Another Customer from Hell

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by willjones4, Dec 14, 2007.

  1. willjones4

    willjones4 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 123

    I got this 70-something woman that I did some one time shrub and tree work for back in the summer. She said she already had someone to do the lawn. Anyway, I did the work, got paid and was on my way.

    She calls me a couple of days ago and asks if I can come cut her lawn as her guy apparently jumped ship. She keeps telling me over and over that he charged her $40 for the front and back. I know this is a lie as this is a minimum $50 cut. So I went ahead and made my first mistake of giving her a deal even though I know she's full of it. I finish the yard and she wants to tell me I missed a few leaves. Whatever, I run over them again. Then she wants to know if I will sweep down all the cobwebs from her carport and front porch cause she's afraid of spiders. I do it as a gesture of good will to an old lady, no charge. BIG MISTAKE. Now she's calling and asking if I can spread winterizer on her yard. FOR FREE. Im tired of being nice to this old bat. Its my own damn fault for letting her go too far. If I ever get another one that starts asking for me for free add ons-- I will stop them in there tracks and tell them I DONT WORK FOR FREE. Rant off...
  2. green horizions

    green horizions LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Is this normal in this line of work. Im gearing up to start my own business next year and do not know what to look for in a good customer or how to even get a good amount of work being that 2008 will be my first year to ever mow for money.
  3. shane mapes

    shane mapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 537

    what we offer as standard service is blowing off all hard serfices in the front and back lawns after we mow. even if the surface is 25 feet away from the lawn..that way we are cover on all phases of the job... also in our price we do all the fertilieing when it needs to be done and we tell the customer that... a one time customer what i do is tell them that we will do this one-time mow do you need fert. or anything else done. that way i now befor i give the price what i'm in for . this does not work all the time though. i'm sure you guys know that...............
  4. Sweet Tater

    Sweet Tater LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,123

    I don't think that no matter how hard you search or screen your customers, your going to get one. I have one that wants an exact time I will be there so she can com home from work and put the dog up.
    I don't believe this will last long next summer, I can give you a day and a round about time, but exact???? not hardly, to many variables.
  5. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    I had one just like her (and her daughter). Posted on here several times about them. Make her GO AWAY right now and save yourself an ulcer, she will not stop, believe me on this one. Wonder why the other guy jumped ship:laugh:When I see a new one starting this crap it stops right then, if you don' start it then they know where they stand. She will keep trying you untill you will hate this yard with a passion!
  6. Jusmowin

    Jusmowin LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 727

    Put the old timmer in her place by explaining to her that you dont mind doing a freebie every once in a blue moon however, spreading fert and anything else conserning her yard cost money to do. Its ok to be nice but get paid while doing it.
  7. Jay Ray

    Jay Ray LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,510

    When they say we had someone regular, but his truck broke down and he can't get it fixed, you know that trouble is already brewing if you take the lawn.
  8. PaproskiLandscaping

    PaproskiLandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 39

    If the customer is a good one and they are appreciative (and send me a Christmas tip) I don't mind doing it and usually don't charge them. When people start to abuse it, I send them a bill. A minimum one hour charge even if I came out and helped move a bird bath for 5 minutes. Doing little things like this can help save a customer. But doing too many things like this will loose us money.

    The best thing I have learned is to let the bad customers go (and you will feel much better when you see 8 different companies working there over the next 3 years). It's better to not work for a day than to go out there and loose money.
  9. Pflat1

    Pflat1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    Now you know why the other guy doesnt come around anymore.
    Why do this to yourself? Your already losing $10 since its a $50 cut and she pays $40. This sweat little old lady is getting over on you and she knows it.
  10. Dave_005

    Dave_005 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 359

    as soon as she said "but the last guy did it for less" i would simply tell her to call him back again and good luck, then leave. like most i have a set Mininum price, if i give a quote of $50 then i don't go under that or do free add ons, every min i spend on her yard doing free be's i'm losing money. so i won;t do them for any one.

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