View Full Version : Do i need their permission???

10-23-2003, 05:11 PM
Im doing a small run of a direct mail piece shortly(approximately 75 pieces), and want to include a listing of my clients in the area that the direct mail piece is going to. What i originally wanted to do was include a list of my clients' names and adresses (all in the area i am sending the piece to) so that those recieving my piece would be able to go and see my work first hand. It seems to me that i need to get the client's permission, right? Would you do the described actions above?

10-23-2003, 05:22 PM
If I were your customer and started noticing people driving by my house, slowing down or stopping by to look at my property, I would get upset. Think of it like this. Instead of lawn care, what if you sold Viagra or pornographic materials. Would you want a new customer to have the ability to contact your customers, knock on their door and ask them what they thought about the product/service? Let your work speak for itself and leave your customers alone. MCI did this same thing a few years ago. They called it "Friends and Family." They gave discounts to people that signed up by giving names so they could contact them as well. It caused lots of problems when they found out they were recieving telemarketing calls because Aunt Jean gave them your name and number. It turned out to be a total flop and was discontinued very quickly.

Just my opinion of course. One man's trash is another man's treasure.

10-23-2003, 05:26 PM
I agree with southpaw.. But if you really want to do it, definiently get the customer's permission first.

I even ask my customer's for permission before I take pictures of their property.

It's just the right thing to do

lost mountain
10-23-2003, 05:46 PM
I wouldn't put something like that in a direct mailling, I would simply state that "our company has many satisified customers in your area and we'll gladly provide references yadayada..." Maybe even mention some of the better neighborhoods that you work in if you want to sound involved out there and you want to sound like the neighborhood pro. ;)

10-23-2003, 07:05 PM
...exactly. Respect and appreciate your customers' pricy. Some of them maybe evn be unlisted for this very reason. Unlisted doesn't always mean it's just for the phone. In the first place, it's a security breach. That's one of the things that is said not to do, is let public know both your name AND your address at will. In other words, you shouldn't have your last name on your mailbox. This would be compromising that in cases. Just say "References available".

10-23-2003, 08:03 PM
You invade your customers privacy like that you not only could end up losing a bunch, but you could end up in court. You would be much better off to speak with current customers about using them as references. Then give anyone that wants info the names. Without the customers permission it will be unethical and unprofessional.

10-23-2003, 08:05 PM
Originally posted by 65hoss
Without the customers permission it will be unethical and unprofessional.

I understand and agree. Thanks, and i appologize if i came off as ignorant.

10-23-2003, 08:19 PM
Originally posted by MacLawnCo
I understand and agree. Thanks, and i appologize if i came off as ignorant. Not at all. You've been around long enough I know your not ignorant. I sometimes get a little direct.

Don't do it.:D

10-23-2003, 10:24 PM
just get one or two that really like you, and explain what you want to do.

Team Gopher
10-24-2003, 04:10 AM
You may be surprised! If you ask a customer if you could use them as a referral, they just might say yes. :)

10-24-2003, 01:59 PM
You might be letting yourself open to a law suit. What I did was ask 4 or 5 customers if I can use them as references. They always agree.

10-24-2003, 04:55 PM
bad idea, bad idea, bad idea. did I mention that I think this a bad idea? I think if you put the shoe on the other foot, you will see what we are talking about.

Expert Lawns
10-24-2003, 09:57 PM
I have 9 accounts in the same neighborhood, so I made up a special flyer with the addresses of the accounts I already mow right there on the flyer. I include a message like "Feel free to drive by and have a look at our work next time you leave your neighborhood" or something of that effect. I also wrote (or told via telephone) my current customers that I was going to be doing this. Noone cared, they are all really nice and want to see me succeed.

Rustic Goat
10-25-2003, 05:47 AM
Really a bad idea without speaking to them about it first, maybe offer a one time discount incentive to a handful of your clients for the privilege of using their name.
Do you use yard signs? You'll accomplish the same thing, sending out your fliers and having yard signs (with clients permission of course) displayed in the area.
No concern about publishing names and numbers that way.

10-25-2003, 08:11 AM
Originally posted by lawnman_scott
just get one or two that really like you, and explain what you want to do.

lawnman_scott and bob are giving you good advice if you want to consider your idea.

otherwise...as you have noted, bad idea.

I'll give you a new reason.

you would be publishing your client list.

it'd be real easy for your competition to target you for stealing your clients. :eek: