View Full Version : welcome to my nightmare

06-25-2004, 05:30 PM
it all started at 6:30 am. this customer known to us as "peachpit" called. why, you may ask, is she known as peachpit? i'll tell you. she's 86 years old. when we go and mow she comes out and says, "are you the same fella who was here last time?" i say yes of course, you know, FOR THE LAST 3 YEARS!!!. then i say, "how are you feeling?" she always replies the same, "i'm an 86 year old woman who's been through 3 husbands, how the hell do you think i feel?" anyhow, she likes to sit on the porch and watch us mow. i use a 21" on her and her neighbors(all around 1500 sq ft total). this one day, she was eating a peach, and bit the pit, and broke her tooth, and i had to call my wife to bring her to the dentist. so she is now known only as "peachpit". well, she always insists we cut it shorter. no problem, the 21" is easy enough to lower. 6:30 am she calls, "you cut my lawn too short, you killed it, i want you to put down new sod." then the crap began. stop #1, lady comes out waving her arms, "no, no, don't cut it, it doesn't need it." i ***** at her. she says well then just cut the back. i do. she says how much? i say full price. moaning, whining, that was that. stop# 2- just had a blacktop driveway put in, don't want me to cut. fine, you're paying anyhow. she wants me to come back tommorow. fine, i get $30 for today, and $30 for tommorow. more whining. stop#3- last week they were having windows put in, i couldn't cut, men had tools all over lawn. this week, dog out in back yard, nobody home. cut front, left messege saying you are paying for last week AND this week. stop#4- lady "sprinkled something" for ants on part of front lawn. i mowed around it, refused to mow over area that she treated. left it lookin real stupid,much whining. she's paying anyhow. stop#5- having work done on house, didn't call to tell me, lawn area covered with tools, no mow, pay me anyhow. stop#6- only cut front, back doesn't need it, and adjust price. yea right. stops #7thru #18, an assortment of, "why is my lawn brown, why are you cutting, and can you skip me next week" . answeres: ask chemlawn, cus i have to eat and live indoors, and no! man, these first 5 beers sure tasted good. i'm sure the next 10 will be just as good.

Davis Lawn Mowing, LLC
06-25-2004, 05:35 PM
Why in the hell are you still cutting this person's lawn? I would have dropped her after week 4.

all degree
06-25-2004, 05:38 PM
What did you do in your previous life. Based on your posts and all your problems you must have been a serial killer or something. You have the worst luck and group of customers that I have ever heard of. I know your area and I think that has something to do with it. You need to move down where I am. People at the beach are much more mellow.

Drink up buddy...

06-25-2004, 05:42 PM
Sounds like you have all the Accts that none of the other LCO's near you want.

Pop a top

06-25-2004, 05:55 PM
Start to bring a TV camera crew with you and make a realty TV show.
----L.A.W.N.--- A day in the life of a NJ lawn boy---.

06-25-2004, 06:09 PM
I still think you should be writing fiction novels.......

Trevors Lawn Care
06-25-2004, 06:29 PM
why are you whining....sounds like you made a bit of money and didnt have to cut...


06-25-2004, 06:33 PM
yea trevor, but you know it's gonna be a ton of bullsh!t involved.

06-25-2004, 06:33 PM
bobby i feel sorry for you your luckey you arent in the nut house yet dealing with them people

06-25-2004, 07:03 PM
Originally posted by all degree
What did you do in your previous life. Based on your posts and all your problems you must have been a serial killer or something. You have the worst luck and group of customers that I have ever heard of. I know your area and I think that has something to do with it. You need to move down where I am. People at the beach are much more mellow.

Drink up buddy...

how do you get all these problems?;) do other lco's in new jersey have this same problem or are you just cursed.

06-25-2004, 07:11 PM
You do a bunch of per cut biz, eh?

06-25-2004, 07:13 PM
yes and no, gee vee. i have "per cuts" and i have flat monthly fees.

DFW Area Landscaper
06-25-2004, 08:05 PM

If those are 'per cut' accounts, I just don't see how you're able to get away with (a) billing for not cutting, (b) collecting for not cutting and (c) keeping them as a customer after you try it. I'm just too scared to try that.

I've never been to a lawn that couldn't be mowed. I have encountered locked gates, but we cut the front and leave a note about the back. No discount for not cutting the back, but we've been able to return within a few days every time this has happened. It doesn't happen very often.

As far as contractors having tools everywhere, I've encountered that too, but they've always been in one general area of the lawn. So we start cutting on the other side of the lawn and the contractors have almost always picked their stuff up once they see we're cutting. Occassionally, we've had to mow around guttering and stuff like that on the ground. No biggie, just leave a note on the door for the customer explaining what happened.

As far as the "Can you skip me this time?" Well, that's pure BS for a customer to pull that schit. I've got that covered in my standard contract. If a customer elects to skip a scheduled mowing, they will be billed for mowing anyway. Since I started including that in my contract and going over that with customers when they sign up, "skip me this time" hasn't been a problem at all.

