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View Full Version : New? Customer. What would you do?


MMLawn
08-31-2004, 05:54 PM
Okay, while I was out of town 2 weeks ago I received a voice mail at 8PM on Saturday evening from someone that we had given a "blind" quote to back in May (they were not home when we estm'ed and left the quote). He wanted lawn service. I called several times and always got only the answering machine, so as we do several lawns in this area I went ahead and scheduled him for last week. My guys get there and it is clear that the yard has not been cut in weeks and is 12" or more tall and the backyard is full of down limbs and sticks. We almost just leave but go ahead and do the job. Because I have yet to see a "living" human and no one is home I leave our standard letter that explains what we have done and that they are on weekly scheduled service now and give them the day of the week and appx time we will be there weekly and it also instructs them that should they have any concerns or questions that they must call before the next cut. We leave an invoice and mark it PAYABLE ON RECEIPT FOR FIRST CUT mainly because we have never seen them. In this area we do not use written contacts as they do not work well, plus in NC any verbal contract under 3 years is legal and we have a copy of the voice mail. BUT, that isn't the question nor really the concern.

The question is as they have not yet paid and the next cut is in a day given that we have never seen them and they do not answer the phone when we have called should we cut and take a chance on losing both fees or not cut until they either call us back or they pay for the first cut as instructed? It isn't the money on the first cut at all but i don';t want to waste our time on non payers either:confused:

Ray & Karen
08-31-2004, 06:06 PM
In no way shape or form should you cut this property again. I always try to find the good in people, but there are bells and whistle's going off. I would leave another note on his door explaining why you have not mowed this week. I also have a hard time understanding people.

bobbygedd
08-31-2004, 06:11 PM
no dough no mow. you never met them, you cut thier yard, they didn't call and say thank you, or nice job, or screw you, or anything. if i had a contractor working at my property, and was not there when they serviced the first time, i would touch base and say thanks, what do i owe you, whatever.

jbell113
08-31-2004, 06:18 PM
I would not have done it the first time. You need to meet these people whoever your working for and walk the property with them and work out some sort of payment plan.

Ken Kesey
08-31-2004, 06:28 PM
I agree with jbell113.

Not to sound mean, but you're really lucky you didn't accidentally damage any of their property.

Never, never, never, never, never do any work like that without at least verifying the cost, property lines, ect.

I hope you get paid but if you don't then it's just another lesson learned on this board by someone who doesn't use contracts.

gramps
08-31-2004, 07:04 PM
What where you not thinging of?

GrassBustersLawn
08-31-2004, 07:21 PM
Could have been the next door neighbor that called you because they were tired of looking at it. "Let's screw some LCO and get them to come over here & cut this eyesore for free!"

Good luck collecting. No way I'd cut again before I get paid.

Mike

Precision
09-01-2004, 12:27 AM
paid in advance, walked the property in advance, seen the contact person enter the house.

None of those things then it is a no mow.

haven't been paid and I already mowed once. BIG NO MOW

grasswhacker
09-01-2004, 07:17 AM
Sounds to me like you did a frebie.

mkroher
09-01-2004, 08:25 AM
MMLawn, can you come over and cut my lawn too? :P

j/k

Mikes Lawn Landscape
09-01-2004, 09:14 AM
Here's a little story for ya:

Early this season I was mowing an elderly lady's lawn, her neighbor called and talked to me about mowing her lawn I went and mowed it kind of a one time deal she didn't commit to regular service I had time so no problem. About 2 weeks later I get a message "This is Mrs. Smith I wanted to talk to you about mowing my lawn" The next day I was scheduled to mow the neighbor so I go and knock on her door no answer. The lawn needs mowing and if I didn't do it that day It would be another week before I can get back.

So I have already mowed her once and we agreed on a regular price so I'm thinking ok I'm gonna provide some good customer service and mow her. Send an invoice and she pays it no note no nothing. I show up to do my regular customer which is the other lady's neighbor I mow her and she comes out and fires me and one of the reasons is she said I mowed her neighbor without her neighbors permission.

So I ended up losing 2 customers over trying to provide good customer service.

So the moral of the story is always talk to the customer before you mow them even if it means screwing up your schedule.

MMLawn
09-01-2004, 10:29 AM
Originally posted by Ken Kesey
I agree with jbell113.

Not to sound mean, but you're really lucky you didn't accidentally damage any of their property.

Never, never, never, never, never do any work like that without at least verifying the cost, property lines, ect.

I hope you get paid but if you don't then it's just another lesson learned on this board by someone who doesn't use contracts.

As I said we HAD verified the cost and lines during our quote and they verified that in their voice mail. As to Contracts and this board I ASSURE you that there are more on here that don't use them on residential only (of course we use them on Commerical)than there are that do my friend. Residential contracts are area controlled and while they make work well in your state they may not in another and ecah states laws concerning contracts is different and in NC Verbal Contracts are legal and enforceable.

