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View Full Version : Lost my best customer today!.. Im not happy


QualityLawnCare4u
09-02-2004, 12:11 PM
I have a customer that I have had for 6 years, one of my first ones. Neve complains, pays on time, tips well. gives me a 100 bucks cash for Christmas. Told me if I see anything that needs doing not to worry about the money. Even told me if I ever need any help would do anything he could including loaning money (which I have/never would ask) Last week I went by his house to trim a fast growing vine hedge behind his house and he came out and snapped at me not to do it, he just paid me 6 weeks ago to do it. Mine you he has always been ticky about this hedge kept trimmed if I had to do it twice a month. I thought to myself "what the heck is going on here"? I also chainsawed a large oak limb in front yard he did not ask me to do free of charge because he had been my best customer. Today I pull up and unload ztr and what is sitting under his shed? A 7500 comercial toro ztr. He then coes out and tells me he does not want me to cut it anymore, wants to do it hiself. but wants to know if I will still weedeat it for hime and trim srubs. He has over 300 bushes, trees, flowers and beds in yard. Some srubs are over 15 feet tall and I have to use a ladder to do them. I have been doing his srubs about 1/2 what I should be carging. NO MORE!! I never ever thought I would lose this client. I even started to post a thread about him was sp great. He started complaining about how much he was paying me and his first job he did not make that much a moth (hes 79 years old) I set their in disbelef. Folks, what the h@ll happened here? I did not see that coming. Let me tell you something, your cusomer is NOT your friend and they dont givea rats a$$ about you. Today I changed my attitude. I am going to be pofessional and nice, Im going to do top quality work, and I am NOT going to ask hows your family or whoever is doing, because they could care less about you. I read a thread awhile back titled :do you think your customer cares" I think it was by older-n-dirt. I did not agree but Im starting to feel the same way as many times as Ive been roughshodded over. This yard hurt badly because it made my equipment payment but I will try to recover, my phone aint ringing off the hook though. I also am not going to do all the little freebies Ive done over the years like hang blinds,take trash can to road,move toys and tramploines for free, and dozens of other things because you mean nothing to them. Sorry for the rant, Im really a nice caring person but it is being beat out of me fast.

Danny
Quality Lawn Care

NickN
09-02-2004, 12:22 PM
Sorry to hear it dude.Sounds like someone had a talk with him and told him he was paying too much for lawn care.
It's hard to think at times like that,but I'd loved to have asked him if at his first job he paid all of his SSI and had to pay for insurance,and did he have to supply 10,000 dollars worth of equipment and maintain it and did he have to send a bill to his employer,hold his hand,and did he ever do free jobs for them?
You're right though.I learned quick how little we're appreciated.I never give out free advice anymore.I charge for everything and if you don't like it,see ya!
I've lost alot of bids because I won't underprice jobs and I won't work illegally.
Better to have a clear conscience though.
Remember,it's gotta get better :D

RichmondR
09-02-2004, 12:28 PM
Danny --

Sorry to hear that. From a customer's point of view, do NOT stop doing those little things/freebies, etc. because they help you in the long run. Dont use one incident as a basis for changing your attitude about your customers. As you know, I cut my own lawn, but I use LCOs for fertilizing and landscape projects, and I notice the little things all the time. Over the long run, and over all your customers, a quality job and a positive attitiude will put you way ahead.

Unless you cant go back to him, he seems to have offerred you some of the work, which may ultimately lead to more work; see what you can work out.

QualityLawnCare4u
09-02-2004, 12:31 PM
Nick, he bought his own mower to use because he said he liked doing it. He has told me many times that he knows Im cheaper than I should be. Oh yeah, forgot to add that he gave me a 15$ per cut raise this May and I did not even ask for it.

QualityLawnCare4u
09-02-2004, 12:37 PM
Rich, I dont usually get upset when I lose one but this one was personal. Im thinking at his age he may not be able to do it. Im really upset about him complaining about what he pays and its been fine for 6 years and all of a sudden he turns into a grouch. He also complained about me not shuttimg the gate "just right" and has never complained before about anything. I really dont feel like I would be comfortable with him after him complaining about pay and Im doing it reasonable now and its been fine all these years. Has complmented me ever time I mow or trim how good a job I do, People, go figure. I guess this one really hurt my feelings.


