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View Full Version : is honesty the best policy?


bobbygedd
03-07-2004, 03:17 PM
i was just looking at that guy's thread, requesting a cancelation notice, and before i could reply, i have a question. should you be honest? if u have a client who is cheap, and always lookin for extras for free or low price, and you had it with them, do you give this as the reason for cancelling? if you have one continously late on payments, do u give this reason for cancelling? are you brutally honest, or try to let them go, "gently?" though things will be done differently now, i have in the past cancelled service in the following manner: just stop showing up, don't return thier phonecalls. make up a lie, say we are downsizing. tell them they don't pay promptly, and i aint no credit card company. tell them i have a health condition. well, are u honest or not?

dkeisala
03-07-2004, 03:40 PM
Actual letter sent:

I regret to inform you that due to a change in the nature of my business, I will no longer be providing lawn maintenance services for your residence. Maintenance services will cease effective immediately.

I appreciate the opportunity to serve you over the last year. I wish you the best and thank you.

John Gamba
03-07-2004, 03:46 PM
Just Be Honest, Tell them that you can't work for Break even or a loss anymore.
John

ParkerLawn
03-07-2004, 03:48 PM
Honesty ALWAYS! This is a reflection of yourself, not the customer. It will payoff in the long run and allow you to know you did the right thing.

Pecker
03-07-2004, 03:48 PM
I'm honest when I can be. But I won't be brutally honest if it will only hurt someone. For instance, if a customer doesn't pay because they are broke, I'd probably go with "I've had a change in schedule and can no longer provide lawn service for you". If a customer doesn't pay because they are playing a game and wasting my time I will get to the point rather quickly. BTW, there is no grace period with me. If the check is not in my mailbox by the day before their next scehduled mowing, they get skipped. The only customers that get away with it are my year - round regulars and they are regulars because they pay.

bobbygedd
03-07-2004, 03:52 PM
so parker, if they are a pain in the butt, and this is the reason you are terminating thier service, you will tell them, "your service is being terminated, because you are a nuisence?"

rodfather
03-07-2004, 04:15 PM
I am blatantly honest. I have said in the past...

"I am very sorry, but I am not your bank" (slow payers)
"Not everyone can afford me" (el cheapos)
"I can't charge you enough" (job ain't worth my while)
"I don't have the time to do all this" (wanting too many free extras)

1MajorTom
03-07-2004, 06:27 PM
This is a case where I don't think honesty is the best policy.
Although it would feel good to tell these types of customers the exact truth as to why they were dropped, what actually is gained by this?

Nobody likes to be reminded about their faults. Whether they are a late payer, a cheapo, or a chronic complainer, they still aren't going to like to be told this. All this will do is a leave a bad taste in their mouth about your company.

We just dropped a lady last week. I sent out a nice cancellation notice. Although I was dying to tell this lady what I actually thought about her, I instead opted to tell her we were consolidating our routes and wouldn't be servicing her immediate area any more.

This lady is a doctors wife, a member of the country club... What benefit would we have gained if I would have told her we were dropping her because she is a PITA? NONE..

Turfdude
03-07-2004, 06:30 PM
Rod - don't forget "Our goal is to see you happy. Since we have fallen short of our goal in keeping you happy (by the numerous nuisance complaints you regitered), I believe its in both of our best interests if you seek the services of another qualified professional" Client who couldn't be pleased no matter what!

leadarrows
03-07-2004, 06:38 PM
Word of mouth helps or hurts with equal force. I wouldn't lie for fear of being caught in the lie. I wouldn't be rude for fear of negative word of mouth issues. That said a clever way of saying it like the one Turfdude offered gets my vote.

Advanced Lawncare
03-07-2004, 10:37 PM
Normally just a general letter stating that we are not longer able to service their account. If they want to push the issue it is similar to Rodfather.

tiedeman
03-07-2004, 11:04 PM
late payers: I tell them honestly why

people that want things free: I might do some stuff for a while free, like water plants, etc. But then I tell them honestly that I have to start charging them for it.

people that complain: I say to those people, "Perhaps you need to find someone that can provide you with better quality service and more personal attention."

