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  #1  
Old 05-02-2006, 12:28 PM
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FrankenScagMachines FrankenScagMachines is offline
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Another "How would you handle this customer" Thread...

Ok well so I'm at the gas station and this PITA customer calls..
Lemme take a second to explain his property- he has two garage doors, one on each end of the garage (which is attached to the house) and the back yard is fenced in, with a 36" gate. When he's home, I go through the two garage doors into the backyard to get the 60" back there to mow. Its not a large backyard but would take a little while to cut with a 21" which I don't own one anyway.. So once in a while he's not home and I just skip the backyard, not a huge deal, it doesn't grow that much. He's never made an issue of it. But this guy is a bargain hunter if you have ever met one... he's as cheap as anyone and is always asking me to drop the price, and everytime I stick to my guns and he pays the price and shuts up. Well last week I went to mow and he wasn't home so I skipped the backyard. He calls today had his panties in a bunch, wanting to know why didn't I go through the garage doors to mow? I said you never told me it would be unlocked, it would not be proper for me to go up and try to open your doors without being told to. So he then complains it was clumpy (well this would be because he being the brilliant moron he is, decided to fertilize it himself this year, which he apparently used a drop spreader and skipped every other pass or something, so it looked like he had sewage fingers throughout the whole yard, and he overdosed on the fertilizer too... so, yea it was tall and nasty... of course it was clumpy! I already give him a great deal on this yard, I can't afford to double cut it for free and of course he is way too cheap to even think of paying for that... so anyway, after chewing me out for not attempting to open the garage door to mow the back yard, he asks if I can bag it this week, I told him thats not profitable for me, to go back to the shop and install the bagger, then go back and do his one yard, then dispose of clippings and come back to shop, uninstall bagger and continue on with life, all for this low price I mow it for... He said not profitable?! so I had to explain all that to him... then he gets upset and says well how bout a price cut? I said ok I'll knock $3 off of it to make it an even $30 for that cutting (will you please shutup and go back to whatever it is you usually do while sitting around the house!) he says well, by my figures that backyard is 1/6 of the property and so you should (and I can tell he's punching numbers on a calculator here) knock off 1/6 of the bill, making it $27.50 for that cutting. I'm like, well I will see what I can do. He says what do you mean! He said "That is my offer, $27.50 for that cutting!" I about just hung up on him, but at this point he has just received the monthly mowing bill in the mail (in which I just now realized I have forgot to include a spring cleanup charge) so if I just hung up on him and left the account, I probably would sacrifice my hard earned money.. So now I gotta send him a revised bill, to include the cleanup charge, and discount the $5.50 for his 1/6 section backyard (what a jerk)... and suck up for a week or so until I get paid for that bill, then I guess I plan to just drop the account, having sacrificed one mowing (or, let him send the payment now and not mow this week, but lose a few extra bucks on the cleanup....)

What a crock I can't beleive this... this guy I've always said would be my first one to drop, but I can't beleive he's trying to pull this crap... what would you do?
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Old 05-02-2006, 12:32 PM
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FrankenScagMachines FrankenScagMachines is offline
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Yea I know this might be able to be taken care of with a contract, but I never liked contracts and rarely have problems like this, easier to deal with these problems individually than to try to convert everyone to contracts and lose a couple jobs in the process...

All last year this guy never complained about charging full price if I didn't mow the backyard because he was gone... if they go on vacation they leave a garage door opener with me to use... I just can't stand this guy I just want my money and out of the deal. All my other customers are quiet and never say a single word except "hi how ya doin, yard looks great!" if we happen to cross paths... one whiner ticks me off...
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Old 05-02-2006, 12:39 PM
dkeisala dkeisala is offline
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What is this, Deal or No Deal and he's the banker? We all know by now that the price of the mow isn't simply time spent on the ground so the 1/6th thing isn't working for me. Tell him to go find someone else to screw with.
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Old 05-02-2006, 12:50 PM
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FrankenScagMachines FrankenScagMachines is offline
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Thats what I'm planning to do, but I need to get paid for my one month of service, and I don't plan on ticking him off till I have money in hand... then its CYA!! Guess I just want ideas how to handle him until I get the money...
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Old 05-02-2006, 01:00 PM
Frosty03 Frosty03 is offline
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Ok, let's look at the facts.

