View Full Version : parting is such sweet sorrow

10-19-2004, 08:18 AM
yesterday, yet another customer from the past called, and invited me back. this customer is one that i dumped 2 yrs ago, didn't even give him a reason, just stopped showing up. though my real reason was, i was tired of chasing my money. i drive by weekly, and chuckle as i see the lawn and shrubbery looking worse, and worse. what a shame :cry: . anyhow, this has to be the 6th or 7th person this season that was dumped over the last couple years, and asked me to come back. i see a pattern here??? anyhow, i'm personally pleased with this, and even a bit surprised. i thought gone was gone. taking into consideration my rude behavior, my surcharges, my higher fees, and my "zero tolerance" policy, i'm surprised they call me back. but, as i stated, i am pleased. so my question is, for you guys in the business many years, is this common? everybody loses customers one way or another from time to time, but is it common for them to come back? or have you noticed that gone means gone for good? here was the call by the way, i loved it, " bob this is mr. jones from xyz street. you used to take care of our property. you stopped showing up for your own reasons i guess. the place is in bad shape, the guy who replaced you doesn't do fertilizing, he doesn't even edge the walkways, and now he's telling me he is not cleaning leaves this year. i need you back here, if you are interested. do whatever you have to do to get this place looking inhabited again. then i'll need you steady like before. let me know if you're interested, work up a price, stop by and get a check. look foward to hearing from you."

A Leaf Above
10-19-2004, 08:52 AM
good to hear that you are getting the customer back ...Thats what good work will do for you :drinkup:

10-19-2004, 09:11 AM
I guess they've gone through all of the other LCO's and are starting to go through the list again...
Just like if an old girlfriend called, they'd better be ready to get boinked.

10-19-2004, 09:19 AM
I have had some calls after being the dumper, or after being the dumpie. I have never tried to be mightier than the prince of rude. My policy is to never rebuild the bridge. You only get one shot. There were times when I considered a box of roofing nails to the drive way, but I never took revenge. Just knowing I'm a happer person is enough. I don't seem to have time to worry about them much these days. Be strong and move on to a healthier fun life.

10-19-2004, 10:09 AM
We have found that people never change! If we dumped them for declined cards, a new card wont fix the problem. If it is quaility issues, whether we on the dumpee or dumpor, it won't be better when you take them back. So, once they make it to our no resign list, and they call...we feel good that we were right, but no thanks, no more pain from that customer, just move on to the next!

10-19-2004, 10:14 AM
aside from the warm feeling of being right, I have to agree. Very few people change from their habits, bad or otherwise.

It is only a matter of time before they become annoying again and their are way too many accounts to deal with known PITA's.

10-19-2004, 10:16 AM
good point justmowit, i never thought of it that way. can a leopard change its spots?

10-19-2004, 10:44 AM
I did a big job for a PITA lady. She had work done to here place and the supply trucks had to go up you lawn to deliver things because of her septic systems. Well they basically made another driveway up her lawn. I had to till the "new driveway", bring in 20 yards of top soil and I graded the front and back lawn, reseeded and fertilized. She didn't want me to to do the lawn care so i gave her instructions on maintaining the new grass. I passed by the next year and saw that, that drive way was back and the lawn and tons of divots...... I got out and no longer have the same # so i'm not sure if she looked for me but it's amazing how people find lower prices and think it's best for them.....

10-19-2004, 10:48 AM
Bobby, As pointed out you will probably have the same issues with the client all over again. Unless you really need the account just move on unless you can get them to prepay each month then go for it.


Freshcut Lawn Care
10-19-2004, 11:04 AM
Call me a Candy - A$$, but I believe in giving folks a second chance. (Aren't there times when you would want one?) Not just in Lawn Care.

Sometimes people don't realize what they have; until they lose it!

Bobby, I would take them back, but would be very explicit on what your expectations are!

Obviously, your work speaks for itself and some people take some time to appreciate your efforts!

You can always dump them again, if it doesn't work out for you.

The way I see it, you have nothing to lose, but something to gain!

10-19-2004, 11:11 AM
anyhow, i'm personally pleased with this, and even a bit surprised. i thought gone was gone. taking into consideration my rude behavior, my surcharges, my higher fees, and my "zero tolerance" policy, i'm surprised they call me back. but, as i stated, i am pleased.

