"Can you use the smaller mower on my lawn"

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Sir mowsalot, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. Sir mowsalot

    Sir mowsalot LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 310

    This is what some ole crank asked me. She leaves a message on the machine, saying she just doesnt want me to use the "big" mower . Yea, sure lady, i will use my 21" toro on your 8,000 s.f. lawn. Heck, i'll just ignore why i bought my "big" mower , and while im at it, i will keep your price the same, even though i might be there all gosh dang morning. These old miserable hags, can really pizz me off to no end. I knew better than to take her on in the first place, cause she was knocking the other lco about trivial little crap. sigh, sigh, i need to go bark at the moon or something to get this out of my system. Its been one of those days.
     
  2. J Hisch

    J Hisch LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 952

    First, you are looking at it all wrong. Customer is always right she is just not right for you. When you talk with residental accounts you must specify in your price what machine you are using or ask if they have a preference. To call one of your customers an "Old Hang" is wrong, wrong, wrong. She is not a fault you are for not explaining to her how you were going to service her account. The attitude you have is not a good one......
     
  3. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,613

    Sure, use the smaller mower, double your price and give Pedro 10 bucks to mow it all day with the 21.
     
  4. Sir mowsalot

    Sir mowsalot LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 310

    Let me clarify. I nver called her an "old hag" to her. Only on here. This is not a legitamit complaint, if it were i would not have a problem. This woman is a complainer , period. If i were to use the 21" then it would be another problem, and another problem after that, and yet another problem after that. I actually encourage my customers to air any problems they might have , as it is there lawn and not mine, as long as the problems are legit.
     
  5. gorknoids

    gorknoids LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 316

    This morning I was greeted by the wife of a local restaurateur who came out to tell me that her husband was MAD! The 24 yards of sifted topsoil we'd covered his sandbox of a back yard with last fall was really clay, and the Prosecutor Pro I applied last week killed his weeping cherry, even though there was sap piled up at the base of the trunk.
    Having arrived there to aerate, seed and fertilize his yard, I grabbed a Ziploc bag and the Ryan, pounded out a cross section of the lawn in question, and started picking up plugs. When the bag was half-full, I crushed them all and was "amazed" to find that there was nothing recognizeable as clay in the bag. Half an hour later, I went to the door, handed the woman a bag of primo topsoil, and asked her to Google "bacterial gummosa".
    If I don't get an apology next visit, I'm firing him. No, I'm not contracted to tend to his ornamentals. :cool2:
    Some folks want a show. Others think that their notion of what constitutes "best practices" is validated by what they learned when they were pushing a reel mower in the 40's. I do push mow two yards with a 21", but it's the best piece of equipment for those jobs. If I could fit a 52" into them, I'd do it. Better blade-tip speed, less PSI, and infinitely more economical.
     
  6. Sir mowsalot

    Sir mowsalot LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 310

    As a matter of fact i did indeed explain to her from day one, which mower i would be using , and why i would be using it.
     
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,654

    Now the folks who want a show, so long I'm in the mood (which unless the turf is DANGEROUS) those I got NO problem with, be glad to show them the underside of the deck as I fly in and out of the ditch... I also love curving around a tree with low-hanging branches as I hunker down on the velke at full speed, it's just such a rush to realize you COULD kill yourself lol, I still love doing stunts with the Wb and the more HIP they are with it, the better it gets.

    The echo I don't play with nomore but the new Stihl does lend itself extremely well to baton-like twirls and throwing it around in the air from one hand to the other, ninja-style weed-eating with one hand like it's a sword, you gotta love it especially with your left hand.

    But I do find it interesting the original poster like myself notices WHEN a customer complains about a prior Lco, watch out! Yes, I've noticed this trend as well and at LEAST half the time when they start trashing the prior Lco, it is a sign of future INCOMING (and this time I do NOT mean the phonecalls).

    However, the prob. with the ole lady has a simple solution, either ignore the call and cut as usual (yup, play dumb as $h17 and if she says anything then you did NOT get the message right, yes) OR return the call to inform her of the new price and I would suggest at LEAST double but the problem is you HAVE to watch your attitude before you call, I like it best when my voice shows no hint of anger.

    Personally, I'd show up and DO the yard AS usual (I really LIKE how I have no 21" mower) and then IF they say something, just let them know you'll be glad to do it for x-amount (whatever double the price = x) next time.

    One of 2 things will happen:
    1) It will shut her up and the problem is fixed.
    2) She will go on about whatever and it is obvious the problem is NOT fixed, at which point you tell her please find someone else, and leave.
    2a) IF after you start to leave she starts going 'HEY come back here' or whatever other crap, just keep right on walking.
    Either way, your problem is now fixed.

    p.s.: there IS the payment issue, you may have SOME problem getting paid BUT usually they will pay just they will delay you.
     
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,654

    Here is another favorite of mine:

    When I've had enough of someone AND they have a payment problem, that is the most AWESOME way of dropping someone. See, I have a No check - No cut policy thou MOST of the time I will send reminders through the mail or at their door when the balance needs paying BUT:

    When it's someone I don't care to work for no more, if they have a SMALL balance then that's enough but with a larger balance I make sure I'm fairly paid up-to-date first and THEN I go out one LAST time and cut the grass and leave a bill and sayonara as usual... Now if they're slow payers who HAVE to be reminded, you do NOT remind them because THAT is not your job and so long they haven't paid for the last cut, well, sorry, no check = no cut.

    I found over time, MOST of them never pay so long I don't remind them, ain't that some cool chit. Well I DID leave a bill for the last cut, what IS the problem?

    Hell yeah, I dun got rid of a few pitas that way and believe you me, the $35 I give up GLADLY in return for not having to deal with them NO more. Funny thing is, some do call and some call for a while but almost NONE of them will follow up by sending the check so long I forget to remind them, the problem is again fixed. Far as messages, the BEST way to deal with that is listen closely to your messages and as SOON as you hear THEIR voice DELETE it! Do NOT listen to what they have to say, it can and will mess you up.

    p.s.: The customer is most certainly NOT always right.
     
  9. Sir mowsalot

    Sir mowsalot LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 310

    Topsites,
    I like the idea of your ,pretend not to hear the message about the different mower. Im going to put that away in my mental file cabinet for future reference . As far as this lady goes, i beleive its time to let her "explore" other alternatives. I mean, its only a matter of time before she gets someone else to harass or i quit anyway, its inevitable, its going to happen, so i just might as well put an end to it tomorrow. I know that she wants me to use the 21" because it will take me longer to mow, it has nothing to do with "preferance", she cant stand the thought of me mowing her lawn in such a quick time. To her, it is like im ripping her off. I almost always explain which mower i will be using with new customers, because i have run into this problem before, and 9 times out of 10 it is because they just cant stand the fact that you can mow a lawn and be out of there in 10 minutes, and charge them x amount of dollars.
    Funny thing is, is the other lco probably was thinking " i pitty the poor basta*d that will be next" i know im thinking that right now.
     
  10. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    So next time that a customer ask to have a wall or patio or a swale cut I should ask if it's ok to bring in equipment or would the prefer I do it all by hand with a shovel?? :dizzy: :dizzy:
     

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