View Full Version : would you give her the info?

07-21-2004, 06:25 PM
ok, i started there 3 yrs ago. she been through 5-6 other services. the place was a wreck when i got there. the other services including 2 very well known commercial fert companies just couldn't get it right. the first season was a great improvement, the second even better, and year three the lawn is absolutely sweet! they are pleased. they asked for a quote on some landscaping, they said i was high. they hired someone else. fine by me. only problem is, 3 weeks in a row when i showed up to cut, this guy has stuff all over the lawn. first time i wasn't happy. second time very unhappy, 3rd time this is rediculous, he's taking a month to do a 3 day job. i billed her for my return trips for all 3 weeks. this got her very upset. i wasn't budging. she called and said she is cancelling service. but, since i was the only one who could keep her lawn thick, green, free of weeds and insects, could i send her a detailed schedule and product list so she could pass it on to the new guy. ha ha ha ha ha. not a shot in hell i told her. now, by law i have to provide "proper notification." this is dates, and product labels. OR, they are welcome to decline the label information, by checking the "i decline" box and signing next to it, which is what she did back in february. so the way i see it, i do not have to give her any information. how do you see it? would you hand it over?

07-21-2004, 06:29 PM
tell her you used a half and half mixture of round up and bleach. then followed that up with a truck full of horse manure dumped on the front lawn..... and it must be done in the heat of july/august.

oh, by the way....... perth amboy is a dump, you were right on that.

07-21-2004, 06:33 PM
I would say no way, BUT......

It might be easier to give her a list, just make one up! This way she doesn't get the DEC or whatever agency there is in Jersey involved. I'm sure you have nothing to worry about, but who needs that ache in the nether region? I hate having to give my clients the list of dates/product info etc. but what are ya gonna do?

07-21-2004, 06:38 PM
Stuff her, give her nothing...how rude! Some people amaze me...
It's your business, your experience etc, why give that to the competition? Hell no! If the new guy she hires is so good he won't need your info....

But I know nothing about US contracts so don't know if you are legally bound or not, but surely not?

07-21-2004, 06:43 PM
I would have dropped her when she hired another company to do the landscape.

Give her a list of nonsense

DFW Area Landscaper
07-21-2004, 06:46 PM
The fact that she wants you to write down the program and give it to her so she can fire you is just brutal.

I wouldn't tell her a damn thing. Surely she won't bother you with a follow up phone call. If she contacts the state dept of agriculture, they probably won't have the man power to even call you...let alone fine you.

There's no way I tell her what I applied.

DFW Area Landscaper

07-21-2004, 06:53 PM

I would not.

07-21-2004, 06:56 PM
well well, look what cat dragged in. he's back again??? oh no. who left the door open?

07-21-2004, 06:59 PM
"AAAAHH"..... good times:)

07-21-2004, 07:22 PM

Its a movie.

Two words.

First word.

"You go to New York City and theres tons of them on the streets, they're yellow, there are people of color inside......"

"C'mon you know, the Indian guys with the little Crown air freshener, incense........ "

"Robert Deniro "

Turf Medic
07-21-2004, 07:28 PM
No I wouldn't give her the information, no way she is going to turn you in to anybody, and if she does your butt is covered.

07-21-2004, 07:31 PM

07-21-2004, 08:57 PM

Not a chance...
Successful business people do not hand down valuable information like that to clients.
In your particular circumstance I definately would not pass along trade secrets to my client for the next guy to use.
You obviously know what you are doing and he may not. So tell her that that is why she is paying a premium price for your service.

I had a similar thing happen to me the other day!
Customer did not ask for my secrets, but there was a some other company planting the thirty arborvitae that I gave her an estimate for.

My estimate for 30 Arbs and build up a rock wall another 2 feet came out to $4200.00 well when I show up to cut the grass she asks if I can weed the beds. My reply not today then she says well Jason they havent been weeded at all this year and they look terrible. So I say well you opted not to pay to have that service performed. she says how much I say $80.00 a Month.
she says wow thats alot of money I say well you have the four thousand to get the trees put in. She says it only cost me $3900.00 I damn near walked off the lawn at that point. No customer loyalty. Kills me!!!

