View Full Version : Removing debris from lawns

08-07-2008, 09:46 PM
I was just wondering how many of you remove piles of debris left in the yards of customers by the customers free of charge when performing normal mowing visits? Just had a girlfriend of a long time client complain to a friend of mine who is also a LCO about me not hauling away a pile of palm branches in her yard while we mowed today. She also complained that we are not weeding the flower beds (not included in the package chosen), and caused chinch bugs to spread to her yard from a yard across the street. She told my friend we are very close to being fired. What would you do?

08-07-2008, 09:54 PM
I will pick up piles that might have been left outside by customers on select few yards. If its a customer that is always trying to get something for free, I purposely won't take it. I wouldn't do anything about the flower beds as they didn't choose that package. If its a really good account, ask them if they have been happy with the service so maybe it can be resolved. Hope my opinion helps.

08-07-2008, 10:14 PM
I would visit the customer and discuss the problems.

08-07-2008, 10:22 PM
Seems to me that your customer is not happy with you. The chinch bugs story is probably the tip of the iceberg. Try to get it resolved as soon as possible, but you are still in business to make money. If the extra work causes you to fall below the hourly rate you need to stay in business, then walk away. You'll pick up another customer soon.

08-07-2008, 10:46 PM
I have no shortage of work. I got angry because this customers girlfriend is bad mouthing me for not providing extra services for her free of charge. I tried to call her to resolve this issue, but the phone number was disconnected. I guess they pay the phone company late too.

08-08-2008, 12:45 AM
I always feel that a problem is better resolved face to face. IMHO

08-08-2008, 02:03 AM
I'll do it but don't expect it, so don't be leaving a pile there just for me, see?
That's just me thou, I usually pick the stuff up and get rid of it but not always, some days I just can't do it lol

I mean it's not my pile, I did not put it there.
It's not that I walk around with that attitude,
but it really isn't my pile :p

Thou I do agree, probably a face to face discussion,
seeing how you have a couple of disagreements such
as with the package chosen as well.

As for customers firing...
Hmmm, I'll get back to that one later :p

08-08-2008, 02:47 AM
I take if its small....But if i see it every week...Then No I wont take it

08-08-2008, 07:14 AM
If she is late on the phone bill and late paying you, she might be looking for a way out. I would knock on her door and talk with her face to face. Let her see the contract that shows extra money for pulling weeds, and see if she wants to pay it. Some people will complain about anything, so do not let her bad mouthing worry you. If you do a quality job on her yard, people driving by will notice the work.

08-08-2008, 07:25 AM
If someone decided to trim a few palms trees and leave 1 dozen or so fronds, and they were a good customer, Id take them away. Like others have said, if its a continual/habitual thing, Is till may do it depending on who the customer is...

Chinch bugs- if you are not spreading any chemicals for them, nothing you can do to stop them. now being a good LCO, when you notice chinch bug damage starting, its always best to inform the client such that they can get their yard sprayed. if left unchecked, chinch bugs can do a large amount of damage in a short period of time.

weeds. I always sprayed crack weeds, and again, for some i would shoot a weed or two in their beds while walking around the house to hit any weeds in the back patio/ac unit/fence line, ect...

It does sound like they are looking for a "way out". let em go. again if you had a contract which spelled out your responsibilities and those of the client, it gives you an extra leg to stand on so to speak.

good luck

08-08-2008, 07:59 AM
I don't do any weeding...too time consuming when most of what I do is mow. But I do charge for taking away debris to cover fuel costs and disposal fees. Getting harder to find proper dump sites.

david shumaker
08-08-2008, 02:25 PM
If it's an occassional small pile of sticks, etc, I'll pick it up and put it in their trash can. I'm going to stop taking larger items or piles unless I'm paid extra. I end up taking it home and it piles up in my driveway. I'm going to start printing on my invoices: "Extra Services" and a list of things that are not on their basic lawn service that they paid for. This way, the customer will be more aware that they will be charged extra for these extra services. I always tell them before I start, that basic service only includes mowing, trimming and blowing, but they seem to forget and try to add stuff on at no charge. For example 10 minutes extra x 6 lawns = 1 hour extra a day and then multiply that times days and then x months. So you can see how much you are shorting yourself. I would like to be a nice guy all the time, but it's getting harder and harder to make a buck and I think some people just try to take advantage of you.