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Old 10-15-2001, 08:26 PM
grassman50 grassman50 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Michigan
Posts: 36
How perinoid can a customer be???!!!

Today i got bitched at because my employee that i have working for me accidentley hit the string line trimmer on the gutter and made a loud noise. I want you guys to be honest with me cause this cumtomer is so mean, she is almost harrassing me and my employees. It is a very nice lawn that i mow for $25.00. Its not that big, probably 10,000 sq. ft. or so, which takes like 15 minutes or so on a ZTR. SHe is ALWAYS at home, sitting there waiting for me to come. when i mow the front lawn she peeks out her blinds out the front door and stares at me the ENTIRE TIME. THEN she runs to the back lawn and watches me go back there. Last month she asked me if i could spray her lawn for dandelions. I said sure, it would be $40.00 for the entire lawn. She remarks with this horrilbe sassy voice and look on her face "WHAT do you think i am doing, paying for your braces"!!! Cause i had braces at the time. I just thought, what a MEAN B***H!! Then a couple of weeks ago we had rain for like five days straight and it was saturday when it cleared up, i usully cut her on thursdays, but it has been raining for so long i coulnt, so i came saturday cause it was supposed to rain again for the next two days after sunday, so it would be like two weeks that she wouldnt have her lawn cut. she came out yelling so loud cause it was damp and it pressed down the grass and looked bad. Trust me, it looked good for the conditions!!! And then the next week, i send my employee out to the back lawn with the ZTR and she comes roaring out of the house about how fast he was going. She come walking up really fast to me, and was like, "That guy is worthless that you have working for you. " " HE is good for NOTHING!!" I dont understand people, they always want something for nothing. I finally blew up in her face and said, "FINE, you know what, go and write me a check for the two lawn cuts that you owe me and you can find some high schooler with a miejer push mower that will clump it to hell and probably end up putting round up on your lawn for a weed killer. I was so mad, i didnt even finish cutting her lawn, i put all my stuff in the trailer, and went up to the door to get my money and she said, well, i didnt want to find someone else... and then i said i hope she finds someone that will do a better job. then she is like... well, can you still do it? and i was like thanks... but no thanks. and walked off. Maybe i should have finished the lawn,, i dont think she knows that i didnt finish it, but i was just really mad at the time. She is a TRUE NAG!!
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Old 10-15-2001, 08:34 PM
Eric ELM Eric ELM is offline
Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Chicago, IL USA
Posts: 4,831
You did the right thing in my opinion. I've dropped customers that were not nearly that bad.
<img src="" border="0" alt="ELMLawnsite">
^One of the lawns we mow
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Old 10-15-2001, 08:36 PM
KDJ KDJ is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 325
Well I would raise the price from 25.00 to 35.00
And if that didn't work I would raise it from 35.00
to 45.00 get my drift. But tell her in person and enjoy
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Old 10-15-2001, 08:37 PM
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grassyfras grassyfras is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Posts: 1,469
You are my true hero. You should be proud to stick up to a customer like that. I hate getting pushed around for little things like that. Way to go. The only thing i would of done was kept the job after the lady asked me to and probbly finished cutting her lawn. Tell her no more bitching.
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Old 10-15-2001, 08:54 PM
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walker-talker walker-talker is offline
LawnSite Platinum Member
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Midwest
Posts: 4,774
I had a lady that wanted her lawn mowed every 2 weeks, but I was on a "call me when you want it mowed basis". It had been 2 weeks and she wanted it mowed 1.5 to 2 inches high. The grass/weed ratio was about 5/95. I mowed it as she wished and it clumped. I was already giving her a break on the price because she gave me a sad story about being on medication. She bitched me out because it clumped. Needless to say, I never returned her calls again. I did not go through nearly what you did. You did the right thing by letting her go.
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Old 10-15-2001, 08:57 PM
lawnboy82 lawnboy82 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: westchester county, N.Y.
Posts: 957
I have had customers much more paranoid than you have described. Don't worry about it, you will run into plenty more people like that during the life of your business, and just in your life period.
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Old 10-15-2001, 09:18 PM
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Shady Brook Shady Brook is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Indiana
Posts: 1,517
I had a customer like that, not quite so cruel, but very particular. She used to walk behind the guy who mowed it before me to inspect his job.

Well, we now have an understanding, she leaves me alone, and I do a good job. If she is not satisfied, she can find someone else. We have no problems now.

I would not blame you for quitting her, but if you are willing to try her, you could just tell her the rules. I will mow on my terms, I am a professional, I will be treated like one, and my employees will be as well. If you have any concerns, you may speak to me before or after the job, and you will speak to me with respect!

Some of those old girls are used to fighting to get what they want, especially widow's. I think they are afraid of being taken advantage of in other areas of life, so come off like a monster. She probably likes you, and fears finding someone else who may not put up with her, or take advantage of her. Enough psycobabble.

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Old 10-15-2001, 09:21 PM
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Lawn Dog2001 Lawn Dog2001 is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 1,026
You did the right thing in dropping her. But I like KDJ's suggestion as well. Now that you have put this lady in her place, she might realize that she needs to knock off the BS if she wants to keep you on the job. That gives you an opening to raise your price, and continue to service her with less hassle.
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Old 10-15-2001, 09:23 PM
XOFMOT XOFMOT is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Fairfield County Connecticut
Posts: 161

Right now I'm in the circumstance you "WERE" in. One of my first customers (think she was the 4th), is miss penny pincher. "Well, If you do that, is that included in your weekly charge?" a remark she always says when I point out things to be addressed. She asked me last week to cut down a small tree next to her house (3" dia x 15' Birch). Sure I said, I will cut it down, and remove it from your property for $50.00...I then had to call 911, I thought she died when I told her $50.00.....I hate to loose a customer, but I will be nice and finish out the season for her (only about 2 more visits) and then GOOD BYE!
(oh, by the way, I did NOT cut the tree, she said wait till spring)
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Old 10-15-2001, 09:39 PM
lawnboy82 lawnboy82 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: westchester county, N.Y.
Posts: 957
I wish my paranoid customers were that good. I had one guy who you had to call his house from outside before you could go on the property because of the dogs. He wouldn't let me send anyone else over there to do the work. There was other stuff too, but that guy was a real whacko, amongst other stuff. I have worked for MANY crazy people in the past, and let me tell you it makes for some very interesting dinner conversation.
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