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Dropping the pita yards

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by topsites, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    The customers in this case might be ok, but I just can't take a dirt yard with a half dozen weed stems or anything that is so far below par, it is a wonder if I cut it 6-7 times / year. These folks don't need an Lco, they just want some fool to take care of their neglected and abused yard on which they will never spend any real money.

    Yard 1 - After I drove past this one twice and the grass hadn't grown none but oh they called because the grass was WAY tall and here I am looking at this rock-filled dirt with the weeds and a 1-2 inch growth on the actual part that was lawn, I just said see ya in a week. A week or two later (because it just doesn't matter, a week or two makes no real difference), the grass miraculously got cut.

    Yard 2 - Funny man wants a lawn restoration which of course, can't be done until September because he calls me late May. Since I no longer accept sub-standard yards except those who intend on restoring it, it also dawned on me someone might use the restoration project as an excuse while I cut what little grass there exists and choke myself and the machine on the dust and throughout the 104+ heat of summer, then come fall, suddenly my services are no longer needed and oooops, no restoration: Thus, I charge double for pita yards per cut, then come fall when it is time to restore the lawn, I credit all this money towards this. Guess he didn't like that, his grass was cut by someone other than me when I stopped by today.

    Yard 3 - Calls me at 3pm and wants me to cut the lawn today. I asked if it could wait until tomorrow, she said she'd call me in the morning to let me know. Guess what? I don't even do that for my longest term regular customers, thank you but IF the call comes in, I'm not answering it this time, the yard is 40% pure dirt and 100% clay and crap and couple of steep hills to the ditch, all of which the mower likes to slip and slide around while spewing up clouds of thick dust everywhere.

    Yard 4 - Another one calls for an estimate a month or more ago, finally wants to be put on the schedule now, lets not forget the temps are hitting 90. I get out there... The back is cut, the front doesn't need it, but OHhhhh the steep hill side is chock full of weeds and dirt and there exists a 2-3 foot growth of weeds all up and down the ditch, where there is also a van parked on the turf. I stopped the truck to get a good look to make sure I was not seeing things, then started the engine and went on home.

    I will NOT put up with it, no more running myself or my machines in the dirt, no more taking up space on my schedule with this neglect and abuse. Get a real yard or call someone else, I'm not your dirt and garbage boy for no 170-odd dollars / year, I need 5 or 6 of these to make up for one decent yard so then all this stuff fills my schedule, all of a sudden I get that call that I can not service because my schedule is full? Time to make some ROOM!
  2. Pickings do seem to be getting slim.

    For a while I thought you may be judging the customer by the appearance of the yard. Then I re-read your post and nope, every one's a legitimate PITA

    Thin the herd.

  3. Sandgropher

    Sandgropher LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 909

    Thank god for pita customers & lawns they are a wonderful source of amusement & i never get tired of the storys.

    PITAS of the world we love you , keep coming please, if every one had good lawns and customers LS would be boring. :usflag:
  4. Evergreenpros

    Evergreenpros LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,155

    I'd rather charge 20% more and do 20% less work myself. Much easier to drive around in an air conditioned truck 1 day a week doing estimates looking for the good customers than grunting out another day of work at cut rates.
  5. Daner

    Daner LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,308

    Top...Just remember the ware and tear on the equipment.
    From the sounds of it ...I would also be thinning out those gravel yards.Every time I lose one or drop one, I too run around in the A.C truck and pick up one or two prime lots IMOO....I Have to like and take pride in the lawns that I do...Or I may as well stay Home
    Cheers Daner
  6. dkeisala

    dkeisala LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 911

    People suck. I just did an estimate, $30 bucks a week (oh, but it doesn't need to be cut every week) so $45 bi-weekly. Sends me a letter saying thanks for the estimate but several people I talked to said that was very excessive for the amount of work that needs to be done. Maybe she should move back to California where the illegal work force is double what it is here. At 90 bucks a month, that doesn't even gas up the truck for a week so my price is excessive as compared to what?

    I started thinking, back in the day when I charged half what I do today, people would tell me I was unreasonably expensive. I figure you're never going to get away from the PITA's, the best you can do is steer as far clear from them as possible.

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