View Full Version : Clients who cut their own lawn

06-16-2003, 11:20 PM
Does anyone have a client who contracts to them but mow their own lawn once in a while?

I have one client who contracts to us for weekly service. We show up tonight - on schedule - and she's cut it herself. No call to the office, no sign of issue with our work or anything. This is the third time in two years.

I terminated our services to her. How do others handle this sort of behaviour?

06-16-2003, 11:23 PM
I thank the home owner for saving me time and bill them since its in there contract

06-16-2003, 11:38 PM
I have one I do every week.... they supplement in between.... last time they cut it close to my sched. day... I showed up, it's cut, nobody home..... so I left a note..... "did not cut today, was cut recently! Call me so we can discuss the mowing schedule!"

I got an apologetic voice mail a few hours later..... resumed schedlue 2-weeks ago, and discussed the arrangement, the husband even wrote on their calendar the days I'd do the lawn....... They are scheduled for tomorrow, and I got a call from them today... Left message, I will call back tomorrow...... Message sadi "It was getting tall, so we cut it over the weekend, because we had people coming over" "Could you cut it later in the week instead of tomorrow?"

I told myself the first time they Fu***d with my schedule that I'd give them ONE more shot...... This was it.... I'm gonna call tomorrow and tell them I can no longer keep them in the schedule due to irregularities on their part.

This lawn sucks anyway..... rough, badly fertilized, and looks like a Toys R Us exploded in the driveway!

Envy Lawn Service
06-17-2003, 12:55 AM
I just got rid of one recently that started that ****. The husband got laid off so he had plenty of time to butcher the yard. This was the straw that broke the camels back. There was a pretty nice running list of aggrivations I dealt with over time. So canning the account was a tremendous relief.

The bad part was that I've cut there for years. It was on of my residential/commercial combos and at one time it was my highest paying account. So I lost 2 accounts really and a good bit of $$$.

06-17-2003, 01:19 AM
I get that every now and then, and it really gets on my nerves because it takes a while to get them back on a schedule. I did just drop an account due to a twist on this thread. I call it the good samaritain neighbor syndrome. This lady I cut for has a neighbor who thinks I don't come out often enough (customer's choice not to get more cuts) so he always goes over there and cuts the lawn down to 1" high. I asked my customer about it after the first time and she said he won't accept pay, and just shows up and starts mowing! this guy has deprived me of 3 cuts i could have billed for already. I was supposed to cut that lawn last friday - show up and it's scalped to the dirt. I said goodbye to that one. :angry:

06-17-2003, 01:36 AM
It's only happened to me once and that was last week. The husband was on strike at work (only lasted 1 day) and they were sitting around bored, so they did it. Too low and they didn't even do a neat job. Clippings everywhere, etc. If it happens again then I'll have to say something about canceling. I've already told them about the dog **** in the yard. Felt just a little bad about saying anything when the husband told me his son usually picks it up, but he had an operation(14 & handicapped since birth). The old man just sucks down beers after work, but the old lady could pick it up. I really don't want to give it up since I do all the houses around them and it's so easy to knock off 8 without moving the truck.

06-17-2003, 09:53 AM
I have one that I have done for the last 6 years.....single lady in her 50's, high scale neighborhood, monthly contract. This year she calls me and says she is between consulting jobs, the market is down (she has tons of money, but worries about her investments..), and could I mow every other week and she will mow in between, but she can't edge. Because I have another weekly account next door, I agree and we come up with a new monthly contract for bi-weekly service.

Twice so far I show up on my scheduled week and she has just mowed the yard. We go ahead and edge, trim, and blow, and charge her as if we have mowed also. That's the only way I will do it, and she seems happy with it.

06-17-2003, 10:04 AM
That is a bad and awkward situation. I would let it slide once but tell the customer I will have to bill for my services if I show up and the lawn has been mowed. Luckily I don't have any clients who want to mow and that is why they have me.


