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View Full Version : do I help out someone possibly for free?


turf and snow
05-10-2010, 11:53 PM
:canadaflag:I have this customer 3 years now. Lost his job this winter (Bank manager) and his dad died two weeks later. He is taking this really hard I suspect mental health issues from talking with his mom. In the past he had me do full service for his bank branch and also his personal property. I still have the bank but his mom has told me to just leave his own property alone because he is too messed up to pay. His place takes 20 minutes with a 34 and 21 inch.Should I continue to do his property and take the risk of not getting paid as a favor to a hard luck case or just quit and not help. He may improve and pay me or may never pay me. I want to do the right thing but I don't want to be taken advantage of. Just looking for some helpful advice:canadaflag:

mbrew
05-10-2010, 11:56 PM
If you're in a position to help a guy while he's down, why not. It's even better that he's given you substantial business in the past. I might not catch him as frequently, but I'd probably give him a month or two.

Mike

blakerugg
05-10-2010, 11:58 PM
:canadaflag:I have this customer 3 years now. Lost his job this winter (Bank manager) and his dad died two weeks later. He is taking this really hard I suspect mental health issues from talking with his mom. In the past he had me do full service for his bank branch and also his personal property. I still have the bank but his mom has told me to just leave his own property alone because he is too messed up to pay. His place takes 20 minutes with a 34 and 21 inch.Should I continue to do his property and take the risk of not getting paid as a favor to a hard luck case or just quit and not help. He may improve and pay me or may never pay me. I want to do the right thing but I don't want to be taken advantage of. Just looking for some helpful advice:canadaflag:

hmm...i would probably do it occasionally as a favor? maybe bi-weekly? i dont know it could turn into a problem if say he says hell pay u when u can, then doesnt ever pay?

too many variables lol, im gonna stick with doing it biweekly just to keep the lawn managable, unless you need the money and could really use the money from an account that u replace his with.

sorry for the jibberish.

ashgrove landscaping
05-11-2010, 12:09 AM
i agree. Keep doing it. It seems easy and quick enough. Maybe it will help him along seeing people around and a nice lawn at least to keep his spirits up. He ll come around. he s helped you with some business so give a few freebies or whatever. That was just his mom talkin anyway

G. Ramey
05-11-2010, 12:11 AM
I just did one for free for a lady whose husband passed away a few weeks ago. Everyone she works with offered to take up a collection to pay for it. I cut it and did not send her coworkers a bill. Someone gave my cards to all the people she works with, who knows I may pick up a customer from her workplace. If not it only cost me an hour and wasn,t even off my route. When she gets back on her feet I will give her a quote, I will probably pick her up as a customer too.

MowingMowingMowing
05-11-2010, 12:24 AM
Its good to see someone looking out for the well being of others. Helping this guy out in a hard time is a good thing to do.

ajslands
05-11-2010, 12:39 AM
Maybe you should have tell him to mow it, in a kind way though idk if it's just me but mowing seems to be a great stress reliever, and smell the freshly cut grass, maybe I'll mow with my push mower once this season.
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mikes landscaping
05-11-2010, 12:40 AM
help him out. i recently picked up a disabled guy who has ms real real bad and has low income now because he relies only on his wife. it should be a 35 cut but its on my route and i know they dont need the aggrevation of dealing with their own yard with all theyre doctors appointments. i took it on for 20 dollars bi weekly as a favor and good deed.

topsites
05-11-2010, 12:56 AM
Way I see things my services continue unless I hear otherwise,
and word to stop needs to come from the person who hired me.

As for the billing, maybe I get paid, maybe I don't,
makes little or no difference to me.

sdk1959
05-11-2010, 01:44 AM
I would tell him since he is a good customer but going thru hard times that you would cut it bi-weekly for the rest of the season or until he gets another job.:)

rmslawns
05-11-2010, 09:08 AM
I always look at situations like that as not letting an opportunity to do the right thing go by. I would take care of his yard for free even if bi weekly keeps it looking good.

There are times in life where you can do something that makes you feel good when there is no money to be made. I have always felt good deeds will come back to you as a form of payment in some way down the road. If the bank is paying you regardless of his situation...I would look at it as he may have helped get you that account to start with and now you can return a favor for awhile.

mowisme
05-11-2010, 09:39 AM
ditto above- bi-weekly for free..I'd also let him know personally-your doing it for free because you not only appreciate the work he's given you..but your concerned about what he's going thru. ( would be uplifting to him) I would put a time limit on thou- say 2 months..or maybe the summer. But by having a time period..it will be easier when it is time for him to pay again. I wouldn't even accept back pay if it was offered. gift is a gift- it is worth more than the money. Not sure on this..but you might even be able to claim it as such on taxes some how? But don't matter if you can't as your not doing it for that reason. It is a wonderful gesture. Geno

LwnmwrMan22
05-11-2010, 10:13 AM
I wouldn't do it for free.

If the mom said don't do it, don't do it.

She knows him better than you ever will.

She may look at it as motivation for him to get out of the house and do SOMETHING, besides just sit on the couch and feel sorry for himself.

If you've ever been in that situation, it can spiral downwards quickly.

Instead of doing it for free, and if you really feel like you know the guy, offer something like "Hey, if you help me a day / week, I'll mow your yard for free." Or even a 1/2 day.