Danny

printer88
09-02-2004, 12:58 PM
I understand how you feel.I had one customer who always kept her eyes on her wristwatch.It drove me crazy.My brother and I were planting shrubs there one day and while he was digging I was carrying over the plants and getting them out of the pots,loosening the root ball,getting the water hose etc... and she comes out and says "I think that would go faster if you both had a shovel".We just looked at each other as if to say should you go off or should I,but we kept our cool.Some customers are just greedy.From my experience the ones with the most money are the greediest.We stopped going there after that day.And she is not missed at all.BTW after we told her we would'nt be coming back she still tried calling for a while.I guess she can't get decent help with her attitude.All this being said,most of my customers are awesome.Thank God.

NickN
09-02-2004, 01:01 PM
Someone who enjoys doing their own lawn doesn't hire someone to do it.They
don't suddenly,after 6 years of having someone cut, decide they like doing it either.I stand by my thinking that someone has been talking to him.Maybe a neighbor,maybe his wife,but someone has changed his mind for him.

QualityLawnCare4u
09-02-2004, 01:09 PM
Nick, the way I done his yard was I mancured it every other week, and the off weeks he mowed it with a old dixon ztr. His wife is the one that really liked the way i done it. He told me years ago she always complained about him not making it look like I do. i guess when the old dixon died and he got the new toro he decided to save some money. Also he is so ticky about his exotic flowers that the first time I cut it he followed me every step behind mower to make sure I did not hit any. He told me he was comfortable with me as seeing how careful I was and was not used to someone else mowing for him. After that for 6 years has been perfect customer. No Nick no one else has talked to him I would stake my reputation on it. I think he just wants to save the money since he got new z.

Danny

NickN
09-02-2004, 01:16 PM
Well,heck that makes a world of difference.You were mowing EOW and he was mowing in-between?You're not out anything then if he still wants you to maintain the landscaping.Now you can replace him with a weekly account and do his maintenance on the side.

QualityLawnCare4u
09-02-2004, 01:18 PM
Followup:

Hey, I just got a call from the mans wife and she wanted to know if I would still come once a month a do yard. He does not weedeat or edge, just likes to ride his new z. Also asked me to do the hedges because they looked so bad, did not care what hubby said. I dont think she was happy about the situation. Geez, I dont need no quarrels LOL

Danny
Quality Lawn Care

QualityLawnCare4u
09-02-2004, 01:22 PM
Originally posted by NickN
Well,heck that makes a world of difference.You were mowing EOW and he was mowing in-between?You're not out anything then if he still wants you to maintain the landscaping.Now you can replace him with a weekly account and do his maintenance on the side.

Yes Nick, I am out, that was one of the better paying yards I had. Will be hard to replace.

Danny

RichmondR
09-02-2004, 01:25 PM
Quote: Hey, I just got a call from the mans wife and she wanted to know if I would still come once a month a do yard...

See, I told you! It's not as good as the weekly work, but you keep your foot in the door.

QualityLawnCare4u
09-02-2004, 01:32 PM
Originally posted by NickN
Well,heck that makes a world of difference.You were mowing EOW and he was mowing in-between?You're not out anything then if he still wants you to maintain the landscaping.Now you can replace him with a weekly account and do his maintenance on the side.


Nick. I would have to have about 4 or 5 avarage yards to replace this one. He was also the ONLY customer that paid me to do yard in winter when its dead as a doornail. Was by far my best paying residentual yard. Not any other 3 were close to it. It hurt badly!
Danny

Turf Medic
09-02-2004, 01:33 PM
Originally posted by hardworking-poorman
Followup:

Hey, I just got a call from the mans wife and she wanted to know if I would still come once a month a do yard. He does not weedeat or edge, just likes to ride his new z. Also asked me to do the hedges because they looked so bad, did not care what hubby said. I dont think she was happy about the situation. Geez, I dont need no quarrels LOL

Danny
Quality Lawn Care

I would stay on top of this one, explain that since they are not buying the full package, you will have to charge extra to do the trimming and shrubs etc. Might even suggest that you continue on as you had in the past, but allow him to help mow, never know about some people, you might be able to keep the same money coming in.

Since the guy snapped at you unexpectedly, maybe the doctor changed his medications, or might be the beginnings of alzheimers.

QualityLawnCare4u
09-02-2004, 01:39 PM
Originally posted by Turf Medic
I would stay on top of this one, explain that since they are not buying the full package, you will have to charge extra to do the trimming and shrubs etc. Might even suggest that you continue on as you had in the past, but allow him to help mow, never know about some people, you might be able to keep the same money coming in.

