Dropped a customer today...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MowerMoney, Jun 17, 2005.

  1. MowerMoney

    MowerMoney LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 281

    First of all, when I first got this cust (senior Italian lady), I was already pretty much booked up for this season. I priced her at $35 per cut but she bargained me down to $30. I said okay but I will only trim the back every second week and the back is most of the work as the front is very small. After the first cut she says her husband got angry at $30 and said they would pay only $25. I told her I was not interested and walked away. She called me later and said $30 was okay.

    The back yard is a veritable jungle of overgrown gardens filled with weeds, etc, bushes and trees never pruned and hanging over grass so you can't get even close to cutting all the lawn without damage to yourself or the equipment. (left with scratches everytime I cut there) So how far do you trim?? without knocking down other plants as well??

    Last week she called and said NOT to cut as it was not growing much with the hot dry weather we've had. When I cut it today, it is 6 - 8" long and of course the trim was now 3 weeks long. She came out and complained that the trim was very bad (I hadn't got to it yet). She also said that she cancelled last weeks cut because I've been doing such a lousy job. MY BLOOD BOILED!! Doesn't want to pay what it's worth, cancels a cut when it needed it (was also due to be trimmed LAST week), has a yard where you can't define lawn from gardens, doesn't do any of the garden work herself and doesn't want to pay to have it done either. THEN EXPECTS THE CUT & TRIM TO MAKE IT LOOK PERFECT. TOLD HER THEN I GUESS I WON'T DO IT AT ALL ANYMORE,... THEN I LEFT BEFORE I SAID ANYTHING I MAY REGRET LATER.

    Oh, almost forgot. Since I was already booked up, I fit this cut in on a Tuesday, she comes out and says "We want you to cut on Fridays, not on Tuesdays. We want it nice for the weekend when people walk past to the park". Ya right (I did conceed to Wednesday)
    Sorry for the long sob story.

    BobbyGedd, ... what size shovel would you use on this one?
     
  2. jaybird

    jaybird LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 272

    canadians, they are hard to figure.
     
  3. Quail Creek LC

    Quail Creek LC LawnSite Member
    from IOWA
    Posts: 155

    Aren't them old folks just great :dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy:
     
  4. Mo Green

    Mo Green LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,487

    Is the headache even worth the extra $30 per week?

    Don't even consider keeping this one.
     
  5. GroundsMan

    GroundsMan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    The unfortunate thing is that you had to deal with this customer. Some of those type of customers like to push you to see how far they can push you. Like a kid they want to know where the line is. I seen this many times the best way to solve these problems are to spell them out in a general contract to spell it out. That way they and you know what to expect
     
  6. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    Every single problem you describe can be completely eliminated with a contract.

    When will we learn?

    EVERY other skilled service profession, the company providing the service dictates the way in which the job will be carried out EXCEPT some LCO's.

    Get a backbone, then get a contract.
     
  7. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    She was obviously going to be a pain from the start. How would a contract cure that? It wouldnt matter what it said. Do you get customers ss# on your contract in case they dont pay their credit amount? If not, get a backbone and charge in advance.
     
  8. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,925

    FIRST off you said you were full! Why did you settle for 30 when you quoted 35?
    I do not know about you all but when I am full my price goes up so that it is worth my time to work later.
    This is where you start weeding out PIA, Late payers, Low paying and other accounts with higher paying nicer accounts.
    I don't feel sorry for you and your frustration when you asked for it by lowering your price when you were full.
     
  9. BCSteel

    BCSteel LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 876

    That about sums it up.

    Man, you were asking for it.
     
  10. Forest

    Forest LawnSite Member
    Posts: 108


    DING DING... we have a winner! When you're full is the last time I would ever lower a price. As a matter of fact. I don't budge on price and for them to push you over like that, I'd of said sorry but I can't. You must not be THAT full! I don't understand why some people let others push them around (I'm not implying anything here). I guess I am just very respectfull yet very firm. You are a proffesional BECAUSE you are suppose to know your business. Personally for me, Time is money (every second of it) and I tend to get a little insulted when a customer tries telling me something isn't worth what I say it is to me. Like they have a clue how many times I've done these things. Effeciency does equal profit. I'd have to say that the best way for me to wean out the PITA's is to go with contracts. It took a bit to get perfected, but my business did a 180. Good Luck and dont take crap from anyone. We're ALL better than that!-Forest
     

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