WOW, is this a new kinder, gentler bobbyg? :angel:

10-19-2004, 11:20 AM
no, mm, don't be rediculous. it pleases me because it gives me the pleasure of having established dominance. they were told before who the boss is, now, they have accepted it

10-19-2004, 11:28 AM
Oh okay! You scared me there for a minute! :drinkup:

10-19-2004, 11:56 AM
Just a casual observation;
In another thread yesterday you were vigorously defending your "zero tolerance" policy in canning clients for infractions, and today your asking me to BELIEVE you that by strange coincidence that one actually called you back [yesterday] and told you that you probably had your own reasons for flaking but I want you back anyway. Not saying it did not happen but it certainly raises a a question of the truthfullness of this thread.

10-19-2004, 11:57 AM
Whether or not I would consider them again would depend on why I got rid of them in the first place. Over the years, I have mellowed here and there and become more flexible in some instances. Then again, there are some issues (like leaf cleanup prices) that I refuse to negotiate on.

Good luck with them bobby.

10-19-2004, 12:00 PM
Bobby, I think your customers realize that they got dumped cause they screwed up. That is a credit to your "no-nonsense strictly business" treatment of everybody. They're never left to wonder "gee why did he dump me?". You state everything clearly and if they get dumped they know why.

10-19-2004, 12:17 PM
I think it sais a lot about the other lco's in your area, THEY SUCK! Bob, I often think that your too much of a hard ass and u wont keep customers. Around here if I treated my customers like u do, there would be another lco in my place. Maybe I need to relocate to your area. Nothing against your methods, it is obviously working for u. Im just making the obsevation that the hard ass method wont work in my area. Ive gotten many new customers because they didnt like the old lco's attitude. The very last customer is a developer I now mow & bush hog for. She got my #, called and I met with her. Easy road fronts, two model homes to mow and bush hog lots on regular schedule. She asked other lco if they would weed-eat weeds next to poles, fire hydrants and such. He told her "I dont do manual labor". Now Ive been doing it for 2 months now and they pay my price, easy to work with and they are getting ready to develope 150 acre area next to this one. It just amazes me that the hard ass method works for u and its great to see these people come back for more.

10-19-2004, 12:22 PM
brandy my dear, there is truthfulness to everything i write. why would i lie? i havn't officially counted, but the number at this point is from 6-8 dumped clients that have called me back, all within like the past 4 months. want another fact? i signed yet another complaint of theft of service at the police station yesterday. another coincidence? would you like a copy of the police report? this concludes my study of human behavior. fact is, most lawnboys kiss thier customers azzes. another fact is, as i have proven, it don't matter if u kiss thier butts or not.

10-19-2004, 03:40 PM
Bobby, you spend anymore time at the police station, they'll be inviting you to go to the local doughnut shop with them.

10-19-2004, 03:46 PM
yea yea, it will be great. i'll get to ride in the cop car (in the front seat this time), i'll get to play with the handcufs (instead of trying to figure a way out of them) , maybe they'll even let me wear a uniform.

10-19-2004, 03:56 PM
pj, i'm not a hardass. why is someone considered a hard ass when he refuses to be pushed around? i was thinking just a few minutes ago....i was fixing the upstairs toilet, and i thought, "wow, a plumber would get $100 easy for this", and it took 15 minutes including washing my hands afterward. have you ever heard someone say that about a plumber? they will say, "man, i hate to call a plumber, they want $75 just to come in your house." now, can you imagine them saying that same thing, about a landscaper? hell no. it would go more like, "ha ha ha, do you believe that guy said he wanted $40 an hour to clean my leaves? ha ha ha, fat chance i'll pay that." it's a matter of mutual respect for me. i'm very respectful, until i'm disrespected. is that so bad? DON'T FK WITH MY MONEY! is that such a bad request? ok, read my new post, and tell me, if i'm a hard ass. it is actually about this customer

10-19-2004, 04:04 PM
including washing my hands afterward.

I KNEW it! I told you a kinder, gentler bobbygedd! LOL :waving:

10-19-2004, 04:13 PM
not really, i washed them, in the bowl....... :waving:

10-19-2004, 04:20 PM
I didn't read the whole thread yet, but I disagree with the guys telling you that he will be a problem again.

It is possible he will or will not, but some people learn their lesson and know they better behave or they will risk losing you again. I have learned that once they figured out that they need you then they do everything they can to keep you.

Just let him know that you won't tolerate late payments and tell him he will need to pre pay. Did he give you any other problems? He might possibly turn out to be your best customer from now on. It's a risk, but worth taking.