MMLawn
09-01-2004, 10:33 AM
Originally posted by GrassBustersLawn
Could have been the next door neighbor that called you because they were tired of looking at it. "Let's screw some LCO and get them to come over here & cut this eyesore for free!"

Good luck collecting. No way I'd cut again before I get paid.

Mike


Not unless the neighbor was in there house calling because the voice mail has Caller ID and it came from there homne number and he also again verified the amount and prop lines and left his call back number. The neighbor also wouldn't have even known we had quoted them months ago much less the price.

MMLawn
09-01-2004, 02:53 PM
Originally posted by mkroher
MMLawn, can you come over and cut my lawn too? :P

j/k


Sure, with a 60", bend over:p

broken leg
09-01-2004, 03:46 PM
I grew up in Greensboro and my mother still lives there. I am out side Chapel Hill and use contracts now with out a problem. This late in the season I do not require a contract but yes they sign contracts. If you have a good contract and tell them this is the way you do business most of the time they will sign. If they get an attitude you don't need them. My partner is a lawyer and verbal contracts don't mean poop. They will not hold up 95% of the time.

MMLawn
09-01-2004, 04:14 PM
Originally posted by broken leg
My partner is a lawyer and verbal contracts don't mean poop. They will not hold up 95% of the time.

So is my sister and they do mean "poop" and have a great success rate in court in NC. We have over residential 200 clients without contracts, many of them for years and have no problems with those so thanks for the input but I'll be happy to continue doing business the way we do and have for many, many years.:cool:

MMLawn
09-01-2004, 04:20 PM
To Mike, Ray & Karen, and Bobbygedd the folks that were actually helpful thanks for the input and suggestions. I will try and contact them again this evening and if no luck then we will not cut tomorrow and leave a message explaining why and how they can get back on track with us.

Ken Kesey
09-01-2004, 05:43 PM
So the people who gave you constructive criticism were not helpful?

You just wanted someone to agree with you. I see.

Next time you get burned without a contract don't come crying here, because we told you so.

bobbygedd
09-01-2004, 06:13 PM
ken, pay attention, he was talking to me, mike, ray and karen, NOT TO YOU. mm, you are very welcome, and i'm glad we could help

broken leg
09-01-2004, 06:49 PM
Did not try to make you mad if working with out contracts works for you that is great. And yes I have customers that I have had for years with out contracts with know problems. I have gone to contracts because it stops allot of headaches be for they start. And verbal contracts are very hard to enforce in any state. Why have headaches when you do not have to and I like checks in January when I sit in my lazy boy. As far as NC not a great place for contracts tell that to Southern lawn,Color Landscapes,Bland landscapes,and O'Mara landscapes no contract no work.

K.Carothers
07-12-2006, 12:50 AM
Okay, while I was out of town 2 weeks ago I received a voice mail at 8PM on Saturday evening from someone that we had given a "blind" quote to back in May (they were not home when we estm'ed and left the quote). He wanted lawn service. I called several times and always got only the answering machine, so as we do several lawns in this area I went ahead and scheduled him for last week. My guys get there and it is clear that the yard has not been cut in weeks and is 12" or more tall and the backyard is full of down limbs and sticks. We almost just leave but go ahead and do the job. Because I have yet to see a "living" human and no one is home I leave our standard letter that explains what we have done and that they are on weekly scheduled service now and give them the day of the week and appx time we will be there weekly and it also instructs them that should they have any concerns or questions that they must call before the next cut. We leave an invoice and mark it PAYABLE ON RECEIPT FOR FIRST CUT mainly because we have never seen them. In this area we do not use written contacts as they do not work well, plus in NC any verbal contract under 3 years is legal and we have a copy of the voice mail. BUT, that isn't the question nor really the concern.

The question is as they have not yet paid and the next cut is in a day given that we have never seen them and they do not answer the phone when we have called should we cut and take a chance on losing both fees or not cut until they either call us back or they pay for the first cut as instructed? It isn't the money on the first cut at all but i don';t want to waste our time on non payers either:confused:


You do enough business to pay $90,000 a month in payroll and you can't answer this simple question:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:


kc

Sandgropher
07-12-2006, 12:58 AM
You do enough business to pay $90,000 a month in payroll and you can't answer this simple question:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:


kc

He asked the question a long time ago, and maybe he already knew the answer when he posted it, just like Mr Gedd used to, still it still suprises me he asked this question :confused: *aussieflag*

ALarsh
07-12-2006, 02:02 AM
I must say I am surprised also. :laugh:

Howie's Lawn Care
07-12-2006, 02:36 AM
Loud Noises!

Sandgropher
07-12-2006, 05:30 AM
Keep the questions coming Mike, i am sure the kids can help you with any advice you need, do not be frightened of asking.:laugh: :laugh:

*aussieflag*

Big M LawnnSnow
07-12-2006, 06:49 AM
Why? Why? Why? would you cut a property without the owners consent to do so?
He did not tell you to go ahead and cut the property.
And who know if you will ever see any money from them...I doubt it.
Wait till they call you back and tell you all the damage you did.
Good Luck.