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Dumped One Today!!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MOW ED, May 10, 2002.

  1. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    I know this has been talked about before but today I actually had the chance to dump a client that just didn't fit my mowing style or schedule.
    I had this customer for 6 years and she would occasionally complain about little things. But some background. She wanted me to Mow Only. No trimming. Aprox 12K sq ft. I initially had her at 20 bucks but increased to 25 3 years ago. She is an old widow and the job took 20 minutes so it wasn't a loser. Until today. I have picked up many GOOD jobs in the last few years and have kept my originals even they paid less than my usual these days but today was it for her.

    She sent a note with her payment saying that I was not to cut if the lawn was wet. I called her to ask what was up. She said that she has been talking to many men that she plays cards with and that it is not good to cut if the lawn is wet.

    Trying to work with her I asked what she would like me to do and she said to skip a week where it is wet. I explained that I could do that but I would have to charge her for 2 cuts as it is very hard on my equipment and my time will be increased if I skip weeks. She would not hear of that and I suggested that she find someone who would cut on her schedule as I would not be cutting for her anymore. I was very professional and cordial but firm.

    I really feel GOOD about doing that. Even though she was a 100 a month customer with some addons, I can't agree to her terms.
    Its my way or the highway. I am making lots more money these days that 6 years ago and I really wont even miss the bucks. I have plenty of work to fill in the 20 minutes plus travel time it would have taken me but I don't need the hassle.

    I am just curious to see the old man she may hire to push mow this mess every 2 weeks.

    SCRUB WANTED. Call me.
  2. wolfpacklawn

    wolfpacklawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 120

    Did you tell her that there is nothing wrong with cutting the lawn when its wet other than it may not look as good when you get done? I have never heard of there being a problem with cutting when wet. Maybe the old guys should stick to playing cards.

    Sometimes it feels good to drop an account but maybe with a little more effort you could have gotten her to see things your way and still have the account. But if you feel you tried to resolve her concern the best you could then that's all you can do.
  3. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    For this old guy, it probably ISn't good to cut the grass when it's wet. It would leave one HECK of a mess. There's alot of difference in cutting in an s pattern with a professional mower and going around in circles trying to push spinach with a craftsman tractor.
  4. AielLandscaping

    AielLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 302

    just curious... what's an "s" pattern? maybe i'm just unfamiliar with the term...
  5. Knowing you from all your post I 100% agree with you. You took care of her property for a long time.You were right and it was just time to move forward. You stood up for what you believe in. Thats a pro
  6. Currier

    Currier LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 564

    ...and in a very short time you will be glad that you don't have to have that stop in your schedule. I am always amazed at how the schedule will fill to take up slack. I look at some lawns that I used to mow and am thankful that they are no longer on my schedule. Sounds to me like you done good.
  7. I agree with your actions ed ,in our business sometimes there is no way around it you have to mow wet grass.
    They are right it aint good to cut wet grass leaves it open to various mircoorganism that can cause diseise .But it also aint good to cut it a$$ hole high to.
    We had em tell us absolutely dont want any mowing when wet and we told em adios amigo.
    She is the one giveing up a good deal you gave her an the professial job i know you gave her every time.
    Seems to me she cut off her nose to spite her face.
  8. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    Thanks for the support. Sometimes you wonder just what is going on in someones head when you really can't reason with them but I did try my best.

    Let me tell you that this lawn wasn't soaked wet everywhere. It was wet in the front where her neighbors sump pump drained to the low part of her property. I actually cut that with a string trimmer without wading into it. I let it go, hoping it would dry out and it got to be a foot tall. The rest of the lawn was as dry as any springtime lawn. No standing water or wet blades, just moist but firm ground.
    I don't like to cut in the rain as it makes lots of work and is a generally miserable experience but this lawn was drier than most morning dew lawns.

    I do feel better for saying my piece in a kind way. Once again thanks for the support. Thats why I love Lawnsite.
  9. wesLESCO48

    wesLESCO48 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    I had a somewhat similar experience with a new customer
    that wanted to be at home when i cut her yard. i had to drop
    this one before i got started good. I think some people just want
    to see if you will let them control you and your business.
    I think you did good telling this lady what you did and staying
    in control. P.S. I know it felt good to. There are to many good
    customers out there that appreciate what we do for them
    so there is no reason to put up with people like this.
  10. Brickman

    Brickman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,249

    I had a very similar deal with my very first customer. When she couldn't push me around she dumped me. I felt bad because she was the first one that gave me business when I started. But I was glad to not have the head ache.
    As for people insisting on being home, I give them a day not a time. I do have one that sets the time of day. But he MORE than makes up for any inconvenience that might make. He also sets his price, which is about $10 higher than I could get from almost every body else.

    I have been told the same thing about grass being wet. Listen to this one, "if you cut the grass when it is too wet you will pull up the grass by the roots and it will all die." I am not joking. I had a customer tell me that. I hate cutting in the rain or when it is too wet, because the grass LOOKS like ****, and it is just flat out miserable in those conditions.

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