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View Full Version : What would you do?


J.Z.Smith Landscaping
10-10-2008, 06:56 PM
Ok so here's my problem. I have a customer (a bad customer ) who called me today and complained about scuff marks on her concrete pool deck that happens to be painted. its not just simply painted. supposedly there is 3 coats of paint and its sponged. I don't ******* know, or care for that matter. This was not done by myself. a new employee (just a young kid about 16 or so ) was trimming around her pool. hints a lack of common sence. however i do realize it is my responsibility its completely ridiculous. So any ways she wants me to pay for the entire thing to be repainted (over $300 supposedly). BS as far as I'm concerned. iv thought about dumping this woman because shes done stuff like this several times. i just wanted some opinions on what other people think i should do about this. it seems like shes just trying to get a nice free new paint job. i took some pictures of the pool deck so you all know what I'm talking about.
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/31286199@N04/2930426246/" title="DSC01106 by jorenzsmith, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3041/2930426246_329c362ec3.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="DSC01106" /></a>


<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/31286199N0@4/2929567281/" title="DSC01100 by jorenzsmith, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3286/2929567281_54707e960f.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="DSC01100" /></a>

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/31286199@N04/2929567933/" title="DSC01101 by jorenzsmith, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3006/2929567933_ab4d7f9db7.jpg" width="375" height="500" alt="DSC01101" /></a>

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/31286199@N04/2929565537/" title="DSC01104 by jorenzsmith, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3196/2929565537_2865889452.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="DSC01104" /></a>

J.Z.Smith Landscaping
10-10-2008, 06:57 PM
i guess there aren't pictures...wtf

djchiodo3
10-10-2008, 07:08 PM
If it's just a small area, find out who painted the deck and have them tough it up. This lady could make it difficult for you to pick up more lawns by complaining to the neighbors and The Better Business Beuro. Part of owning a business is knowing when to brown nose. In this economy money is money. Don't throw away future income.

topsites
10-10-2008, 07:24 PM
Man...
I'd be for using some Windex and a rag lol
And actually, Turtle Wax just might work real good, too.
But, no solvents!

Seriously, the moment one of my customers calls with some complaint like this, I'm like:
Yes Ma'am (or sir).
Yes, I see, I understand (and other statements such as 'ok' work, that is, listen to them and let them finish).

Then:
Would you mind if I came out and take a look at it, say for instance like right now?

Oooo they love that, works even better when I have to drop whatever I'm doing LOL
Oh yeah, yeah buddy, sure, come on out!
Sho'nuff and it is a bit of a pita I will admit, but go out there and take a look at the problem
and start thinking about how to fix it, and pronto.
Then, fix it and make it good, preferably exactly as it was before, but real close would be nice.

In my opinion to them it's about the effort, once they see that there's almost never these 300-dollar discussions. :p

Genlandscape
10-10-2008, 07:31 PM
Pics may give us a better idea of what the problem is, I had to jump through hoops last year to get a window (door insert) replaced that was no longer made. Without replacing a set of double doors. That was fun, I still have the customer today, she pays on time and never complains. You may want to find out what you can do to fix the situation, or part ways on good terms. Bad referrals can hurt you.

djchiodo3
10-10-2008, 07:34 PM
Isn't that what I just said. That's what I meant by the term "brown nose". In case some of you don't know the meaning of brown nose, your nose turns brown because you are kissing their ***.

topsites
10-10-2008, 07:42 PM
Isn't that what I just said. That's what I meant by the term "brown nose". In case some of you don't know the meaning of brown nose, your nose turns brown because you are kissing their ***.

Yes, but do it wrong, or at the wrong time, boy o' boy, I feel for you!

Brown nosing as a term works insofar that most folks understand it refers to butt kissing,
but it fails to evoke the implications of this proper process, you see.

So I was edificating an example of proper butt kissing because many people try
and as many fail, and that is because true butt kissing is an art form which involves
beauty and it takes a lot of practice to get that 'smooch' on the cheek just right.

I know it can't be forced and it can't be done in a pushy way, nor should it be vulgar,
it has to be subtle, pleasant, and gentle, do it lightly and ease thine lips upon that
there buttocks just right, then it's no problem.

And there is reason why...
The better it comes across, the higher class the folks who might allow us to do this,
and while kissing any butt is all right for practice, nothing beats that feeling of satisfaction
of having planted one on a truly beautiful rear end.

J.Z.Smith Landscaping
10-10-2008, 07:58 PM
ok guys first off i have picture but cant seem to get them up. second ...it might be crazy but Windex might work. third.... trust me im a good but kisser, i know how to do it. this woman's cheep. btw she doesn't pay on time, shes had other people do work (half a$$ Henrys as i call them) do work there that she and i discussed. this pool thing happened with the last landscaper she had. same exact scenario. she seems to know how it works. plus this thing has other marks on it that wasn't caused by my self or another one of my guys. we have had this account for a year. this women blamed me that her lawn burned out when her "personal" irrigation guy screwed the system up but that's another story.