Since the guy snapped at you unexpectedly, maybe the doctor changed his medications, or might be the beginnings of alzheimers.

Turfmedic, the old man is healthy as a horse, takes no meds. His dad just passed away last year, was 106. Im probably increase my trimming price to offset some of the loss. Just cant figure out what happened after everything has been hunkydory for so long.

Danny

QualityLawnCare4u
09-02-2004, 02:02 PM
This client has a small garden, so small you can do it with a front tine tiller. Last year he goes out and buys a new New Holland tractor and all the attachments. Deer were getting in his 2 rows of corn, so he puts up 7000$ in chain link fence. Has 3 cars and not one is over 2 years old. Never had kids, both he and his wife had good paying jobs with great retirment. Orders these exotic plants he pays mega bucks for. Pays cash for everything. It just sorta blowed me away he started complaining about my pay all of a sudden and he aint hurting for $$

Danny

CJ GreenScapes
09-02-2004, 02:20 PM
Danny, I think Turfmedic may be on to something. You would not know if the guy has alzheimers unless you lived with him. He is showing the beginning stages of the disease - I know because I have seen it first-hand.

The point is, at his age you never really know what he could be going through. Stick with it, but not at the same rate. If you have to deal with that, then make it worth your time.

Just my .02

olderthandirt
09-02-2004, 02:44 PM
He ain't your friend, he just proved my point. Next thing is he'll want you to do the rest of the work for less $$$. I know it hurts the wallet but I'd drop him completely. Tell the wife that you can't afford to only do part of the work you allocated x amount of time for there property and now that your service is no longer needed you have to allocate that time for someone elses. Let them know that you have a life and business and they are not the center of it, or from this point on any part of it. IF they decide to retain you raise your rates on them its worth it for your frustration. If they won't pay move on becuase its gonna happen to you again and I would not care if its becoase he has alzheimers or not thats not YOUR problem.

Mac

Up North
09-02-2004, 02:46 PM
Danny, I was going to mention the same thing as Turfmedic. He may look healthy as a horse but at 79 (I think that's what you said) you never know what could happen. My grandfather is 85, suddenly this past spring he's been doing all kinds of weird things that he never would have done before. Maybe talk to the guys wife again, she may want you to continue.

Oh, and if the old guy just wants to ride around, tell him to trade his Z in for an ATV...

Buck

Ability
09-02-2004, 03:18 PM
It has been my experience that sometimes customers start to feel trapped by "nice guy" LCOs.

I too will oftenl ask how their families are etc... I do this because I generally like people. But this is a bit dangerous becauses it mixes business with personal type relationships.

And when the customer wishes to end the business portion of the relationship (in your case because he wanted to mow it himself with a ZTR) they have conflict with the personal side that has grow over time and that makes them feel trapped in the business relationship.

Anyways, that is when the nit picking starts. They feel the need to "get out". And they lack to courage to just say that as much as they like you as a person their business needs have changed and they need to make a change.

I usually try to make it easy for them and simply smile and gracefully back out. That is hard to do because they usually try to trash yourr work to make themselves feel better about terminating the relationship.

Turf Medic
09-02-2004, 03:34 PM
I still stand by my thoughts about the alzheimers, especially after reading more of your posts ie the expensive plants, tiller etc. No way of knowing about the alzheimers, without testing, sometimes even living with a person you can't tell, some of the changes are so subtle you don't notice until it's too late. My father is dealing with the early stages of it, healthy as a horse otherwise, 89yrs old, walks every day, still does some farming, but occasionally will be at a restraunt and not remember why. Sometimes only for a few seconds but scary to say the least, they also seem to analyze things differently, thought he wanted to move off the farm a while back, went to town bought a nice home, had many upgrades done to it, and then rented it out, the week he was supposed to be moving into it. Go figure.

Good luck

Del9175
09-02-2004, 04:38 PM
I don't understand why you can't comprehend why he did this. The guy had been doing the yard EOW, needs or wants a new mower so he goes and buys one. Mowers aren't cheap and his wife was probably not happy with such an expense. He says he will mow all the time to off set the cost. Makes perfect sense. I would be upset if the guy hired someone else, but he didn't. He simply decided to mow it every week instead of every other. No reason to think he betrayed you.

