Anal over Water Bill

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mrbenfer, Aug 22, 2003.

  1. mrbenfer

    mrbenfer LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Posts: 136

    Today I was cutting a few bushes across the street from another client of mine when he gets home from vacation. He gets out of his suv with a ticked off look on his face. When his wife and kids get inside he walks around his house in a pouting matter.

    Knowing something was strange I walk across the street to talk to him. He then yells in my face and says "MITCH! why did you mow? I respond back " I always mow on Thursday or Friday depending on the weather." ( I have 5 customers on this street that I mow weekly also ) He then says he spent over $200 dollars watering his lawn before he left on vacation and now that its mowed he has to water again. He then said that he told me not to mow until he says so which I don't ever remember him saying. He has asked me not to mow on a few other occasions and i've always written it down in my clip boad.

    At this point guys I've about had enough. The only reason I've even put up with this crap is because he has given me alto of business. I have never seen a adult act so childish over some grass in my life.

    I cut this guys grass at 3 1/2'' ( the grass was at some points 4 1/2" when I cut )and striped it beautifully. I was very pleased at how well this guys yard looked that I was looking forward to him coming home from vacation to a awesome looking yard. I was sort of a let down to see that he was not pleased.

    And then he said it..

    " Mitch I leave for 3 days and look what I come home to?.. I cant believe it."

    1st off! The yard looked great.. It was the best looking yard on the street.

    2nd Off! I doubt he spent $200 watering his yard in the first place!...

    And 3rd!... Who the Hell bickers about there lawn and then dares to talk to me like I drove my mower through the side of there house and tries to hide it like it never happened.

    After about 5 minute's of this crap I politely told him that I'm working for someone else right now. And that I would call.

    Ok.. Even if this guy does have a $200 water bill... He's moving into a house thats over $400,000.

    I've been in for a season and all has gone well. A few late payments but I have always got my money.

    For your older folk who have been in the business longer then I have....

    Is this your typical customer?
     
  2. KenH

    KenH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Posts: 1,622

    You will run across all types. Once you become established, you can kick these types to the curb. Unfortunately, as a newbie, you need him.
     
  3. SCAPEASAURUSREX

    SCAPEASAURUSREX LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 835

    He probaly just got into a fight with his wife or something and was taking it out on you.... Let it go and see what transpires in a week..... People are funny that way , we have all done stupid things and said stupid things that had really notheing to do with what was going on.. It's just human nature, were all wacky..LOL..
     
  4. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Posts: 4,205

    Sounds like he had a bad vacation.;)
     
  5. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,125

    At your age there really isn't a lot of ground to stand on. You either put up with it or send him packing. Your not going to get anyone to believe you know better about their lawns then they do. They are going to look at you and think your just the neighbor kid cutting grass.

    This is what I would do if I was you. (this is based on the fact that you are in the right) I would call him and explain that cutting his lawn will not do any harm, and that you had to make a judgment call without him being there. Explain to him that you don't make a habit of going around skipping lawns unless you are asked to,or you know it will harm the lawn and confirm the situation with the client. Explain that for every 2 lawns you decide to skip you will have one person call you and ask you why you haven't showed up. If he doesn't see your reasoning or at least tones his anger down and say ok, but I would like it done like this in the future. I would tell him sorry, and wish him luck with his future lawn care provider.

    I do have to point out that you made a big mistake by not handling the situation on the spot. Never tell a client you don't have time for them.

    Soupy
     
  6. Pecker

    Pecker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,454

    I agree that you should've handled it on the spot. Of course, it's easy to say this after it already happened. Whether he was having an arguement with his wife or not shouldn't affect you in any way. Since he screamed in your face, it doesn't matter how old you are, when this type thing happens, its been my experience that they have more respect for you if you stand up for yourself. It may be best in a situation like this to stop him before he says another word and tell him he'll speak to you with respect or he can shut his mouth. Hopefully you have a solid build, in case he doesn't like that. I'm a former amateur bodybuilder but some people think I was a fighter; seems to help neutralize these type situations before they get outta hand (or maybe its that hatchet I carry on my belt, lol). Bottom line, don't let anybody get in your face!
     
  7. nelbuts

    nelbuts LawnSite Bronze Member
    from SW, FL
    Posts: 1,053

    honestly he will more than likely realize he was a jerk and telly you he is sorry. I would not do anything this time but if he makes a habit of it then I would ask him to speak me like a human or other wise find someone else.
     
  8. mower_babe

    mower_babe LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 790

    I dont know guys, but maybe it was good to tell this guy that he couldnt continue the conversation at that time and that he would handle it later. I am just looking at it from the standpoint that things were not going well and were probably going to escalate and emotions and words were gonna fly....maybe it was a mature way of diffusing this difficult situation and it was the only way to avoid a scene. JMO
     
  9. mrbenfer

    mrbenfer LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Posts: 136

    ------ :
    I'm a wrestler :D I dont think my build is big enough to notice through my shirt though :(

    I've had alot of time to think about what happened today. Besides my parents this is the first time a adult has ever really lashed out at me in anger. This guy never gave me the impression that he could be a jerk, in my eyes I always saw him as a hard working family man who sells houses.

    Tomorrow I will be giving this guy a call to see what is really going on. I'm going to be expecting a apology for how he conducted himself earlier today.

    Mower-Babe.... I cant agree with you more. I've never been the type to argue with someone. I just cant find the right words to say at the time and end up thinking about what I could have said later.

    At the time, the family across the street was listening in to what this guy was saying like it was some show or something. I thought it would be good business if I just left things the way they were and sent him on his way with little confrontation. This guy wasnt in the mood to compromise anyways.
     
  10. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    If someone was to come to me like that, which many have, I always tell them, "I don't think that this relationship is working out, you are going to have to find someone else that is better qualified and provides you with more personal atttention than I do. You will receive your last invoice at the end of the week."

    I then walk away and I am done with them.
     

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