If you really feel like helping the guy out, get him out of his house, or pretty soon he won't have one.

mowisme
05-11-2010, 10:43 AM
good point LMmn.. Doing for free or not guess is his choice. I would still do it free thou..or at least offer too. But thats just me. I agree totally he needs to get out and be busy. At least after few days. Been there and those walls can close in on you fast. Likewise it is going to depend on how close you and him are..But try to maybe get him to tag along for 1/2 day couple times. I certainly wouldn't put him on a mower thou. trimmer 'maybe' if doing commercial lot or a commercial building. not a residentual walk. Just to have cummunication is a big one. Free or not free isn't the big answer- being there and trying to get him involved in something to keep his mind off his loss is what is important. Hopefully family will. Their is only so much you can do- but a little WILL go a long way. Geno

dhardin53
05-11-2010, 10:54 AM
A few ounces of your "milk of human kindness" will do a lot for him and you. Mow it and go talk to the guy, let him know he owes you nothing. Tell him he was a valued customer and will again some day.

rtharris
05-11-2010, 11:01 AM
Everyone who said they would help this guy im proud of you
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bradsd
05-11-2010, 11:18 AM
I would do it free bi weekly until he gets another job or at least for a couple months. Just take money out of the picture and dont expect to get paid. He does not have a job and I am sure the yard is low on the list of important needs.

LwnmwrMan22
05-11-2010, 11:54 AM
I understand helping a guy out, I do it all the time. However, it's on accounts that I KNOW I'm going to get paid from down the road.

Help the guy, don't worry about the lawn.

Make sure you talk it over with the guy. If you just do it without even talking with the guy, you could run the risk of either making him mad, because now he's sitting around the house thinking "why in the he// does he keep mowing my lawn, doesn't he know I don't have any money??" or he starts to get more worried because he thinks there's one more bill coming soon.

Chances are, if he IS just sitting around doing nothing and becoming more depressed, that you won't have to worry about it too long. Either the bank will take the house or he won't be around.

johnwon
05-11-2010, 12:35 PM
The most satisfaction I've ever gotten was giving in a situation where no one else was helping. This person along with their children still have their home now going on 2 years. The only draw back is having withdrawal when they don't need you anymore and waiting for another opportunity to do it again for another. It also makes you feel bad when you can't afford to help someone else when you recognize the need.

Zak's Pro. Lawn Care
05-11-2010, 01:07 PM
do it and like someone else mentioned bi-weekly would be best to just keep it looking decent and you still have the bank property that he hired you for.

watatrp
05-11-2010, 01:10 PM
Good deeds are often rewarded. I recently had an elderly couple call me to let me know that their property taxes were increasing and they were on a fixed income. I dropped the cost of a cut 15%. Two days later, I get two calls for new jobs on my route with good paying customers. Are the two incidents related? Maybe not in your book, but in mine they are.

turf and snow
05-11-2010, 10:56 PM
Thanks guys I took your overwhelming advice and cut his lawn today. His mom came out middle of the cut and started yelling at my hired hand. He said talk to the boss. She comes over to me and starts yelling "I told you not to do it!!!" I smiled at her and told her that I was doing it for free as long as it needed to be done. She said WHY? I said your son is sick and going through a tough time and could use the help. She started crying and said I cant believe that you would do that for him. I said I can and I will as long as he needs help. I have a feeling i will be getting some good word of mouth from this account. Thanks for the advice.

STIHL GUY
05-11-2010, 11:00 PM
as long as i had time i would help him out

mowisme
05-11-2010, 11:33 PM
You made the right choice- Good going. You just showed her and many others what your really made up of..not just the 'mowing' guy but a Guy with real class and integrety. You just got a taste of the rewards from his mother that good deeds brings. I'm proud to know I know you just from this site. My hats off to you. Geno

Gunnels Grounds & More
05-12-2010, 12:10 AM
Good job turf and snow.

doublesharp
05-12-2010, 12:35 AM
What goes around comes around. Good job.

Runner
05-12-2010, 11:29 AM
I can't tell you what to do...I CAN tell you this; Follow your instincts. Some may say it is not a "sound business decision", but in this life, we sometimes deviate from that - especially in the act of helping others. We have pretty much all done it, at some time or another. I can also say with surety that it WILL come back to you...somehow,...someday. This guy was a bank manager, so he is no slouch, by any means. He is probably just one of those who are caught up in the downsizing and buyouts/take overs that have taken place. Wherever he goes, he will take you with him, so yes,...if and when he ends up in some sort of management position. In the mean time, walk proud, and carry your head high knowing you're doing what you're doing...

Crazyjake51
05-12-2010, 12:13 PM
Hire him. give him a job. and let him use the mower after hours to mow his own lawn. you will be helping hime in more ways than one

FastMan
05-12-2010, 01:41 PM
I have a feeling i will be getting some good word of mouth from this account.

Yes, you'll be getting calls from all the hard luck cases in town! :)

Seriously, though, nice story turf and snow. I respect what you've done. Such actions are good for the soul, and the world.

blakerugg
05-12-2010, 04:36 PM
Thanks guys I took your overwhelming advice and cut his lawn today. His mom came out middle of the cut and started yelling at my hired hand. He said talk to the boss. She comes over to me and starts yelling "I told you not to do it!!!" I smiled at her and told her that I was doing it for free as long as it needed to be done. She said WHY? I said your son is sick and going through a tough time and could use the help. She started crying and said I cant believe that you would do that for him. I said I can and I will as long as he needs help. I have a feeling i will be getting some good word of mouth from this account. Thanks for the advice.

:waving: :clapping:

Lawn Man Dave
05-12-2010, 04:55 PM
I think it is good teo help someone when they are down but feel that sometimes people end up sitting around the house and just mope around......... it might do him some good to do his yard but drag him out of the house and put him on one of the machines to help him get his mind off things????????

I would not expect money and just give him some buisness cards and tell him to pass them out to people at work...... in the end you will get your investment back and then some.

rmslawns
05-12-2010, 11:55 PM
Good for you. You have also added some new customer service experience to your tool box as well. Your response to his Mom was text book as far as I am concerned. You diffused a situation that due to her stress right now, you gave them some good news. Outstanding...