at what point does the responsibility end?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Sep 8, 2004.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    last week, i'm driving down the road, and there is a car behind me, beeping, flashing his lights, yelling at me. i pull over. it's a fert customer. we went through this before, i do fert apps, and broadleaf weed control at his property. just started this season. i applied everything i said i would, on the dates i said i would. the property is completely free of clover, crabgrass, and all other weeds. he does have a drainage problem which i believe is the cause of the nutsedge he has. he feels i should treat the nutsedge, i don't believe it's my responsibility, unless he will pay the additional fee, which he wont. fine, end of conversation. well, when he saw me on the road and went on a rampage, his gripe was something different. half his lawn is now brown, and recovery is not likely. i went and looked, seems to be a fungus. he DEMANDS that i repair the lawn. i explained that i AM NOT responsible for fungus, he thinks otherwise. he feels that since he paid me (in advance) for fert and weed treatments, that i am fully responsible for the quality of his lawn. i disagree. my contract states that xxx treatments will be put down on xyz dates. if "any other treatments" are required, they are available for an additional fee. my first instinct was to tell this guy to go screw. when DOES your responsibility end? i don't cut his grass, so i really can't monitor the lawn on a regular basis.
  2. lawnteam

    lawnteam LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Blame it on the lawn cutter, thats what happens to me lol I cut some lawns that are fert by other co's and they will tell the customer it's the lawn cutter's fault for spreading the fungus, not cleaning under the deck and even from the tires... I laugh. Does he cut his own lawn because that would really be funny if you told him it was his own fault for not cleaning his mower properly.
  3. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    Your responsibility ends when your contract says it ends period! If your contract says nothing about grubs and that is the cause of the problem you have no responsibility to fix his problem. Your responsibility ends when you fulfill the terms of the contract. Its not you responsibility to make him happy and provide him with joy for the day thats what his wife or psychologist is for, or to rid his lawn of grubs or fix a drainage problem. I would offer these services for an additional fee, but if he does not want to use you to correct them thats the end of it. And next time he stops you on the rd tell him to screw it and call the law on him for road rage, Your not ever gonna make this guy happy and you won't have to deal with him next yr.

  4. trying 2b organic

    trying 2b organic LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 566

    As I get further into the fert and squirt market it scares me just reading you post. Of course I def think you arent responsible. If you had happened to notice the fungus as it began (lots of time between apps for something like that to get going) then you could have treated it -- AT additional fee to customer-- I dont imagine we have many guys like your customer on this island but it almost makes me want to write something into the contract. I dont "guarantee" anything. Till proven otherwise I think guarenting how nature will behave is a risky game. They pay for 4 firts and 2 squirts, thats the program they buy, anything extra is extra. Out of the goodness of my heart I will do a follow up freebie 2 weeks after a treatment to double hit buttercup or black medic if it needs it. I dont guarentee any and all problems you may have. Damn good thing you didnt cave on the nutsedge, you would have further led him to belive you claim sole and complete responsibility for the green perfection of his lawns. Give him a nice high price for a fungicide app. (fungicide is damn expensive aint it?) :realmad:
  5. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    The mistake you made was stopping at all BG. Should have kept right on going to your next scheduled stop IMO. Or, "phone me tonight and we will discuss your situation after I have had a chance to review your contract".
    olderthandirt likes this.
  6. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    Yes, he was wrong for pulling you over like that and acting like a jackass. I also think you should charge extra for the other applications. I treated one of my customers personal lawn last year for nutsedge, but did not charge him extra and that was my choice.
  7. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    it just amazes me how, after signing him up for weed and fert apps, he thinks i'm now responsible for anything and everything that goes wrong. i'm seriously considering providing ferts only for clients that i mow for, this way i'm there once a week and can monitor the area. i pointed out to him that the crabgrass and clover are gone, not one single clover or crab on the entire property. this is because in addition to the blanket apps, i went back and sprayed with speedzone, and trimec plus. i try to provide a good program, practicing ipm, at a reasonable fee, and this is what i get. should i just have sold him a preventative fungicide program, with out getting any feedback of a history of fungus? sometimes u just can't win
  8. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,565

    I don't know if you're in a position to shake this guy off this year, but if so, do it. If not, don't sign him up again next year. Some people are just lucking funatics and there's nothing you can do except avoid them.
  9. naturescaretaker

    naturescaretaker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 851

    OK... now that this has come up I have a question. What do you all put in your contract that covers treatments. What do you say, etc. Samples?

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