J.Z.Smith Landscaping
10-10-2008, 08:06 PM
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3196/2929565537_2865889452_b.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3251/2930423670_221decf9cb_b.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3012/2929564923_84e90db7ca_b.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3027/2929566079_5581ca2da9_b.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3041/2930426246_329c362ec3_b.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3286/2929567281_54707e960f_b.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3006/2929567933_ab4d7f9db7_b.jpg


...i'm kind of ashamed the kid cant trim straight... but all it is is the squiggly white line.

J.Z.Smith Landscaping
10-10-2008, 08:10 PM
I put up with a fare amount of jackass customers and I kiss all there asses but this one goes. this account is losing me money and is not worth it.

AJ Lawnscapes
10-10-2008, 08:14 PM
Looks to me as if the pool deck hasn't been painted in about 4 years. Or that it's even been used in a year.

Is this your first year for this customer? I advise her that you cannot be sure that they were caused by your or your guy if that's the case.

I also tell her that you will not pay the whole thing(if she insists) because it hasn't been painted in a few years. Since the damage is only on the edge, then you can compensate her $100 towards the repainting, but nothing more.

Then I'd drop her a month after raising their rates next year and recovering your costs.

djchiodo3
10-10-2008, 08:15 PM
What did he use to damage deck? The lines are so far in. Why don't you create a small bed of mulch next to the pool to give it a buffer zone.

djchiodo3
10-10-2008, 08:18 PM
Your the man Topsites. That was perfect.

J.Z.Smith Landscaping
10-10-2008, 08:31 PM
it was repainted last year, because the last landscape company did the same thing but i don't think he payed for it. iv only had it for a year.

DLAWNS
10-11-2008, 09:02 AM
Thats what shes worried about? Has she seen her pool? What a pain in the a**.

topsites
10-11-2008, 10:11 AM
Oh, that?

This is easily played off with that Jedi mind trick which involves the slight move of the hand,
while saying "That is nothing, there is no need to worry about this."

Folks like these, I suspect it's the money that does it, but they like to worry themselves sometimes
over the bitty trifles, that's why they hire strong guys like us, to help set their minds at ease.

That, to me, is all this is about, a little spark or quirk of the mind needs calming down.
And I think that would probably take care of it, there are other ways to do this as well but it does take some skill.

Weedas_Lawn_Care
10-11-2008, 01:18 PM
i wouldnt pay for it with the deck and pool looking like it doesnt look like it has even recently been painted just be careful for now on tell her its part of it LOL

crazyboy
10-11-2008, 01:54 PM
The pools empty, why is she worrying about a little paint on the sidewalk?

bakerc8
10-11-2008, 03:16 PM
drop that *****

J.Z.Smith Landscaping
10-11-2008, 05:08 PM
I took care of it today. she changed her mind about it.

Sweet Tater
10-11-2008, 07:03 PM
I took care of it today. she changed her mind about it.

Well don't leave us hanging, what happened? :confused:

IndyChad
10-11-2008, 07:16 PM
Yeah, how did you "take care of it"? Are we going to see you on America's Most Wanted tonight? Sure she changed her mind after you buried her in the pool.:laugh:

Green Team Landscaping
10-11-2008, 07:37 PM
Yeah, you should definately have to pay for that wholething to br repainted, I mean look at that scratch! It's a whole 6 inches! Geez some people.



That was a joke by the way, and what that lady thinking trying to get you to repaint the whole thing. Do you think some spit may get rid of that scuff mark?

1wezil
10-11-2008, 07:48 PM
so what happened ????????????????

J.Z.Smith Landscaping
10-11-2008, 08:53 PM
well nothing as dramatic as i would have liked to tell you all the truth. i called her this morning fully ready to tell her what was up and that we would no longer be providing her with our service. well i didn't get that far. i told nicely told her that i wasn't going to pay for the entire pool...i get as a response..."oh i wouldn't make you pay for the entire thing. i was just going to end up toughing it up.... i thought to my self, wtf. yesterday i left her in a bad mood. with the impression that i was going to have to have that **** repainted and it sent my entire day down hill.i would have dumped it but see there's one catch to this... i charge her $100 a week to mow her lawn and its right at the beginning of a very rich area and it only takes about an hour for 2 guys too do...ok so i guess that 3 things but what ever. Shes still a client unfortunately haha. thanks for all of your input any ways. it made me feel a little better.