Geoffrey
09-02-2004, 05:10 PM
Hardworking and to everyone else also, Why not just flat out ask him? State your case just as you did here then see where that conversation leads you. I do agree with olderthandirt that usually customers don't care about you at all but after 6 years and no problems. I know some people here may complain that it's not professional but I'd pin him down to a specific reason.
Geoff

locutus
09-02-2004, 05:39 PM
Sometimes these Senior Citizens get bored and want something to do. I think this had a lot to do with his decision to mow his own lawn. Do the work he wants you to do, but charge accordingly. If he is nearly 80 yrs old and if you're patient, he may get tired of mowing it himself in a very short period of time. Especially in the Georgia heat. You may be getting a Toro Z at a good price very soon.

QualityLawnCare4u
09-02-2004, 05:48 PM
Originally posted by Del9175
I don't understand why you can't comprehend why he did this. The guy had been doing the yard EOW, needs or wants a new mower so he goes and buys one. Mowers aren't cheap and his wife was probably not happy with such an expense. He says he will mow all the time to off set the cost. Makes perfect sense. I would be upset if the guy hired someone else, but he didn't. He simply decided to mow it every week instead of every other. No reason to think he betrayed you.

Yes Del, I can comprehend this. Its just whem you lose a customer like this it hurts and I dont care how or why you lost them. I never figured it would have been this one. And yes, I guess it would have been worse if he hired someone else.

QualityLawnCare4u
09-02-2004, 05:52 PM
Originally posted by Turf Medic
I still stand by my thoughts about the alzheimers, especially after reading more of your posts ie the expensive plants, tiller etc. No way of knowing about the alzheimers, without testing, sometimes even living with a person you can't tell, some of the changes are so subtle you don't notice until it's too late. My father is dealing with the early stages of it, healthy as a horse otherwise, 89yrs old, walks every day, still does some farming, but occasionally will be at a restraunt and not remember why. Sometimes only for a few seconds but scary to say the least, they also seem to analyze things differently, thought he wanted to move off the farm a while back, went to town bought a nice home, had many upgrades done to it, and then rented it out, the week he was supposed to be moving into it. Go figure.

Good luck


Yes TurfMedic, the alzhimers did cross my mind but I dont know if he has it or not. I have a 75 yp man that has it, will call me and tell me not to mow this week, then call back next day and want to know why I did not mow his yard today. Dont you folks want some of my customers? LOL I can match anyone here on pita.

bobbygedd
09-02-2004, 06:19 PM
your'e in a lose lose situation. as you said u were doing the shrubs cheaper cus it was a lawn client, now when u double the trimming fees, will he keep you? and to the homeowner who suggested he "continue to do the little extras and freebies", that comment made me vomit.

SCAG POWER
09-02-2004, 07:07 PM
send me a pm and will let you know what i think

HOMER
09-02-2004, 07:59 PM
I'm not going to JUST trim anybodys yard. The hard work is in the trimming and how you can price this seperately and make enough off of it is gonna be hard. If I priced it he would think I was too high. Most of my yards are 20 minutes to trim edge and blow then 5-10 to mow........I'd have to tell him it was all or nothing.

The $$$$ he spent on the mower could have been set aside for the LCO.........he ain't getting any younger and if he is getting sick he doesn't need to be on a mower or in a car anyway.

grass_cuttin_fool
09-02-2004, 08:14 PM
This late in the season I think I would keep him as a customer, If he is having a problem he may not be able to do the yard by spring and the wife would prob have you do it full time, any way for what my 2 cents are worth hang in there for a while

QualityLawnCare4u
09-02-2004, 08:17 PM
Thanks for the comments. There is smething rlse I forgot to add, actually 2. Last time I was at his house the srubs around his house (easier ones) had been trimmed and I thought this odd. WhenI asked about it he said his wife done them and I know she does do small things from time to time but still a first time on trimming. Also 2 weeks ago I lost another good yard (70 dollar) easy one. Last year this very same time I lost 18 of my 24 accounts in a 6 week period. I overcame it that time but I dont have the strength to do it again. If this down turn continues Im going to get me a dead end job and hang this up.The 70 dollar yard I had folks moved to Texas, and I hated losing that one too but it was not as personal.

Danny

locutus
09-02-2004, 08:20 PM
The back to back loss of clients, though coincidental, has got to play a number on the noodle. It would mine.

