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View Full Version : week ends on strangely


larryinalabama
08-19-2011, 05:45 PM
I started a new house 2 weeks ago, the grass was around 18 inches or more. I asked for 75$ per week, they said no the last feller was doing it for 50$. I said fine Ill cut it today for 50$ and see how long it takes. So naturally it took a fair amount of time. I sais the only way I could do it for 50 was to come back in a few day and spray all the chainlink fence line trees so I wouldnt have to weedeat much. So I sprayed a few days later.

Today I pull up and the spray job looked sucessful. I start unhloading the truck when I see the old feller on the pourch in his electric scooter. I walk up to the house to say high, he says wait a minute my wife want to talk to you. She come out red faced as an old woman can get shaking her head. She says NO NO NO NO, Im thinking wtf. She says dont do the yard, you didnt do a goog job last time. So I knew it would be a waist of energy to deal with her and simply said you should have called. Im guessing she wanted me to beg her foe the account. She says no hard feelings? I simply nope its your house.

Funny thing is during the week of the few customers I saw during the week most commented on how their houses looked. Its rear that I loose a customer. Its also a blessing to loose a PITA with only one service.

zak406
08-19-2011, 06:55 PM
You shouldnt have done anything for 50, if it was 75 in your mind it was 75!

larryinalabama
08-19-2011, 09:33 PM
You shouldnt have done anything for 50, if it was 75 in your mind it was 75!

I alaways have somewhat of a heart for old people, most apprecate lawncare fellers, however your right I never should have done Any work for them

zak406
08-19-2011, 11:57 PM
I know what you mean man, unfortunally you and I have to make a living to just like them older people had to do when they were our age!

Wayne 55
08-20-2011, 08:25 AM
Why didn't you see the red flag with grass 18" long? The first cutting should have been what you figured IF you felt comfortable with that price. Then after this lawn was under control and on a schedule then renegotiate the price with the HO. You've been had simply put. Any lawn will look like crap when the grass is nothing more than a hay field then mowed to a manageable height. Just take this at the grain of salt it is and move on and consider it lesson learned. Next time she calls tell her to get her grandchildren to mow it. They might get a shinny new quarter for their efforts. People get the impression that Old folks are are a fixed income and need a break. We all are to one form or another.

larryinalabama
08-20-2011, 08:47 AM
Why didn't you see the red flag with grass 18" long? The first cutting should have been what you figured IF you felt comfortable with that price. Then after this lawn was under control and on a schedule then renegotiate the price with the HO. You've been had simply put. Any lawn will look like crap when the grass is nothing more than a hay field then mowed to a manageable height. Just take this at the grain of salt it is and move on and consider it lesson learned. Next time she calls tell her to get her grandchildren to mow it. They might get a shinny new quarter for their efforts. People get the impression that Old folks are are a fixed income and need a break. We all are to one form or another.

Moving on is no problem, really didnt want the account anyway. Im not even sure how she got my number.

Im a solo operator and next season I will not take on anymore crappy houses, nor will I take on any houses without irragation.

As far as dealing with old people- I canf take much iching heck Im old too

shadrach
08-20-2011, 09:25 AM
They just wanted it done the one time. When it gets 18" tall again they will call the next guy on the list. Probably could have done it for $20 the first time & it wouldn't have changed the outcome. Her saying that you didn't do a good job was just the excuse that she chose to use.

larryinalabama
08-20-2011, 11:11 AM
They just wanted it done the one time. When it gets 18" tall again they will call the next guy on the list. Probably could have done it for $20 the first time & it wouldn't have changed the outcome. Her saying that you didn't do a good job was just the excuse that she chose to use.

Thats highly possible. One of my neighbors has been through 9 lawn guys in the last 2 years

Dr.NewEarth
08-20-2011, 12:53 PM
How can you ever do a good job when the lawn is that long? It would be all yellow and bent over.

It would take a few weeks of cutting here to get the grass to stand properly and develop a good colour down close to the ground where it should be growing.

I have learned to ask questions on the phone and weed out the crap. Do they have a dog for instance?

