View Full Version : have you ever cussed/fought a customer?

06-20-2008, 09:18 PM
no, it hasnt happened to me but there were times it could have. what got me thinking about this thread is a neighbor coming over and complaining and me wanting to stick my size 12 where the sun doesnt shine. anyway, anyone ever lose their cool with a customer or even a customer's neighbor? thanks for replies.

lawnboy dan
06-20-2008, 09:21 PM
yes -just last week some neighbor started a dispute over me mowing 6 inches on his prop. -what a nimrod! i wanted to deck him -he threatened to sue me for tresspassing!

06-20-2008, 09:22 PM
No, and hopefully no one has.

Its fine to get upset/mad but we should be professional and not let it get the best of us. If you keep your cool, there shouldn't be any reason that the situation should escalate.

In fact, only problems I've had with customer's neighbors is them wanting me to service their lawn right then and there when I'm already on a busy schedule :D

06-20-2008, 09:25 PM
No, and hopefully no one has.

Its fine to get upset/mad but we should be professional and not let it get the best of us. If you keep your cool, there shouldn't be any reason that the situation should escalate.

In fact, only problems I've had with customer's neighbors is them wanting me to service their lawn right then and there when I'm already on a busy schedule :D

o.k. dad. dont ruin the fun for the rest of us. :laugh:

06-20-2008, 09:32 PM
It hasn't happened in at least a year now, I think I'm past this point somehow, isn't that weird?
But before that ...
An actual fight, no.

Physical contact, yes, absolutely.
Now today I'll walk away first, but keep on coming on to me after I've sent out several strong warnings to the effect of leave me alone, and watch out because I still got game in me. It's weird thou, it's as if they know somehow, they just don't mess with me like that much anymore.

I also find it interesting how, when a neighbor gets funny with me in most any which way, it generally means I'm somehow doing something I'm not 100% with or about, such as working on a low paying yard, or maybe it's a crap lot or something along those lines.

At least in my experience, the more I'm taking it up the bootie, the faster it seems to beckon the comedians to come on.
I also know that newbie look of 'glee' brings them on, hard to describe but once you see it you know.
As does the excitement of a new piece of equipment, yup, every single time, so long I am excited I got a new toy while I'm working with it, here they come.
Must be something about the look on my face, or maybe the thought processes.
Not all the time, but as a general rule, and just something I noticed.

06-20-2008, 09:44 PM
Had this grumpy old guys once, jump all pver me cause the grass got a little high. It was early spring and had rained for about 3 days straight. So yeah I was a little behind. He calls me up raising hell cause his little dog couldnt get out in the tall grass to whizz (lol). So I just listen to him and said I would take care of that. Next time I mowed I sprayed him a nice 10 foot circle right outside his front door with round up so that if for some reason I was a day late, tha sweet little dog would have a nice bare place to crap. And yeah I had known this guy for years and he was always a jerk, so really I didnt care. Sometimes you just have to vent, cost me a little but it was worth it.

Turf Dawg
06-20-2008, 10:12 PM
I hate to admitt this but yes I did dog-cuss a custermer in his yard. A couple of the neighbors were out side so I appologized to them, but they both said they thought it was funny. I guess I fixed the problem though,because the water hose has never been left out again. I do not condone[sp] this, but sometimes just because they are in the big house in the big neighborhood does not mean that they are something special to me because I will sure tell them like it or lump it.

06-20-2008, 10:15 PM
Not to there face " or on the phone " But Boy -O- Boy when I get around the corner I really let'em have it...........

06-20-2008, 10:19 PM
I cuss in conversation a lot with customers, but thats just how I am, and they are the same way. I have never yelled at or cussed out a customer, but have came unglued once on a neighbor to a customer that is a total *****.

