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View Full Version : Customer wants to "one month trial service" me!


stephen424
03-30-2010, 09:22 PM
never had someone request this before. met the customer 3 weeks ago. gave him 7 references. he contacted all of them. he was worried that i couldn't handle a lot his size (mind you...he has less than 1/2 acre..wth).
3 of the references i gave him were 3 million dollar homes +...sitting on 5-7 acres. all gave him positive things to say about me.

he wants to hire me on a trial basis for the month of april and then talk about a monthly payment from may - december

customer request that his lawn be cut on Friday..and no mowing between 2-4 (kids nap during this time).

i'm almost about to tell him nevermind....who doesn't need money, but this guy! i almost feel insulted that he'd suggest using me on trial. even tho, truthfully, if you don't have a contract, you're basically on trial.

anyone dealt with anyone similar to this...trouble in the future? maybe i'm looking too deep into it?

Mahoney3223
03-30-2010, 09:24 PM
had a similar situation with a lady...wanted refs....the whole nine...asked me 20 ?'s about everything....insulted pretty much every answer, very rich very sarcastic lady....i gave her a high price and never heard back....my advice...RUN!!!!!!!!!

Triplex
03-30-2010, 09:26 PM
anyone dealt with anyone similar to this...

Type "PITA" into the search box and you'll find plenty of similar people!

QualityLawnCare4u
03-30-2010, 09:27 PM
Run Forrest run! If you take this client he will cause you nothing but stress. This PITA showed his colors for you and saved you from having to find out the hard way. I want you on trial, certain time, certain day, can you wash my car and change my kids diaper, take trash can to road, wash windows....you get the point. I would just nicely decline this nightmare!

MileHigh
03-30-2010, 09:34 PM
What's the problem? Do your thing, and if he likes it, there you go. Prove him wrong and make him a believer.

Like you said...Unless there is a service agreement / contract... it's a trial.

by the way, they can still fire you with a contract...usually.

A.Landscaping
03-30-2010, 09:35 PM
I agree RUN this gave is going to give you nothing but complaints, The least you can do is give him one free mow see how he likes it, Even though in my opinion i would of just walked away.

Florida Gardener
03-30-2010, 09:39 PM
Forget him, and here's why:

You gave him reputable referrences and he still doesn't trust you off the bat. He is telling you when you need to service his property and at what times. Trust me, this guy is going to be a real PITA. Move on.

grassman177
03-30-2010, 09:48 PM
yeah, move on, there is plenty more easy clients out there.

this guy will always be a pita, you know it too. give him a high price and if he goes for it then you made out.

unkownfl
03-30-2010, 09:52 PM
Your not an employee

Southern Elegance
03-30-2010, 09:53 PM
do 1 of 2 things
1.) run away fast
2.) take the account charge a very preimum price, take the money, til you cant stand it anymore, and then run away.

but id stay away , life is to short

South Florida Lawns
03-30-2010, 09:57 PM
customer request that his lawn be cut on Friday..and no mowing between 2-4 (kids nap during this time).

So you gotta schedule your route around his schedule? That's an extra few $$ added to the price for sure.

rcslawncare
03-30-2010, 11:55 PM
Your not an employee

True that!!

topsites
03-30-2010, 11:59 PM
Yeah look, you can do better, this guy expects his cake fresh and moist and you better not skip the icing
because all of that goes on a silver platter which you've delivered and now he wants you to take the
first bite so he can be sure it's not poisoned?

And you're a good guy, gave him what he asked for and then he still wants to discuss payment options?

Whatever, gimme a break, 7 references is more than enough, if he can't live
with what those folks told him... I've never given more than 3.

You keep this guy and it won't ever end, my opinion.

Say "Thank you for the opportunity but I have decided this work is not for me"

This client showed his colors for you and saved you from having to find out the hard way.

Yup, at least he gave advance warning, not all of them do.

