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Old 10-11-2012, 12:47 AM
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JContracting JContracting is offline
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Location: Champlin, MN
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Need to vent

So long story short. Had this crazy asian lady (she's nuts) call me about 2 months back, was looking for a fert program and some shrub trimming and a couple small trees removed and the irrigation systems set up and adjusted on her two properties (they're about 5 min away from eachother). After being on the phone for too long we finally had everything figured out. All the work got done and I was able to sell her into aeration and overseeding on each property on top of the other work which was about $1000. It had been a couple weeks since I had visited either of the properties and she had called me last week I believe and she wanted to confirm the final rounds of fert and stuff which was all good and understandable.
But one thing that irked me was when I went to her 2nd property to run through the system to mark the heads with flags the day before doing the aerating, I got there and the system was running, this was at about 5:30pm, one of the worst time of day to water. I go to the control box and someone bent the lock switch (toro controller on the outside of the house and it locks) and it was unlocked. Someone set it to run starting at 4pm
I turned that all off and changed the settings to what I had it at which was starting at midnight. I get a phone call last week (aerated on the 28th so I set it up the 27th) and she's b!tching about how the people living there are complaining that the system runs twice a day when I knew damn well that I set it to the correct time and to run through the zones once every other day. She said she has no idea how to change up the settings nor did she have a key to get into the controller. She said she told the guy (Asian that doesnt speak English) living there not to touch anything within the landscape. My guess is the guys that mow it (they mow this place that is 12,000 sq ft for $20 biweekly according to the lady I'm dealing with) that don't want explosive growth from fert and a good watering program and/or they mow early in the morning and don't want the lawn wet and they were able to bend in the lock on box to get into it to adjust it. I couldn't get a straight answer from the lady about who changed the settings but I reset the program today so things should be all good.
I got quite the chuckle out of it though with the irrigation running twice a day and making the back yard a swamp (new house, new development with a low setting backyard that backs up to a rain garden shared by the surrounding houses) after being on the phone and am laughing as I typed it.

One more thing that annoyed me is that she wanted to do partial full service on both properties (biweekly mowing on her other property and no mowing on her personal property because she said her husband will mow which maybe happened once since I started doing work there in August)
Sent the bids, she then said on the phone yesterday how the other companies are offering a 2nd shrub trimming (she only wants one) and replacement of some dead grass (which is only turning brown because she doesn't water enough) with sod, for free. My prices were as low as I'd go at all, I wouldn't think twice of offering extra services. I think one of the companies I'm going against is a larger one and they do maintenance do strictly meet payroll basically so with the add-ons they would maybe think it would lead to higher profit installs.....
I told her I'd like to see the documentation of it before I'd even think of coming close to matching it. Her reply is that she doesn't like letting contractors see other contractor's bids because they'll match them and not be happy doing the work, even though I'd explain the grass doesn't need to be replaced, and if it is true, I'd trim the shrubs twice being that I'd be out there anyway, it'd take me (still solo right now) a half hour. But that's only if that is true.

Anyway, I just needed to get it off my chest, it was bugging me all day except that the other place is a swamp which I found hilarious.
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Last edited by JContracting; 10-11-2012 at 12:51 AM.
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Old 10-11-2012, 04:53 AM
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easy-lift guy easy-lift guy is online now
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I would have called her immediately and let her know what had happened to the irrigation system and than proceed. I believe you have to many variables involved with this customer. She sounds like a mixer who likes to play one contractor against another
for her own ego. I would finish your dealings with her and let her go on her way.
easy-lift guy
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