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View Full Version : Someone stole my leaf cleanup


Expert Lawns
10-24-2003, 09:43 PM
Has this ever happened to any of you?

I have an account across the street from me. I came home from class one day to find another LCO parked there doing a leaf cleanup on MY ACCOUNT! I just don't get why they would hire an entirely different company to do it. What I'm hoping is that they received a flyer for a cheapo cleanup, called that company and hired them. The reason why I say this is because this guy was there from about 9am to 7pm. Now, if my figures are correct....that is about a $1,000,000 job. He had a scag walk behind with a bagger and was using home depot bags to dispose of the leaves. He seemed very nice and very professional. Newer truck, brand new trailer. The leaf cleanup wasn't done very well though. Leaves still in flowerbeds, inside the tennis court, and various other places. Sorta feel bad for him, he might be new at this and doesn't know how to bid. If it took him all day and he only bid it for $100 or so (which i'm thinking he did) then he really go in over his head. I guess what I'm asking is has this happened to you guys? Did you contact your customer and ask them why? Is it any of my business? Gosh, this would have been about a $300 job for me. Kinda bummed about it. :(

wriken
10-24-2003, 09:47 PM
Similar situation for me, I mow, tg/cl does the fert, and another lco does the clean-up. Client said they have done the clean-up for years. I could'nt believe how much she told my crewleader they were charging for it, bout 20 less then I would have.

Rich's Lawn Care
10-24-2003, 09:58 PM
Did you do the clean-up last year?

Expert Lawns
10-24-2003, 10:01 PM
Fall cleanup last year and spring cleanup this year. They told me they were very pleased with all our work. so.......I'm clueless

STAN1366
10-24-2003, 10:07 PM
Originally posted by wriken
Similar situation for me, I mow, tg/cl does the fert, and another lco does the clean-up. Client said they have done the clean-up for years. I could'nt believe how much she told my crewleader they were charging for it, bout 20 less then I would have.

Do you mean they have another LCO doing a cleanup only because it's $20 less than what you would charge? Why should they bother? A few years back there was an LCO doing 3 houses across the street from 3 that I do. He NEVER did a cleanup for anyone of them. Just chopped up the leaves till the end of October and then it was "see ya in the spring." They asked me to do a cleanup at one of these places 2 yrs. in a row which I did, even though I knew the other guy would be there next spring. Well, one by one, they canned this guy and hired me. It's nice parking in one spot and doing 6 houses.

Rich's Lawn Care
10-24-2003, 10:17 PM
you need to call them to see if it was something that you did.

I just got a fall clean-up that was another lco account. I asked the lady why she wasn't useing her guy and she said that he was blowing grass into her beds. after she asked him to stop doing it. so it was good for me i got the fall clean-up the weekly mowing and the snow plowing.

Expert Lawns
10-24-2003, 10:22 PM
I live across the street from this account, and we are friendly friends. Not real close, but friendly ya know. Maybe they were afraid to tell me that they were not satisfied with my work. But they told me they WERE. And this was about 2 weeks before cleanups started. They are pretty well off (Dentist), so I don't think they would hire someone else over 20,30,40 dollars. Also, I gave them a really good price on their weekly mowing and their spring cleanup.
I think I'll call them and ask if they were dissatisfied with our cleanup last year. This way I get them talking and hopefully I will get some answers.

Rich's Lawn Care
10-24-2003, 10:26 PM
Good luck!!

Randy Scott
10-24-2003, 10:33 PM
Originally posted by Expert Lawns
Sorta feel bad for him, he might be new at this and doesn't know how to bid. If it took him all day and he only bid it for $100 or so (which i'm thinking he did) then he really go in over his head.

You have absolutely NO idea what he was charging! I want to know what your basis was for saying that you figure he's charging $100.

mtdman
10-24-2003, 10:46 PM
I had a few folks this fall have another company, probably their fert company, do their aerations. When I asked why, they had no idea of what I was talking about. They never noticed the fert company did the aeration, had no idea what an aeration was, despite my efforts to educate all my customers. I was not happy.

I have a package plan where a customer gets a bunch of services and a discount, and pays equally each month for them. Included usually is a leaf cleanup. Today, one of my customers told me the kids across the street would be doing the cleanup and asked if I could give her a credit on her account. After telling her no, it's part of the package and nonrefundable, she was not very happy. I asked her why she would pay some 12 year old kids with rakes to do it when she was paying for it all year. She said the kids were trying to earn money. I replied so was I!!! So I cut the grass, and did no pre mowing blow, just ground the leaves up and left them for her on top of the lawn. I hope the kids have fun raking shredded leaf bits.

