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View Full Version : Dealing With PITA Customers?


brianhanson37
07-10-2008, 05:40 PM
I cut a yard yesterday, (I offer weekly, bi-weekly, and one time cuts [very expensive]) after I was done cutting his lawn he throws out "Can I switch to bi-weekly now?" how would you deal with this? He did sign a weekly contract but I have them sign a contract every month seeing weather is so unpredictable around here. Should I still show up every week? Or just raise my bi-weekly price for him?

Thanks!

lotec25
07-10-2008, 05:44 PM
tell him your price goes up if you move to bi-weekly cuts. Explain why it goes up and let him decide on what he wants. if he wants bi-weekly a new contract and move on.

Lawn-Sharks
07-10-2008, 05:46 PM
That's good advise.

brianhanson37
07-10-2008, 05:52 PM
tell him your price goes up if you move to bi-weekly cuts. Explain why it goes up and let him decide on what he wants. if he wants bi-weekly a new contract and move on.

Thats what I was wondering, weekly is 4 times per month, bi-weekly is two, this guy was done in week 2 but most of my bi-weekly's are 1st and 3rd week so should I go back next week and say thats bi-weekly or go the 4th week?

lotec25
07-10-2008, 05:58 PM
huh? if someone came to me today and said hey lawn man can you start mowing my grass bi-weekly. To me that means in 2 weeks come cut my yard from the day he signs. If the customer says lets start on the 1st i would let them know that you are then going to have to charge more also because the grass is going to be excessively high.

ed2hess
07-10-2008, 06:29 PM
Thats what I was wondering, weekly is 4 times per month, bi-weekly is two, this guy was done in week 2 but most of my bi-weekly's are 1st and 3rd week so should I go back next week and say thats bi-weekly or go the 4th week?

In Texas we have a little over 4.3 weeks per month on average. You go every other week.

brianhanson37
07-10-2008, 06:41 PM
But the thing was that he already signed a contract for weekly, thinking that he can get the weekly rate at bi-MONTHLY service.


Crap, I just realized I have bi-weekly on all my contracts when I mean bi-monthly, good thing I don't have any yet. Gotta go change that for the future now though. Oops.

lotec25
07-10-2008, 06:57 PM
in the end, it is your company do what you want. it is correct he does have a weekly contract now. you could make him keep it and tell him when the month is over, you can do up a new contract. Or you can keep him happy and give him what he wants but you still have a price increase. Let him know what you have the increase for, wear on equipment more work because of clippings etc. As i have seen on here on every post i have read. It's your company you have to do what you want. Your the boss

I guess depending on the person I would just void the old contract sign a new one. Let them know about the increase. If he does not like the increase sorry sir i hope you understand the higher grass adds a lot of harder work on my equipment and also causes me to use more gas etc.

also bi-weekly works the same as bi-monthly if you use it as a none. all in the wording

topsites
07-11-2008, 03:28 AM
Don't you mow lawns based on how tall the grass actually is?
You mean to tell me if the grass hardly grew you still cut it?

What if your truck's mechanic told you tomorrow that from here on out you need to bring your truck in every two weeks for an oil change, regardless of how many miles you actually drove? Oh and here, sign this contract, how would you like that?

No wonder some customers turn into nutcases, now
I also understand why they can contempt us so.

Dean of Green
07-11-2008, 05:45 AM
Don't you mow lawns based on how tall the grass actually is?
You mean to tell me if the grass hardly grew you still cut it?

What if your truck's mechanic told you tomorrow that from here on out you need to bring your truck in every two weeks for an oil change, regardless of how many miles you actually drove? Oh and here, sign this contract, how would you like that?

No wonder some customers turn into nutcases, now
I also understand why they can contempt us so.

3:28 A.M. and this is one of your most coherent posts. I think we might be on to something here.

Roger
07-11-2008, 06:52 AM
In Texas we have a little over 4.3 weeks per month on average. ...

We do in this area too. Most of my customers are weekly, and every third month, a certain group has five cuts per month, not four.

...

No wonder some customers turn into nutcases, now
I also understand why they can contempt us so.

