Called,ordered,wrote,cancelled=2 LATE

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MOW ED, Oct 30, 2004.

  1. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    This story is just one more of those "goofy customer" stories that we all eventually get.
    I will try and not show bias or insensitivity when I write about this but I am still shaking my head. Now before you get on me for the no contract, tough luck B.S. let me tell you the story.
    In the past 8 years or so I have done work for this lady on a one time basis. One spring clean and a fall clean. She takes care of her own yard as far as mowing goes. She is a never married, self described - very particular 50 something retired schoolteacher. The words anal retentive can be used also.

    She usually calls about 2 weeks prior and tells me a specific date that she wants the work done. In the past she has left very specific rambling messages about how to do the work. She called on the 15th of October and I talked directly to her for the list. The work for this years fall clean was to be a fall leaf clean and final mow, blow the pine needles off of the roof and apply the fall fertilizer. The date was to be October 28th. or 29th. I always explain the she will be put on the list and that I will try and accomidate her if possible. So this year I was able to be there on the 28 which was Thursday. I completed all of the work that she had asked for(BTW there is a very good profit margin on this job). The yard looked great and I was in and out in under an hour.

    Friday afternoon I get my mail and there is an envelope from her. I thought it was odd since I did not bill her yet and I was just there on Thursday. It was odd alright, the letter goes on to tell me that I was to wait to do the final mowing and clean as all the leaves have not fallen as of yet, she suggested a date later in November. On top of that she also said that she had put the fall fertilizer on the lawn herself and I did not have to do that. She had written the letter on Wednesday and mailed it. By the time I got it on Friday, everything was done.

    I just about fell to my knees. So now I am waiting to see the result of this mess. I did what she asked, when she asked and then she sends me a letter instead of calling me ANYTIME in the prior 2 weeks to cancel.
    Yes, I am bad for not having a contract but I don't work that way. I am not crying that she didn't pay or anything like that, she may well pay for it all. I am just relating a goofy customer story to you. Funny thing is that I could go thru my customer base and pick out which customer would be most likely to pull this type of thing and she is at the top of the list. :dizzy:
  2. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,915

    In all seriousness, no kidding, and I totally mean this, some people are fricken' weird! Completely weird, mental, whacked! Do they have some type of chromosome missing?

    The things I too have experienced dealing with people makes me wonder how many times they were dropped on their head as a child. The things that come out of their mouths and the way they act freak me out.

    Not only is this lady nuts, but now she's going to lie about the dates you agreed on. That's my next problem with the common citizen, they're liars on top of being freaks. Oh well, it does keep things exciting!
  3. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    tell us how you will deal with this
  4. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,137

    If she's only an occassional customer, I'd stop working for her. She's a nutbag.
  5. RichmondR

    RichmondR LawnSite Member
    Posts: 106

    MOW ED --

    For what its worth, if your usual form of communication with this person was by phone, and she writes you a letter that you receive after you do the work, then I dont think she has a legitimate legal argument. My response to her would be the same: "if you wanted to delay the work, you should have called me, especially since you knew I was coming." I certainly would expect to have to pay the bill if it was my lawn.
  6. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,810

    Man.. that's a strange one ED. Not your fault though... You had a verbal agreement. Maybe she's gone from retired to retarted? :)

    Let us know how it turns out. The grass should be green and growing in the spring. :eek:
  7. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    This is after the fact now, but I don't care how good the money I'd drop this PITA like a hot potato.
  8. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Tell you what Ed, this woman has some serious "static in the attic" if ya know what I mean. I would have a face-to-face conversation (no phone, no letters back and forth) with her and just spell it out to her in plain english. Period

    Like bobby mentioned, let us know what happends. Good luck with this one too...
  9. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,218

    Ed, kind of a bummer, but time will tell. It is her fault, not yours. If you have to argue to get your money, so be it. And never work for her again. I'm sure you have plenty of other great clients that you can work for AND get paid. I weed out people like this every year, and my client list has very few complainers/PITAs.
  10. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,137

    If you haven't talked to her about it yet on the phone, then this is what you do. Send her the bill, pretend that you never got the letter. You have a verbal contract with her to do the work. If she wanted to change the contract, she was obligated to do so in plenty of time to give you notice. Sending a letter through the mail the day before the work was scheduled is not plenty of time. Even though she sent the letter, she doesn't know you received it.

    Then, give her the boot and quit dealing with her.

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