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View Full Version : Keep em or Dump em ?


bigw
03-12-2008, 10:58 PM
Ok you go to give a guy a quote for lawn care { mow,trim, blow} he right away seems like he will be a pita...you know how it is when {you can just tell}.
His lawn is a 1/4 acre and a total nightmare with steep slopes and an above ground pool right at the bottom of one of these slopes. Lots of trimming and just not what you would call a good lawn to mow.
You quote him a fair price and he right away tries to get you to lower your price and after some debating you cut him a 5$ break and you make the deal. He then ask for a spring clean up and you set that price and make that deal.
Now you are just days away from actually doing the clean up and the customer calls and says he wants the clean up done but can you do it for 25$ less and also he has thought about it and he has decided he wants his lawn cut every 2 weeks now instead of every week.
Obviously i try to talk him out of the price drop and the bi weekly mowing but to no avail....my question is do you Keep em or Dump em?
I am leaning towards dumping em because i can smell late pays or no pays coming from this guy already. Now before you make your decision remember this is my first year and i am looking for all the accounts i can get to get me started...just not so sure about this one!

JB1
03-12-2008, 11:03 PM
Yes he can smell fresh meat, he knows what he's doing.

willjones4
03-12-2008, 11:06 PM
Dump him. NOW! There are plenty of others out there that wont put you through that crap.

shovelracer
03-12-2008, 11:06 PM
First year or not it doesnt do you any good if you dont get paid. You have already established that you are willing to lower your prices with this guy. That means for the rest of your relationship you will be expected to reduce every price you give him, or even the famous "how much if I pay you cash". Then he will tell his neighbors and then you have 5 clients all expecting price reduction and late paying, then to top it off they start to increase their expectations because of loopholes in your contract. Please RUN and dont look back, more will come along eventually. Its not worth the headaches 1st year or 20th.

StoneDevil
03-12-2008, 11:07 PM
i would dump him he his a PITA theres alot of those in my neck of the woods

CALandscapes
03-12-2008, 11:08 PM
Save yourself the headache: Dump him!

BUCKEYE MOWING
03-12-2008, 11:08 PM
Dump and RUN......You will find others who will pay you your prices and not want to negotiate...

Carolina Cuts
03-12-2008, 11:10 PM
Run Forrest, Ruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun

bigw
03-12-2008, 11:11 PM
Yes he can smell fresh meat, he knows what he's doing.

No actually he has no clue he's just cheap.

Carolina Cuts
03-12-2008, 11:12 PM
he's just cheap.

and a price shopper... hence the $25.00 cheaper cleanup.....

bigw
03-12-2008, 11:15 PM
Ok thanks guys i think i got my answer and i think i already knew what my answer was going to be but just wanted to make sure i wasnt making a mistake with just starting out and all.
I know some guys on here have told me and others to take whatever they could get when first starting out but i believe even they would agree to dump this guy. Thanks again and wow it was so nice to actually get an answer to one of my post with out a fight...lol well that first guy that posted got me alittle edgy.:laugh:

Jay Ray
03-12-2008, 11:21 PM
You are doing so well that you probably can easily afford to dump this one. imho it does not bode well, everythin's wrong and nothin' ain't right. You have the natural knack to get customers so why tie up your time with this one.

harddog00
03-13-2008, 03:33 AM
Whats a "pita" ?

Sammy
03-13-2008, 05:25 AM
Whats a "pita" ?

Pain In The Arse

harddog00
03-13-2008, 05:32 AM
Oh yeah......Gotcha!

Roger
03-13-2008, 05:41 AM
Didn't he sign a contract with you for your services? If so, then what option is for "dump'n him?"

LushGreenLawn
03-13-2008, 07:22 AM
Didn't he sign a contract with you for your services? If so, then what option is for "dump'n him?"

In my area, most contracts can be broken by either party by a request in writing.