Rich's Lawn Care
10-24-2003, 10:55 PM
Tom, Thats to funny. I bet you get a call from her when the 12 year old does half the yard and dosn't come back.

wriken
10-24-2003, 11:23 PM
Originally posted by STAN1366
Do you mean they have another LCO doing a cleanup only because it's $20 less than what you would charge? Why should they bother? A few years back there was an LCO doing 3 houses across the street from 3 that I do. He NEVER did a cleanup for anyone of them. Just chopped up the leaves till the end of October and then it was "see ya in the spring." They asked me to do a cleanup at one of these places 2 yrs. in a row which I did, even though I knew the other guy would be there next spring. Well, one by one, they canned this guy and hired me. It's nice parking in one spot and doing 6 houses.

yep, its a very small yard, takes 10 minutes to mow, 3-4 small trees. I've mowed it for 2 years, told her 55.00 for the clean-up, she said the local ladies do it for 36.00. And I thought I was resonable on my price. Oh well they can do the dirty work, I'll do the gravy.:)
forgot to mention she did'nt want a clean-up last year, and did'nt have one done, now that you guys got me thinking, maybe the other LCO trying to get a job from me. LOL

mike9497
10-24-2003, 11:43 PM
yeah i have a few customers like this.one guy has 3 other scapers not including me working at his house.one does the weeding and shrub trimming.the other does the fert and reseeding stuff.one just plants flowers and stuff.i just cut the grass.why does he do this?? because he is Mr king cheapo.next year i hope he finds another lawn guy.i took the job because i do 8 other homes on his street.most of my lawns are 30.00 plus but i can only get 22.00 out of him.even that was too high for him.he shopped around and got 3 other companies to do it for 15.00 well they never showed and i got stuck doing it again.

EJK2352
10-25-2003, 12:07 AM
Originally posted by mike9497
yeah i have a few customers like this.one guy has 3 other scapers not including me working at his house.one does the weeding and shrub trimming.the other does the fert and reseeding stuff.one just plants flowers and stuff.i just cut the grass.why does he do this?? because he is Mr king cheapo.next year i hope he finds another lawn guy.i took the job because i do 8 other homes on his street.most of my lawns are 30.00 plus but i can only get 22.00 out of him.even that was too high for him.he shopped around and got 3 other companies to do it for 15.00 well they never showed and i got stuck doing it again.

How exactly did you get stuck doing it???? I would have told Mr. King Cheapo NO !!! after I was canned the first time!!!

GardenTech
10-25-2003, 12:21 AM
Do't be too surprised if the customer actually thought the other guy was part of your crew...( or the dreaded "relative" just starting out).

homerescue
10-27-2003, 04:43 PM
mike what happens when the rest of the neighbord find out your cutting his for less, won't that p them off. one guy asks me on the same street every year to cut his until it comes to price, when i give him the price ----dollars just like all your neighbors, he says forget it. ive done decided to tell him next time last time for this price next time 10.00 more. the guys that do it now do a terrible job, he's just a cheapo. I'll just keep my god customers and build like that

Expert Lawns
10-27-2003, 04:49 PM
Originally posted by Randy Scott
You have absolutely NO idea what he was charging! I want to know what your basis was for saying that you figure he's charging $100.

It's a hypothetical. Get a dictionary.

I think it's pretty safe to say that noone has perfectly bid every single lawn and leaf cleanup we've ever done. Especially when we were starting out. SO, HYPOTHETICALLY speaking, IF he is just starting out, MAYBE he misbid the cleanup. I never said that I knew for sure, nor did I pretend to know. Just hypothesising for the sake of arguement

Expert Lawns
10-27-2003, 04:56 PM
The other thing I dont' like about having someone else do my customer's cleanup is because they will more than likely mention next year and next year's mowing schedule. I dont' need someone stealing my accounts. This just gives him a foot in the door. I guess I can't make people's decisions for them. That's why there is competition.

MTD - I had a customer like that. Said the neighborhood kids would do the cleanup since they need money. We'll thank god I don't have an $8,000 lawnmower to pay off. Yes, the same one that cuts your grass each week. cheapo. So, I just mulched the leaves up really good and left it for the kids to scrape up by hand.

Gene $immons
10-27-2003, 05:01 PM
Originally posted by Expert Lawns
Has this ever happened to any of you?
if my figures are correct....that is about a $1,000,000 job.


??

1,000,000 ??

Expert Lawns
10-27-2003, 05:13 PM
Sarcasm

Rich's Lawn Care
10-27-2003, 05:33 PM
EL, Did you call yet?

promower
10-27-2003, 05:35 PM
First leaf clean up I did I was 12 went door to door with a rake in my hand. One job I got $2.50 2 hours of work. When I got done with houses I just ask to give me as much as thought was good. Thing was $2.50 was fine to me, remembered working about 8 hours that day and brought home just over $20. LOL I still think about that day and where Im at now. Doesnt have much to do with this thread but though It was kind of a funny story.

Expert Lawns
10-27-2003, 08:25 PM
promower. sounds like a story my dad would tell. but he's 68 years old. oh, and he did it with a ladder on his back. front yard went up hill both ways.

beck
10-27-2003, 09:30 PM
wasnt my account but another LCO that cuts next to me lost out on a big money leaf job because the homeowner thought it would be cheaper to hire two guys at $10/hr using rakes, tarps and a handheld blower.
My crew came in and in 2 hours with three guys were gone, these guys had been there almost two days and they were just about done getting all of the leaves out of the beds( they had them all in piles) and still needed to haul them to the far side of the property and dump them in the creek. I hope the customers were happy paying $10/hr as opposed to paying 40-45 with efficient equipment. We will see here in the next few weeks if those guys even bother coming back.

promower
10-27-2003, 09:41 PM
Sorry expert lawns I forgot to mention the rakes were made of cast iron and of course uphill walk there and back.

Expert Lawns
10-28-2003, 12:30 PM
Originally posted by promower
Sorry expert lawns I forgot to mention the rakes were made of cast iron and of course uphill walk there and back.

haha, much better