Dealbreaker Or Not

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DAZ982500, Aug 11, 2005.

  1. DAZ982500

    DAZ982500 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 72

    HERE IS A PIECE OF HISTORY ON THIS CUSTOMER.HE IS A FULL TIME ENGINEER LIVES IN A 200K HOME AND HAS 6 RENTAL PROPERTIES. I HAVE CUT ALL THESE LAWNS FOR THE PAST 3 YEARS.YESTERDAY I GET A CALL, HE STATES, THAT I DID NOT THINK THE LAWN SHOULD HAVE BEEN CUT YESTERDAY.HERE IN NEW YORK, IT HAS BEEN VERY DRY MOST LAWNS ARE DORMANT AT THIS TIME.SINCE I HAD NOT CUT IT IN 12 DAYS I FIGURED IT WAS TIME .WHEN I LOOKED AT IT THERE WERE SECTIONS THAT WERE CUTTABLE , THE EDGES WERE A BIT DRY.THIS WAS MY JUDGEMENT CALL, I SAID TO HIM ,THAT I WOULD NOT CUT FOR ANOTHER 2 WEEKS .HE SAID, I WILL CALL YOU WHEN I WANT THE PROPERTIES CUT.NOW, I KNOW THAT THE CONTRACT PEOPLE ARE GOING TO CHIME IN AND SAY, THIS WOULD NOT BE THE CASE IF YOU HAD IT IN PLACE.FIRST, SINCE I HAVE WORKED WITH HIM I HAVE NEVER FELT IT NECESSARY TO FORM ONE WITH HIM AND SECOND, I HAVE NEVER ENCOUNTERED THIS PROBLEM.AS I HAVE GROWN IN THIS FIELD I HAVE ALSO REALIZED THAT THIS CUSTOMER HAS TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF ME IN DIFFERENT WAYS.A PREVIOUS POST I INDICATED,FOR 5 HOURS OFSTONE WORK HE PAYED ME 80 BUCKS.HIS LAWN TAKES 50 MINUTES, USING 44WB+ TRIMMING THERE ARE HILLS/ALOT OF TRIMMING.WHEN WINTER ROLLS AROUND I PLOW ALL HIS PROPERTIES SOME PLACES I HAVE TO USE SNOWBLOWER, NOT ABLE USE PLOW, TAKES 30 MINUTES HE PAYS 20 DOLLARS.THE BOTTOM LINE IS DESPITE THESE PROBLEMS WITH ONLY 30 ACCOUNTS REMOVING 7 PLACES=140 DOLLARS{SUMMER} X3 THAT IS A SUBSTANTIAL HIT.I AM GOING TO FINISH THIS SEASON OUT WITH HIM MY GUESS IS IF I PRESENTED HIM WITH WHAT I THINK HIS PROPERTIES ARE REALLY WORTH HE WOULD NOT BE WILLING TO PAY, IN THE END IT WOULD NOT MATTER BECAUSE EITHER I WORK FOR LESS OR HE SAYS SORRY THIS IS ALL I WILL PAY YOU.OR I LET HIM GO AND TRY TO PICK UP 3 GOOD PEOPLE NEXT YEAR TO TRY TO MAKE UP.AS FAR AS THE WINTER HE HAS NO CLUE THE EXPENSES INVOLVED HERE ONE DRIVEWAY TAKES 20 MINUTES HE PAYS 15 BUCKS.THIS SAME LAWN GRANTED IT ONLY TAKES MAYBE 15 MINUTES WITH 21" HE PAYS 15 DOLLARS. HE IS A CHEAP B...A...S...T.YOUR THOUGHTS WOULD BE WELCOME.DAVE :angry:
     
  2. Lake Claire Lawn Ranger

    Lake Claire Lawn Ranger LawnSite Member
    Posts: 242

    I would start looking for new customers to replace him and don't price yourself so low in the future. Get it in your mind that you are going to rid yourself of this customer and don't let it bother you. Decide what you should get for working on his property and if he doesn't want to pay it, he can screw someone else. payup
     
  3. Lake Claire Lawn Ranger

    Lake Claire Lawn Ranger LawnSite Member
    Posts: 242

    Oh, and please remove the Caps Lock!
     
  4. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    id call him now, tell him these are my prices , and i cut when i say or get someone else
     
  5. betterlawn

    betterlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from MI
    Posts: 426

    I THINK THAT IF HE TOOK ADVANTAGE YOU, ITS BECAUSE YOU LET HIM... :waving: THAT WOULDN'T BE ANY REASON TO BE NASTY ABOUT IT.

    You could requote him for next season and explain the situation - but its probably too late - and he'll just get a scrub. Maybe he'll be looking for you after a few weeks into next season.

    Obviously he's not a very good customer - so find a new one and learn from your mistakes. A lesson painfully learned (not that painfully)... :)
     
  6. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569


    NO, he is not taking advantage of you. YOU are letting him take advantage of you. He shouldn't be "paying" you anything, YOU should be charging him and YOU should be setting the prices, not him. Then, you are cutting his lawns for a punky $20 a piece in NY State?? That's absurd! You aren't running a business, your customers are.
     
  7. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,278

    Looking at the prices you stated you would be better off without them $15 for a lawn. DUDE YOUR NOT EVEN BREAKING EVEN! especially w/ a wb. If they were $20 and you had a Z i'd say hang in there. Do your self a favor and drop em. You would have "Less cash flow" but you would be "MOre Profitable.
     
  8. OrganicBob

    OrganicBob LawnSite Member
    Posts: 73

    Normally, the customer is always right, but in this case, you need to set some boundaries. Tell him what you charge on the front end. Start high and bargain if you have to, this or just drop the cheap bast@#$.
     
  9. Remsen1

    Remsen1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,020

    One old guy wanted to call me when he needed his lawn done. I've gotten away from allowing this for quite some time. I told him "sure, just make sure you call me three weeks in advance."

    He got the point.
     
  10. careco

    careco LawnSite Member
    Posts: 32

    Good grief where in New York are you ? 20 year ago got more money than that for mowing and snow plowing and I was in the Catskill mountains Never did a lawn for less than $20 unless family and was postage size and drive way plowing started at $30 and 10 ft long ! Phone was always ringing ! Need to get better accounts ! Dump the cheep creep !
     

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