Could not believe my ears.

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by StBalor, Aug 26, 2007.

  1. StBalor

    StBalor LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 798

    As most of you know i started all new clients on a fixed monthly payment this year. The end of july and 1st half of august was rough here in maryland. No rain and high temperatures was putting a hurting on the grass. I had 1 customer who just would not water her lawn. i had to skip it twice. the 2nd time i could have trimmed some high spots but she told me to skip it.
    well i have them pay a month in advance and she was withholding my august payment. I knew what was up, but kept cutting. friday i left here an invoice for september which all invoices are due the 1st of the month.
    Well she and her husband comes out while i am there and says she wants to know how much i charge per week so she can pay me. I tell her i do not charge a weekly fee it's a fixed monthly payment. She says " but you had to skip it a couple times, you mean it's still the same price. I said yes ma'am, it's always the same price and it's the price that we both agreed on when you signed my agreement.
    now the part i cold not believe. I never had to say another word, the husband took over in my defence. He started telling his wife how i am trying to run a business and that she agreed on the price and how i was always there on time and did a good job. She started arguing with him that she should not have to pay when i do not cut. He begin to tell her that i am running a business and i still had to pay for gas, and my help to come by and check on their lawn. Well that's the most of it, but he argued with her for a good 10 minutes and made some very valid points on my behalf.
    husband then said we can go back to the old lawn guy, who we could call when we needed him and would not show up for days later, if at all.
    In the end i won, she paid me for august and september. I just could not believe how the husband went to bat for me, i could not get 1 word in after he started.
  2. KrayzKajun

    KrayzKajun LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,742

    I love those customers. The ones tht realize how hard we work!

    TURFLORD LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 834

    I want to hear what they said to each other when they went back inside.
  4. Mr Priceless

    Mr Priceless LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 412

    they must've been up in years, since the husband had no interest in what was to possibly happen that night:laugh:
  5. tjsquickcuts

    tjsquickcuts LawnSite Senior Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 943

    Well I do also think its a little unfair to charge someone for work not done, but that JMO.....Any lawn that we have had to skip during this crazy weather will be made up for during Sept, or either I aerated if I had to skip to many visits.....I think it has help make all my customer relationships a lot stronger because they actually feel like they are getting what they paid for, and not getting cheated out of visit on the excuse that it was too hot. Its customer service if you ask me....but getting paid for nothing is good, but I am trying to establish a high class business, and something like that might not fly over with some of my accounts....but to each their own....but I do see her point....
  6. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    I explained the yearly service agreement with my neighbor and at first she thought she was getting ripped off. When I explained to her that I cut every 4-5 days in the growing season and that it balances out in the non growing season she understood.
  7. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    tsj... it's an average over the year. It's still the same amount either way. It just helps the customer & our companies budget better.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    That's cool the husband went to bat for you :weightlifter: Yeah this summer's been dicey for the flat-rate figure skipping here or there at some point but many lawns didn't need to be cut more than every 3 or 4 weeks for awhile. But they complain either way...either they are paying and not getting cut, or they complain that the old LCO would mow 'when it was dead'. I feel mowing a browned-out lawn is more of a rip off than having them pay a flat rate.
  9. Mrs. H

    Mrs. H LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 708

    Wish more customers were that understanding.
  10. jsf343

    jsf343 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,767

    very nice that he did that.

    I think a lot of people do not understand that in the end it all evens out. :nono: What I mean is in the lush wet spring you are there twice as long but don't charge her extra because you are doing an equal pay system, same thing in fall when there is 1.5 million leaves on the ground and you are expected to get them all cleaned up. Summer is our time to recover from those longer times spent during the spring and fall, we spend less time but still get the same loot. It is a great system but sometimes you have to explain it because they don't see or think about all the extra time.

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