customer or friend what to do?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by down size, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. down size

    down size LawnSite Member
    from indiana
    Posts: 78

    For seven years i have done work this guy he has two car lots (small) and two sets of doubles, small Apt.complex. he is very demanding wants everything perfect. last season he would call every friday to make sure his got cut (been on fridays for 7 years) most of the time they had already been done. his son calls me last fall wants mulch(not a regular) besides i landscaped his house year before and was forever getting my money! he got mad when i told him get to it when i had time so he told me him & his dad would just have to find someone else so i call his dad he tells me the (BOY) was having a bad day::cry: his dad is a friend! he called yesterday and wants to know about this year? always expects a better price than everybody else and when he calls i should drop what im doing and put him first I think its time to cut him lose. Anybody else have this problem?
  2. Larry Davis

    Larry Davis LawnSite Member
    Posts: 116

    Never a good thing when the son (or daughter) starts getting involved. Most of the time they come in with the attitude of "I can do it better than dad". Regardless of whether or not you want to keep that account, you may not have a choice. The handwriting is on the wall. If you don't find a way to get on the good side of that son you will end up loosing them.

    At least that is what my experience was in 30+ years in a different kind of business. Just my 2 cents .............
  3. Brianj

    Brianj LawnSite Member
    Posts: 196

    i get rid of the complainers and slow payers, i dont like it when people people hold things over your head and that seems to be what they are doing.
  4. ArkansasLawns

    ArkansasLawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    When was the last time someone else bid on the properties you are doing? It might be a suprise to both you and the son as to what someone else charges. If you are in the position to lose this income ask the son if he has or could get other bids on these properties. Sometimes it takes a wakeup call for your customers to see the light and find out just how good you are taking care of them.

    I got a raise this year from the Condo's I have been doing because I ask the Lady if she had gotten any bids lately. She got huffy and I knew she didn't take it well. I had no plans to dump her but I guess I was having "One of those days" myself. I guess she called around and got some bids. She called me up the day before my scheduled visit and told me they were giving me a raise.
  5. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    I had a customer the past two years like that! EXACTLY! I finally just told him that he was not our only customer and he will be on a normal schedule. I was very polite but basically told him that we're a professional service not kids or a fly-by-night company so relax! He never called again to see if we were coming to mow and we still have him to this day with no more problems. Just be assertive with him and explain the way things work and hopefully he gets the hint.:hammerhead:
  6. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,910

    Photo copy some ads out of the phone book and give it to them. Tell them to shop around you are raising prices this year. If anyone mentions price to us we give them other companies names and numbers right away saves us both headaches. Some people will not be able to afford you.

    TURFLORD LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 834

    First off, Dad is a customer not a friend. The two things are mutually exclusive. Sounds like Dad is training the Son to take over someday. Both of them sound penny wise and dollar foolish. I'm a landlord and a contractor and being such I know its better to pay a good service more so its fixed right the first time and won't break again anytime soon. Keep playing them along as they think they are playing you. Every time you deposit a check, YOU WIN. And when the time comes....:walking:
  8. The Ranger

    The Ranger LawnSite Member
    from NE Ohio
    Posts: 208

    I would make sure my price was more than other quotes, because he wants service now and wants it perfect. Sounds like he wants it all, but wants it at the best price. He cannot have it both ways. Use the 7 yr relationship to help you keep the job and also raise the price. The copying adds and handing it to them sounds a little cocky.
  9. Lux Lawn

    Lux Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,267

    Its hard working for friends thats for sure.I have been doing a friend of mine's yard for 4 years now and he is always late to pay.He wanted some extra money a couple of years ago and I needed someone to plow for me so he worked for me in the winter for extra cash.Come spring I gave him a break on his Fertilizer to save him some cash,it didn't matter he still payed late.Last season when he got behind I just stopped showing up completely and NEVER removed one leaf from his yard in the fall.Winter rolls around and he doesn't send in his plow contract,so I don't plow it.Then he calls me when he has the money.
    Now I will treat this guy like a customer and not a friend anymore.

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