And on top of that the other LCO put the arbs in wrong spots IMO.
all of the shorter ones eded up in the shade. I would have placed the taller ones in the shady area. Now the shorter ones will always be shorter.
I guess You get what you pay for

07-22-2004, 02:40 AM
Hell no I wouldnt tell her jack crap except where she can stick her wants--I would also plainly tell her LOOK do NOT call me when the next guy can't get your lawn right

07-22-2004, 08:28 AM
If she needed some professional advice I would have given it to her, BUT her blatantly requesting your product info, mixing formulas, application rates and schedules to pass on to her new contractor - no way!!
This dude should be qualified to upkeep her lawn.

07-22-2004, 09:37 AM
Why sure , it's 1 l lb of urea and 12 ounces of pee [has to be from budwiser] to 1000 sft.

07-22-2004, 10:54 AM
The way I see it, you made a mistake of not trying to work this out after the first missed mowing. You probably could have talked to here aabout calling you when the landscaping was done so you could mow. Basic communication.
Second, if you need to ask the question as to whether or not you should give up information without charging for it...I'm suprised you're still in business.

07-22-2004, 11:09 AM
Give them to her......in a foreign language.

Me no Hablo english.


07-22-2004, 11:50 AM
I wouldn't give specfics as far as application rates and such, but she probably has the right to know the products that you previously applied to her lawn.

07-22-2004, 12:28 PM
That's what I was going to get at. You are not required to tell her the ferts and rates that made her lawn look the way it did. You ARE required to to disclose any and all pesticides that have been applied, and the rates...but so what. The herbicides are NOT what makes the lawn,...it's the other stuff and how it's applied. As far as disclosing the rates of the herbicide, you would be giving the amount of ACTIVE INGREDIENT per thousand sq ft., so they would never be able to tell anything from that, anyway. It's not like you'd be telling them "Ok, mix 1 1/2 cups per x amount of gallons of this particular name brand, and your lawn will look beautiful." If you write it out how we are designated to, it will all be like French, to them. Again, as far as the ferts go, let them guess. They'll have it stressed out so fast, their heads will spin.

Davis Lawn Mowing, LLC
07-22-2004, 02:19 PM
I would tell her not a chance in hell.

Turf Medic
07-22-2004, 02:22 PM
Originally posted by Runner
You ARE required to to disclose any and all pesticides that have been applied, and the rates...but so what.

Originally posted by bobbygedd
, by law i have to provide "proper notification." this is dates, and product labels. OR, they are welcome to decline the label information, by checking the "i decline" box and signing next to it, which is what she did back in february.

IMO she signed away any obligations on your part to give her the information on the pesticides. I wouldn't give her any information, unless I recieved a letter from the ag dept telling me to do so.

I do have a question though. If you do decide to give her the information, written up all neatly to prevent any confusion, and the new LCO mis-mixes or mis-applies, can you be held liable for any damage to her lawn? Remember that there are more lawyers out there every year chasing around trying to make a buck no matter who they have to go after.

Mr. Magpie
07-22-2004, 03:03 PM

Did you call her and ask her to tell the men to move the stuff? I'm not at all saying you did anything wrong, but given the info you gave, my protocol would have been to make a simple phone call to her to tell those guys to move their stuff the first time I saw it. Maybe you have more accounts or less time to make phone calls than I, but 3 weeks of charges just seems like you are taking out your anger on her instead of the men. (But then again, 3 years of good service is a long time to fire a guy for 3 weeks of debatable charges.) What do you think went wrong?

Every day I think or experience a new possible way to get fired...... when does the list end???

07-22-2004, 03:08 PM
There is now way I would tell her. I am not saying you should be rude, but how you keep a lawn looking great is your business. Thats what helps you keep and get business. I think of it like a secret recipe or something, you don't tell what your ingredients are. Why should she be able to take your knowledge (which is half of what shes paying for - know how) and just pass it right along to the next person.