Scagguy
03-31-2010, 12:06 AM
I would laugh in his face and walk away or if was a $40 lawn I would add $200.00 to the price for putting up with his BS. This guy is a straight up PITA.

KMD Landscapes
03-31-2010, 12:11 AM
We have one like this. He/She wanted us to cut the yard and if she liked how we did she would sign the contract. We told her that ''we couldn't do it'' that if she wanted to see our work she could drive a 1/4 mile down the road and look at 2 yards we do side by side. We should of just drove off then. He/she signed the contract and complains all the time keep in mind we have no complaints from any other clients. We didn't receive a check 1 month so we get in touch with he/she and he/she says ''I'm not paying because you didn't do much'' ''It's not in my budget this month'' I felt like running her over with the zero turn lol. Long story short just make it easy on your self and run.

Hawg City Lawns
03-31-2010, 12:16 AM
first of all id tell that dude to take a flying leap

Your not an employee

yes and no... no youre not an employee of that one person but yes you do work for them

bigw
03-31-2010, 12:18 AM
I would tell that guy to get bent!!!!

soloscaperman
03-31-2010, 12:26 AM
Ask him to take a drug test. LOL

LR3
03-31-2010, 12:27 AM
Sounds to me as if he just wants you to whip his property into shape and then let you go when it's maintainable. Lose him. You don't need the headache.

rain man
03-31-2010, 12:39 AM
Never sign a contract with a nut nor marry a crazy woman (unless she is very pretty).

unkownfl
03-31-2010, 12:41 AM
first of all id tell that dude to take a flying leap



yes and no... no youre not an employee of that one person but yes you do work for them

You make no sense your either an employee or your own entity. If you want to be his part time gardener take the job. If you want to be in business walk away from the prospect.

fiveoboy01
03-31-2010, 12:46 AM
I guess I'm the only crazy one here who would try to cater to the customer's needs(within reason), do my best job and hope that he uses me on a more permanent basis.

Hawg City Lawns
03-31-2010, 12:55 AM
You make no sense your either an employee or your own entity. If you want to be his part time gardener take the job. If you want to be in business walk away from the prospect.

look you work for the customer they tell you how they want things done and you do it so i guess you could call yourself an employee of that person and that pretty much applies to any service industry job... someone that doesnt work for the customer wont be in business very long

mdvaden
03-31-2010, 02:15 AM
Run Forrest run! If you take this client he will cause you nothing but stress. This PITA showed his colors for you and saved you from having to find out the hard way. I want you on trial, certain time, certain day, can you wash my car and change my kids diaper, take trash can to road, wash windows....you get the point. I would just nicely decline this nightmare!

Just the acreage comments alone are warning bells.

It also shows traits of a controlling personality.

Time to turn the other way it seems.

EDIT >>> One more thought. They probably figured out the acreage thing and know that you can handle it. You know what that means? No, not that they are after a freebie - which they probably are. It means a good chance they are lying to get a freebie. And I hate liars far more than free-loaders.

fiveoboy01
03-31-2010, 02:28 AM
The OP never stated that the potential customer was asking for the service for free during the trial period.

mdvaden
03-31-2010, 02:35 AM
The OP never stated that the potential customer was asking for the service for free during the trial period.

There are two kinds of Freebie folks.

Those who don't want to pay.

And those who want to be free of a commitment.

One important clue in the OP is that the person questions the ability to handle the small lawn, when references have huge lawns by comparison.

Sounds odd the the person does not want to commit.

But in context, yeah, it seems worth assuming that the person is willing to pay unless they say otherwise.

rjh4758
03-31-2010, 04:05 AM
Never sign a contract with a nut nor marry a crazy woman (unless she is very pretty).

I was married to smoking hot nut job once, not worth it.

Customer might be PITA or just looking for a freebies or they could have been burned by a hack job in the past. He sounds like he A PITA but the one month trail might give you the chance to feel him out as well. I would take him on only if his time frame fits into your route and the one month trial would not be free. I would mow for the month then at the end of the month hand him the bill and ask him to sign a service agreement if you want to continue working for him that is.