06-17-2003, 10:50 AM
I had this happen this spring I have 2 next to each other mowed them for the first time they were not growing much yet so went 2 weeks. Get there to service them and one of them mowed looked a few days eailer no phone call so I say no biggie ill get it next week. get there to service it the next week mowed agian no phone call. get there the following week its not mowed this time. but I skip it since I have had no contact with this lady. Still no phone call and she has been mowing ever since. can't wait till it gets hot and she ask's me to mow it. Ill say sorry booked up :p

06-17-2003, 10:55 AM
The best way to deal with it is to tell them its unacceptable. I had an older couple that would cut it themselves every other week to keep their bill down, and not bother to tell me. I simply explained to them I wasn't interested in working like that and if they continued to mow it themselves, I would have to drop them. That cleared it up.

In general if I show up and the yard is already mowed, I call and explain that the next time they would be charged regardless.

06-17-2003, 11:36 AM
Had one like that. She would call the day prior to say that she had mowed down the high spots and would not need me that week. This continued until about a month ago when it got to the point that she would call me and let me know when she would like my services. Thank you for your business, but I can not be an on call lawn boy. I have filled your spot but if you would like me to service your property billed as a one time service I have an opening next week. Please pay your bill in full and thank you again for your business. Good riddance

06-17-2003, 12:33 PM
If they have a contract with you, just bill them because you showed up. Go over it again, do the edging and whatever else is in the contract. Once they realize that they will be getting the bill anyway, they will stop.

Unless they are doing it for a reason. Someone mentioned that a client mowed because they had company coming over, that is fine, it will just get mowed again on their scheduled date. And of course the bill will be the same.

06-17-2003, 07:02 PM
My longest customer(25 yrs) ALWAYS does all the weedwacking before I get there each week. He's a bit anal when it comes to doing things. Has to know exactly which day of the week I'm coming so he can get out there the day before and do his thing. He's got 3 Toro cordless weedwackers lined up in his garage like soldiers. Sometimes he'll even take my pushblower and do the road "extra good"! Last time he did that with my new 9hp Little Wonder, he asked "if the brake was on?" I'd had the discharge chute turned to blow out the front. He was trying to push it up hill & the machine was pushing against him. LMAO!

06-17-2003, 09:49 PM
Yeah. I had some clowns doing this to me....would get all mah shyt together and go over to the house and the lawn would be cut down to the dirt and the people would just be like....."Ohhh. I didnt think you were gonna show, so i did it myself"'

If I wasnt gonna show i would have called you and told you...

Irony-My business name back then was Austin's Reliable Services:D

SEE YAH~~~~~~~

06-17-2003, 11:43 PM
I have one. He is just a lawn nut. We mow every Thursday and he mows it on Monday. He wants a well groomed appearance and understands to get what he wants in appearance, it needs to be mowed twice a week but doesn't want to pay for a trip charge because he is off the route schedule I get on him every once in a while to sharpen his blade but other than that he is a joy to work for. We have been working together like this for nearly 4 years.

06-18-2003, 12:03 AM
I had a woman last year that called off 12 straight weeks when we had the drought. I can understand a few weeks of not mowing, but the grass DID grow and there was a few days of rain in those 12 weeks. After week 4 I was pretty much determined to not continue to work for her. When she finally started calling when she needed a mow, I took great satisfaction in informing her she was no longer a client.

06-18-2003, 12:30 AM
When a homeowner has mowed the lawn we just hop on the mowers and go over it again. It's scheduled for a mow, so we are going to give it a mow.

06-18-2003, 05:00 PM
We have the same problem with our municiple contract. Believe it or not... a "resident volunteer" has the habit of cutting without warning. Problem is, it looks like ****. I have to make sure that the Town Clerk knows that it was not us. If the cut is too short for our scheduled day, we still bill the town as though we mowed it. Contract is a contract is a contract. So far the town pays and states that they understand.

06-19-2003, 09:58 AM
We got a lady who calls us when she wants it done. No proplem. She pays us that same day, and she seems to be happy with our service.

I do have a nother lady who called last year, wanted us to mow it. Went and looked at it, she had waited till it was so high that the city was on her back. I explained to her the charge would be 1 1/2 times higher than normal. She didn't have a problem with that. I told her, we cut it once, and with it as tall as it was, it wasn't going to be pretty when we were done. No Problem she says. We cut it. She pays, and says come back next week. OK I said. We go back next week, and she has had it mowed. This really burned my ...I didn't go back.

