View Full Version : Customer wants it cut ''now and then''

Expert Lawns
08-08-2002, 02:44 PM
i just got a call from an old lady that wants her lawn mowed when her grandson can't get to it. this could be once a year or once every 2 weeks, who knows. the hassle is that i can't put her on my normal schedule if its gonna be hit or miss mowing. on the other hand, its right across the street from a lawn i already mow.

i told her i'd put her on the friday schedule and if her grandson mowed it to call me and let me know. she said no, that she'd call when she NEEDED it cut.

i feel that this will be a PITA and that its fair to charge a bit more. what would you do? :dizzy:

08-08-2002, 03:19 PM
If I took it, I would charge a minimum of 1.5 times my normal rate...maybe double. I imagine by the time you are called and able to schedule her in, the grass will be longer than your regular properties. Extra charge for wear and tear on equip and the pita factor with your schedule.

Expert Lawns
08-08-2002, 03:28 PM
thats what i was thinking. she'll call when her grandson hasnt cut it for a month. 1.5 seems ok to me

08-08-2002, 03:53 PM
I have a deal just like that. I explained why I was charging a higher rate and they understood. It is a itty bitty lawn that takes me 10 minutes to finish and I cut 2 on that street anyway. Even if they dont call me untill the night before I can knock it out and not get behind schedual.

Charge them 1.5 your normal rate and they can take it or leave it!

08-08-2002, 04:05 PM
do you need to commit to her? She's not committing to you. Can you just tell her to call you when it needs it and you'll schedule something then?

Expert Lawns
08-08-2002, 04:59 PM
the only reason i'm hanging on to her is because i've had really good luck with older people. i mow for 4 elderly ladies. they pay me up front for one month of mowing, they payyou to do all their yard work...weeding, mulch, hedges etc. plus they refer me to their friends. so i guess if i have to struggle a bit with her at first but i get a lot of work out of it and a few referals, its worth my time. :p

Bob Minney
08-08-2002, 07:21 PM
As said above if you have time fit her into schedule best you can when she calls.

Like others I'd also charge more than weekly rate, you know its going to take extra time to make it look good.

08-08-2002, 07:31 PM
If we take on any lawns in similiar conditions, we are around the 1.5 rate. We make sure to explain that if we don't get the proper notice, we can't schedule correctly. What kind of job is the grandson doing? It's something you should think about. If passerbys see you there one day, then later the lawn is all hacked up by the grandson, some people will think you hacked it up. Does the grandson maintain an edge on the lawn. If not, it'll be more work for you also. Just some thoughts. Good luck.

Dennis E.
08-08-2002, 07:34 PM
You are running a business. Right? Like mentioned charge extra for the service.
I turn those away now. It may not be professional but it really throws the schedule off when you have to deal with people like her. Its not fair to the year round customers to have to make room for a "maybe,maybe not".
The first thing I tell people now that call for a estimate is that all we do are year round agreements.That sends the "tire kickers" somewhere else.

08-08-2002, 08:01 PM
When she says "I'll call whenever I think it needs it." ; then you say. "O.k., I'll charge whatever I think it takes".;)

08-08-2002, 10:11 PM
Charge triple the normal amount.

You can't schedule her.

She'll be calling you during dinner.

She'll be calling you when the yard is overgrown.

You will probably be the only one who ever trims and edges the place.

Besides, she will not be benefiting to your income on a regular basis.

I had one like that my first year. The grandson cut it about every 3 weeks and NEVER trimmed or edged. The lawn was all bermuda so you can imagine the hassle of edging the sidewalk and driveway alone. I think se called me about once every 8 weeks or so...probably to get the weedwhacking and edging done. I did not get one referral off that lawn and now I'm not surprised as it looked like caca 90% of the time. At the end of the season I looked back over my calender and saw that I only did that lawn 7 times and spent way too much time on that scrapyard while I was there-trying to make it look nice...oh yeah, made some "big bucks" off that one..... :cry: :D :cry:

Now I tell them I only maintain "weekly scheduled" lawns. Anything else and its "C-YA LATER!"

08-08-2002, 11:03 PM
Do you need the money?

That will be the final factor to this problem regardless of what our opinion is.

For me no way.

Expert Lawns
08-08-2002, 11:09 PM
a lot of good points. especially the one about the lawn looking like ****. if someone gets the name and number off my truck, then drives back by that law the next week and its hacked. i doubt they'll call.

if the trimming takes a long time because the grandson only mows, then i will DEFINETLY charge accordingly. runner said it best.... When she says "I'll call whenever I think it needs it." ; then you say. "O.k., I'll charge whatever I think it takes".

08-08-2002, 11:38 PM
Tell her that you its unfair to your regular customers to put them off if you suddenly need to cut her lawn or that your mowing schedule is full and you can't take on any more accounts. In any case avoid the headache and take on a profitable account..... after all you are in business to make money, right?

Sean Adams
08-08-2002, 11:50 PM
Like Kirby said...it depends on your situation. If you are starting out or have a smaller client base, it might be income you can use. She may even turn into a regular account once she realizes that you do a much better job than her grandson. There are people on this forum that are established in their routes and would not take a client like this regardless of how much she was willing to pay. Nevertheless, it is your business, and your call. If it's not out of the way and pays what you want or need, go for it. Just be upfront with this woman and explain that you are not her personal gardener that comes running when she rings her bell.

Just Cut
08-08-2002, 11:58 PM
I have turned away several of these types of accounts, I let the person know up front that i am looking for people that are committed to regular lawn care

Expert Lawns
08-09-2002, 10:52 AM
i am a very small part timer that is looking to expand. i would love to add a crew and a few mowers within the next 2 years. right now i will take all the income i can. i will do my best to fit her in.

after reading all your posts, i think the best thing to do is to straight up tell her that when she calls, i will be out the following friday. (when i do her neighbor....she does't live near me at all and i'm NOT making that trip just for her) and that if the lawn is excessively long or there's a lot of trimming, that i will have to charge as i see fit and that could be over double

08-09-2002, 05:01 PM
What about when the lady across the street says "oh, I can just call you when I think it needs cutting?"

Expert Lawns
08-09-2002, 05:10 PM
the lady across the street has made it very clear to me that she wants it done each week. i went 8 days once and she let me know to never do it again. besides, its the 2nd fastest growing lawn i have, so i'm not worried about her.

i drove by that ladies house today and it was dryer than a popcorn fart. she wanted i mowed today or tomorrow at the latest. all i'm gonna do is set new tracks, waste of time but shes willing to pay, soooo

08-09-2002, 11:21 PM
i drove by that ladies house today and it was dryer than a popcorn fart.
Never heard that one before.LMAO:laugh:

08-10-2002, 07:35 AM
I was thinking the same thing greenman, Ill have to remember that one.....

We all run into these situations....it all depends on how you want to run your business. Take all of this advise and come to your own conclusions as to what best serves you and your business. ET