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customer: only spray after 4:00 p.m.

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by americanlawn, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,859

    One gal says we can only treat her lawn after 4:00 p.m. or after 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays (says she usually goes shopping on Saturday mornings). Reason: They recently installed a new in ground swimming pool, and they keep the gate locked.

    They have been a customer for several years, and their lawn always looks nice. They had an older in ground pool, and we always called them the night before so they could unlock the gate. But she would forget to unlock the gate half the time, so we would have to schedule a special trip just to treat the backyard.

    We did a summer app about a month ago, and we were not able to access the backyard cuz the gate was locked (even though we called the night before as usual). Her backyard still has not been treated, and I have no intention to make any more special trips to her home -- enough is enough. It was the "straw that broke the camel's back" for me.

    Turns out she put on a new lock, and she is unwilling to unlock it before she goes to work. She won't give us a key cuz she is afraid we might forget to relock the gate. We told her we have many gate keys, and we are very careful to lock the gate when we're done. BTW we work six days a week, but we wrap it up on Saturdays by 2:00 p.m.

    She has proven to be forgetful on a regular basis over the years, and now she has more demands. :confused: Is a personal gardener needed?

    Guys -- What are you're thoughts? thanks, rscvp
  2. chrisby316

    chrisby316 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 106

    we fire customers like that

    CHARLES CUE LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,093

    Dont have that many costumers to fire them but now that i know she wants us there after 4 i can route that in but i wont keep coming back Theres no money in that
    Charles Cue
  4. lka123

    lka123 LawnSite Member
    from ar.
    Posts: 30

    Next year, I hope I have the confidence in this business to not put up with difficult or demanding customers. Butt is hard to turn down the money!!!
  5. turfman59

    turfman59 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 801

    Sounds like you already made your decision....How about a round up water balloon as you drive away or would that not be professional? LOL
  6. Greg Amann

    Greg Amann LawnSite Member
    Posts: 161

    Get rid of them!

    Here is a letter we sent to one of our customers that did us the same way.

    Dear X,
    Your account has become increasingly more difficult to service. After setting appointments at your request for liquid turf applications, once we were asked to come back another time, and once the gate was locked on the service date. After setting appointments twice for core aeration and coming out to do the job you eventually cancelled the service all together. We are a small company and try to go out of our way to take care of our customers pest control needs. We feel we can no longer continue to do business with you, therefore consider this our notice of cancellation of your account.
  7. Dr.Simon

    Dr.Simon LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    Fatherhood kicks in at 3:00 here for my 10 year old. Homework, post school snacks, and guidance. Schedule 1st stop of the am before she goes to work so the gate can be locked when she leaves; Offer front only. If not.... next. No Saturdays here for residential. Maybe am commercial idustrial weed control, but never residential lawn care. The customer has to understand we have families too. For goodness sake, it's only a friggin lawn care application.
  8. sedge

    sedge LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 33,540

    it is called a combo lock......
  9. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,859

    Too funny guys (thanks). Yep, she ain't on our priority list for sure. Plus, she lives on the south side of Des Moines. Rush hour around there begins at 3:00 p.m. so it takes 30 minutes or more just to drive back to our shop from her location. Then we have paperwork & phone calls to return when we return to the office. Having to pay overtime sucks. Add this all up = LOOSING MONEY.

    Just received a written letter "today" from this customer complaining about our recent "poor service" cuz her backyard has not yet been treated. (hence my post today) She threatened to go elsewhere. My wife (bookkeeper) always says, "We're in the business to MAKE money ....NOT give it away".

    If this "bag" calls back & asks for ME, I'll tell her "a dollar per minute" if she wants a special appointment. And that includes drive time, cuz she CHOSE to "lock us out" prohibiting us from providing a service.

    BTW she's a school teacher.

    Had another one this morning -- I made an appointment for 10:15. I got there at 10:10. She showed up at 10:40. Turned out she wanted 500 s/f of numblewill killed out with Roundup. (She could have told us this over the phone ....... but she "needed a special appointment"). She too was a 'teacher' (Grandview College). So she wasted the time of an expensive spray rig and a 30 year plus veteran w/hort degree to sit in her driveway. This is a profit-killer.

    I want HER job! No weekends, no holidays, working only 180 days per year sounds like Heaven to me. ChemLawn Corp (70' & 80's) warned all of us to "beware of teachers". Now I can see why.
  10. hughmcjr

    hughmcjr LawnSite Member
    from Oregon
    Posts: 183

    Customer: only after 4

    Owner: No.

    Within reason most of us will be dead in 30 years or less, so nothing is worth crap as I get older. I am tolerant and reasonable, but there is certainly a healthy selfishness here.

    As far as teachers, there are way too many erroneous beliefs about their jobs. First, they do not only work 180 days. They work past the school year ending sometimes two weeks past and start back two weeks before students come back which usually equates to one full month off in JUly and two weeks in Aug and two weeks in June if they are lucky. They do not all make 80k, the nationwide average is half that and that is what most make around 40k. They generally start at 7 am and most don't finish till 4 sometimes 5. All those "holidays" and weekends they have off during the school year they are often and most likely reviewing work they have to present and or reviewing students work. These days teachers are so bogged down in bureaucratic paperwork over and above lesson plans and grading that they have to do in their "off "time. And the number one reason you don't want to be a teacher is if you are the type to have little or no patience with kids that are generally good, imagine ones that are problematic or really bad. Imagine 30-40 kids at a time in a 30x30 room. Imagine little kids, shitting, puking etc in your classroom, blowing boogers and god knows what all over the room and you. Then imagine having to answer to superiors like principals, superintendents and maybe worst of all ignorant parents.

    That is my rant, and trust me you would much rather have the freedom and movement you do and really I will bet even when you are working are you really "working" that hard and every day? I as an owner certainly am not and I have more time off than on, but then again I don't consider most of the stuff like paperwork, running here or there actual work as much as I do on the job. I think we have it good compared to most is what I am saying....the grass in always greener, till you climb the fence and find upon closer inspection that it is browner than the side you were on. :) At least the grass you were on is manageable, who knows what kinds of diseases the grass over the fence has.

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