QualityLawnCare4u
09-02-2004, 08:24 PM
Originally posted by HOMER
I'm not going to JUST trim anybodys yard. The hard work is in the trimming and how you can price this seperately and make enough off of it is gonna be hard. If I priced it he would think I was too high. Most of my yards are 20 minutes to trim edge and blow then 5-10 to mow........I'd have to tell him it was all or nothing.

The $$$$ he spent on the mower could have been set aside for the LCO.........he ain't getting any younger and if he is getting sick he doesn't need to be on a mower or in a car anyway.


Homer,I told my wife the same thing about the $$$ he could have paid me awhile to mow his yard. I dont know what makes people tick.

Danny

Mikes Lawn Landscape
09-02-2004, 08:46 PM
Danny,

Sorry you lost the customer but take it as a lesson learned customers do not care about you personally all they want is their lawn mowed.

We as business owners have to establish with the customer a relationship that is mutually beneficial ie we mow their lawn they pay us that is the only relationship we have with them.

In the good old days Leroy from down the street mowed lawns with his john deere rider after he got off from his full time job, he only mowed a few and the little old ladies in town could count on him to bring in their groceries take out the trash and fix the plumbing.

Today effeciency is the key to a successful business and quite frankly we don't have time to listen to Mrs. Smiths glaucoma problem.

One poster told about a customer he had for 9 years that dropped him because he didn't mow one Friday.

Last week I lost a customer no explanation at all just discontinued service. Some of the guys said call her and find out why, it doesn't matter why we lose customers we just do so the key is to have the marketing in place to replace those that we lose.

Good Luck.

txlawnking
09-02-2004, 08:52 PM
I lost one just picked up no more than two weeks ago... Cheapskate sez.."Well, it just doesn't need it this week, We'll call you when it needs it." I say.." The price you were quoted was for a weekly service, when you decide to call, the price will be $15 extra, and I require a weeks notice"... I will miss them...It was a $60 account that took 70-75 minutes to cut.. Oh well..:rolleyes:

dkeisala
09-02-2004, 08:59 PM
Now, I can be a very difficult bastard but I'm the nicest guy in the in the world to my clients. Let me share a little story.

A few years ago I get this call from a woman who is looking for someone to take care of her place. Saw my truck and trailer at a local nursery and jotted down my number. I recognized her and her husbands name as very regular customers of a hotel dining room I worked at years before. These people are very wealthy and well-known in our community. So I make an appt. to meet them.

I got to their house in one of the oldest, most established neighborhoods in our city - the house has a for sale sign in the front yard. My hopes are dashed. Come to find out the whole reason the house was on the market was because she "just couldn't find someone to take care of the place like it should". I get a short term contract which I figure is better than nothing. Well, after a few months she's so happy with our service that she takes the house off the market. Over the last 3 years their account has averaged $500.00 per month. She was thrilled with me and her service.

This woman and I couldn't possibly come from different worlds. But her and I have developed a great relationship. I've had dinner with her and her husband and even catered a dinner party for them (my restaurant background came in handy) with some help from close friends. She even offered to left me borrow her brand new BMW 740iL for the day (tempting offer but I had to decline).

So, all this time has passed and they decided it was time to downsize. Their house recently sold without even being on the market. Bummer to lose the account but all things must come to pass. She has, however, made us promise we will come to visit them (they are taking an apartment for a short while until they decide their next step) and have given us several very expensive items that they no longer care for but knew we would like. She's also made us promise that when they do decide where they're going to live (in the area, of course) that I'll promise to do/take care of the landscape as they couldn't possibly trust anyone else.

This woman gives us gift certificates to expensive restaurants for Christmas, buys me a Bday present every year and even buys little things for my dogs. When they go on vacation, there's always a gift for me when they get back.

So what's my point? Maybe I just got lucky with this one but I work hard to develop a relationship with my clients. Their wish is my command. Sure, I may do little things without excepting compensation but I make it up in other ways. Can you put a price on loyalty, referrals or even a mere friendship? In business, once you view the customer as the enemy (knowing it's easy to do at times) you've failed and it's probably time to look for something else to do.