ParkerLawn
03-08-2004, 12:06 AM
bobbygedd, my response to a customer like that would be " I am sorry, but I am just not satisfying you with my service and will be happy to help find a replacement but thank you for the opportunity." Simple as that, no reason to be blatent about it and be rude but be as polite as possible about it and move on.

olderthandirt
03-08-2004, 01:07 AM
So your self esteem means nothing as long as they might say some thing negative about your business. Give me a break I'm not a door mat for some slow paying moron or pita. I'll gladly tell them why I'm dropping them and I'll tell anyone else that care to listen.
If I wanted to hear abot problems I would have Dr. in front of my name.

Mac

lawnman_scott
03-08-2004, 01:37 AM
So your wife gets ready to go, comes out and she looks like hell. you say??????????????

1MajorTom
03-08-2004, 01:49 AM
What does self esteem have to do with it?
So if I would have told the lady she was PITA, I would have felt better about myself? I would have more self respect, I would have more pride in myself?? I don't get it.

I'm not going to go around hurting other peoples feelings just so I can hold onto my "self esteem".
I got the job done. That lady's history, and we're relieved to have her gone.
At the end of the day when she looks in the mirror, she knows she is a PITA. She doesn't need me to confirm it for her. ;)
I'm not an advocate for brutal honesty.

olderthandirt
03-08-2004, 01:54 AM
We aint talking about my wife, but if she was paying me to take her out and she came out looking like crap yea I'd tell her becoase the marriage would be long over when she had to pay me to take her out. So don't try to mix business with family. I was married when you was a twinkle in your daddy eye.

Mac

olderthandirt
03-08-2004, 01:59 AM
Originally posted by 1MajorTom
What does self esteem have to do with it?
So if I would have told the lady she was PITA, I would have felt better about myself? I would have more self respect, I would have more pride in myself?? I don't get it.

I'm not going to go around hurting other peoples feelings just so I can hold onto my "self esteem".
I got the job done. That lady's history, and we're relieved to have her gone.
At the end of the day when she looks in the mirror, she knows she is a PITA. She doesn't need me to confirm it for her. ;)
I'm not an advocate for brutal honesty.

Maybe she so use to people bowing down to her becuase shes a Dr. wife that she has no idea she's a pita. I believe in telling them the truth. Diff strokes for diff folks.

Mac

mbricker
03-08-2004, 02:04 AM
I have quit customers for the same reasons all of you have mentioned. But generally I think it does no good to tell someone they are a PITA, and if you do you may be subject to some sort of retribution campaign by that former customer--like, they go out of their way to tell everyone they know what a jerk you are. How is that going to help your business?

When it comes to the chronic slow pay types, a couple of the worst reamings I've ever endured from customers were when I told them I was quitting because they consistently abused their credit privileges. THEY knew they were slow pays, and I had sent them late notices many times, so they knew it had definitely come to MY attention, so why would they come unglued when I told them I wouldn't put up with it anymore? I don't have any idea.

So now when I quit someone for that reason, I make up an excuse--like I'm no longer driving across to your part of town.

But quitting someone because they simply aren't paying, as opposed to always late, another story. They get the "see you in small claims if not paid by such-and-such date" letter. They KNOW why I'm quitting, and that I'm mad, and that I WILL get my money.

LAWNS AND MOWER
03-08-2004, 02:29 AM
Originally posted by ******
I'm honest when I can be. But I won't be brutally honest if it will only hurt someone. For instance, if a customer doesn't pay because they are broke, I'd probably go with "I've had a change in schedule and can no longer provide lawn service for you". If a customer doesn't pay because they are playing a game and wasting my time I will get to the point rather quickly. BTW, there is no grace period with me. If the check is not in my mailbox by the day before their next scehduled mowing, they get skipped. The only customers that get away with it are my year - round regulars and they are regulars because they pay. Peck er---No grace period???? Geez, if I had this policy, I'd be playing golf 5 days a week. I've yet to charge a late fee in 18 years and have only been stiffed twice for a grand total of $150.