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customers that call to swear at the lawn boy.

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by z_clark, Jul 29, 2006.

  1. z_clark

    z_clark LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 369

    I run a decent size business, and just like any business there will be complaints from time to time.

    Lately I have been cursed out on the phone by customers that I have never even met. I will try to stop them by saying "HEY, I am here to listen, but there is no need to curse at me.". Usually this will bring them back to earth, and we can have a civilized conversation. Some I have hung up on, because no one deserved that. I dumped a guy last week for it.

    I feel it is the perception of our profession makes people think we are scum. I am sure these people calling have other problems and possibly swear at everyone. It is mainly the low income customers that do this as well.

    I am just ranting. I try to have thick skin. Can't please everyone :rolleyes:

    Comments? Other rants??? .....I am so glad it is the weekend! :dancing:
  2. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    When a person starts cussing at me (and I can cuss with the best of em) that is the end of it. I try to never under no circumstances talk ugly to a client. When they start I know right then before my short fuse goes off to end the relationship, end of story.
  3. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,192

    Usually they only get huffy when leaving a message but when you call them back they have had time to reflect. Interesting that the tone in email is better than on the phone. Complaints on email are usually easier to work with.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    Just tell these type people "Hey sorry we F'ed up your lawn, can we give you an F-ing credit on your bill or would you like us to do the F-ing job all over again" :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    The cursing I can handle, if that is how they talk, then I'm ok with that...
    But the lawn boy thing, ho boy.
    Yeah, because they can do the lawn boy thing so nicely too, without cursing... But it's all the same thing, like I'm their hired slave, and it is a privilege and the highest honor they are allowing me to work on their holy lawn, acting like they're doing me a real big favor or some such thing... This is likely the fastest way out the door, other than trying to scam me.

    Do not make the mistake of trying to mount or ride me, I buck hard and that customer will have their arse handed to them in an instant.
    I will not tolerate it, with some it may be ok but sooner or later there always comes one who starts the money thing, by exerting the control they have gained they suddenly decide to pay me what they think is fair or some such thing....

    Oh no, not for an instant, you do it on the phone and click.
    You call back, I don't answer.
    Please don't leave a message in that tone or I will file charges that same day.
    Yeah, I mean, there are exceptions, everyone makes mistakes, but we know who we're talking about here.

    I'm a nice guy who doesn't boink your wife or daughter, but I do own this business.
    Had one the other day, I guarantee him and his wife will think long and hard before they try that again, thou that is not to say they won't pre-screen their lawn guys from here on out to get the one they want.
  6. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    I won't accept a customer cussing at me unless he's paying for that privlage. So far no ones been able to afford it.
  7. Howard Roark

    Howard Roark LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 806


    Are you guys on Credit Card only up there? Since I switched over we've had only 1 complaint this year, and it was from a bi-weekly who quickly understood our terms.

    Just curious.
  8. z_clark

    z_clark LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 369

    Yep on CC billing.

    We don't get many complaints. Less than 1%. Most weeks .3% (one call out of the 300 we serviced).

    Almost all complaints are from our every other week customers. We will never make a return trip to fix something on an EOW account. I explain this when they sign up.

    Again, not a huge problem....but it bugs me. How people can call up and just start cursing baffles me. I don't have the cleanest of mouths, but there is a time and place for everything.
  9. Howard Roark

    Howard Roark LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 806

    Yes, it's amazing how the can put so much emotion into a phone call to their lawn guy, however when it comes to servicing their lawn weekly they could give a crap.

    I had this happen last year, and you guessed it, a Bi-weekly paying by check customer with one of those lawns that you couldn't tell we were there in most spots even right after we cut. Somehow he thought he had the lawn of the year though. He did NOT receive a 2006 welcome letter! :clapping:
  10. TheGrassBandit

    TheGrassBandit LawnSite Member
    Posts: 86

    When the words start flying so do I.

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