dwc
09-02-2004, 09:40 PM
I have seen this before too. Joe blow homeowner starts to forget how awful his yard looked before he hired me to do it and starts thinking hmmmmm, I'm paying the lawn guy x dollars and he is only here x minutes and that figures out to x a minute! Then he starts to think of what he drags home a week and how that "back when I was a kid I got paid $2 for Mrs. Jones' yard" and just can't imagine that you make that in one minute. All the time forgetting about the 50,000 in equipment I have sitting in front of his house.
Then he starts thinking how easy I make mowing his "little 'ol yard" look and by then he has decided I am getting paid WAY too much. So he calls you up and can's you and goes to the shed out back and dusts off the Murray and in about 1 week the whole place looks like a nightmare!
The next thing he does is call me back up, "say, I got this mowing thing all handled but I just need you to come by every now and then to trim and edge. That should only run me about 5 bucks huh?" Thats when I say its all or nothing.
Sometimes people can really make me mad!

dwc

olderthandirt
09-02-2004, 09:46 PM
But your still out your money maker , did'nt matter the reason they no longer need you its just that simple. And it works that way for all of us that choose to do this as a proffesion. Customers are not the enemy only a paycheck.

Mac

dkeisala
09-02-2004, 09:49 PM
If you run it right, business is like a vacuum. Customer leaves and another one shows up to fill the void. Everything happens for a reason. My cash cow leaves the revenue line at the end of this month but I've already picked up accounts over the last months that make up for it and then some. And the newbies will take less time than the one that got away.

olderthandirt
09-02-2004, 10:05 PM
Originally posted by dkeisala
If you run it right, business is like a vacuum. Customer leaves and another one shows up to fill the void. Everything happens for a reason. My cash cow leaves the revenue line at the end of this month but I've already picked up accounts over the last months that make up for it and then some. And the newbies will take less time than the one that got away.

Not trying to yank your chain on this but if you picked up new accounts over the last few months then that is added income that you have become accustomed to recieving. So when your "cash cow" leaves you your still gonna be recieving less revenue that you currently are now. Losing Customers is part of this business whether you replace them immediatly or not at all.

Mac

dkeisala
09-02-2004, 10:17 PM
Originally posted by olderthandirt
Not trying to yank your chain on this but if you picked up new accounts over the last few months then that is added income that you have become accustomed to recieving. So when your "cash cow" leaves you your still gonna be recieving less revenue that you currently are now. Losing Customers is part of this business whether you replace them immediatly or not at all.

Mac Ummmm....Yeah, I get this. I don't get accustomed to anything. It's all a gift as far as I'm concerned. Like I said, a vacumm. Someone leaves, someone fills the void. Enjoy the ups, plan for the downs.

Plus, if you read my post, these last four customers I've picked up were within the last 30 days. I just found out I'm losing said customer 2 weeks ago. It's a wash.

dkeisala
09-02-2004, 10:21 PM
Sorry - my other post is incorrect. Months should have been MONTH.

QualityLawnCare4u
09-03-2004, 12:04 AM
There is one thing that keeps me motivated above all else, the thought of my last 22 year job and the stress I had to put up with. When something likes this happens Ill lick my wounds, get real po then come back with a vengence. I might fell but I wont go down easy.

Danny

Quality Lawn Care

Runner
09-03-2004, 12:05 PM
I got through page 2 on this thread, and have not bothered reading the rest. But, I CAN say this. What you have done here, is a comon, classic mistake. You have allowed a professional account to go into your personal realm. You can NOT take it personal. Don't let this one go. If you've serviced him for 6 years, keep providing whatever service they would like, - and do it well. The gentleman is old, and probably does NOT have alot to do. Just like you said, a very small garden. He bought the tractor and all the attachments, thinking that would "automatically" give him more. It doesn't work like that, and people learn as we go all the time. Be patient. You don't know WHAT will happen in the next 2 years. He may not even be here. Or, 6 years down the road, they may want you back to do the lawn full time, again. If you're around, then you are there for access. Who knows, he may end up giving you a good deal on that Z, someday. Don't burn bridges, and let the man have his "freedom" of being able to get and cut his grass now and then. If it's what he enjoys, and it's something he's able to do, then he deserves it. He has never treated you bad in the past. Feel good that you are able to help him out, and take care of some of the "nitty gritty" work that helps give him access to something he enjoys. As fgar as the price adjustment on the trimming, I'm sure he would fully understand something like that, because you have to have a minimum to even get OVER there.

