Do you let customers push you around?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Stihl036pro, Nov 29, 2004.

  1. Stihl036pro

    Stihl036pro LawnSite Member
    Posts: 232

    A good customer of mine wanted a price for cleaning out his gutters at his 5 properties. He is a real-estate business and he has 4 huge rental properties plus his house. He me he has me take care of all the lawn maintenance needs for the 5 properties for past 3 years. Never Have I had any problems with him. Been a good customer. Its a huge job for gutter cleaning. I tell him I would take the gutter job only because he is a good customer. Well after thinking it over and looking at how high the gutters were off the ground I decided that I probably should hire this out to someone that offers this service. I get my sub-contractor out there and I spend about 35 min walking over the properties. The properties are close to each other. We came up with a price of $2300 for gutter cleaning. So after I talking with him I called the customer on his cell phone. I told him that I was out there looking at the gutter job and that I reconsider taking the job on but I found a good painting business that offers gutter cleaning as a service. I told him that I got a price of $2300.00 He says to me "Are you out of your f******* mind " Ok... so at that point I knew my sub contractor was not going to do the job. I really did not what to say to him because I was shocked at the response I got when i told him the price. I feel that he pushed me around using his weight on because he pays a lot for my service. I want to know who thinks I should have said something to him about what he said to me. I guess you could say I let it slide. Bobby I know your going to have something to say about this. I spent my time and the sub contractors time out there to try to give a him a price and thats what I get from. When do you draw that line between customers pushing you around and you loosing business because you dont let them push you around. How much are you willing to let slide?
     
  2. lawnwizards

    lawnwizards LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,434

    maybe he thought 2300 was too expensive... anyways, screw him... if hes happy with what youre doing then keep doing it and if he bitches, smack the taste out of his mouth and move on. :D
     
  3. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    Ya think???
     
  4. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 1,796

    Can't wait to see Bobby's post. Are the leaves really caked in there or is it the just the height or what? You gave him a price and he didn't like it so move on. You have the yard service still so that's all you were really after anyway right? Man if that's typical price maybe I should just leave school and clean gutters ;)
     
  5. Stihl036pro

    Stihl036pro LawnSite Member
    Posts: 232

    Yea, Theres crap growing out of the gutters, not to mention some of the gutters are really high. The place is huge. He probably has about 35 tenents the rent from him.
     
  6. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    I don't know...2300 sounds pretty high to me. That's an average of $328 per location. That is $164 per side. I think this guy just wants them cleaned out, not replaced. I would think that about half this amount would be high priced, but of course, you said they were high up. Are these tall two story houses with steep roof angles?
     
  7. kickin sum grass

    kickin sum grass LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 628

    1. it did not sound like he was pushing you around. It sounds like he was shocked. Pushing you around would be you clean the gutters or I find someone else to take over all work.
    2. explain to him that you do not do this kind of work. Or maybe only do 1 story houses etc. Let him know that.
    3. Try to get a few more estimates and compare prices. You opened a can of worms by taking a contractor out there and getting only 1 bid for a job you new little about the pricing structure. This way you might be able to find someone reasonable and save face.
    4. Do not do it yourself if you are unsure about it. Does your insurance cover you for this work if you happen to damage the gutter or other parts of the house?
     
  8. Stihl036pro

    Stihl036pro LawnSite Member
    Posts: 232

    The comment caught me off guard. The funny thing is most of the time I dont let customers push me around. I do stand for my-self and my business and I let no one stand in the way of it. I guess I was shocked when I heard him say that. My post above is for everyone in the lawn industry. I am just using my experience as an example.
     
  9. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 1,796

    Even if they are in bad shape it's ultimately his money so there's not much else you can do. He doesn't want to pay so you can't do the work as for calling him on his behavior, you still need to keep your cool and remain professional. It might have helped if you had a couple of similar quotes in writting to show him. He'd still be mad but at least he'd know that it was the going rate. I've found many times in life I said something that I shouldn't have and regerted it. It's tough when dealing with someone who looks down on you because of your profession. I think I'd have handled it this way. Took a second or two to let blood reduce to just under a boil and said "I guess we can't do business on the gutters but thanks for considering me for the job." I think he just doesn't know what good work goes for. Wait till he hires some uninsured wino to do it and the guy stubbles off his roof and sues him and see how fast 2300 in legal fees comes up compared to what he was going to save. There are ways of telling him off with out blowing up but it will take practice. (and lot's of patince)
     
  10. Stihl036pro

    Stihl036pro LawnSite Member
    Posts: 232

    yea I have all the ins. I need. I told him that I dont do gutters but because he is a good customer then I would do it. I changed my mind when I really looked at the eniter job. I dont no much about pricing gutter cleaning but it is possible that contractor over priced the job for one reason or another. I was not the professional in this situation. The contractor was the professional. I set the hole thing up. Which I probably should not have done. I was trying to be a good owner and take of my customers. I felt that I should try to at least do something for him.
     

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