Customers that keep mowing their own lawn?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Chop Stuff Up, May 10, 2007.

  1. Chop Stuff Up

    Chop Stuff Up LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 457

    Twice this has happened with the same customer. She calls the day before mow day to tell me it doesn't need it. Then she'll cut it herself before the next week but she will not trim or do the pool area. Then she calls and wonders why I charge the bi-weekly rate when she "cut the lawn to make it easier for me". I assume she is just trying to save money, or she enjoys pushing the mower around every once in a while. I don't know. I think its time to charge $5 for phone support or something.
     
  2. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    never had this happen........... hell drop her
     
  3. GSPHUNTER

    GSPHUNTER LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 310

    I had this happen last week. She told me it was getting too long, and it was supposed to rain the next day so she cut it. It had only been five days and the forecast had 30% chance for isolated t-storms, which doesn't mean ****.

    This has taught me two things. Have a set of rules made up at the begining of the season to send to people. One of mine next year will be only allowing 2 cancellations like this per year. Anymore and they will still be charged for the entire month and if there is a problem with this, then it's time for them to hit the phone book.

    Second thing is that some people really like their yards kept super crisp looking all the time. I'm going to start offering a 5 day schedule. This means more cash in my pocket and also more happy clients.
     
  4. WildLake

    WildLake LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 368



    Not to mention, more headaches
     
  5. DLCS

    DLCS LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,380

    I got a customer similar to yours. he likes his lawn to have the fresh mowed look all the time. I cut him twice a week. He will sometimes mow on the weekends, especially if rain is in the forcast. I'm fine with that cause getting out to his place is sometimes dificult twice a week. He is picky about his lawn and he knows that so he likes to help out, plus i think he likes to mow too once in awhile.
     
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    And you guys think I'm so mean :)

    One word of caution, you can and will have some customers who will cut it if you don't show up often enough. This kind of customer, all I do is put them on a more aggressive schedule, and problem solved.

    As for the rest...
    I used to tolerate it, but I soon got tired of it. This goes hand in hand with those who like to come running outside to tell me it doesn't need it for another 2-3 days, or the ones who like to hold payment for 2 weeks so as to delay the next cut, any some such thing to me is either cheaping out or taking advantage of a loophole.

    Way I see things, if you are going to play games with me OR you can and will cut it yourself, then first you don't need me. Cheat or try and take advantage of me or some loophole, I hope you can afford to push my buttons because it costs a LOT of money to test-drive my business, testing my patience don't come cheap either.

    So I made a rule last year: ANY mower other than mine touches the lawn, and they're off the schedule - Resuming services beyond this is an automatic +$5... This, however, didn't work out so well, or at least not in all cases.

    I tried a new trick this year, when I pulled up to one and it had been cut, I cut it anyway, and billed them. This may generate some complaints, but then I just tell them if they'd call to let me know, it would save some headaches.

    I had one was going to tell me when it needed cutting, as in: I'll call you when it needs it. I said 'Ok I guess I wont be keeping you on the schedule' (translation: +$5 automatic, and +$5 per every pass required beyond a double cut, per 1/4 acre)... Her normal scheduled bill used to be $30... The last time they called, I got to it 2-3 days later (well sorry it's not regularly scheduled), the grass was tall and thick and it took 3 passes: $40.

    They really gain nothing by not being on my schedule. They think I show up every time they turn around so as to squeeze that extra dollar out of them, but that is quite simply not true. Maybe not all the time, but it sure happens a LOT that I miss one by a day or three and it is so tall it about make me cry: You on my schedule? No problem, no extra charge, same as always... Yeah, sometimes I do show up a day or 2 early, oh well, we both win some, lose some... But try to win them all and you will lose.
     
  7. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    I've got a guy who's regular service day has always been on Thursday for the last 3 years. In the past he always goes out of town to play farmer at his parents place. For some crazy reason this year he decided to butcher his lawn every Sunday & leave the clumps for me to deal with. I attempted to fix his screw-up twice & realized he was going to keep doing it his way. I just keep showing up on Thursday, mow it, & collect the bill @ the end of the month. I guess I'll have a complete lawn renovation in the fall to get rid of all that thatch. Thanks! I'll try to get some pics next week. You guys wouldn't believe how bad this guy leaves it.
     

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