QualityLawnCare4u
09-03-2004, 12:48 PM
Originally posted by Runner
I got through page 2 on this thread, and have not bothered reading the rest. But, I CAN say this. What you have done here, is a comon, classic mistake. You have allowed a professional account to go into your personal realm. You can NOT take it personal. Don't let this one go. If you've serviced him for 6 years, keep providing whatever service they would like, - and do it well. The gentleman is old, and probably does NOT have alot to do. Just like you said, a very small garden. He bought the tractor and all the attachments, thinking that would "automatically" give him more. It doesn't work like that, and people learn as we go all the time. Be patient. You don't know WHAT will happen in the next 2 years. He may not even be here. Or, 6 years down the road, they may want you back to do the lawn full time, again. If you're around, then you are there for access. Who knows, he may end up giving you a good deal on that Z, someday. Don't burn bridges, and let the man have his "freedom" of being able to get and cut his grass now and then. If it's what he enjoys, and it's something he's able to do, then he deserves it. He has never treated you bad in the past. Feel good that you are able to help him out, and take care of some of the "nitty gritty" work that helps give him access to something he enjoys. As fgar as the price adjustment on the trimming, I'm sure he would fully understand something like that, because you have to have a minimum to even get OVER there.


Runner, I decided I was going to try and keep them unless he gets real ugly. That man yesterday was not the same person Ive dealt with for 6 years, something is not right. Tommorow Im going to do his hedges behind house for 65 and Im still going to do them for 65. I will go every 4th Thursday instead of eow and mow like I always do. I dont think he will hold out for a long time, if I lose them so be it. And I will do it with a smile. Today I did pick up new yard thats about 1/3 of what I did his for but it is also yard I can do in 1/4 the time, made me feel a little better. Its seems like I have gotten to a point where I get one,lose one,gain and lose, just cant get past this anount I have now and I really want about 20 more. Im still baffled how a peron can change so fast, but I really feel like there is something wrong with him.


Danny
Quality Lawn Care

steve122
09-03-2004, 06:01 PM
At 79 years of age senile dementia or alzheimers setting in, blood pressure changes, heart problems, many things coulc cause the persoantlity changes. I'm with the do what you can with a smile and wait for the job to come back when he gets worse. He could not wake up tomorrow and the wife would have you back. Like some have said, don't take it personal.

Fareway Lawncare
09-03-2004, 07:34 PM
Didn't read all this...but @ 79 the Guy will likely die or become incapacitated shortly...the wife will be alone....then you'll Have Everything...Stick w/ it !

bobbygedd
09-03-2004, 08:05 PM
run like hell. any customer that causes you anguish is not worth thier weight in poop. there are so many clients for the taking, why waste your time.

QualityLawnCare4u
10-07-2004, 09:52 PM
Heres a followup on this customer. I went to do his yard today (been a month since last time) He was outside putting together a expensive looking mower jack/ramp he had bought from NAPA. He told me the reason he bought the commercial toro was because his neighbor had one and "by gosh, if he can afford one, I want one too" I asked him did he figure out how many years he could have paid me to mow his yard for what he paid for this equipment and got a blank stare. LOL, people, go figure them.

Danny

desert rose gardening
02-21-2005, 10:23 AM
This is kind of old news, but I lost my best customer in the wild fires of October of 2003. He paid $200.00 cash every month. His house burnt down along with my sisters house, my old house that I sold in 2001. and 27 other people that I know lost houses along with this woman I used to ride horses with who did not get out in time.

tez34
02-21-2005, 06:55 PM
Hey he's 79 years old, chances are you will be back next year when he physically cant do the work. Then you can buy his new lawn mower for half the price.

QualityLawnCare4u
02-21-2005, 07:36 PM
Hey he's 79 years old, chances are you will be back next year when he physically cant do the work. Then you can buy his new lawn mower for half the price.

Hey Tez, this is an old thread but thanks for reply anyway. The old gentleman is healthy as a mule. His dad lived to around 104. He will probably outlast me since heart disease takes men in my family out around 60 :cry:
The customer did tell me he bought the mower because his neighbor had one and by gosh he wanted one!. Must be nice to have that kind of $$$.

lawncare4u
02-21-2005, 08:53 PM
Followup:

Hey, I just got a call from the mans wife and she wanted to know if I would still come once a month a do yard. He does not weedeat or edge, just likes to ride his new z. Also asked me to do the hedges because they looked so bad, did not care what hubby said. I dont think she was happy about the situation. Geez, I dont need no quarrels LOL

Danny
Quality Lawn Care

Go do the edgeing,prunning,and weed eating.....but......when you leave,make sure you have a pocket full of money!!! :waving: