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View Full Version : How would you handle ???


gebby
06-17-2011, 11:44 PM
i have been doing this for quite some time. I mow around retail parking lots and have mowed around in behind, beside, in front of thousands of cars. I'm sure many of you have seen how people back in a lot clear up to the curb with their back wheels and as close as possible. In 16 years I have had 4 complaints of grass on cars. Normally the grass would be off before they leave the lot. I always offer money for a car wash 10.00 mainly just to get the people moving and so they don't complain to the stores. I have had one taker. The other 3 just want to be in charge and complain even after offering a car wash (cash money). Today I had a man complain because my worker got and I counted them 3 slivers of grass on his truck. 1/4 inch long. My guy was trimming in the area when he pulled up 1 inch from the curb.The guy came out looking for a argument. He looked all over the truck seen the 3 slivers and just went kind of crazy. After saying we are sorry, offering a car wash several times and him not taking, I had the money in my hand offering it to him. I finally just walked off while he continued to complain. We are always very careful and often won't trim until the area is clear and then go back. This is often impossible to do. OK how would you all handle this situation ? You can be serious or funny as he**. I just need some feed back. Thanks !!

flatlander42
06-17-2011, 11:55 PM
I'd ask them how they drive down the road with all the rocks layin around...they may get a chip! A single big grasshopper makes more of a mess than some grass.

The 10$ bill is a good idea tho...should have got him off of your arse.

White Gardens
06-18-2011, 12:01 AM
Do people not realize that their vehicle is outside!

Dr.NewEarth
06-18-2011, 12:06 AM
He had a truck? Maybe you could have dumped your grass catchers in the back of it

nlminc
06-18-2011, 12:08 AM
Same people who probably take a scenic route in the Fall for leaf peep'n and complain to the local Chamber when they have a leaf stuck in there grill from the drive.

Ignore them...I wouldn't give em cash. Remind them how many American troops died this week in Afg. and ask em how those 3 pieces of grass on the hood smell.

White Gardens
06-18-2011, 12:09 AM
Ignore them...I wouldn't give em cash. Remind them how many American troops died this week in Afg. and ask em how those 3 pieces of grass on the hood smell.

Ditto ......

TriCityLawnCareLLC
06-18-2011, 12:11 AM
Don't sweat it man,you just can't win with some people. If what you tell me is the truth then you've done all you can.

topsites
06-18-2011, 12:11 AM
Do you see how quick my temper is here on LS?

You don't want to come up to me looking for an argument. :nono:

I will say thou, practice makes perfect, I've learned certain ways of doing things after so many years,
most of them kind don't even come my way or if they do they'll say something smart, as they're walking away!
Yeah, and they keep walking too.

I'm a sick bastard, for starting a confrontation I will find out that person's name (first and last), where they live, their date of birth,
what car they drive (make, model, license plate), their phone number, and anything and everything I can find out about them,
all of this information I keep on file in case something happens to me.

The next time they come up to me, I address them by their first name.
Like, look here Richard, I don't have time for you today.
That usually slows them down, a lot.

The other 3 just want to be in charge and complain even after offering a car wash (cash money).

I can't stand them kind, but the best way to deal with it is after you have offered the car wash is simply say
"well look I said I was sorry and I offered you a car wash, take it or leave it because I've done what I can,
now I have work to do I am a very busy person so I am going to excuse myself, thank you and have a nice day!"
And turn around and get yourself back to work.

MOturkey
06-18-2011, 01:05 AM
We mow a state office building, owner pays for the mowing. Last year, the boss lady calls and says that she had a complaint about us getting grass in one of the worker's car when we mowed. My wife took the call, and apologized profusely, saying she probably did it when she blew off the parking lot. I would have suggested they roll their window up when they park the car, problem solved.

We started doing the property on Sunday to avoid any problems. A month later, the lady calls again, saying someone, obviously the same employee, again complained that we got a "bunch" of grass in her vehicle when we mowed on Tuesday. Well, guess what lady, we weren't even near the property on Tuesday. Turns out it was the homeowner next door. Their property line comes up almost to the parking lot.

It was inconvenient for us to mow on Sunday, because we mow a home next door, the lawn and ditch all run together, and the don't like it mowed on Sunday, so we'd have to come back and do theirs mid-week. This year, I thought "F it", I'm going to mow it all on Wednesday, if they don't like it, they can get someone else. So far, no problems.

I am getting to where I have very little patience with people who make a big deal out of nothing. I might get upset if someone plastered the side of my vehicle with wet grass, but a few blades landing on the hood or something, or getting inside, if I'm dumb enough to leave the window down, would certainly be no big deal.

flatlander42
06-18-2011, 01:11 AM
I'm a sick bastard, for starting a confrontation I will find out that person's name (first and last), where they live, their date of birth,
what car they drive (make, model, license plate), their phone number, and anything and everything I can find out about them,
all of this information I keep on file in case something happens to me.


ya think somebody is going to kill ya?

topsites
06-18-2011, 01:40 AM
ya think somebody is going to kill ya?

It has been my experience with these folks, more than a few of them come back for "seconds."

I have had the police involved, I have lost time in court, I have paid fines and
money dealing with these people, I am not taking it no more.

And if anything else comes of it, I want documentation.
The more, the better.

headz77
06-18-2011, 02:39 AM
I once sent a shovel into a 2" irrigation water main. It sent a massive geyser of mud, rocks, and water about 15' into the air and onto the hood of a nearby car. I quickly removed the gravel and then located the owner. She was upset but took $20 for a car wash and let us off the hook.

flatlander42
06-18-2011, 02:45 AM
It has been my experience with these folks, more than a few of them come back for "seconds."

I have had the police involved, I have lost time in court, I have paid fines and
money dealing with these people, I am not taking it no more.

And if anything else comes of it, I want documentation.
The more, the better.

yikes, i guess it couldn't hurt

alanauer
07-01-2011, 11:37 AM
I would ask to see whoever hired you, report what happened, and ask for advice. How would they have you to respond to the complaint of getting grass blades on a vehicle?

They'll likely say to ignore it. Maybe to apologise and ask if they'd like you to remove the offending blades. I doubt they'd have you offer a car-wash out of your pocket. They might decide to post a sign warning of the possibility.

If it were me, my first inclination would be to look upset and say, "Oh my heavens, your vehicle got hit by grass! You should get a lawyer and sue my employer. I'll back you up."

gebby
07-01-2011, 12:08 PM
Guys, Thanks for the replies. I will ask the guy I answer to how he would like for me to handle. 4 times in 16 years isn't bad. The one who took the money for the wash had reason to be a little pis*ed as I had a helper with his head up his you know where earlier this spring in the wet grass, came around the bend with the mower no guard or grass catcher attached. I offered to blow off the top of her car and she said look at the side. No getting around that as she had 1/4 inch layer of grass on the side of her car. My helper got a chewing for that one as he knew better. The other people I believe just want to argue and complain about something. I have thought a lot about the most recent guy. He said I parked down here so my truck didn't get all dinged up from car doors and now look. Looking back I should have just said no problem, no dings and you were sucsessful in that department as I walk away. It still bothers me that people can be so goofy sometimes.

Penncare
07-01-2011, 02:15 PM
Being respectful and low key even in the face of unrealistic anger is the best way to defuse a situation; however, there will be some people who you will never satisfy. I think you have a great approach and attitude for being in business.

93Chevy
07-01-2011, 05:33 PM
Just be respectful and apologize. As long as it's not a continuous problem (i.e. weekly) then you're not going to lose the account over something like that.

We trim this one hillside at a nursing home that's way too steep for a mower and at the bottom is the parking lot. It's impossible not to get clippings on the cars. We try to do it when it's dry so they'll blow right off and sometimes we grab a clean rag and dust them, but there's no getting around it. The property manager cones off part of the super steep area, but he can't do the whole thing because there's not enough parking for the employees.

