "spread the word" about how bad our service is:laugh:

I know this is a rae situation, but has anybody else rune into this???

thanks, rscvp:usflag:

carcrz
10-28-2007, 07:42 PM
honestly, no. I don't worry about marking utilities for aeration. If it's too shallow, it's the utility companies problem & they fix it on their dollar. As for the heads, if she's home, mark them while you're there. I'm sure you made more effort than anyone else would have though. I'd of given up after the second trip. Tell them to call you when everything's flagged next time.

newz7151
10-28-2007, 09:05 PM
Her letter also told us they would "spread the word" about how bad our service is:laugh:


Make sure your attorney has a copy of that letter that has that part in it. If he gets bored at some point and you overhear people talking about "so and so" said your company was no good, let your attorney file a defamation of character suit against her for spreading false information that is damaging your business.

LindblomRJ
10-28-2007, 09:58 PM
If you are hitting utilities while aeration you have bigger problems than aeration. As far as irrigation, the irrigation contractors are good about marking heads. Even homeowners do a good job of pointing out heads as well.

It sounds like she is doing herself a favor. The spread the word bit usually doesn't go far. If she gets vocal, threat of litigation should quite her down.

americanlawn
10-30-2007, 06:48 PM
Thanks guys. Seems to me this customer takes lawn services for granted and expects them to be able to spend unlimited resources to do work when it's convenient for them. We do not need or want customers like this. Fortunately, they are few and far between.

Like my wife says, "We're in the business to MAKE money....not give it away".

Thanks again, americanlawn

DBL
10-30-2007, 07:24 PM
from what it sounds like you went above and beyond sending a crew out 3 times for nothing and she still blasted you like its your fault...let the crazy ones go

you dont have them mark utilities for all your areations do you?

americanlawn
10-31-2007, 08:52 PM
Thanks dude -- we call "Iowa One Call" for every property (no charge to the customer), so they mark all utilitiy lines before we aerate. 3 trips, two man crews, plus trucks & equipement....we finally gave up. Still this customer thinks we were at fault??? I say.........they probably have personal problems.

from what it sounds like you went above and beyond sending a crew out 3 times for nothing and she still blasted you like its your fault...let the crazy ones go

you dont have them mark utilities for all your areations do you?

steve5966
11-01-2007, 12:23 AM
You could always mark the heads yourself. Five minutes, no wasted trips, get paid and everyone is happy. Or lose the customer, ***** for awhile and then replace them.

Marcos
11-01-2007, 11:49 AM
[QUOTE=carcrz;2013989]honestly, no. I don't worry about marking utilities for aeration. If it's too shallow, it's the utility companies problem & they fix it on their dollar. As for the heads, if she's home, mark them while you're there.

Yeah, I believe that your crews have to take the attitude that they're not only working for the customer, they're working with them! And most people (but not all, mind you) will reciprocate this very well! I'm sure most homeowners wouldn't mind at all taking the crew leader around the yard and pointing out all the heads so that he could mark them. It takes, what, 5 minutes max?

And carcrz, around here at least, if an underground utility line gets cut 'away' from the box, it's all on the homeowner, period.

buttaluv
11-01-2007, 12:12 PM
there are some real goofs out there...people call me in late july and august, and complain about weeds in their lawn and their grass is just not green and lush, I say how often are you watering it, because like most places, July and August are hot and dry here, most of them say "well we can't afford to water our grass." I just want to scream....

J&R Landscaping
11-02-2007, 04:07 PM
there are some real goofs out there...people call me in late july and august, and complain about weeds in their lawn and their grass is just not green and lush, I say how often are you watering it, because like most places, July and August are hot and dry here, most of them say "well we can't afford to water our grass." I just want to scream....

Got to love those customers. Or the people who want their lawn seeded in the middle of July because itw browned out and dieing.:dizzy: :laugh:

onebreezer
11-19-2007, 02:33 PM
If you just know where the valve boxes are you can turn on the system manually and mark heads. I never mark utilitys. I have heard that an am radio will show inviable fence lines. How can I get a high volume of aeration business in a tight area?

humble1
11-19-2007, 08:13 PM
I use a JRCO hooker mounted on the front of ZTR BOBCAT I can bang out a 2 acre lawn in about 45-60 min. It has floating heads w/ almost no damage to irrigation heads. I also used to install irrigation so its an easy fix. Alot of times the rubber head cover will come off, which doesnt affect the head working. In all cases I put in my contract that customer will be responcible for marking out the heads and that we are not responcible for subsurface objects such as utilities, septic systems, underground dog fenses, irrigation systems, cable, telephone lines, or any other subsurface objects. I also write down times date and time of phone calls that are made to the customer. On the second call I leave a message to the effect of I have called you on X at X and left you a message If I dont hear back from you by X I will not be able to perform the service because we will be done doing that service and the machines are put away for the winter. Most people call back PDQ.

humble1
11-19-2007, 08:20 PM
I had a customer that thru all her bar-grill and lawn furniture into her swimming pool called the police and said alliens did it. Ah the from out of space kind, not the down on the border kind. lol

SpruceLandscape
11-23-2007, 12:29 AM
When it comes to scheduling aerating, I've been pretty lucky. I only had one goof-ball customer when it came to scheduling. I went out, did an estimate (wasn't a regular customer of mine) and he accepted it and we scheduled an approximate date (since he didnt have a sprinkler system and it was supposed to rain in the next few days). He also had me schedule his son's house (about 6 miles away) for the same day and he would pay for that as well.

the night before we were supposed to start on their houses, he calls me and tells me to cancel because his neighbor rented one and was going to let him borrow it.

Hey... whatever... no love lost...

Then, 3 days later he calls me back and wants me to just do his house and to let him know when we will be there.
I dodge his call and call it a day.
He calls me again 2 days after that, this time gets a hold of me, we schedule for the following afternoon. I get there.... and guess what??? ITS ALREADY DONE!!!!!! Can't believe how much some people don't appreciate your schedule or time, but you better believe they'll be on time for a doctors appointment! lol