I haven't taken a new cutting client since the late spring. I get calls on Friday afternoons of long weekends. People wanting us to come out and cut right now.
I know that they haven't done any-thing to their yard all year and they want it to look good for cheap, so they can have a barbeque or a party. I don't need that type of work.

David Haggerty
08-21-2011, 06:32 AM
I "trim" with herbicides too. Heck, last week I never started my line trimmer!
But I've learned to never spray the whole property at once. The average customer will look at you like you're Doctor Death! Where we see a good job all they see are dead weeds standing everywhere.
Either that, or they fire you as soon as you put down the herbicide, because that's all they really wanted anyway.

Larry, You did bill them for the herbicide didn't you?

coolluv
08-21-2011, 07:11 AM
You learn a lot after you do this for a while... and one thing I learned is to stay away from these types. They either don't have the money and cant do it themselves due to age or they are just cheap and just use people for their gain and your loss.

18 high grass is going to take 5 or 6 passes over the same area and is very hard on the machine.. even when taking it easy. Your running I'm assuming an air cooled engine in high temps and putting unusual strain on it to boot... you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that you are taking away some life from that engine.

I charge people like that 3 or 4 times the normal cut price or more... it just depends on the conditions, and that's if I feel like its worth my while. I don't work for those types these days like I used to... I still have a few that will get weeded out eventually, but you will find that if you turn away that kind of work your much better off.

I'm very picky when it comes down to who I do work for... even though it is a slower way to grow and sometimes I'm temped to but it don't last long... as I recall in my mind all the times Ive been screwed and that brings me back to reality.

Your right with your thinking about only taking on irrigated lawns and properties that the owner cares about.

I try to help out folks in need if I can, but if they are trying to screw me then screw them. Here some good advice for everyone....... Stay away from the Dreaded Dots, that alone has been one of my best decisions.

Dave...

larryinalabama
08-21-2011, 07:40 AM
I "trim" with herbicides too. Heck, last week I never started my line trimmer!
But I've learned to never spray the whole property at once. The average customer will look at you like you're Doctor Death! Where we see a good job all they see are dead weeds standing everywhere.
Either that, or they fire you as soon as you put down the herbicide, because that's all they really wanted anyway.

Larry, You did bill them for the herbicide didn't you?

Actually I did weed eat, the main reason for spraying was a long chain link fense. I went back after a week to spray because the clippings were so bad. An yes they paid me more than the agreed price for the initial service.

larryinalabama
08-21-2011, 07:55 AM
You learn a lot after you do this for a while... and one thing I learned is to stay away from these types. They either don't have the money and cant do it themselves due to age or they are just cheap and just use people for their gain and your loss.

18 high grass is going to take 5 or 6 passes over the same area and is very hard on the machine.. even when taking it easy. Your running I'm assuming an air cooled engine in high temps and putting unusual strain on it to boot... you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that you are taking away some life from that engine.

I charge people like that 3 or 4 times the normal cut price or more... it just depends on the conditions, and that's if I feel like its worth my while. I don't work for those types these days like I used to... I still have a few that will get weeded out eventually, but you will find that if you turn away that kind of work your much better off.

I'm very picky when it comes down to who I do work for... even though it is a slower way to grow and sometimes I'm temped to but it don't last long... as I recall in my mind all the times Ive been screwed and that brings me back to reality.

Your right with your thinking about only taking on irrigated lawns and properties that the owner cares about.

I try to help out folks in need if I can, but if they are trying to screw me then screw them. Here some good advice for everyone....... Stay away from the Dreaded Dots, that alone has been one of my best decisions.

Dave...

I agree 100%, I didnt really want this account anyway.

This is my 3rd year in business and second year full time. The first year part time I didnt take any crappy yards and still have the accounts.

Last year I took all I could get crappy good or other wise.

This year I concetrated on getting all my accounts tightened up, and Im down to 1 account thats out of the way. I keep it because the people have been with me from the start, and at some point in time I may get a call from someone in thet area.

Next year I plan only to take on nice yards with irragation, and of coarse accounts that fit into my current route.