Dave_005
03-13-2008, 07:51 AM
Ok you go to give a guy a quote for lawn care { mow,trim, blow} he right away seems like he will be a pita...you know how it is when {you can just tell}.
His lawn is a 1/4 acre and a total nightmare with steep slopes and an above ground pool right at the bottom of one of these slopes. Lots of trimming and just not what you would call a good lawn to mow.
You quote him a fair price and he right away tries to get you to lower your price and after some debating you cut him a 5$ break and you make the deal. He then ask for a spring clean up and you set that price and make that deal.
Now you are just days away from actually doing the clean up and the customer calls and says he wants the clean up done but can you do it for 25$ less and also he has thought about it and he has decided he wants his lawn cut every 2 weeks now instead of every week.
Obviously i try to talk him out of the price drop and the bi weekly mowing but to no avail....my question is do you Keep em or Dump em?
I am leaning towards dumping em because i can smell late pays or no pays coming from this guy already. Now before you make your decision remember this is my first year and i am looking for all the accounts i can get to get me started...just not so sure about this one!

to me this guy is the PITA to STAY away from, i wouldnt have gave him the $5 break in the beginning, give your price and STICK to it, if you negotiate with him and come down on your price just One time, he will try to get you to come down on your price for all services or he;ll come up and ask, since you're here can you do this or that too. for me i would stick to the agreed price or let him find someone else

tamadrummer
03-13-2008, 08:03 AM
Even though this is also my first year I have had a couple of run in's as well. I am currently dealing with a senior couple that balk every month when they are billed. They know a late fee will be billed if they pay after the 15th of the month so I get 50 calls a before asking about their bill and then finally a check shows up.

Then I get the old, gee we just paid the bill and a bill is already here. Well I bill on the 15th of every month and it is due on the 1st. You are paying just before a late fee is assessed, of course it feels like you are always being billed. When I am full, I think I will cull the flock..... They are nice enough people but they do not appreciate the work being done on their property and they think Florida dries out in the summer like Maine. They don't understand why I have to cut the grass weekly in the summer since they only winter over here and then leave.

I have told them at every visit, IT RAINS DAILY IN THE SUMMER. It is freaking hot and a dang jungle down here. The sand would grow if it could!!!

BigW drop the guy before you end up taking phone call constantly and having to be nice to someone that has no trust for you and thinks you are trying to screw them out of their precious money constantly. They don't understand that this is not a hobby and that the dealership did not give you your equipment because you thought it would be a cool idea to become a lawn jockey for a living.

Good luck and feel good about whatever decision you make!
Brian

DaveinSWFL
03-13-2008, 08:19 AM
Big W, when I first started out I picked up one of these guys that you are talking about. I figured I would ride him out over the winter and then get rid of him closer to the summer. I set my price and every time we serviced his property he would tell me he was paying to much and that he could get the service for cheaper. I just continued about my business and didn't respond. He always had extra things he needed done while we were there. We sucked it up did it without complaint. Last week I arrive on his property and he has 106 bags of mulch on his driveway. After servicing his property we are packing everything up he comes out and says he needs the mulch put down before we leave. I had given him a price for mulch on the service agreement when we initially began servicing his lawn and he threw a fit. He said he could get mexicans to do it for $8 an hour. I responded that is fine, then go for it. So he knew my price from the get go. He wanted us to lay it for free or said he would find someone else to do his lawn. I refused to do it and drove off. Later that evening I received a call from him and he told me that he and the neighbor I serviced, had found someone else. The neighbor called the next morning and said that she had heard what happened and she was hoping that I still planed on do her lawn. I said yes mam, I would be more than happy to. I serviced her property yesterday. I know he was not happy to see that they decided to keep me since he refered me to them. He came over and said I haven't found anyone yet for my lawn. I said sorry to hear that. He said he would not pay for any extra work to be done mulch or hand weeding and if we agreed we could continue to do his lawn. I told him to continue his search and I continued working. Don't get on this customers property you will regret it and be miserable. They will always have extra work for you and expected for free. They will threaten to fire you and find someone cheaper. And then complain to the neighborhood about how expensive and how unfair you were to them. Sorry for the long thread.

8307c4
03-13-2008, 09:07 AM
No actually he has no clue he's just cheap.

Come again, why are you asking? :laugh:

Ok thanks guys i think i got my answer and i think i already knew what my answer was going to be but just wanted to make sure i wasnt making a mistake with just starting out and all.

True, but this one's too much.

Maybe this helps:
It's one thing if you don't know or you can't tell, then I would say keep.
Or like one or two problems, also keep...