DFW Area Landscaper

all degree
06-25-2004, 08:09 PM
I am in New Jersey and I have no probs...

06-25-2004, 08:15 PM
i don't "return" to do cuts. i have 3 men on the payroll(including myself), and gas and hourly operating costs to think about. if i were to not charge, and come back the next day, i would be mowing for free. they will pay(as our contract states) for my visit, or they will be cancelled, and taken to court

DFW Area Landscaper
06-26-2004, 12:18 AM
+++++ don't "return" to do cuts. i have 3 men on the payroll(including myself), and gas and hourly operating costs to think about.+++++

I can see your point. And as a reasonable home owner, I guess I wouldn't think that's unreasonable.

Do you get many people (who do take the time to read the contract) question that issue before signing on the dotted line? Do you run into many cancellations because you billed for not cutting?

Just curious. Maybe I should be a little less "mr nice guy" and a little more "mr business man".

DFW Area Landscaper

06-26-2004, 01:36 AM
Just do not go back. She would never know the difference when and if someone else ever showed up.

06-26-2004, 01:54 AM
bobby, are you sure you dont smoke grass, instead of cutting it?

lol jk, it just seems everyday ya got something odd to tell us about your day, some days its hullious and somedays its horror, or some just plain well idk. lol, anyway that sucks, sorry to hear that, today for most of my lawns, it hasnt rained much and didnt have much to cut, but still striped nice with that 144z, hehe.

06-26-2004, 08:26 AM
i have had to bill for a "non cut" only a handful of times over the years. i have also billed extra for excessive growth(during rainy season) i have never lost a client over these issues. the contract covers all of these issues, and at sign up time i explain to them anything they don't understand. in 8 years i've only had one guy cross out a paragraph, and write a note saying, "i will not pay for a "non cut". " he was cancelled before we started. it was a very bad day for us yesterday, if it were only one incident, i probly wouldn't charge, but 5, 6, 7 incidents in one day costs me too much money, and i must enforce the contract. i will, for sure, lose a couple clients over this. i got a call late last night from the one. she was having windows put in last week. tools, ladders all over the lawn. i pull up, look, and drive away. never returned. this week, i pull up, there's a dog running freely in the back yard. i knock, nobody answered. cut the front and left. her argument, "last week, you could have told the men to pick up thier tools, and cut the lawn." my comeback, "your lawn is scheduled for 15 minutes start to finish time. while i wait for the window crew to pick all thier tools up, that's 5-10 minutes at least, IF they drop what they are doing and move quickly, which is unlikely. then i have to make sure they wait out in the street, across the street, so no one gets hit with flying debris. i don't have that kind of time, it's a $33 grass cut for crying out loud. the profit on that is only maybe $15-$17. that aint a decent bet on a 3 legged nag." then she says well, " the dog issue, i should have kept knocking, her daughter was home, perhaps she was napping, if i kept knocking i could have woken her up. i want you to come back and finish the back yard." i said, "no i wasn't gonna keep knocking, i knocked twice, that was enough. sure, i'll come back tommorow. however it will be billed as a separate visit, in full, just like yesterdays visit was." she says, "i'll talk to my husband about this." fine, whatever.

06-26-2004, 08:32 AM
ok, now educate me, how would you pros have handled this. if you say these are issues you never had to address, you are lying. more than likely, 99.9% would just take it, do the return work at a loss or just skip the cut at your loss. that's why lawnboys WILL ALWAYS BE PEE ONS.

06-26-2004, 08:53 AM
I am in New Jersey and I have no probs...

06-26-2004, 10:59 AM
that's true, as long as you let people HUMP YOU, you won't have any problems. i aint lettin nobody hump me, thank you very much

06-26-2004, 11:21 AM
Originally posted by greendave
I still think you should be writing fiction novels.......

I second that....most of these stories sounds exaggerated or like total bull s... but entertaining none the less!

06-26-2004, 11:37 AM
I am willing to bet the reason you have such great stories is because you ask for it. There is no way in hell you could have ongoing problems like that unless there is something wrong with the way you are doing things. Drinking a six pack a night could be the first reason. I would make sure to have a contract and CLEARLY go through all of the details of it before you start work. This will weed out the PITA's and make your other customers less of a hassle on a weekly basis. What kind of image are you portraying? I am willing to bet you and your employess look like you just walked out of a bar or something. Do you have uniforms? Do your trucks look the same? Are the trucks and employees clean and professional looking? Handle business like a pro and not a drunk and you won't have so many damn problems. I have been watching your threads for quite a while and find them amusing but now that you ask why, now you have the answer, look in the mirror.


06-26-2004, 11:59 AM
I try and read alot on this site but. I just happen to laugh at some of the trouble some of you guys have, now bobbygedd stories seem to be the best. I always get a kick out of reading them this one probally happens to be a real good one


06-26-2004, 12:22 PM
bobbygedd's stories are entertainng no doubt. Are they real? Reading them, one has to question, "is this the truth?" However, if you break them down, do you ever see any of these situations happening to you?
Take the example he gives of the customer getting work done on their house, the men have tools lying everywhere. Just last year we had a customer who got their house sided and a new roof put on. Ladder, tools, debris, EVERYWHERE. No one here has ever experienced this before?
He says on another customer, they only want their front cut. No one here has ever had a customer that only wants part of their lawn serviced because the other half isn't growing much? We have before.
He says customer turns down a cut. No one here has ever had a customer say "skip me this week, it doesn't need cut"
He says customer just got driveway sealed, and they don't want it cut this week. This never happened to anyone here? It has to us before.
So breaking down this post, these situations really aren't so far fetched. In fact, they happen a lot. Did all these customer problems happen yesterday to Bobby? Well I'm undecided on that. ;)

Now to Bobby. You say you aren't going to take it. Ok, fine. But how many customers can you really afford to lose? Is there any customer that is worth it enough to you to work thru the problem?

06-26-2004, 12:35 PM
ive had a few wierdo's ..like a old lady wanted us to use a old fasioned hand snippers instead of string trimmers...a couple from haiti i work for cursed us with a voodoo curse...another and i dont know how they were related to the customers would make a point of screwing in the back in the fenced in lawn while we would be mowing it ........ customers talking smart or rude to me ...never happens ..i must say im at a loss to figure at why ...guess my looking like a innocent choir

06-26-2004, 12:47 PM
ah jodi, with my brains and your, ummm, like i said, with my brains, we could really go places. to answer what's his names questions first: i don't drink a 6 pack a night, and i don't ever drink during work hours. i do however consume anywhere from 8-15 beers a night, at least 3 days a week. secondly, my contracts are clear, with no fine print, if they can't agree, they shouldn't sign. my guys are neat, short hair, very presentable. i wear a "uniform" with my name on the shirt. my trucks have signs including name, #, and pesticide #'s. now, as jodi stated, which i know is true, we have all had these problems. fact is, it's not a problem to most lawnguys, cus they are willing to let it go, lose a few bucks, and work for minimum wage. my business is unique in that, i treat it as a proffessional business. i don't do freebies, i don't let clients walk on me, i have written agreements, and i stick to them, and make sure the client does too, or it's adios! i talked to my friend about this this morning. he said he would bill the clients, as i stated. BUT... if they complained, he would tell them they didn't have to pay it. THAT'S PATHETIC! this guy has been in business 20 years, and barely makes it. why? he's like the rest of you. i see here, with my own eyes, you guys put in 12-16 hour days,6 days a week, 9 months a year, then look for a part time job during the winter. HELLOOOOOO, look in the mirror....what is wrong with this picture???? ok, to answer jodi's question: there are clients who are worth bending for. these clients are the ones that i do full packages for. mow, fert, trimming, leaves, snow.....these are valuable clients that i will bend for, but only so far, i still have to look at myself in the mirror. the mow only clients, that are a pita, they are expendable, i'll drop them at a minutes notice, without batting an eye.

06-26-2004, 01:21 PM
Originally posted by bobbygedd
first: i don't drink a 6 pack a night, and i don't ever drink during work hours. i do however consume anywhere from 8-15 beers a night, at least 3 days a week.

Not being a smartbut but at 15X3 that comes to 6.42 beers everyday 7 days a week every week as an average. :D

But the stories are funny!!

06-27-2004, 04:16 AM

For some reason, that just sounds nasty.

06-27-2004, 05:16 AM
I have a very good contract, 11 acres, that I just picked up this year, 19 acres total with ponds. The Local YMCA, they cut around the building and I cut everything else. I thought when I bid on it, it was a dream. I don't have to do around people or cars or curbs, WOW. Two weeks ago the guy comes out to me and says, "my budget is running out and I want you to come every other week". And, "I don't want the ponds cut but every other week also". I kinda chuckled and said, yea my budget is running thin too but, we do have a contract that says weekly for the extent of the 04 mowing season. Which is billed monthly. I really don' know what I can do. I've cut on a two hour notice for this guy when he had programs and he wiped a starter. The whole thing, not just what I'm supposed to cut. And, every week his area around the building keeps getting smaller. I hate to lose the contract because it is GOOD money. If I bill them for everything according to the contract and only mow every other week, or have to take them to court to get my money, I'll be black balled around here for "picking on a Christian, non-profit organization", HELP.

07-12-2004, 05:48 AM
I see no one wanted to touch this subject since we could be politically incorrect. Well here's an update.........six weeks overdue now on their bill! Some times ya gotta say what the ****. They're getting the late charge. Plus the per day charge after day 14.