Clients who cut their own lawn

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by LLMSERVICE, Jun 16, 2003.

  1. LLMSERVICE

    LLMSERVICE LawnSite Member
    Posts: 96

    Does anyone have a client who contracts to them but mow their own lawn once in a while?

    I have one client who contracts to us for weekly service. We show up tonight - on schedule - and she's cut it herself. No call to the office, no sign of issue with our work or anything. This is the third time in two years.

    I terminated our services to her. How do others handle this sort of behaviour?
     
  2. WeatherMan

    WeatherMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 692

    I thank the home owner for saving me time and bill them since its in there contract
     
  3. Navig8r

    Navig8r LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 477

    I have one I do every week.... they supplement in between.... last time they cut it close to my sched. day... I showed up, it's cut, nobody home..... so I left a note..... "did not cut today, was cut recently! Call me so we can discuss the mowing schedule!"

    I got an apologetic voice mail a few hours later..... resumed schedlue 2-weeks ago, and discussed the arrangement, the husband even wrote on their calendar the days I'd do the lawn....... They are scheduled for tomorrow, and I got a call from them today... Left message, I will call back tomorrow...... Message sadi "It was getting tall, so we cut it over the weekend, because we had people coming over" "Could you cut it later in the week instead of tomorrow?"

    I told myself the first time they Fu***d with my schedule that I'd give them ONE more shot...... This was it.... I'm gonna call tomorrow and tell them I can no longer keep them in the schedule due to irregularities on their part.

    This lawn sucks anyway..... rough, badly fertilized, and looks like a Toys R Us exploded in the driveway!
     
  4. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    I just got rid of one recently that started that ****. The husband got laid off so he had plenty of time to butcher the yard. This was the straw that broke the camels back. There was a pretty nice running list of aggrivations I dealt with over time. So canning the account was a tremendous relief.

    The bad part was that I've cut there for years. It was on of my residential/commercial combos and at one time it was my highest paying account. So I lost 2 accounts really and a good bit of $$$.
     
  5. BRIAN GALLO

    BRIAN GALLO LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 282

    I get that every now and then, and it really gets on my nerves because it takes a while to get them back on a schedule. I did just drop an account due to a twist on this thread. I call it the good samaritain neighbor syndrome. This lady I cut for has a neighbor who thinks I don't come out often enough (customer's choice not to get more cuts) so he always goes over there and cuts the lawn down to 1" high. I asked my customer about it after the first time and she said he won't accept pay, and just shows up and starts mowing! this guy has deprived me of 3 cuts i could have billed for already. I was supposed to cut that lawn last friday - show up and it's scalped to the dirt. I said goodbye to that one. :angry:
     
  6. STAN1366

    STAN1366 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 334

    It's only happened to me once and that was last week. The husband was on strike at work (only lasted 1 day) and they were sitting around bored, so they did it. Too low and they didn't even do a neat job. Clippings everywhere, etc. If it happens again then I'll have to say something about canceling. I've already told them about the dog **** in the yard. Felt just a little bad about saying anything when the husband told me his son usually picks it up, but he had an operation(14 & handicapped since birth). The old man just sucks down beers after work, but the old lady could pick it up. I really don't want to give it up since I do all the houses around them and it's so easy to knock off 8 without moving the truck.
     
  7. Westbrooklawn

    Westbrooklawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 417

    I have one that I have done for the last 6 years.....single lady in her 50's, high scale neighborhood, monthly contract. This year she calls me and says she is between consulting jobs, the market is down (she has tons of money, but worries about her investments..), and could I mow every other week and she will mow in between, but she can't edge. Because I have another weekly account next door, I agree and we come up with a new monthly contract for bi-weekly service.

    Twice so far I show up on my scheduled week and she has just mowed the yard. We go ahead and edge, trim, and blow, and charge her as if we have mowed also. That's the only way I will do it, and she seems happy with it.
     
  8. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,075

    That is a bad and awkward situation. I would let it slide once but tell the customer I will have to bill for my services if I show up and the lawn has been mowed. Luckily I don't have any clients who want to mow and that is why they have me.


    Gravely_Man
     
  9. HarryD

    HarryD LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,069

    I had this happen this spring I have 2 next to each other mowed them for the first time they were not growing much yet so went 2 weeks. Get there to service them and one of them mowed looked a few days eailer no phone call so I say no biggie ill get it next week. get there to service it the next week mowed agian no phone call. get there the following week its not mowed this time. but I skip it since I have had no contact with this lady. Still no phone call and she has been mowing ever since. can't wait till it gets hot and she ask's me to mow it. Ill say sorry booked up :p
     
  10. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,137

    The best way to deal with it is to tell them its unacceptable. I had an older couple that would cut it themselves every other week to keep their bill down, and not bother to tell me. I simply explained to them I wasn't interested in working like that and if they continued to mow it themselves, I would have to drop them. That cleared it up.

    In general if I show up and the yard is already mowed, I call and explain that the next time they would be charged regardless.
     

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