But if you're just like "omg I can just tell," and you can't hardly see the light at the end of the tunnel...
When it's that bad before you've even started to work, might as well run, save yourself the headachesss.

I know some guys on here have told me and others to take whatever they could get when first starting out but i believe even they would agree to dump this guy.

Yes, I would.
I wish I knew where to tell you to draw the line exactly, but other than that when it's this far gone...

shovelracer
03-13-2008, 09:15 AM
That is a great story. Glad you held your ground. I think it is so great cause we had one guy that was exactly the same. He would ask how much mulch, take that estimate and my time spent to order his materials. Then 2 weeks later we would show up, and the driveway would be covered with 25 yards of mulch. He would come out and say hey can you guys lay this today or tomorrow. I would tell him in 3 weeks for 60/man hr. He would tell me how he could get the mexicans at his work to do it for 60 a day. Id tell him OK. Then 2 weeks later I would come back and the pile would be gone and he would come out complaining about how it took him all week to move the mulch with his little wheel barrow and a dirt shovel. Then the same thing happened with and Im not kidding 300 bags of river rock. He threatened me some many times over the years it wasnt funny, eventually he found a new sucker. My biggest complaint was that I didnt run first time I knew he was a PITA.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
03-13-2008, 10:22 AM
Bigw - you seem to have little problem getting new customers. I would cancel this guy nuff said:)

Nelson's lawn
03-13-2008, 02:37 PM
My first account was in the Dr. Phillips area of Orlando. They sounded just like the guy your talking about. I took the account because I needed the work and did not know any better. I worked the account for six months and was very unhappy. It seemed that every other month they complained about something, or wanted me to do more work but did not want to pay extra for it. When they wanted tree trimming, they argued about the price. After 6 months I got sick of their BS and walked away. Tell him to get lost, I did and it felt great!!.......NEVER AGAIN!!!!!

bill8379
03-13-2008, 03:39 PM
I would dump him...

difficult lawn - you don't need difficult lawns when you're just beginning. I don't do difficult work and I won't as long as I have to do the work myself but if I ever get full time help:rolleyes:

I get myself in these positions because I'm always worried I won't get enough work but I ALWAYS end up turning away work. One lady said fine and a couple days later her daughter phoned me and I got a $20 per month raise another I refused at the beginning and she also phoned me back and I got a $35 dollar raise and they pay promptly. They claim they can't find anyone else but I do a good job or maybe I'm still too cheap.

At least this guy is playing games with you before you done the work, if he starts playing games AFTER you've done the work that's when I get snarly. I dumped 5 customers from last winters snow schedule because 2 of the family's played games, they want to be first on my list, they're not happy, they want to negotiate etc. They are all related or friends and they are all RICH. I outright refused them.

flattoplawncare
03-13-2008, 03:48 PM
Dump Him!!!

8307c4
03-13-2008, 03:57 PM
Way I see things you can have a discount OR you can have it your way.
But not both, one or the other, you want cheap then it's my way.
You want it your way then it costs more.
Simple, really.

He would ask how much mulch, take that estimate and my time spent to order his materials.

That used to make me so mad, but I did learn over the years it wastes as much if not more of their time than if they had just got me to do it in the first place. My all-time favorite is when they call from my supplier's location and start asking me specific questions, thou I do admit this one's rare.

I get it too, but as a rule I don't spread other ppl's mulch.
Too many variables, it's no longer my plan for one, but it hardly matters because my attitude is if you want to cut me out of the lousy $15 it costs to get me to pick it up then you can dang well spread it, too. The funniest part, after they end up doing it themselves, they're still none the wiser...

The biggest thing thou...
It's one thing if a 4-year customer of mine one day decides to jerk me around a bit.
It happens, but usually to a smaller degree and so long they've always been good customers it bothers but so much.
But when the bs starts from the git go before I'm really even finished estimating?
When the whole time I'm there they keep throwing in their little two cents?
Forget it, if I can see that early you're going to be a pita, why bother?

grass_cuttin_fool
03-13-2008, 07:08 PM
Yep dont get tied down with this guy....cut him loose and fill the spot with a better customer

wayne

jiggz
03-13-2008, 11:16 PM
drop that fool

smcunningham
03-13-2008, 11:24 PM
Show him to the door and help him out it nicely.