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Customer insists on being home before you can cut!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by topsites, Jul 4, 2005.

  1. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I am sure this happens to all of us, it is only a matter of time. The reasons are varied but ultimately I could care less for the reason because the bottom line is: He or She *HAS* to be there, or you can not cut the grass. To spice matters up a bit, it usually involves a padlock on the back gate or some other firlyfanz crap which ultimately really means: If they're not there, you can NOT cut.

    As far as I'm concerned this is some kind of mental sickness because it really is never necessary... Now the last time this happened, I told the lady like this: If you have to be at home when I cut the grass, then this will NOT work.

    Guess what I really should've done is left right then and there, not even turned around or said goodbye or anything but of course she insisted and promised that absolutely, so long I called a few hours in advance, she would be home.

    Well you guessed it, the next time I had to cut the grass I called 3 hours ahead of time, and guess who was not there when I arrived?
    So the choices suck at this point because I've already wasted my time driving out there. There *is* a minimum 25-dollar charge but try and make that stick (guess I could've told her 'If you're not here, it's 25 dollars). Should I have just left it uncut and charged 25 dollars?
    What I did instead is I cut the padlock (yes, I have bolt-cutters onboard), cut the grass and replaced the padlock (yes I keep spare padlocks onboard as well, lol), then left a bill for the cut + 10 dollars for the padlock replacement.
    Of course she was p*ssed off and left me a message after she arrived (good thing I was long gone), but what else was I supposed to do?
    p.s.: She didn't get there until 2 more hours AFTER I left.
    Now I get to wonder if I'll get paid or do I have to send this account through collections (d*mn I really hate that crap).

    The only answer I can think of is when they're not there is to just leave and cross them off the schedule but really, even that's more trouble than it's worth, I think I should cross these maniacs off the schedule as soon as this becomes obvious from now on.

    What else can you do?
  2. Ed Ryder

    Ed Ryder LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 541

    Customers like that are not worth the trouble. You should be able to do better. Save your openings for high grade customers.
  3. Lawn Masters

    Lawn Masters LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 850

    You did exactly what anyone who has a business to run, and other people's yards to do would have done. I dont even bother with those sorts of people, they are just a PITA to begin with, and it can only get worse as time goes on they'll find small things to whine about, and ultimately be dropped. I have to either be working or I dont make money, which is true for you too I'm sure. Drop that customer, collect your payment, and move on.
  4. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,964

    I wouldn't have cut the lock. I can't imagine any service company going to that extreme. What would you have done if you were the cable guy, break in her house? You either have to put up with it or move on to the next wacko in line!
  5. Eddie B

    Eddie B LawnSite Senior Member
    from gone
    Posts: 859

    Depending on the gate, you can actually lift it with force and pull, and it'll open right up. Customers usually unlock gates the morning of their scheduled cut day and leave for work, but occasionally forget. Customers with swimming pools must keep the gate locked when unattended, its the law here. However, most don't follow it when it comes to grass day.

    If she's too much of a pain, grab whatever money you can and run.
  6. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    When someone says they have to be there for us to mow, I always reply with "Why, you planning on helping us?" That totally confuses the hell out them and points out I really don't care to have you looking over my shoulder. Period
  7. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Posts: 10,812

    Hand them a weedwacker.

    Happy 4th Mr Rodfather.
  8. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Same to you, JG :waving:
  9. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    I have only had a few people want to be home. I answer kind of like you. "Oh, that is ok. We really don't need the help."

    They usually get the hint. If not, price just went up 50%.
  10. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    I'd say, "thank you for your time, but no thank you."

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