Commercial acc'ts got screwed

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by americanlawn, May 30, 2008.

  1. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,852

    We took on two very large commercial properties this year that were full of dandelions this spring. Both have already received two applications from us in order to take care of the weeds (no callbacks either) that should have been controlled last fall.

    No wonder these accounts canceled their previous service. I won't name names, but both LCO's are still in business. :nono:

    Anybody else acquire accounts like these?:confused:
  2. jbturf

    jbturf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,433

    yes all the time,
    but it just blows my mind how some businesses do things,
    they put stuff out to bid nearly every year, accept the lowest,
    and complain about the results

    i typically land these type jobs once they have been thru
    the ringer for several seasons with the big tgcl,ld, etc..
    who just dont care---and finally they decide to pony
    up the extra $$ to have me do it---

    its the residential properties that are frustrating me more lately,
    ill get a new customer for 1 or 2 seasons , fix prolblems and get things
    generally looking better or on the road to repair, then they drop me
    and do it themselves or go back to company x, then call me back a
    couple years later---this isnt with all people , but ive noticed a
    larger number of people doing this
  3. tlg

    tlg LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 645

    It always amazed me how a company can " treat a lawn " for an entire season and get no results. Applicator problem I would bet. We have all heard the stories about hanging paper and leaving without treating. The problem with a lot of commercial work is nobody is really paying attention. One day a manager or owner wakes up and says " wow we have a lot of weeds" and they make a change in companies. Yes we have got new accounts like what you describe. I don't think we have ever lost a job, commercial or residential because we could not control the weeds. Hopefully somebody is watching our results and is happy.
  4. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,910

    How do you know what the last company was hired to do? A company across the road for my day job used to have the best looking lawn in the area. A new landscaping company took over and the place went to crap, weeds everywhere and it really made the property look bad. Everyone blamed the new company. It turns out that the Board of Directors decided to go "green" no more weed control. Old company said thanks but no thanks and walked away from the account. Now here we sit 4 years later and the property looks rough. I did notice that the weeds have been sprayed this year so we'll have to see what happens when the ban takes effect next year. This used to be a real show place.
  5. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,852

    I hear ya guys, it still confounds me that big commercial accounts don't follow up by asking for free service calls asking company X to come back and do the job right.

    I know most commercial accounts are well taken care of, but there are always a few that get taken advantage of. In our case, the two commercial properties are "high profile" accounts that need to look like a "showcase" instead of a 'weed pasture'. Go figure -- I'm surprised how long they stuck with the previous LCO's. Weird. I'm not saying we are perfect, but least kill the dandelions.:hammerhead:
  6. 2stroke

    2stroke LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 260

    question?... i have several of my cutting accounts sprayed by a company, and one of them is infested with a small red clover that has small yellow flowers that bloom. should they be killed? is this something that cant be treated? should i call and ask?
  7. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,539

    oxalis (woodsorrel) from what you describe. oxalis has heart shaped leaf, clover is round. Service call for spray company. It can and should be controlled.
  8. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,744

    Picked up an HOA just like you describe. It had a large company on it for the past 3 seasons. They did not go to bid this year, and the big company was not wanted back. I based my program on the same as the last 3 seasons. 4 ferts, pre-emerge, weeds, grub, lime. I get there and they have crabgrass all over from last season, grub damage, broadleaf everywhere and a pH that is in the mid 5's.

    How did the other company last 3 seasons??? They still do the place across the street and I swear the just put flags out.
  9. vegomatic40

    vegomatic40 LawnSite Senior Member
    from 6
    Posts: 406

    I get some of these occasionally. They look like a test-plot for weeds after being on a "program" from a competitor. The most frustrating thing is to come in and clean it up for a year or so and then they submit it for bid the following year. Actually had this happen with a large factory (12 acres) that was a nightmare to correct. Full of broadleaves, Dallisgrass, Johsongrass you name it. Took me 2 years to turn it around and it was a showplace when done. I had even given them a discount for the size, so of course they sought out cheaper bids and they went with some local idiot that was unlicensed. The property lived off the residuals of my management for about 10 mos. then it began to look like hammered ***t. They actually called me back. I said " problem...$300/acre..paid up front". The site manager said "Wow! That is over twice what I was paying". My response was a blank-stare directed at the now-crappy turf that I had formerly busted my butt to turn around. Drove by it the other day, still looks like the south-end of a north-bound mule.
  10. whoopassonthebluegrass

    whoopassonthebluegrass LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,214

    I'm primarily residential, but I take accounts all the time from other companies. Some of them do fair work (as far as weed kills go), some don't. Every year I get a few new ones who've been with TGCL for years. I look at the weeds and think, "ugh, this is gonna be a tough one." Only to find that by the end of the season things are great.

    I don't know if it's because of overhead, or what, but how can the big co's actually suck that bad? The price of doing the job right, verses cutting corners (when it comes to killing weeds, that is) is nearly irrelevant. So why on earth wouldn't you do it right?

    I'd rather net $150 off a customer for 10 years than net $200 for one or two. It just seems like such obvious logic...

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