If he refuses to pay just explain that if he refuses to pay that you will place a lien on his property. Send him monthly statements of past due and in the off season file the lien. Rules and processes for doing this varies state to state but you will get your money if he ever goes to sell his home.

topsites
03-31-2010, 04:07 AM
Now, to play the devil's advocate, lets assume...

Could it be, is it possible?

That the customer's lawn isn't 1/2 an acre, but a full acre?
The difference being the customer realizes this guy is new...
Granted I had assumed that a senior member of LS with 270-odd posts to their name wasn't on their first lawn anymore.

Could it be, is it possible?

That the customer did not get satisfactory answers out of those 7 references?
If so that's seriously odd, especially considering WE pick those.

That having been said I'd probably still politely decline, then again I don't
go up to new customers contract in hand...
Not even after 8 years, I just don't do that.

So one does wonder, that is, after what Md said, this came to mind.
And...

I'd probably still politely decline :p
But it does make things a ways tougher.

clydebusa
03-31-2010, 05:11 AM
Could always refer him to the competition. LOL:cool2:

grass4gas
03-31-2010, 05:40 AM
Since he asked you for references...maybe you should ask him for his SS# so you can do a credit check on him, so "YOU" can be sure "HE" is creditworthy:laugh:.

I've been in this business long enough to know when to say no and just :walking: away.

Forget about the money for one second. Mentally this kind of person will drain you. Will he be calling about every little petty thing...2 blades of grass on the driveway that didn't get blown off. If it rains for 2 days in a row, he will still expect you to be there on Friday....ect, etc, etc.

Only you know what kind of person this will be in the long run if you decide to go along with the "Trial period". Personally, knowing what I know now in this business, I would politely decline his offer and walk away.

Good luck

delphied
03-31-2010, 06:47 AM
I would try it it without the contract. Its easy to tell a Pita you wont be back. And I always tell them why too. Sometimes these customers turn into your best clients.

fiveoboy01
03-31-2010, 10:06 AM
Since he asked you for references...maybe you should ask him for his SS# so you can do a credit check on him, so "YOU" can be sure "HE" is creditworthy:laugh:.

I've been in this business long enough to know when to say no and just :walking: away.

Forget about the money for one second. Mentally this kind of person will drain you. Will he be calling about every little petty thing...2 blades of grass on the driveway that didn't get blown off. If it rains for 2 days in a row, he will still expect you to be there on Friday....ect, etc, etc.

Only you know what kind of person this will be in the long run if you decide to go along with the "Trial period". Personally, knowing what I know now in this business, I would politely decline his offer and walk away.

Good luck

Emphasis added, and it's why he should at least give the customer a try.

I've had a few that at first looked like they would be the biggest pain to deal with but after a month or two, turned out to be the nicest people I'd ever dealt with, they are just picky. Do a good job and that all goes away.

Remember it's a trial on both ends, the LCO isn't obligated to keep servicing the customer either.

HARRIS Property Management
03-31-2010, 10:28 AM
If you do take it, I would lay out how your business works up front with him. I personally do not believe in giving any kind of gaurantees on the same day each week because there are always too many variables. And Im sure if it rains on Friday he will expect you there on Saturday and then resume back to the fridays after that. Everyone wants their lawn mowed on Friday but unless you are a part timer it doesnt work that way. If he wants to trial basis, I say no problem....put him on a pay as you go until he is comfortable to do a contract.

Glenn Lawn Care
03-31-2010, 10:51 AM
this guy seems like a tool and very anal :laugh:, maybe you dont want to work for him.

fiveoboy01
03-31-2010, 11:11 AM
Maybe you don't have many customers with a shitty attitude ike that.
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Mowerman2112
03-31-2010, 12:13 PM
Not worth it! Some folks just can"t please, this A-type would be the first to give you a bad rap! Had one............Had! What something for nothing and will find something wrong
regardless of your quality work!

