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an unhappy customer

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by mike lane lawn care, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. mike lane lawn care

    mike lane lawn care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,707

    one of my good customers who is a real up beat kind of person just called and said he was very displeased with the way the property looked, he says that around the perimeter of the yard (the woods the en circle his house) there are weeds that need to be cut down that haven't been (didn't know i was supposed to trim the edge of the woods) he also said that when he paid me to do regular weeding(has to be by hand as he won't allow roundup or the like beacause of his well) he's affraid of contamination. He said that he was just throwing his money away, i told him that when i am there tomorrow he can show me what needs to be done, and he agreed. i just don't know whats going on, my other properties get nothing but compliments and people ofter stop me at a house on the main street and ask how i get it to look so good. it just really upsets me that someone is un happy, because i try and do a great job all the time and don't cut corners (i'm speaking figuratively) how do you guys handle something like this? he was telling me how he had someone last year who did a great job but was unavliable this late in the season.
  2. Brendan Smith

    Brendan Smith LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,196

    just find out what he wants and do it. if it's going to take a signifigant amount of time, apologize for the mis-communication and tell him what the new rate will be. if he's not happy with that, move on.
  3. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 1,010

    Mike,we can't please everyone, all of the time.He's already throwing out the fact that he would hire someone else,but can't get them this late in the season.He sounds like a pain to deal with honestly and if you bend over now,he'll only want more later.When you meet him,tell him you're sorry you couldn't meet his standards and that it's best that you part ways.Thank him for his business and move on.I'll bet he'll be suprised that you are willing to let it go so easily.
    Don't let on that it bothers you to lose his account.Be polite and be firm or you'll end up with a list of add on services for this guy that you'll be doing for free.
  4. jazak

    jazak LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 843

    If you're giving the guy a good price to begin with and he's buggin you I'd drop him. Or tell him if you can't use chemicals its $75 an hour for how long you're there pulling weeds. :laugh:
  5. mike lane lawn care

    mike lane lawn care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,707

    thanks, the weeding is what kills me, i can't stand hand pulling weeds, and if i miss one or 2 in a HUGE garden bed, then he tells me i doesn't look good:dizzy: what bugs me is that hge said that everything was looking good on sunday when i went over there to do the weeding, now he doesn't like it, but weeds grow fast, if they weren't there 4 days ago, they could be there today.

    FATWEASEL LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Posts: 326

    Unbeknownst to him, there might be a reason why he couldn't get that OTHER guy again. If you've got an account this year, don't you assume that you'll have it next year unless the owner tells you differently? Sounds like the homeowner got dumped by the last guy.

    Besides, no one wants to hear that some other person or some other business does something better than you. That's just rude.:hammerhead: I wonder what he would say if you told him that all your other customers were GREAT customers and they didn't whine and complain.:laugh:
  7. thes

    thes LawnSite Member
    Posts: 106

    I would totally agree with FATWEASEL.

    I've let PITA customers go...and I'm sure they told the next guy the same thing this guy told you. They NEVER see it as their fault, because-don't you know-THEY are the *perfect* customer!!! hahahaha :hammerhead:

    If you were getting complaints from many customers, then I would have to say that you should re-evaluate your work techniques, but you said the opposite. Don't let his comments get to you....he's not worth your time. :nono:
  8. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    I think he's looking for an excuse to drop you, or get you to quit. But he'd like to get as much as he can first. Beat him to the punch and when you meet him tell him that you don't have time to hand weed a property and he is throwing money away by not allowing chemical weeding. Thank him for his business and tell him maybe the guy that did the property before will become availabe again in the future
  9. Let-it-mow!

    Let-it-mow! LawnSite Member
    Posts: 91

    The guy might have a legitimate complaint. Even the best make mistakes once in a while and you could have too. Talk to the guy and Really listen to what he has to say.

    Then decide if you want the account anymore. It's your business. You get to decide. If he's looking for services you don't want to provide, it's okay to just tell him that politely. If he's looking for a level of service that's higher than you want to provide. It's okay to tell him that too. Not everyone will be a good fit for your company.

    And if you are missing out on profitable work because you are spending time hand weeding his beds, he either needs to compensate you for your time or you need to take on the more profitable work instead.
  10. Eakern & Dog

    Eakern & Dog LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 431

    He should be paying extra for you to pull weeds by hand anyway . I would telll him that you will only pull large weeds ( weeds that can be seen .....say from 75 feet away ) and that all other weeds would be billed at an hourly rate because you will need to hire someone to do it because your hourly rate would be cost prohibitive. If he is still unpleased, I would tell him that you strive for 100% customer satisfaction and that since you are unable to satisfy him that you must drop him as client per your customer satisfaction policy.:rolleyes:

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