Did you give it to her? If you haven't done it, DON'T. Did she pay you for the return visits?

07-22-2004, 04:27 PM
my instructions were very simple, the first time i couldn't cut cus of the people working. the instructions were: " please call me, and let me know if they are working, and when they will be done for the day.'" that's all i wanted, so i didn't burn my gas, pay my help for traveling time to a lawn i couldn't cut. i got no phone calls. i charged only $10 each for my trips over when i couldn't cut. no i will not give her "the recipe". i work very hard on lawns that are "unique", meaning they need special or somewhat unorthadox care. it cost me time and money to pinpoint problems. i aint giving in. by the way, this is also an issue covered in my contracts, i had the right to charge her full price for everyone of those trips. i also had the right to not return until the following week, since i wasn't notified. no i havn't been paid yet, payment is due by 8/1. pssst, let her try to bone me, i got a signed contract, PLUS a pre paid fert program that's not completed . and what a shame, she has such a lovely behind

07-22-2004, 04:34 PM
No dice, she'd get nothing from me...except, see you later....

Mr. Magpie
07-22-2004, 06:12 PM
Bobby: If she fired you after your repeated efforts to get in touch, that's just off the wall, obnoxious customer behavior, and after 3 years. Damn, now we know why she couldn't stay with those other 5-6 guys. Sad.

You know, some people have it mapped into their brains that the lawn guy is always wrong or always screws up. What gives?

07-22-2004, 06:41 PM
No I do not own a LCS, but I do deal with customer service issues all day long. Typically when they get to me it is just short of litigation. I would strongly recommend the high road here. Sure you could get PO, have an attitude and tell her to go somewhere.
That will not win you any business down the road. I agree 10.00 per trip is reasonable, however how much do you spend to develop new accounts? She may re think this later and call you back to save her lawn if you give her the opportunity. There really is no better solution than a win-win.

You might say " I have worked hard to get your lawn in good shape. If you just use standard Scotts or XX-XX-XX you should be fine. Oh and I am sorry about the trip charge I actually am loosing much more $$ than what I billed you."

You will sleep great and when someone eventually brings it up you can say with an honest face I really tried to make her happy but I guess I could not.

I took similar advice as others have offered to you here a long time ago when I was doing remodeling and I regretted it for a long time. I was right but the customer also thought he was right. We both lost in the end.

But then this is JMO,

07-22-2004, 06:58 PM
One word what I would give her...squat.

07-22-2004, 07:18 PM
big d, the thing with customer service, is, the fact that you can make it up down the road, times 10. i feel it's a bit different with the type of work we/i do. i do small residentials. the standard fee is $27-$33 each. out of that average of $30 a pop, i'm lucky to scrape out $18-$21 profit on a single lawn. the profit goes much higher on grouped lawns. the only reason i do make that much profit, is cus my overhead is LOWWWWW. WHEN THEY START STROKIN ME, i have to cut it how many times to regain my profit? it's piece work. it's brutal work. and it's so low profit, that if u let them screw you around in the slightest, your profit on that property is gone.

07-22-2004, 07:32 PM
do restaurants give their recipes away for free?? NOPE. I wouldn't either. Tell her to drop 10lb/1000sqft of 52-0-0 and see what it does :blob2: .. No watering either, it likes the hot weather:p

07-22-2004, 11:29 PM
The question I want to ask is did she pay you for the visits that made her mad and dropped you. I dont think that you are really responsible for giving the info since she declined however I would probably give the list to her if she paid me for what I thought she owed me. My guess is that if the next person needed the list to go by that they probably wouldnt be able to get it right anyway. Even with the recipe. But nothing until paid in full. Just my opinion. That way your name doesnt get tarnished and if ever confronted you can say that you did what you could to make her happy but she felt that your time wasnt as important as her new helps time. Just an opinion for what it's worth.