Customer is upsetting me.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Jimbo, Jun 21, 2002.

  1. Jimbo

    Jimbo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,093

    One of my jobs is to maintain a Childcare center. Currently I do monthly lawn service and an occasional odd job, such as trimming hedges, and spreading wood chips in the play areas.
    Well, one of the wood chip covered playgrounds has a bunch of prickly weeds growing up through the wood chips, and the Director keeps telling me to spray them.
    I have explained numerous times that I do not have a License to spray, and that even if I did I don't think it would be legal to spray where toddlers are playing (picking up wood chips, etc.).

    I explained that I do the Lawn, and she can feel free to call someone who is Licensed to spray and get a quote.

    Today her boss calls me and asks me to spray them. I kindly explained that I do not have a license to spray, why I wouldn't want to spray if I did have a license, and that it is not part of the price for monthly maintenance. Furthermore I offered that I would dig out approximately 9" of wood chips, install a plastic or rubber membrane to eliminate the weeds, and fill the box with new wood chips (all for a fee of course).

    Sorry I just needed to vent to some people who can understand how I feel. These weeds are a real eyesore and I think the customer feels it is included in the monthly charge. (No contract-they dont do contracts) I did agree to weed the flower and hedge beds, but never the playground.

    What would you do?
     
  2. ADMowing

    ADMowing LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 175

    1) You can actually hand them a card for Chemlawn or some other local people who do this. It will give them a resource.

    2) We explain that if we get caught doing this without a license, we will get fined $5000. Are they willing to pay your $5000 fine because they keep insisting that you do it?

    3) Even if you pay the $5000, it would hurt your business tremendously and may even put you out of business then they would have to go through the trouble of finding another reliable lawn service. Do they want that???

    4) There may be some non-toxic substance (such as vinegar) that you can pour on it to get rid of the weeds. I'm not licensed either, but check it out with your state and see if you can use vinegar. There was a thread about it here on LS a while ago.

    I think you have given them all the information they need and have been very helpful to them. It is THEIR turn to be a little bit reasonable about this.
     
  3. proline32

    proline32 LawnSite Senior Member
    from 98383
    Posts: 278

    I ran into this same problem as well, I just pull the weeds out when I can since I don't offer spray services either.
     
  4. If chemicals is an issue, forget about app liscense for a second, WHY not just use regular table salt to kill this bad prickly weeds?? Save yourself a client and pull those weeds or cut it with a shovel.
    John
     
  5. Brickman

    Brickman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,249

    Salt should kill them, so should some Bud, Jack Daniels, Coors. Of course you would want your share too.
     
  6. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

    get a can of clear acrylic spray.
    it does wk for little small apps like that.
    just be careful as it is nonselective.
    ps just spray sparingly ,the stuff will also keep a dead plant green if its sealed off .
    :D
     
  7. Tony Harrell

    Tony Harrell LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 739

    I'm suprised they want you to do this after you explained the facts to them. Most child care facilities are anal about spraying anything because of the kids. Matter of fact, the child protection act is the reason Dursban went down the tubes. All organophosphate pesticides will be history soon because of this act. Junk science, sounds good though don't it. If I were you, I'd get my turf and ornamental so I could take care of problems like this. There's nothing wrong with spraying that area, you just need to use certain precautions.
     
  8. ProMo

    ProMo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,468

    just went to take my spray exam and acording to what they say in the 8 hr class if you are say killing ants with boiling water you are still providing a form of pest control and could still be subject to that 5k fine even though your not using a pesticide
     
  9. ADMowing

    ADMowing LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 175

    Thanks, Promo. I was wondering about that. We've wanted to use vinegar. We've got a friend in the Agricultural department at USF and he said that we could do the vinegar because it is not hazardous and gives no warnings at all on the label. But, I'm not willing to take the chance. So, I'll leave all that stuff up to the people who do it. We're too busy with lawn upkeep to do it and we'd prefer to refer it out anyway.

    Thanks for the info!

    A & D
    (Alex & Debbie)
     
  10. ProMo

    ProMo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,468

    the class bill pagan has is very informative and he goes over a few other things to increase profits the 8 hours includes taking a pre test and then the test why refer out say 35 dollars to spray for 5 minutes using a dollars worth of chemical
     

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