Roger
03-31-2010, 10:25 PM
In reality, we who primarily do grass cutting are on a trial program all the time. If a customer doesn't like our work, we are gone, finished, end of story.

I know, I know, ... some are going to say that is why I have a contract. Do you really think you can enforce a contract for a part of a season, at $30, $40/cut? If they tell you not to return, and when you show next time the grass is already cut by another LCO, what is your option? Sure, you can send them a bill. Do you really have any hope of having it paid?

Remember, it is only grass cutting, nothing more complex, and not something that hundreds, thousands, of others cannot do. When I leave a property after a mowing, I never know if that was the last cutting there, or not. By the next week, I may have been replaced by another. Grass cutters are a dime-a-dozen, especially this season (just read a few threads on the subject).

clean_cut
03-31-2010, 11:12 PM
If you need the money, maybe just charge an extra $5 or $10 per cut, if she says yes, you have a lot of extra $$$, if she says no, let it go.

mowerbrad
03-31-2010, 11:31 PM
I'm usually a very nice person and wouldn't usually turn away a potential customer but this would be one of the cases where I advise the customer about my services and if they don't like what I tell them, then "Bye-Bye".

The fact that they say to not come between 2-4 but yet the lawn needs to be mowed on that day (friday) tells me that they will be a PITA. I don't guarantee certain days or certain times. Things come up for me, whether they are planned or unplanned, so I don't guarantee any times. In this situation I could get backed up a couple times during the season and have to mow in that 2-4 block when I would usually come at 12.

If you need the work, go for it, but if not, save yourself the potential hassle and just walk away.

piste
03-31-2010, 11:41 PM
Guy does sound a bit high maintenence but then again so don't you. You are "insulted" he wants to evaluate your service? It's HIS property and HIS money so HE gets to specify requirements and YOU get to decide to bid or not. Nothing more to it than that.
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fiveoboy01
03-31-2010, 11:57 PM
Good call. I'm continually amazed at some of these guys who demand that it be done on their terms, yet they have their hands out asking the customer for money. LOL.
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unkownfl
04-01-2010, 12:11 AM
look you work for the customer they tell you how they want things done and you do it so i guess you could call yourself an employee of that person and that pretty much applies to any service industry job... someone that doesnt work for the customer wont be in business very long

I provide a service that isn't working for the customer. I understand customer service but theres a point where you must take control of the business verse them running it for you.

N.TX
04-01-2010, 08:47 PM
Ha I would laugh at him and walk away, unless that is of course he wants to pay you up front and twice the price.

Springmeadows
04-01-2010, 09:00 PM
Where's the posts of the guy that started this thread? One post and then nothing?

DJJS
04-01-2010, 09:09 PM
Run away...the customer's going to be much more trouble then they're worth if they're being this difficult already, not worth changing mowing routes to suit one customers schedule, the only way I do that is if the customers a firefighter, cop, doctor etc and works nights, then I'll work around their schedule, other then that, I give them a day and we get tehre when we get there anywhere between 8 & 6

clydebusa
04-01-2010, 09:35 PM
In reality, we who primarily do grass cutting are on a trial program all the time. If a customer doesn't like our work, we are gone, finished, end of story.

I know, I know, ... some are going to say that is why I have a contract. Do you really think you can enforce a contract for a part of a season, at $30, $40/cut? If they tell you not to return, and when you show next time the grass is already cut by another LCO, what is your option? Sure, you can send them a bill. Do you really have any hope of having it paid?

Remember, it is only grass cutting, nothing more complex, and not something that hundreds, thousands, of others cannot do. When I leave a property after a mowing, I never know if that was the last cutting there, or not. By the next week, I may have been replaced by another. Grass cutters are a dime-a-dozen, especially this season (just read a few threads on the subject).

I totally agree with you. So many on here believe they are doing brain surgery. Lighten up guys and slow down and don't let life pass you by.