06-20-2008, 10:38 PM
i have lost my cool a few times

KGR landscapeing
06-20-2008, 11:01 PM
its a good thing i started leaving my phone in the truck because i would lose it a bunch. Guy comes up to me i am trimming with weedeater. "thats not low enough" its like 5 so i turn the weedeater and just scalpd the whole dang thing as the guy just lookd in aww i went "happy" and walkd away

06-20-2008, 11:22 PM
I have never cussed a customer. And no fights either. I have had a couple of situations that could have gotten ugly. I always try to keep things professional. I will tell it like it is, but I always go about it in a nice way. I really don't have many problems. Neighbors can be a pain sometimes though. I had one guy that was being an a** about something that didn't concern him. I told them that I was working for his neighbor and since they were paying for the service to be completed he would have to take it up with them. I was doing what I was instructed to do. He was a little stunned, but couldn't really say much. It's a long story, but that was one time I came really close to losing it. I gave my customer the heads-up and told them to handle it because I didn't want to start a feud between neighbors.
Usually if you come up with some good one-liners you can stop most people in their tracks before they give you too much lip. Some people just don't have anything better to do. When they try to get a cocky attitude, just make them tuck their tail and go the other way. :clapping:

It can be like a game too or a cold war. You smile but you make it known how you feel and stand firm. I would never take it any further than that unless they actually put their hands on me, or if they actually start cussing me.

06-20-2008, 11:33 PM
last year i picked up a yard first time there the nieghbor comes over to tell me about the damage i did to his fence last year. i tell him that i did not do this yard last year and he start yelling at me and asking me if im calling him a liar. i start to walk away and he picks up a shovel like he is going to swing it at me. i grabbed a trimmer and told him if he swings he had better knock me out because im going to wrap this trimmer around your head. ended up going around the corner of the house and called the cops from my cell and he ended up getting arested from criminal menecing. that was about the closest ive come so far.

06-20-2008, 11:45 PM
I haven't had an incident mowing, yet. One time I was doing concrete work and this guy was blowing me crap all day long. Finally I told him that I would rather get fired for kicking his ass then make $15 an hour to stand there and take his ****. He left me alone after that. He must have gained a little respect also because he called us back out to do his sidewalk.

06-21-2008, 12:07 AM
Yep, cussed out a customer, yelled at a pita and just generally threw a fit several times.
But since I really do not give a rats ass what people think, unless I really loose it in someone's wheaties, it isn't important.
I still have customers, I still receive calls for service, still have work back logged through August.
Have gotten in one and only one physical altercation with a customer in almost nineteen years in this industry. Pretty much was a combination of my not bidding a job properly, the customer taking advantage of this, me realizing all of this a bit too late and the customer attempting to punctuate a point by pushing me. So when he pushed me I simply beat the crap outta him.
Cost me my commercial insurance deductible for his medical expenses, about $2,000 in lost income as he wouldn't pay (duh?), no jail time as his wife and a neighbor saw him push me, and in exchange I got a whole bunch of satisfaction and a warning from the cops.
And Yes, I would do it again.

06-21-2008, 07:54 AM
We work in retirement neighborhoods and for some reason these people seem to feel like they can toss all manners aside when upset and dealing with people. I've found that treating them like an obnoxiously barking dog works best. Roll up a newspaper and whap 'em in the nose real good once. Figuratively of course. But I'll wait until they're in my face for the 2nd or 3rd time then as calm as ever I'll get real close and say something like, "when your parents come to town please call me so I can come over and ***** SLAP some manners into them for not teaching how to talk to people." Just yelling those two words as hard as possible usually scares them enough to not treat me or my crew that way and makes them think about their own actions. I really think instilling a little respect into angry people works well.

AI Inc
06-21-2008, 07:59 AM
On the phone Ive come right out and told a few customers to go Ef themselves. Obviously by the time those conversations took place I was ready to drop them anyway.

David C.
06-21-2008, 08:21 AM
I backed my trailer ontoa neighbor's yard---actually, the county "servitude"---when I was backing out of a customer's drive-----the rear wheel of the trailer "touched" a blade of grass on his manicured lawn------you'd have thought I had backed onto the East Lawn of the White House!!!!!!!!!!

