customer problems

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by promower, Apr 14, 2003.

  1. promower

    promower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,232

    I had a customer call this morning upset that I havent done his spring cleanup yet. (Snow just melted 3 days ago and yesterday was the first nice day.) I told him I can come tommorow even though I wasn't going to be in the area till the end of the week. This settled him down a little. When I got home I checked his file and noticed he never returned the agreement. I went by the house then and remembered giving the estimate, she took it and I never heard from her again. I left a message stating I havent recieved the agreement yet and to call me. He didnt call, do you think I should do the cleanup or wait for the agreement??
     
  2. fblandscape

    fblandscape Banned
    Posts: 776

    What is the guy's history with you? Is it a long one where he pays on time? Or is it somebody new who you have never worked for before? That right there should dictate what you do.
     
  3. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    I would personally not do it until an agreement...call them again tomorrow and leave another message or tell them that you must have an agreement signed before you can begin work. If they throw a fit about it just tell them you gave it to them long time ago and it is their fault that the work can not be completed because they never turned it in.....but first I would double check and triple check to make sure that they haven't turned it in..perhaps say,"I don't recall receiving an agreement from you, or am I wrong?" And see what they say.
     
  4. Navig8r

    Navig8r LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 477

    Got a call from a guy 2 days before thanksgiving... went and looked at prop..... agreed on price w/customer.... told them I needed to see what the weather was going to do (cloudy at the time, with snow predicted), and that I would like the yard to dry up a bit because I could not WALK the back yard without sinking!
    Well..... it snowed... and the snow stayed... needless to say, it wasn't getting cleaned up till spring......... Forward to Dec. 21st.... warm.... snow melts, bare ground (equipment stored in garage since around dec. 5th) Monday dec. 23rd..... customer leaves message...."since the snow has melted, could you come do it today?" WHAT!!!???...... Hmmmm.... lets see... it's 2 days before christmas, we've had snow onthe ground for a month followed by 2 days of thaw, and you think I'm gonna go mud-boggin in your yard today?....... I called and left a message politely explaining the situation (NO)..... Snowed 2 days later..... snow on ground through March....

    Approx March 20th... he calls........ snow has only been gone for about 5 days MAX!....... Things are pretty Wet....... basically asks"When are ya gonnna do it?" I explain AGAIN that since his lawn is very wet, We'll have to wait for things to dry out a bit.....

    Then we get 2 weeks+ of rainy days, except for 3 days... 2 were windy and 1 it snowed!

    He calls me Saturday.... I let VoiceMail pick it up.. His message "You were gonna stop and give us an estimate, I'm wondering if you're still intersted in the job, or should I call someone else?" (remember, I gave a price last fall) I called his wife back, and explained AGAIN (see a pattern here?) That since we've had 2 weeks of rain things are gonna be pretty wet....... Went and checked today... front is OK, back is still as wet as last fall.... told her I'll do my best, but it aint gonna be much in the back... she says front is her main concern, no problem with the back........ I think she's normal, but her husband's a wacko! Gonna do the job Wednesday..... I wonder If he'll call to see where I am if it rains??

    I hope they call me in the Fall so I can double the estimate...
     
  5. bastalker

    bastalker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 965

    promower, personally I would not call him again. You have called once and explained you have not recieved the agreement. If he really wants it done, he will call you back and at least say that I have signed the agreement, and please come clean me up... If he doesn't call, dont sweat it....There are plenty more....:D

    Navig8r... I can certainly relate to that!!! Fall cleanup just didn't happen this year! I kept in contact with the clients this winter, and they completely understood. They told ME that we will probably have to wait until spring.

    Problem is, now I have all the cleanups to do with several calling everyday for the same. I am trying to fertilize, cleanup properties, do estimates from non stop phone calls, and its gettin close to cuttin time!!!

    Landscaping help wanted: A very enthusiastic person who loves the outdoors, and working with his hands. Must have a valid drivers licence, and is willing to work overtime. Inquire within...

    :D
     
  6. promower

    promower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,232

    I rearranged some cleanups so I would be in his area most of the day. I'll just stop over and see whats up.

    fblandscape, no I have never worked with this guy before or in the neighborhood for that matter. When I gave the estimate the lady was very nice, her husband was the uptight one. My cell # is my business # this guy called at 6:30 in the morning!! and just lays into me, I hadnt even had a cup of coffee yet!:realmad:
     
  7. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    "lays into u"? i would of told him to go find another a ...hole to be his monkey. u know, i was talkin to a friend, hes been in the business for 15 years. hes made a great living. he was unhappy when i saw him. he said 15 yrs ago he was charging $25 for a med residential(around here thats 3-4 k). he said, and today, i cant get much more, cus of, well, u know, i wont even say it. he also mentioned not only is the pricing a problem, but also the treatment u get from clients. he said years ago, people paid top$ for a good job, and treated u as a proffesional, now they treat u like garbage, and give much more consideration to the guy comming in at $18. i personally think the two go hand in hand. pricing, and the amount of respect u get. i mean damn, the customers got to believe if u r working for nothing, u must be , well, not so bright, or a drug addict or something. im not saying u fall into this category, its just the stereotype of the folks in this business. personally, im friendly with customers, and listen to thier needs. work out an agreement, and let them know MY COMPANIES POLICY, AND THE WAY WE DO THINGS. after years of this that and the other thing, weve come to a conclusion. it is our way, period! we cannot succeed any other way. you need to make guidlines and policies, stick to them. and dont put up with being mistreated, it makes it bad for us all. hope it works out for ya.
     
  8. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,075

    I don't do any work without a contract. I would give them some time to call you back and then if you don't hear from them call them back again and let them know you never received a signed copy of the contract.


    Gravely_Man
     
  9. promower

    promower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,232

    I finished the job today. The guy was much nicer, must of just been grumpy that day. When the wife came home she paid me and even threw in a $15 tip, she said it looked great. Case closed I guess, could become a long time customer.
     
  10. LANDGUARD

    LANDGUARD LawnSite Member
    Posts: 73

    promower

    Glad to hear that everything turned out for the best.
    Even though I know I'm the boss and that everything is done my way, there is still one thing to consider, that without the customer there would be no paycheck. i always treat them with respect in all cases. There is a breaking point though.
     

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