Agree. Customers expect to pay for services needed, not to pay just to keep somebody else's schedule.

The initial post says the customer signed a contract for weekly mowing, then asked for EOW. This is yet one more case where so-called contracts for residential mowing is a joke. Clearly, this customer didn't take the document seriously, and from so many other posts along the same line, most others don't take it seriously either.

BeautifulBlooms
07-11-2008, 08:53 AM
biweekly is every other week, bi monthly is every other month. if you mowed bimonthly you might need to raise the height of cut!!!!

topsites
07-11-2008, 12:56 PM
The initial post says the customer signed a contract for weekly mowing, then asked for EOW. This is yet one more case where so-called contracts for residential mowing is a joke. Clearly, this customer didn't take the document seriously, and from so many other posts along the same line, most others don't take it seriously either.

No, and that is a problem, I wouldn't know because I'm verbal but contracts may well not be for residentials, fine.
Still, any customer faced with contracts should take them seriously, too.
If a customer signs a contract they are bound to the terms, they know this and for them to contempt the terms and to contempt company owners is another long story of frustration, anger and tears.

But my argument isn't with that.

My argument with almost the entire of LS is that grass doesn't hardly grow during July-August, so why does about every Lco INSIST that it keep being cut weekly? Because the contract says so?
What if the contract is wrong, there's no way a contract can accurately predict a lawn's needs for an entire season in terms of what needs to be done when... To my understanding contracts are supposed to be a fixed rate per month regardless of the actual amount of work, a contract is simply a way to amortize the estimated total amount per year that it will cost to maintain a certain property into monthly payments, and that is all a contract does.

Because it just doesn't make sense, if the grass doesn't grow I don't cut it.
And if it only grew 1/16th of an inch in the past week...
I still don't cut it, I want to see some GRASS when I get out there doggone it.
So I let it go until it really needs cutting.
As a rule most of my lawns are on 3-4 weeks right now...

biweekly is every other week, bi monthly is every other month.

Yes please, for the sake of the argument :p

topsites
07-11-2008, 01:16 PM
It goes deeper still...

That there are some customers out there who are too cheap and the only reason they want biweekly is they know dang well the grass will be super tall and some Lco will have to bust their tail and then they refuse to pay an extra dime for all that work, so the only reason they assure us biweekly is fine is because they can't afford our services, I know all about that.

But once it gets hot there is a reason better than cheapness for biweekly schedules... The simple fact is a lawn that is cut TOO often in the heat will turn yellow / brown, in real simple terms cutting too much is bad for the grass and it can and will kill it... So maybe what these customers are after, this could well be their concern, they don't want an Lco to be coming out all the time because they know a thing or two about lawn maintenance, too.

That having been said, those customers are probably not pitas, but those customers should also continue to pay the monthly rate as stated in the contract... That is, if a contract says $100 a month then these customers pay that $100 whether the lawn is mowed or not, just as an example.

That is what a contract is for, a contract isn't some piece of paper that tells us what to do when, at least not like that.
A contract is a total estimated annual cost, divided up into 10 or 12 monthly payments, that is all that does.
The total might include leaf cleanup, it might include mulch, it can include any number of things but in the end it does not specify what day or week any of it has to be done (that it needs to be done if it was included in the total is beyond question, but it only has to be done as needed, or when it's needed).
As for the actual work, some months are busier than others, some years could be busier than others,
but customers pay the monthly fee every month and that is that.

So for the purpose of this very thread, of course the lawn can be cut biweekly now,
if it's on contract why wouldn't you want to do less work for the same monthly payment? :p

I hope that helps explain things a bit.

daveyo
07-11-2008, 11:40 PM
But the thing was that he already signed a contract for weekly, thinking that he can get the weekly rate at bi-MONTHLY service.


Crap, I just realized I have bi-weekly on all my contracts when I mean bi-monthly, good thing I don't have any yet. Gotta go change that for the future now though. Oops.

Just put every two weeks on the contract with a start and stop date. Some months your bi-weekly customers will have a bill for three cuts. What does your contract say for early termination?