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View Full Version : First PITA of the season


Golfpro21
05-30-2010, 10:45 AM
Got to love them!!

Had an email from some lady asking for service on a 1\2acre lot in a very upscale area, but she said her grass needed cutting right away as it was getting long. So we said we would be in the area the next day and could service her property for $40 per cut.

When we showed up, her house was the ugly duckling of the neighborhood.....grass 1 foot high, weeds everywhere, dog crap all over backyard, and 12 huge play buildings/castles/structures etc scattered everywhere. We cut and trimmed and blew off clippings and property looked as good as it could. Of course she wasn't home to meet with and discuss. On top of all that crap, there was broken glass in many areas....:(:cry:

She emails later that evening saying that we missed some areas and even admitted that most people would mistake the areas for over grown gardens, but in fact under the 1.5 feet of overgrowth, it was turf, and she said we did not move the play structures so asked if we could swing back and take care of that as the grass will grow too high around and inside the structures for the kids to play in!!

I responded by telling her we would be cutting on Thursdays and that structures needed to be moved prior to us cutting if she wanted the grass cut under them, also that dog crap needed to be picked up prior to cutting as we don't mow through crap.

She then asked why we don't move the obstacles when we cut....I then informed her that we would not be able to service her and her pig sty of a property....can just imagine what the neighbors say about her. I told her she could keep her $40 for the first cut and wished her all the best in finding a service that would do all this and mow through glass and crap

We are all about great customer service but she is the prime example of a PITA....so she was dropped before she became a headache.
On

brucec32
05-30-2010, 11:07 AM
Sounds like next time you might want to actually eyeball a property and come to an agreement on what gets moved and what doesn't before pricing it.

whosedog
05-30-2010, 11:29 AM
I have a yard that's full of toys( every time we go there's new ones), it takes 5 minutes to move them all so we charge an extra $5,she said she would move them if I called her before hand but I'd rather move them myself and charge her for it.Dog crap, we run over,it's the only fertilizer that some yards get,really makes the grass grow in clumps.Glass I try to remove,if a shard hit's a tire at the right angle it could pop it,no steel belted radials that I know of for mowers.

Golfpro21
05-30-2010, 11:31 AM
she was in an urgent need of cutting she said......so had no time to view property before hand......looked at her lot on google for size so went off that.....so your saying I should have told her sorry can't cut you right away......was trying to do her a favour

I won't miss her property or revenue.....we have more quotes and jobs than we can keep up with.

Golfpro21
05-30-2010, 11:34 AM
I have a yard that's full of toys( every time we go there's new ones), it takes 5 minutes to move them all so we charge an extra $5,she said she would move them if I called her before hand but I'd rather move them myself and charge her for it.Dog crap, we run over,it's the only fertilizer that some yards get,really makes the grass grow in clumps.Glass I try to remove,if a shard hit's a tire at the right angle it could pop it,no steel belted radials that I know of for mowers.

these were not little toys...these were 10 feet by 10 feet castles and play houses etc.........some of them heavy enough that one person could not move, so no we would not move them every cut........you want us to cut your lawn, you can prep it, same as dog crap.....the odd pile fine....but dozens of it forget it

topsites
05-30-2010, 12:04 PM
she was in an urgent need of cutting she said......so had no time to view property before hand......looked at her lot on google for size so went off that.....so your saying I should have told her sorry can't cut you right away......was trying to do her a favour.

Been there, done that, it's just too bad really, how that works out some days.

ajslands
05-30-2010, 12:11 PM
We're lawnscapers! Not movers!

But I'll move a picnic table, If it's in the way, but a play set, not a chance!



This is way off topic, but have you ever gotten a hole in one?
Posted via Mobile Device

topsites
05-30-2010, 12:52 PM
This is way off topic, but have you ever gotten a hole in one?
Posted via Mobile Device

Yeah but I don't think the courses compare.

MileHigh
05-30-2010, 12:59 PM
Sounds like next time you might want to actually eyeball a property and come to an agreement on what gets moved and what doesn't before pricing it.

agreed....

Golfpro21
05-30-2010, 08:58 PM
We're lawnscapers! Not movers!

But I'll move a picnic table, If it's in the way, but a play set, not a chance!



This is way off topic, but have you ever gotten a hole in one?
Posted via Mobile Device

hey there....yes luckily, I have 3 hole in ones..........they are not all they are cracked up to be....they cost you a fortune in drinks once you get to the club house!!!:cry:

Golfpro21
05-30-2010, 09:00 PM
Been there, done that, it's just too bad really, how that works out some days.

I agree Topsites......we went out there hoping to do her a big favour...we spent extra time knocking down the 3 foot tall dandilions and other weeds, moving huge dog leashes.....mowing around many dog land mines.......then she pulls this crap.....well better to part ways early rather than later....feel sorry for the next guy in there mowing

Basilhayden
05-30-2010, 09:04 PM
I learned my lesson after telling a guy over the phone that I would cut his "smaller than average" yard site unseen for $35 for a one time cut. Felt bad for the guy for some reason. The front yard was small, but the back yard was huge and looked like a hurricane had rolled through. And if I go to a house for an estimate, and there is crap everywhere, I just decline.