06-21-2008, 10:47 AM
I worked for a communications company for over 30 years serving residential and business customers. I found the BEST way to calm a customer is to kill them with sweet kindness such as " oh kind sir I apologize from the bottom of my heart that I have upset you to the point of you raising your lovely voice and using such colorfull words of wisdom"...makes me sick just saying it!! but it works 95% of the time. When a customer got really threatening I would place my small cell phone in my hand and when they were finished screaming I would again thank them for their kindness and display the cell phone and remind them I had recorded every word and would forward the threats to our legal dept. Worked every time:walking:

06-21-2008, 11:22 AM
I had one old lady tell me off last year. She said I did not do a bunch of things on her property that I did. Because she thought I did not do my job she refused to pay for some of the work I did. I only lost about 30 dollars in this so I did not make a fuss. Then a week later she calls me up again asking me to do more work so I give her an outrageous price so I would not get the job and have to deal with her again. She then goes into how I know nothing about lawns and how I don't know how to use my equipment. She just went on and on until I said if my work is that bad just don't hire me good bye and hung up. She basically told me that I am worthless and do $hit work. I felt like telling her off but held it in.
This year in early spring she asked me to come over and blow the leaves off her back yard so she could use her clothes line. I was busy at the time so I told her the soonest I could get to it was 2 weeks and I would have to do a full cleanup for her (because I don't like to do little jobs like that) . She never got back to me. Two weeks ago a landscaper friend of mine's crew showed up at her place and did a full cleanup for her. The funny thing was she is very money conscious and the guy she hired is one of the most expensive in town.

06-21-2008, 02:26 PM
Yeah, old people are irritating sometimes. They are usually the best about paying on time, but the worst to deal with. They question everything, they poor mouth all the time, you get blamed for any and everything (property damage, etc.), and they still think $20 is a good day's wage. You do have to treat them like children sometimes. Once you sit down and explain everything they usually back down. If not, I don't provide them with any more service.

06-21-2008, 03:11 PM
I could have cussed one out this morning - I just got in from her house so I'm still a bit fired up. Lady stopped me in the street and asked if I would give her a quote. Tiny yard - hadn't been done all year so I told her $40 to mow, edge, and blow but it'd be $60 this first time because it was so bad. She agreed and I came back today to take care of it for her. We finished everything - lots of extra edging due to grass being so far over the sidewalk from no maintenance. She came out to look and was "stunned" we didn't a) clean out her flower beds b) weed her flower beds c) Remove a foot of dirt off of her driveway and c) leave at least 2 inches of Dirt showing between sidewalk and grass. I told her she'd have to powerwash the dirt off her driveway and she handed me a shovel. I told her "let me go to my truck and get the edger." I whispered to my help to load everything up and get in the truck. I walked to the truck - got in- and drove off. Oh, and I got a water hose wrapped up in my blade on the 1st yard this morning so it was already a bad day. Sometimes you just gotta take a hit and roll on. I could still send her an invoice for the yard but I honestly don't want to deal with her - she has 20 inside dogs and 4 outside - if that tells you anything at all. :weightlifter:

South Florida Lawns
06-21-2008, 05:24 PM
No never but I can sometimes get really mad and break stuff.

06-21-2008, 11:20 PM
Last week I had a yuppie throw a Nalgene bottle at me. I caught it midair as I spider monkeyed over his hedge and crushed it against his frontal lobe. I usually don't lose my cool, but a wussy Nalgene bottle is taking it too far.

06-22-2008, 12:52 PM
I had a customer cuss at me! This guy is always a pain and I really avoid him now, but one day he had me trim some trumpet vine so overgrown it was pulling the fence down. Anyway, the guy working for me did a real nice job of trimming it but he inadvertantly cut a few root-strands and about half of the vine ended up dying. I vehemently believe that my company performed the work as best as possible in the situation. So then the dude wants me back out to rip the dead parts off his wood fence that he lined with chicken wire. I did it and told him to add $10 to the mowing price because I bagged it up, hualed it off, and it took me 45 minutes. He got completely freaking out of line at that point and instead of cussing or cowering I stared the sumb**ch in the face. He wound up paying it, I think. I almost never work for him anymore but he acts real chummy when I'm at the neighbors.

06-22-2008, 12:53 PM
one month later the vine was full restored and had more blooms than ever.