J.Z.Smith Landscaping
10-11-2008, 08:54 PM
Yeah, you should definately have to pay for that wholething to br repainted, I mean look at that scratch! It's a whole 6 inches! Geez some people.



That was a joke by the way, and what that lady thinking trying to get you to repaint the whole thing. Do you think some spit may get rid of that scuff mark?


i actually did try spit :laugh:

Kennedy Landscaping
10-11-2008, 09:46 PM
I would think it should just buff out. Why is she even worried about it anyways. Don't look like that pool has been filled in years!

J.Z.Smith Landscaping
10-11-2008, 10:27 PM
it had water in it but up here in MA the pool seasons over. + i guess shes retileing the edge.

carcrz
10-12-2008, 12:00 AM
that'll be fun when the tiles start coming loose & breaking! Time to start pushing some landscape borders.

cpel2004
10-12-2008, 01:01 AM
Maybe she's on medication?

Wittapp
10-12-2008, 01:07 AM
In case anyone saw the post befor I edited it, never mind. Should have read the thread to the end. OOps. Glad it all worked out
Dave in Dayton

JayD
10-12-2008, 08:56 AM
What was he using to trim with?
You should get you an Edgit.

J.Z.Smith Landscaping
10-12-2008, 09:00 AM
i swear half my customers are on something :laugh:

bakerc8
10-12-2008, 09:43 AM
probly dosent like the collor

Phil G
10-12-2008, 11:00 AM
So I was edificating an example of proper butt kissing because many people try
and as many fail, and that is because true butt kissing is an art form which involves
beauty and it takes a lot of practice to get that 'smooch' on the cheek just right.



Eloquently put Topsite





:drinkup:

jeffex
10-12-2008, 11:13 AM
I'm guessing your help was trimming horizontally rather than vertically like when edging the sidewalk. simple training moment. buff out the scuffs as best as you can and show the lady some effort. She'll in turn tell all her friends the story of how she stood firm with her lawns guy and it will show them you are a responsible owner . win .. win This goodwill will bring your more work in time. Take this oppertunity to give her a price on re-painting the entire thing and it may tun into $$$ .

Runner
10-12-2008, 12:02 PM
I'm glad it worked out for you. In the mean time, I would definitely make sure you stay legit, and hire competent employees to run your equipment...especially in an area like that. A 16 year old kid works great for flipping burgers, but has no business running power equipment. That is why there are laws against it. I would hate to see what your insurance company (if applicable) would say if you ever told them you have a 16 year old kid running power equipment. Your wc would be gone fster than you could cancel it yourself.
One other good note from this, tough...If she is getting ready to redo the eges of that walk, this would be a great time to get your foot in to do some nice "exterior decorating".

doubleedge
10-12-2008, 12:29 PM
That pool looks like its in rough shape anyway. Most of the tiles are missing and there are piles of dirt and leaves in it.

J.Z.Smith Landscaping
10-12-2008, 01:00 PM
I'm glad it worked out for you. In the mean time, I would definitely make sure you stay legit, and hire competent employees to run your equipment...especially in an area like that. A 16 year old kid works great for flipping burgers, but has no business running power equipment. That is why there are laws against it. I would hate to see what your insurance company (if applicable) would say if you ever told them you have a 16 year old kid running power equipment. Your wc would be gone fster than you could cancel it yourself.
One other good note from this, tough...If she is getting ready to redo the eges of that walk, this would be a great time to get your foot in to do some nice "exterior decorating".

well i'm going to have to disagree with you on that one. i was there once my self and i'm shore most of us were. Iv learned to be very patent with people. however i remain stern. i doubt any of us picked up a trimmer on there first day and was exceptionally good at it. i have a good crew. and i would rather teach a kid who's fresh to the field instead of an older person who has bad habits...been there done that... every one has there flaws. some people just have to learn there lessons the hard way. That's life no one said it would be easy. btw the first real job i got was a landscaping job. I was 14. flipping burgers is for foreigners any ways.i have nothing to do with pools btw, nor want to even deal with them.

jsaunders
10-12-2008, 01:17 PM
I'm glad it worked out for you. In the mean time, I would definitely make sure you stay legit, and hire competent employees to run your equipment...especially in an area like that. A 16 year old kid works great for flipping burgers, but has no business running power equipment. That is why there are laws against it. I would hate to see what your insurance company (if applicable) would say if you ever told them you have a 16 year old kid running power equipment. Your wc would be gone fster than you could cancel it yourself.
One other good note from this, tough...If she is getting ready to redo the eges of that walk, this would be a great time to get your foot in to do some nice "exterior decorating".
X2

