View Full Version : When you drop is it now or next year?

07-12-2002, 10:00 PM
I've always had a difficult time dropping clients once the season has started. I guess I feel a responsibility to get through it even when it becomes a "Hate to do their lawn" sort of thing.

Right now I have two that I would love to get rid of. My ?? Do you all survive then drop for the next year, or do you drop them mid season and move on? (extreme pyschos = no problem dropping anytime) I'm talking about the minor PITA that just seems to eat on your nerves just a little more than they should...

07-12-2002, 10:05 PM
I always give 2 weeks notice, and tell them I am lightening my work load. Dont torture yourself the rest of the season. Believe me, If they wanted to drop you, it would be immediately.

07-12-2002, 10:05 PM
Anytime you feel the need, say "good bye"

Just make sure you do it nicely so you can save face.

07-12-2002, 10:13 PM
Excellent advice! One of these jokers adjusted my invoice! He felt I must have charges for a mowing I was not there for, never mind that it is a set monthly fee and I have busted fanny for these people on numerous occasions.

The other insists on the 21" and I just do not like these people. Kind of whinny and slimey. Maybe the fact that it is 105 degrees here has something to do with my inolerance of arrogance and stupidity! :)

07-12-2002, 10:16 PM
Make sure you collect b4 you drop them.

07-13-2002, 01:57 AM
Don't feel quilty dropping a few customers, I do it all the time, you'll feel worse by keeping them and bearing with it.... The key is to make sure you get your money first, and then politely send them a letter that you have decided to just discontinue services and that you thank them for being a customer and good luck finding a replacement service....;)

I even dropped customers that I didn't care for by using the excuse that I was cutting back on accounts to take more time off to spend with the family, which is true by the way.

Oh yea, kenH is correct....... they would have no problem or guilt dropping you in an instant, think about that when you are dropping them.

David Haggerty
07-13-2002, 08:46 AM
Posts like this makes me feel I should send fruit baskets to each of my customers.

One guy is cheating you out of your money and the other is TELLING you to mow with a 21"mower and these are MINOR PITAs' ??

What does it take to make you mad? Your composure is commendable.

I had a breakdown at some peoples' yard once. It was about two acres. I tracked down the lady of the house and explained that my big mower was broken down and that I'd finish it tomorrow.

She asked "Don't you have a trim mower?"

My jaw literally dropped! With my mouth hanging open all I could think of to say was a big stupid "Yeah". Then I just walked away. I mowed it the next day like I said I would.


07-13-2002, 09:24 AM

I wonder if the guy who "adjusted invoice" does that with his utilities, house payment, car payment, ect???

Would he try that with his plumber or electrician???

I'd drop that scumball like a hot potato! :angry:

People who look upon us as "just the stinkin' lawn guy...no big deal" are dealt with immediately.

We are a service related industry...just like any other.

07-13-2002, 09:37 AM
"Kind of whinny and slimey"

That kind of answered your question for me! :)

Let 'em go and whine at someone else. Not worth your trouble. We have enough stress without this.

Good Luck, Currier!

A & D

07-13-2002, 10:04 AM
Personally I usually just raises prices, until the PITA stuff becomes worth it for the money.

07-13-2002, 10:13 AM
We drop problem child customers like they had a case of the black plague.
We had a indian doctor we had been mowing for two months come out ask us to mow a 3/4acre lawn with 21 inch mowers .
I told him we cant mow a lawn that big with hand mowers, he then starts to get offensive one word led to another and then he starts calling us a bunch of white trash .
Well i listen for a minute or to to his ramblings and i then gave him a few choice words and told him i had a nice hamburger for him to eat maybe just maybe it was one his hindu ancestors.
Well he gets really mad now but not enough to do what he was wanting to do which i was hopeing against hope he would .
I really didnt get to mad if anyone can believe that.
I was more amused at the moron.
And all this from a slow payer actally was glad to get ri of the guy.

07-13-2002, 04:22 PM
All the minor PITAs will add up to a major PITA and then comes burn out and then sell out. How do I know? Because I am in the sell out stage of the above description.

07-13-2002, 04:45 PM
I've got 2 accts I picked up this spring that are major PITA'S. People are super nice, so I feel obligated to finish out the season and then notify them in the fall that I won't be able to service their accts next season. If the customers are real PITA'S and I plan on dropping them at the end of the season, I won't tell them they are getting booted until they call me up in the spring wondering where I am.


07-14-2002, 07:23 AM
DMK395 has my vote! Politely let them know you are raising prices starting next month. That will give them time to find someone else or learn to stay inside when your cutting and stop the petty complaints. I explain that my business is selling time as well as providing a maintenance service. The longer they stand there complain about the same old stuff the more I have to charge or get another service. My favorite line is " I can see your lawn requires special attention {mr./mrs______} so next month I will schedule more time for your servce at $XX per cut". Another line I use is " I can see that we can't provide the kind of service your looking for and would suggest that you find another service". I tell them thier business is very important to me and that they are a valued customer but in this business time is money. These tactics didn't work as I was building my route but t is a great way to weed out the worst lawns.

07-14-2002, 10:44 AM
I was servicing a clients Mom's yard last season. Nice lady and all but a PITA. She had these Hedges that were like 8 foot high and about 30 foot on each side of the house. It would take me about 4 hours to trim and clean up these things. I think she had a leaf phobia because I wasn't able to leave much of the leaves that had dropped. Of cause I picked up a huge bulk of the leaves and sticks but you always get the ones that lay down there. well I was on my hand and kness picking out as much of these leaves as I could. I even put a tarp down around the base to catch the leaves, drag it out and dump it, then pull it back in position. Well her husband and herself ended up getting a divorce and I stopped going. told them of Cause. When I was turning up for the last time the husband came out and asked why I wasn't coming any more. I told him I didn't want to get in the middle of things, because I cut the Mom's business as well and there were some legal battles going on.


07-14-2002, 05:50 PM
I have a large account that I mowed yesterday that got me thinking. I really hate this account's lawn because the lawn have alot of rocks and the ground is barely level and even. Many times my mower deck would jerk and jump when mowing on these ground even with the deck raised all the way up. Many times when I see small rocks on the ground I raise the deck then when I clear the rock I lower it and this goes over again. There are some area that I cannot mow because the ground are so uneven. The ground is so bumpy that I could not mow any faster than I could stand it. There is a pond right near where I am mowing and I am always getting attacked by all kind of bugs including deerflies. Really hate mowing that lawn but this is the biggest account that I have and it is helping paying for my equipment. So I think that I am going to finish mowing that lawn for the rest of season then next year I would raise the price so high that the customer would not take it.