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  #1  
Old 04-13-2005, 03:20 PM
Kev's Lawncare Kev's Lawncare is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: North Central Oh
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Did I do wrong?

To make a long story short, last year was my first year of commercial mowing. I had just 5 lawns lined up when I ran into a local lawncare guy at the Toro dealership. We got to talking and I became a subcontractor of 15 lawns. By the 1st month of mowing these lawns 12 of the 15 had confronted me in mowing there lawns and to do away with there present contractor. All of them said there lawns looked the best they ever had. I thanked them all and said I couldn't do that, that he was good enough to trust and get me started.
This year I let him know that I was going on my own that over last year and this year I am up to 30 + lawns (all but two are 15000sq.ft. plus). 6 of the 12 call the past week and ask me to mow, I declined. I felt these were his customers. two of the six would not take no for an answer. I told them the only way I would is if down the road things did not work out I would consider! Well he (contractor) shows up to mow these two clients. The first tells that I was going to mow from now on. This client owed a few dollars for a landscaping job from last fall and and with a few threats of collection he dicided to stay with the present cntractor.
He went to the second customer and the same thing. Well after two calls from the contractor and being called every name in the book on the first call, and the second call being threated I was very upset. I had no Idea why he was acuusing me of taking his customers. Well, come to find out about 10:00 last night the second customer calls and said the fired the contractor and that they had to have me mow there lawn. After seeing how *nal the contractor was and threating me, I did agree to service there lawn. I also let the customer know that I did not appreciate what they had done.
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Old 04-13-2005, 03:29 PM
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tjgray tjgray is offline
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How did these customers even know that you had your own lawn company? When we work for our main sub-contractor we wear his companies uniforms and use his companies signs on our truck. Very few of his customers ever suspect we are more than an employee and we would ABSOLUTELY never take a customer from him. It is not good business at all to take from someone that has been so giving.

If you didn't appreciate the little drama fest your stolen customer put you through you wouldn't have told them you would do their lawn.....remember what comes around goes around
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Old 04-13-2005, 03:37 PM
MarcSmith MarcSmith is offline
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You went out of your to decline the work and give props to the guy who helped you get started. I think the customers were somewhat bad in their handling of the situation as well and threw you under the bus so to speak.....

I might have contacted you boss at the time that his clients were tryingto get you to do the work on the side....be up front an honest...

Its a tough call. and in the eye sof your old boss you may have burned a bridge...and I'm sure he is only hearing one side of the story and making up the second side.....you may want to take the guy out for a beer and explain your side of it....
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Old 04-13-2005, 03:46 PM
Kev's Lawncare Kev's Lawncare is offline
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Initially he took me around and introduced me to all of these customers. There is no uniforms or signs. I do feel guilty about saying yes to the customer last night and do not plan on saying yes to any more. I have very broad shoulders and schrug most things off, I treat everyone the way I'd want to be treated. The name calling was not a problem and would have have told the customer no last night, but the threats were the determining factor.
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Old 04-13-2005, 04:01 PM
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tjgray tjgray is offline
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I don't agree with threats but I would have been damn angry too. Look at it from his view. He helps you get started by providing the money needed to go out and get customers of your own. You finally have enough customers to not have to sub-contract anymore so you tell him you are going it alone and the next thing he sees is his customers leaving for you.

In my humble opinion the one or two customers that want you to take on servicing their lawns was not worth burning the bridge. You were better off with the industry contact instead of the couple of customers that are likely to to do to you what they did to the man that was kind enough to help you get started.

No way would I ever take a customer from our sub-contracter and although the goal is to get to the point where we don't need to sub-contract so much I STILL wouldn't even take on a customer that has cancelled with him without talking to him first and making sure he is ok with it.

It is this very reason LCO's are hesitant to trust sub-contractors.

If you had been as loyal as he then you would have told him his customers were dis-satisfied way before it got to this point....like I said what comes around goes around. Good luck with your new customers.
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  #6  
Old 04-13-2005, 04:28 PM
Kev's Lawncare Kev's Lawncare is offline
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Tara

I agree with you 100%. I do feel guilty for letting my anger controll a decision. I have contacted two othe LLC's to find out what the going rate is for buying lawns in this area. here they are saying the first and last mowing. Considering sending him a check.

Thank you and all for your thoughts!
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  #7  
Old 04-13-2005, 05:26 PM
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tjgray tjgray is offline
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Thats a good idea Kevin and your first steps to easing any hostilities there might be. I wouldn't just send him a check as this might offend him as well rather I would do as Marc suggested take the guy out for a beer explain your side, let him know that you see an error in your judgment and explain that you made the decision because you were angry and that you are sorry for that. Then offer him the check

Just suggestions.....Hope it works out for ya
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  #8  
Old 04-14-2005, 11:16 AM
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tonygreek tonygreek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjgray
When we work for our main sub-contractor we wear his companies uniforms and use his companies signs on our truck. Very few of his customers ever suspect we are more than an employee
and for these very reasons, not only would a customer think you were an employee, but the irs would as well. the guy you're subbing from might want to cross his fingers that nobody turns him in.
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  #9  
Old 04-14-2005, 12:39 PM
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tjgray tjgray is offline
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Unfortunately for us that 1099-MISC came right on time.....no worries from either of us about Uncle Sam getting paid

No need for finger crossing either we usually rely on the company attorney to keep us from doing that
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  #10  
Old 04-14-2005, 03:05 PM
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Mo Green Mo Green is offline
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I'm not saying that I agree with the way things went down, but if this guy were servicing his customers to their satisfaction before you began subcontracting them, they would have never attempted to call you.
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