CapnDean
05-30-2010, 09:11 PM
Whats up with the dog crap keeping you from cutting the grass? Sheesh - -it is the smell of MONEY man. I will cut dog crap all day, doesn't bother me a bit. I do hate to step in it right before I get in the truck, but C'mon... Charging extra cause there is dogsh** in the yard? I am down with the toy moving and the hose rolling and the swingset follies as being worth extra cheese...but charging for dog crap?

93Chevy
05-30-2010, 09:11 PM
Sometimes I get off on telling people "no." Makes me feel macho or something, I don't know.

4 seasons lawn&land
05-30-2010, 09:24 PM
Wish that were my version of a PITA. Thats average.

The Captain
05-30-2010, 11:04 PM
I had one this week. But she told me upfront she had been given three days to get it cut (no junk or dog crap) or be cited by the city. I just doubled the price I normally charge and did it. Really wasn't as bad as I thought and now I have a new weekly account.

I just try to remember something an old man told me, "No good deed shall go unpunished."

Golfpro21
05-31-2010, 03:55 AM
[QUOTE=CapnDean;3586234]Whats up with the dog crap keeping you from cutting the grass? Sheesh - -it is the smell of MONEY man. I will cut dog crap all day, doesn't bother me a bit. I do hate to step in it right before I get in the truck, but C'mon... Charging extra cause there is dogsh** in the yard? I am down with the toy moving and the hose rolling and the swingset follies as being worth extra cheese...but charging for dog crap?[/QUO


I never said I charged extra for dog crap.....I just don't cut it....the odd pile sure.....but when the yard it just full of it.....forget it its just ignorant to leave your yard like that when you know someone is coming to cut and I have no problem saying goodbye to business because of it, I will simply take on the next new caller with a cleaner yard

Charles
05-31-2010, 07:27 AM
You can't let customers run your business. Most of them want it done yesterday. You have to go look at the property first and walk it. Then discuss with the property owner any concerns you have. Secondly, make sure the first time customer will be there to pay you and discuss what she wanted done. Especially because it was high grass and you haven't walked it.
I wouldn't have cut her high grass for the same regular service price either.
Funny how people could care less about what their yard looked like all the time it was knee deep but all of a sudden they are offended it doesn't look manicured. That is one reason you charge extra $$!
This problem was all of your making and not the property owners fault. When you got there you should have walked it and saw the dog stuff, glass and objects that needed moved. Then drove off and called the customer.
OR you should have cut and moved everything and got paid.
Instead, you did a partial job that you knew she wouldn't be happy with. Chances are you wouldn't be paid. I don't understand why you would do that. She wasn't there to move anything:dizzy:
I have mowed through plenty of dog crud. Moved trampolines and play sets etc. Mainly for the children to have a nice area to play in and it would look terrible if I didn't. But that is your business if you don't want to do that. The customer needs to know that before you unload your equipment and agree to a price.

MikeKle
05-31-2010, 07:51 AM
I have one like this that is adding more to his yard every year, last year it was a fence, thankfully, he added a huge gate a truck could go thru, this year, he had a big swingset installed, it doesnt take that long to mow around it, but it is always something with this guy, if he adds a pool next year, he is getting dropped!

dougdm
05-31-2010, 09:59 AM
When I called in for liablity insurance this year, my agent instructed me to not move anything. She stated that it more problems come from moving stuff (bird baths and nice things), so she instructed me to just trim around them and if they really wanted it moved and put back that the premium would go up $200 yearly for me..... So raise my rates to more than cover that. There is a good excuse for anyone who doesn't want to be a mover. Up to you....Your business

topsites
05-31-2010, 10:22 AM
Here's what I found, it's all fine and dandy until you get that one!

I had one earlier this year, several actually, HAD to have it done today (+$5!) gave an estimate sight unseen but
specified a few things on the phone, the other assured me in person that it wasn't like that and however I chose
to do things would be all right so long it was cut...

Yes I know we should double the price for "have to have it done today" but how does that really work out?
Doesn't work for me, never has, not true but when it does I feel guilty so I can get $5 out of it left and right, how I do things.

Yes, the grass was tall, yes I cut one at 4" the other one 5", both I did walk!
One did have a few piles of poop, and a CABLE (and I mean CABLE) and a few other things
so I had to pick up some trash which I did, but all in all not too bad.

I charged 40 for one, 45 for the other, both took me about an hour each and some
might think that's not good money and some might call me a lowballer, it's all good.

They were all right in my book, both customers seemed pleased, I was not upset, granted I was not ecstatic but it was all right.
But, not all of them work out that way.

Had another who walked up to me, same case, had to have it done that day, I tried to tack on $5
and could sense resistance, I was like nope... Got lucky there, been not so lucky on another before, too.

So I think you do what you can, most of these do NOT look but so good from the start anyhow,
walk it all you want you will only see but so much before starting, now I need money and customers
and I got 9 years in so practice does help, I've done all right on some others just blow but this is where
all the money I used to spend on print advertising goes, sometimes I get a regular customer out of it,
spend it however you like but one way or another a new customer just MIGHT cost some kind of way,
other times it's just BS so all in all I win some, lose some.

That's about the way I see this went, just didn't hit up on a winner this time,
better luck the next time, all in a day's work.

4 seasons lawn&land
05-31-2010, 03:00 PM
When I called in for liablity insurance this year, my agent instructed me to not move anything. She stated that it more problems come from moving stuff (bird baths and nice things), so she instructed me to just trim around them and if they really wanted it moved and put back that the premium would go up $200 yearly for me..... So raise my rates to more than cover that. There is a good excuse for anyone who doesn't want to be a mover. Up to you....Your business


Thats a joke. I would be laughed at if I said that.

Golfpro21
06-01-2010, 07:50 AM
we gladly move balls, kids toys, hoses etc, but to think , or demand we get off our mowers and spend 15 minutes moving heavy large toy casltes and playhouses is crazy, especially when most of them were so big it would take 2 people to move, so what happens if only one worker does that job that particular day???

This chick is a pain in the A$$......bet the last LCO left for same reason and that is why her grass was 10 feet tall.

Hell on Blades
06-01-2010, 09:21 PM
We're lawnscapers! Not movers!

But I'll move a picnic table, If it's in the way, but a play set, not a chance!



This is way off topic, but have you ever gotten a hole in one?
Posted via Mobile Device

If you consider the lake in front of the green as a really big hole that just happens to be filled with water, then yes-- MANY TIMES!!!

Walk Behind Metro
06-02-2010, 05:53 PM
I have a yard that's full of toys( every time we go there's new ones), it takes 5 minutes to move them all so we charge an extra $5,she said she would move them if I called her before hand but I'd rather move them myself and charge her for it.Dog crap, we run over,it's the only fertilizer that some yards get,really makes the grass grow in clumps.Glass I try to remove,if a shard hit's a tire at the right angle it could pop it,no steel belted radials that I know of for mowers.

Careful padnah. Mastiff crap can destroy a good blade. at minimum knock it out of balance!!!:laugh:

rain man
06-02-2010, 06:33 PM
Get a call on Sunday, our day of rest. Need it asap I am told. Please help us they say.
Googled it, took a chance, gave a ball park price though its risky, and then finally went out to cut it the next day before lunch, on a holliday.

Guy was already there cutting it. Short version: The neighborhood guy out cutting his jobs on a Sunday like usual. Cust ran over after she hung up the phone w/us and asked him would he cut her lawn. We came out on top though. Very tall grass and a one time cut probably.

brucec32
06-22-2010, 03:51 PM
Whats up with the dog crap keeping you from cutting the grass? Sheesh - -it is the smell of MONEY man. I will cut dog crap all day, doesn't bother me a bit. I do hate to step in it right before I get in the truck, but C'mon... Charging extra cause there is dogsh** in the yard? I am down with the toy moving and the hose rolling and the swingset follies as being worth extra cheese...but charging for dog crap?

LOL, I have to agree. That stuff may not be pleasant, but it's never caused me the agita it seems to cause some of these guys. Has the metrosexual thing hit lawncare? By the end of a really hot humid day it's hard to say which smells worse, me or the dog squeeze. Plow through, try to hit it with the blades not the tires, and take a shower when you get home. God forbid you get something on your loafers. : )

BestImpressions99
06-22-2010, 06:54 PM
Well, since the thread's not too old I'll add a bit. Did she tell you on the phone that the grass was extremely high? I understand the frustration of getting rope-a-doped and having to try to come through cutting, which added to the frustration that all of a sudden it's not a cut-n-go scenario anymore, it's alot of on and off machine work spending your time/money.

Did you have the ability to call her on a cell phone when you got there? If someone tried that with me (grass being very tall and not telling me) I would kindly leave a note and message on the answering machine and tell them the price had just went up.

Sounds like she didn't tell you how big the toys were in the yard. Again, it's your call and you run it how you want, but just inform her after looking at what had to be done, more would have to be charged. This may have been a one time cut... but do you know how much you can make off lazy customers? If we have to move things, like topsites said before, just charge them extra. Let them know before hand that obstacles that have to be moved by you will have to be charged for.

Sounds like she's a PITA, but I think I speak for alot of guys here in saying that a PITA that pays can get you more $$$$ in the long run, and you lose money by being rude to potential customers. Honestly it sounds like you COULD have gotten into a real nice neighborhood, her neighbors walking by after you cut it thinking "didn't know her lawn could look that good"... wonder where she got it, etc. etc. etc.

But that's just me. Happy mowing.

BestImpressions99
06-22-2010, 06:54 PM
I do understand though about the glass... tall grass and glass... bad combination.