Your in MASS are you nuts! 16 yr old working for you- are you looking to screw yourself? :nono: Not trying to be a d*ck- I do alot of work in Mass as well- you just can't be doing this stuff any more- if the worker ever gets hurt you are finished!!!! Plus there are plenty of legal age out there.
Joel

J.Z.Smith Landscaping
10-12-2008, 09:45 PM
Jsanders, where are you in MA? I'm on Cape Cod. I see where your coming from but iv been through it. some people seem to be ultra sensitive about this and actually a 16 year old is of legal working age in this state. i believe it starts at 14 or 15 with restrictions. its not a big deal. I'm covered for it, i got him from a technical high school, hes been through OSHA so certain restrictions don't apply to him any ways. trust me on this one, its ok. right now hes only with me on Saturday any ways. you know i was 10 when i picked up my first trimmer... and some one hired me when i was 14 so i cant really say much because it would completely going against how i started. i don't know how old you all were when you started? care to share? :)

J.Z.Smith Landscaping
10-12-2008, 09:49 PM
What was he using to trim with?
You should get you an Edgit.

i personally, just flip the trimmer up side down and zip it. i could so it with my eyes closed...my guys haven't been doing long enough to figure that one out .....actually you may have just solved my problem.... why the hell didn't i think of that. i have a redmax power edger. they could just zip around it every week or even every other week. hmmmm

J.Z.Smith Landscaping
10-12-2008, 09:52 PM
beats hiring illegals who don't speak English:usflag:

1wezil
10-12-2008, 09:53 PM
I have been mowing for 3 years and my two sons have worked with me all 3 years . They are now 14 and 15 and have put a lot of other working people to shame .

J.Z.Smith Landscaping
10-12-2008, 10:02 PM
age doesn't necessarily mean they are incompetent. my 8 year old little brother drive my 52 hyro scag with a velkey around better then my guys do...go figure haha

delphied
10-12-2008, 10:57 PM
well nothing as dramatic as i would have liked to tell you all the truth. i called her this morning fully ready to tell her what was up and that we would no longer be providing her with our service. well i didn't get that far. i told nicely told her that i wasn't going to pay for the entire pool...i get as a response..."oh i wouldn't make you pay for the entire thing. i was just going to end up toughing it up.... i thought to my self, wtf. yesterday i left her in a bad mood. with the impression that i was going to have to have that **** repainted and it sent my entire day down hill.i would have dumped it but see there's one catch to this... i charge her $100 a week to mow her lawn and its right at the beginning of a very rich area and it only takes about an hour for 2 guys too do...ok so i guess that 3 things but what ever. Shes still a client unfortunately haha. thanks for all of your input any ways. it made me feel a little better.

She is prolly back on her meds today and as soon as you get her to pay her bill.............dump her. You will be looking at dejavu all over again.

Lawn-Scapes
10-13-2008, 01:01 AM
I'd be upset if that happened to my property.

Maybe you should train your guys a little better.. not let them try and figure things out for themselves?

Runner
10-13-2008, 02:59 AM
I'm sorry. I did not mean to imply that he was incompetent. What I meant to say, was to make sure you hire people of legal working age, and make sure THEY are competent. as far as him being able to work, I've never heard of such a thing - in ANY of the states. regardless of whtever high school they went to. Here in Michigan, they can start working at 15 with signed permission. 16 is a common age to work here, and many co-op type jobs start at that age. However,...this is just working jobs such as retail, roller rinks, burger places, etc.. They can go out and work landscaping jobs,...they can even work construction. But when the running of power equipment plays into it, all bets are off. I don't know of ANY insurance company that is going to carry a child running equipment of this type...I don't care WHAT state it's in. I bet I can call 10 companies in the state of MA, and 10 companies will tell me the same thing. It is just a liability waiting to happen.

jsaunders
10-13-2008, 05:42 PM
I'm sorry. I did not mean to imply that he was incompetent. What I meant to say, was to make sure you hire people of legal working age, and make sure THEY are competent. as far as him being able to work, I've never heard of such a thing - in ANY of the states. regardless of whtever high school they went to. Here in Michigan, they can start working at 15 with signed permission. 16 is a common age to work here, and many co-op type jobs start at that age. However,...this is just working jobs such as retail, roller rinks, burger places, etc.. They can go out and work landscaping jobs,...they can even work construction. But when the running of power equipment plays into it, all bets are off. I don't know of ANY insurance company that is going to carry a child running equipment of this type...I don't care WHAT state it's in. I bet I can call 10 companies in the state of MA, and 10 companies will tell me the same thing. It is just a liability waiting to happen.

X2- well said Joe.

I'm sure the kid/guy can do the work- but in Mass. that is a no-no. Just trying to look out for you- you are young and you don't want to get your self into big trouble or huge $$$$$$ issues.

I do alot of work down in Concord Ma.
Joel