Complaining Customer.. Help..

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by SkinnyVinny, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. SkinnyVinny

    SkinnyVinny LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 262

    Hey guys.. I did a cleanup today with my worker at a house that looks like it hasn't been touched since last fall.. When he called for the estimate, all he asked for was a de-thatch, and lawn cleanup. When I gave him the bid sheet it said "spring cleanup (includes de-thatching, removal of debris, blowing property clean. Any other tasks will be billed at an hourly rate.)". So he gave me the o.k to do it, and I did exactly that.. Even went the extra mile to blow most of his beds out and clean off his deck even though he never asked for it. Didn't kill myself trying to get under his deck, etc. Bagged the leaves up, put them by the curb and went on my way.. Looked great, blew the lawn out 3 times, went over it with the rake twice in diff. directions, then went over it with the bagger 2 more times.

    I get a call from him saying it looks like a high school kid did it and there are still huge branches all over the lawn and the beds still have leaves everywhere.. I told him I would be more than happy to come get any branches if I somehow missed them :confused: and explained that he agreed to the tasks that we performed and if he wanted the beds blown out as well as under the deck it would be an extra charge. This is the only complaint I have ever gotten with cleanups as I am very anal with things.. I guess what Im asking is what would you guys have done? Would you have spent the extra few hours doing the beds and deck area at the de-thatching / lawn cleanup price or would you agree with me? Regardless I am going back tomorrow at 8:30am to talk things over with him because I hate not pleasing everyone and would hate him to bad mouth my rep.. He isn't even a regular customer, just a random person who wanted a de-thatch... sorry about the rant..
     
  2. Hmm...sounds like you went above and beyond for this guy and he is complaining. He might be the type that tries to stiff people. I have never had someone make a comment like that. It's a red flag to me.
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  3. ashgrove landscaping

    ashgrove landscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,446

    Any spring clean-up I do includes the the whole property, especially the beds and under the porch. That's really what people see the most. Work from the edges of the house to the woods. Prioritize your time with what is most visible. So he does have a point. For your future reference.
     
  4. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 37,805

    Let us know tomorrow what happens.
     
  5. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,835

    I usually walk the yard with a new customer and let them show me exactly what they want done.
     
  6. SkinnyVinny

    SkinnyVinny LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 262

    I did do all the beds in the front yard.. What he is complaining about is the under the deck.. It has a lip overhang on it and in front of the overhang is lines of hedges. I raked out under the stairs that were visible and I blew out in front of the hedges. I blew pretty much everything but the overhang behind the hedges because it would take me forever to just get under it let alone clean it.. Everything visible was free of leaves..
     
  7. BlazerRidge

    BlazerRidge LawnSite Member
    Posts: 221

    It sounds like he just wants to complain and try to get his money back even though it sounds like you did a good job
     
  8. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

    I agree with Charles. I like to walk the property with the client to see exactly what they want and charge accordingly. I trust you when you say you do good work so this may be a PITA customer. Let us know how it goes.
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  9. SkinnyVinny

    SkinnyVinny LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 262

    I agree with you guys to.. It was one of the deals when he called me up, wanted me to leave a bid in the mailbox for a "de-thatch and lawn cleanup".. Called me the next day and said go ahead and do it... Ill keep you guys posted.
     
  10. SkinnyVinny

    SkinnyVinny LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 262

    wow... what a joke that was.. There was literally NO leaves on the lawn NO acorns NO sticks.. even with the 60mph gusts we have been having all night.. He complained about little pockets of leaves that the wind blew from his neighbors yard against the bottom of his fence and a few under the deck behind the hedges.. I told him I cannot control acts of god and I apologize for the miscommunication, offered to come back and get the access leaves that blew on his yard out and he didnt want to have it... Tried to talk me down on price saying how he doesnt think its worth what I charged because it was such a bad job.. I told him the things i had my worker rake out (behind the stairs of the deck, behind the steps on side of house, around playground), told him how many times I went over the lawn... His response was "when I get cleanups, the lawn is usually ready to mow.." I replied "this lawn is beyond ready to be mowed, just needs to grow." "ya well whatever".. cut me the check and I was on my way.. Tried to kill him with kindness and I think he got the hint that I want having it.. Now on to my real customers.
     

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