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Customer questions us!!! May lose partner!!!!!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by LoneStarLawn, Oct 14, 2000.

  1. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,415

    We performed a organic fert. job at a little old lady's garden home. After completing the job we told her she hadn't paid the last time that we cut her yard. She dissaggreed. She agrued with us that we were wrong. The problem is she is a customer that likes to pay cash directly to us for services rendered. She sometimes is not home when we mow so she leaves a note telling us to mow and that the gate is locked. She says that she has no proof that she owes us and says that if she had a receipt for payment there wouldn't be an arguement (but she didn't pay so there wouldn't be a receipt) She also no says that she wants to be billed once a month (which I prefer) and to not cut when she is not there. Well I don't want to drive there to find out she is not there and not be able to cut. The biggest problem is my partner wants to quit the business because of people like her. She is old and I feel bad about argueing with her as well. I feel bad if we drop her but It's to much to handle and she did question our integrity...so about the long post (rambling) Just upset about possible loss of partner and bad customers.
  2. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Posts: 4,254

    "Not to cut it if she's not there". This statement alone says get rid of her. Send her a nice letter saying that you will no longer be able to provide her will lawn services.
  3. Lazer

    Lazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,446

    Run your business properly and you avoid problems like this.

    Don't get rid of her as a customer, bill her once and month and have her write you a check, then everybody will be on the same page.

    Leaving cash under the doormat 30 times/year, you're asking for a mix-up.
  4. Currier

    Currier LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 564

    Sounds like the lady is a pain...Sounds like the partner is tired! Hang on things will get better soon!
  5. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Posts: 3,486

    Agree with Bob. Just explain you have a route to mow and you can't keep coming back checking to see if she is home. If she is a good customer ask her for good suggestions.

  6. BRL

    BRL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,211

    But you expect your payment first!! Explain to her that she doesn't have her receipt because she didn't pay, & if she thinks you guys are wrong, show you the receipt. Could you imagine your phone company agreeing that your account is paid, without you having a receipt or cancelled check? Yea right.

    BUSHMASTER LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 519

    hey do lik ethe dentist . tell her what day you'll be there and if she's not bill her an office call , i bet she'll give you a key to that gate then ,bill her once a month, good deal,if she want to be thier to make sure you were leave a door knocker informing that you performed service
    i have 1 customer that i leave a "service has been done "
    that way they match it up with their stament works good
  8. T.C.O.B.

    T.C.O.B. LawnSite Member
    from Zone 9
    Posts: 47

    I agree with Lazer! Run YOUR business properly and these problems can be avoided!
    Again, it's YOUR business! Explain to new or potential clients your scheduling, billing, late fee, ect. up front!

    Most importantly, Write it down, both parties sign and get copies, if they don't agree-Don't Do It!
  9. stick9

    stick9 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 262

    Hey Lonestar ..

    Since everyone else has already given you answers about how to deal with the elderly lady, I would like to discuss your buddy who wants to back out of the partnership. It seems obvious to me that he is NOT leaving JUST because of customers like her. EVERY profession has foolish, seemingly ignorant people with whom you have to make transactions and deal with on a daily basis. No matter where you go in life (in my experience), ignorance and idiocy seem to be gathered in mass quantities. He cannot hope to POSSIBLY escape people of this nature (sadly, no one can). I suspect that, for one reason or another, your partner just wants to move on. Maybe he isn't making enough money? Maybe he's sick of doing the job? Could be anything! I have a sneaking suspicion that even if he doesn't break off the agreement for THIS reason, sooner or later, something else will come up and he'll be packing his bags once again. I suggest that you talk with him about this and find out for SURE why he wants to dissolve the partnership and then go from there. Maybe you could work something out?

    Take care..

  10. Skookum

    Skookum LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 675

    I had 12 side by side accounts on a small cudesac where there was only 20 houses. All old women (widows must of them). It took me almost a year to get them in the habit of recieving a bill from me and sending me a check. Several would still want to stop me and give me the check instead of mailing it, saves 33 cents you know.

    Out of the 12, 4 were a total pain and 3 were a slight headache every week. After three years of doing those accounts and putting up with all the nonsense from those few, I wrote just those 7 a nice letter explaining why I was droping THEM! I felt bad at first because I did thier snow removal as well. I had let it go on for so long because they were old, but I just could not do it anymore.

    Three years later and I am still mowing the other 5 plus picked up two more out there, right after I dropped the others, for a total of seven. The old seven kind of go as a group and hire the same mower each time. They are on thier fifth mower now in three years, and when I last spoke with him, he has had it too! Just like the other four and myself.

    Two had a nerve to call me about coming back last year, but under certain conditions they wanted. I told them that it would be impossible and they better keep looking.

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