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Old 04-26-2006, 12:40 PM
bobbygedd bobbygedd is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: NJ
Posts: 10,188
wanna make enemies, or go broke?

ok pros, here is a list of things that have happened, in the past 3 weeks, and tell me how to handle them. #1- 3 weeks ago, did aeration and seeding as well as create 2 beds to be used for seasonal color. both were flowered using very healthy pansies, and mulched. returned today to check on the lawn progress.......not a blade of grass grew, and half the pansies were dried up and dead. knocked on the door, the lady said that her husband will start watering today, he hasn't watered yet. #2- aerated + seeded a different client roughly 3 weeks ago. same scene, they never watered, almost no germination. #3- same as #2. #4- put in several shrubs in late fall. client was told to DO NOTHING as far as fertilizing. 26 out of the 30 shrubs are dead. her husband told me that his wife, after i left in the fall, fertilized them once a week with miracle grow, till it was too cold to go outside. i refuse to spend one red cent of my own money to reseed, reflower, or replant for any of the above customers. u know damn well, when thier lawns don't grow, and the shrubbery + flowers don't come back to life, they will expect me to make it right, for free. please advise. make enemies? or spend my own money, to keep them happy?
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  #2  
Old 04-26-2006, 01:08 PM
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SOMM SOMM is offline
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Eastern Missouri, zone 6
Posts: 432
That's the reason we never plant until the automatic irrigation system gets turned on. So they don't have an auto system, or one that was turned on?

Just let 'em know zero replacement warranty was ever featured, expressed or implied, because you were not the one responsible for their watering schedule -
the job was solely priced on labor, materials, machinery-hours, and installation tools required.

Even when they don't want to sign an agreement, we hand them or mail them a "disclaimer" sheet with watering instructions of 10-15 minutes per zone daily (regardless of rainfall under their stories-high trees) for first two weeks and at least thrice weekly thereafter for next 30 days.

You need backup, Bobby, we'll fly air-cav out to ya for tonight's 8:59pm knock at their door....just red-smoke the target or green-smoke the LZ, depending upon how the negotiation goes with them. Our spotlights will be on. We can grab some Woodchuck Draft Cider from Vermont, and then go frog-gigging in The Hamptons after that, ok?

Last edited by SOMM; 04-26-2006 at 01:13 PM.
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  #3  
Old 04-26-2006, 11:57 PM
topsites topsites is offline
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Location: Richmond Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOMM
That's the reason we never plant until the automatic irrigation system gets turned on. So they don't have an auto system, or one that was turned on?

Just let 'em know zero replacement warranty was ever featured, expressed or implied, because you were not the one responsible for their watering schedule -
the job was solely priced on labor, materials, machinery-hours, and installation tools required.
I have learned you can't count on customers to water the stuff, they hired you to take care of the lawn because they either don't want to deal with it or they don't know enough about it or something along those lines... Regardless, ask them to water and you will lose, almost guaranteed.

So I will NOT do something requiring water unless there is extensive rain in the forecast or it's that time of year. There are times I can do certain things without the need for said forecast just because there is plenty of time in which anything could happen (at least 60 days left in the window) so then if it doesn't rain at all, ok, that's too bad but also very unusual.

Sprinkler systems ON or OFF, ok yeah that works but it's something you need to ask your customers - I've gotten to where mine enjoy informing me their system got turned on or off, mainly because I enjoy them telling me this because it leaves me less open for surprises.

Oh yeah, very few things of mine carry a guarantee, and I am sure there exists no guarantee if there is customer interaction in the process. However, I do guarantee things where if the customer has to do absolutely nothing and they DO nothing, and it doesn't work, well I might can see about doing something about this problem then.
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Old 04-27-2006, 12:38 AM
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SOMM SOMM is offline
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Eastern Missouri, zone 6
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(frontier, cool avitar why are you flying the MD state flag, i used to go to school there, you retired in FL?)

So Mac and Frontier, you just tell them that they have to sign the watering form, or no start of the job?
Sounds like a good idea, thanks.
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Old 04-27-2006, 05:56 AM
jeffex jeffex is offline
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Location: Catonsville, Maryland
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I'm quite shure you priced the job to include some % of replacement cost as most do. I always tack on 10% extra on the bid for such call backs on plant material. It helps pay me to go back for dead plants due to homeowner neglect. Meet them 1/2 way on the price of the new plants or dump them If it won't hurt future business in the neighborhood. As for grass seed it will germinate eventually unless they put down a pre-emergent agent. Tell them to water or wait for mother nature
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  #6  
Old 04-27-2006, 09:59 AM
olderthandirt olderthandirt is offline
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Location: here
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOMM
(frontier, cool avitar why are you flying the MD state flag, i used to go to school there, you retired in FL?)

So Mac and Frontier, you just tell them that they have to sign the watering form, or no start of the job?
Sounds like a good idea, thanks.
I explain before they even sign a contract that I will be providing them with watering instructions for them to sign when I'm finished. They usually have a lot of questions regarding how and when to water so it helps them out. The part about the job being done to there satisfaction is just one more line on the page.
My contracts are written where it says I'm not responsible for water either to much or to little, I'm also not responsible for acts of nature.
If we get a down pour after a new lawn is installed thats out of my control and there's no guarantee.
I have driven by homes after we done an install and see that its dry and I'll knock on the door point it out to them and tell them they just voided the guarantee and take a pic. The few times I've done it the people are have excuses but they also know that I'm right and the picture will prove my point and I never here from them. They also realize at this point that no guarantee means they better water OR THERE out a lot of money.
If there's a problem thats MY fault I'll take care of it immediately at no additional cost
If there's a problem that NOT my fault it will cost the customer to correct the problem.
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  #7  
Old 04-26-2006, 02:07 PM
upidstay's Avatar
upidstay upidstay is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: CT
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Did you tell them that they had to water it? We used to leave detailed written instructions, and called them to tell them we had left them the detailed written instructions.
Next time, just wave your magic wand. Much easier that way.
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  #8  
Old 04-26-2006, 04:24 PM
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geogunn geogunn is offline
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Location: TN
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bob--for once I agree with you...if it's like you say.

kick them to the curb.

GEO
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  #9  
Old 04-26-2006, 04:48 PM
chimmygew chimmygew is offline
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Location: Linton, IN
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Someones signature line once said, "stupid people deserve to suffer".
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  #10  
Old 04-26-2006, 04:47 PM
olderthandirt olderthandirt is offline
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Detailed watering instuctions 2 copies 1 for me and 1 for the customer. They have to sign my copy that says I have explained how and why to water and that all work done is to there satifaction, any failure of seed or plants to die or failure to thrive is the customers responsability. Signed copy and a few pics of the finished job and it will eliminate a lot of the frustration of dealing with the general public. BTW-- make sure they see you taking pics. there worth a 1000 words when the threat of court comes up.
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