You actually didn't cut his backyard by your own admission. Whether he was out of town or not, that is not the point. Your price reflects cutting front and back each time unless requested by the customer. SO technically, you are in the wrong there.

Now, you have to send a revised bill to include a clean-up charge.

My advice in order to get your monies that are due to you:

Do NOT call him anymore.
Send him the revised bill listing your services.
Below that, deduct the $5.50 for skipping his backyard, which you did.
Wait until the check clears.
Dump the sucker.

Then you are only out $5.50 and got most of your pay and have now rid yourself of a PITA customer.

Then you can chalk that $5.50 up as a cheap learning experience and be done with it.

Next customer please.
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Old 05-02-2006, 04:47 PM
StBalor StBalor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frosty03
Ok, let's look at the facts.

You actually didn't cut his backyard by your own admission. Whether he was out of town or not, that is not the point. Your price reflects cutting front and back each time unless requested by the customer. SO technically, you are in the wrong there.
I have a clause in my service agreements just for a problem like this. It states that if we come to the property and cannot gain access to any part of the yard you still owe full price for the cutting. So if they lock the gate for some reason and leave. Then i come along to cut the grass and cannot get in the backyard, i just cut the front and leave them the bill.
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Old 05-02-2006, 05:30 PM
dkeisala dkeisala is offline
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This whole garage door aspect of the situation. Being on the property is one thing but having access to the interior of the structure when the homeowner isn't present is another. This opens up a whole can of worms. I would NEVER attempt to open a door without having express permission to do so first. It's basically breaking and entering. Additionally, what if something from within turns up missing? Who's the first person the guy is going to come looking for?

I have the garage door code AND security code for a client of mine. I would never pass it along to an employee nor would I use those codes to access the structure unless the client knew in advance I planned on doing so.

If his client doesn't understand this, that's the clients problem. If anything, the client should appreciate his reluctance to do so in the first place. It's an honesty and respect issue and that's worth far more than the $5.50 he's trying to skate on.
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Old 05-02-2006, 01:03 PM
dkeisala dkeisala is offline
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A restaurant manager of mine told me years ago when I, as a waiter, was dealing with a difficult customer "Take the path of least resistence - tell him what he wants to hear then get the hell out of there as fast as possible".

Placate the guy until you get your cash then bolt. But then, you already know that.
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Old 05-02-2006, 11:14 PM
topsites topsites is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankenScagMachines
Thats what I'm planning to do, but I need to get paid for my one month of service, and I don't plan on ticking him off till I have money in hand... then its CYA!! Guess I just want ideas how to handle him until I get the money...
Ohhhh, that problem, hmmmm....
shoot I got one owes me 110 and technically I'm supposed to go cut their grass but they haven't sent me a check and it's been 2 weeks and I should've seen it coming and I can't say for sure for sure, but I get this feeling if I go out there again then I'm just throwing more good labor after bad, so to speak.

How much money's the guy owe u?
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Old 05-02-2006, 01:40 PM
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bwilder10h bwilder10h is offline
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I agree. Get your dough and split. People like this always end up being more trouble than they are worth.

I had a guy call me (after he agreed to $30 weekly cuts) the week before I was to start mowing for him saying he needed me to do it for $25. I told him my minumum is $30 and I don't drive to house and get a mower off the trailer for $25. He said "I'll have to shop around" and I replied "Good luck, thanks for the call"

If he calls me back, I will not mow the yard for any price because I know he will more than likely become a PITA. In fact, when people like this call back I make sure they will not want me to service them because my typical response goes like this.... "sir or maam, I'm sorry but my offer to service your lawncare needs are no longer available. When you called me back to ask for a lower price, let me know the type of customer you would be in the future and in an effort to reduce the amount of stress and frustration in my business, I am no longer offering my services to you. I wish you luck in finding a lawncare company that will give you quality service at the prices you are trying to get"

They are usually speechless at this point so I say goodbye and hang up.

I realize for every guy like me, there is a hundred others that will just go ahead and do it to get the job... but I don't work that way.
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