This year she stopped by wanted the grass cut. Again she waited till the city got on her. I told her I would be over the next day, but it would be afternoon. We got there at 11 AM and she or someone else had done it for her.

I am through with this dumb lady. The next time she wants it mowed, I'm going to say Sorry ma-am all booked up. :p :blob2:

07-10-2003, 09:20 PM
Well, he did it again!

Last month I had this customer(see prior post) mow his lawn since he was on strike. OK, I figure he's short of money and was home bored wondering where/when his next check was coming. What the heck, I let it go and moved on. Last week I get there and he's done it again! Now the kicker is that it's such a crappy job that I wonder why he even bothers. There's literally rows of un-cut 6" tall grass in between each pass he makes w/ his 21" Home Depot mower. He leaves quite a few areas undone completely. What really made me laugh this time is that he's home because of a broken toe! Got that open toe type bootie on his foot w/ 2 toes splinted together....and he's cuttin' the lawn! Turns out(he told a neighbor who's also a customer) that he sleepwalks every night and one night he walked into something stubbing his toe and breaking it. Now, normally I'd be inclined to just not go back again or maybe tel him it's either I do it every week or not again. Period! Thing is that where this house is I have 6(including this one) together. Park in one spot and go from one to the other and I do them in 4 hrs total. Then I drive about 600' up the road and I've got 3 more side by side. I guess I'm just venting a bit :blob2: since even if I don't do it every week, I'm right there anyway.
What would you guys do in this situation? Oh yeah, he's also got a dog and they don't clean up after it!

07-10-2003, 10:21 PM
My 15 year old son has 5 lawns in our development that he cuts. While driving in the development today, he saw one of the home owners cutting his own lawn with a Crapsman mower. This guy begged him last year to cut his lawn. My son has been doing it for a year and a half. I'll have to see what happens.

07-10-2003, 10:39 PM
I have a customer that I mow for every other week and she mows every other week. Its really a pain because it grows like heck and sometimes its like two feet high when she doesnt mow and then sometimes Ill come and it will be mowed. Its not the most convenient setup but right now I could use the business so I put up with it.

07-10-2003, 10:48 PM
The way I see it is for you to show up on your scheduled day. If it's been mowed, walk the yard and see if anything needs touching up and do it. Bill them for complete services. If they question it, then explain that they need to cancel your services or understand that no matter how much they do, it will not eliminate being billed.

Some of my customers do the same thing just because it's fun to do it every now and then. But they don't want a steady diet of it.

Gr grass n Hi tides
07-10-2003, 10:50 PM
I had an experience sort of close to that this week when a client I cut twice per month left me a voice mail wanting to "go to once every three weeks." What a pain. I still have to return that call & I'm inclined to say sorry, that won't fit my schedule and/or I would have to increase price because I'll have to double cut. Her yard is about 1/2 weeds & would be hard to knock down in one pass after three weeks of growth, as ya'll can imagine.

07-10-2003, 11:16 PM
I don't mowwbehind dogs period

07-11-2003, 12:03 AM
Regular weekly account lady asks if I can trim 4 hedges. No prob I say, next cut I will take care of them (with the new $300 hedge trimmer). I do it, she likes it, I charge her a measely friggin $5 and she tells me that she figured it would be included in the weekly cut price. Luckily, I had a good come back from reading all of the similar posts on the site. I asked her if she ordered a burger and fries.......then asked them to throw in a shake if they would just give it to her for free. Two smiles later I received payment and a request to trim them as needed.
I love it when good things come together. :D

Rustic Goat
07-11-2003, 12:46 AM
No need to get mad, just bill them for scheduled service. If they question it, explain that without a weeks notice, you have trip time, crewmen, equipment, etc. already assigned to do their job, whether they cut it or not, you have to pay them.

They won't cut it anymore, if they get all bent out of shape, what have you lost?

07-11-2003, 12:58 AM
I had a 2 acre account last year where the lady would sometimes mow half the lawn for me. She really liked to mow but didn't want to"have to mow" each week. So, she would just pay me my full amount each week plus a tip.:D I didn't mind her helping me out sometimes. She always seemed to mow the difficult areas for me. i lost that account this year since she quit her job and now has plenty of time to mow. Oh well.:)