93Chevy
07-01-2011, 05:35 PM
On a second note, I don't mind when people back into a spot the whole way and/or leave their windows down. I do the same thing. I never pull into a spot. Now if a crew is cutting while I'm there, I'm not going to be a Richard and back in as they're making a pass at the curb line, but if nobody's there, how am I supposed to know what day they cut? Most of the time I lock my truck, but occasionally I'll leave my windows down if I know the area.

Birdhunter1
07-01-2011, 07:18 PM
My dad mows a Ford dealership and once in a while I'll help him out, it makes me nervous running a mower around that place with 20,-$50,000 vehicles galore but hey that's what insurance is for. When the mowing is done we use a chute blocker or routinely throw grass away from the vehicles (can't always do that) but we try. Trimming is a different matter but we do our best to trim where the grass is throwing away rather than towards, blowing that lot sucks because you sometimes have grass under vehicles, on vehicles, and you have to work around each one.
One time I mowed for him a few months while he was recovering from knee surgery and I got a bunch of grass on an employees truck while trimming, knowing the employee rather well I blew the truck off and he came out and was like what the heck are you doing. He didn't care that the grass was on there but was happy I took the time to blow it off, he was literally just wondering what I was doing to his truck.

The guy in point is about 5' 150 lbs (soaking wet), ex crew chief on a Huey in Vietnam, tough as nails and the type that he's a real a nice guy, he wouldn't fight you he'd just kill you.

vencops
07-01-2011, 07:30 PM
A simple "Lighten up, Francis" seems appropriate, about now.

Hoy landscaping
07-01-2011, 07:32 PM
ya think somebody is going to kill ya?

Its topsites... what do you expect....

Zak's Pro. Lawn Care
07-01-2011, 07:40 PM
i see how you are trying to calm them down by offering 10 for a car wash but that isn't what i would do. the 3 little pieces of grass i would have walked up to his truck and wiped them off with my hand or get the blower out...

gebby
07-02-2011, 12:50 AM
My truck with the blower in it was clear on the other side of the parking lot. I figgured I had 30 seconds to make him happy or to let him continue to complain. I really considered wiping them off. I then realized if I wiped them off then he would complain because I touched his truck. Really I believe with people like that no matter what you offer is never enough.

bc3xx0
07-02-2011, 01:24 AM
I'd have told him to f off. You can tell right off the bat if a person is A: looking for money B: Seriously concerened or C: Just wanting to show you they are somebody.

Dude was gonna bad mouth you no matter what, so might as well make it short and to the point!!

MJB
07-02-2011, 01:45 AM
If they complain take your blower and blow it off. Done, no way I'm giving anyone money for a car wash. Your to nice, apoligize and if that isn't good enough use your blower from a distance .

jiggz
07-02-2011, 02:27 AM
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Classic Cuts Lawn Service
07-02-2011, 09:12 PM
I say if he happens to go complain to the store (s) or whatever, you explain to the owner or manager or whoever what you tried to do (carwash) and hopefully they understand and go from there I suppose. I don't see what else you could really do.

madisonpressurewashing
07-02-2011, 10:45 PM
Common in the pressure washing business. Best thing is to give them a great car wash.

topsites
07-02-2011, 10:46 PM
Its topsites... what do you expect....

Do you think this next answer is better?

I'd have told him to f off.

That's what I used to do.

But I learned, ANYTIME an incident = Document EVERYTHING.

bc3xx0
07-03-2011, 05:05 PM
Do you think this next answer is better?



That's what I used to do.

But I learned, ANYTIME an incident = Document EVERYTHING.

I also like to have other LCO's come and give me estimates on my yard. When they give me their card I hold on to it. They come in handy in situations like what the OP was in. Get the complainer halfway fired up, then tell them to figure out how you can make it right, then hand him one of the other LCO's card and say "go home and think about it, then give me a call"!!!