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ever have an ex customer harrass you?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawnwizards, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. lawnwizards

    lawnwizards LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,434

    i cut this guys yard last year and it started out every week and eventually it got to be an EOW thing even though his wife was the one paying for it. i decided this year that i wasnt gonna renew my services to them because it was a pita yard and i dont like customers to try and dictate how i run my business. well, i made the mistake of answering my phone a couple of weeks ago and lo and behold it was this customer wanting me to renew "weekly" service. i agree to it and go and cut his yard that week. he then proceeds to tell me he will call me the day before the next scheduled cut and decide if it needs cut again. i'm like no, its every week or nothing at all. now he keeps calling me and leaving messages wanting me to fit him in my schedule. its gotten to the point where i'm about to strangle the guy. cant he get it through his thick skull that i'm not and never will cut his lawn again. its been 3 weeks now and he still calls atleast 5 times a week. anyway, have you all ever had psycho customers like this one? if so, share your story.

  2. IN2MOWN

    IN2MOWN LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,993

    Put him on the sced and just show up on that day. If he says no tell him you have to charge him anway for making the trip and that you might as well cut the grass because he is going to spend the money one way or another.

    Or just call and talk to his wife. Sounds like she wears the pants in the family anyway.
  3. dKoester

    dKoester LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,257

    Randy, A contract eliminates this problem. I bet you heard it a million times, but its the truth.
  4. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    with no contract, at this point you may want to inform the Gentleman that he's Now harrassing you and it's against the law.

    dont tell him that your going to call the police.....Just hint that this is an option that you have.....

    Good Luck
  5. whoopassonthebluegrass

    whoopassonthebluegrass LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,214

    Easy fix: tell him his price just went up. WAY up.
  6. Integrity LC

    Integrity LC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 35

    Take bohiaa's advice and remember that a well written contract will fix all of this frustation for you.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    When a customer continues to pester me in a situation such as what you're describing
    I send them a short letter as follows:

    {HEADERS <in business letter format>}

    I am writing to inform you that due to circumstances beyond my control I am unable to provide services to you at this time.

    Thank you.

    (and send it off)
    It is polite, short, sweet, and to the point.
    That's it, end of the discussion, you know...

    Oh yeah, so to answer the question, more than once lol
  8. whoopassonthebluegrass

    whoopassonthebluegrass LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,214

    Topsites, that's just awful! :laugh:
  9. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,570

    Did you expect any less from him?
  10. Bobdidit

    Bobdidit LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    So, I had just started on my first year of mowing and was mowing a relative's yard, when this guy stops me and asks me how much I charge to mow the yard I'm on. Being extremely new to the biz, I told him my price, contingent on height and size of lot(most lots in this addition were a standard size), and knowing that the tighter I get my route the better money I will make for my time. I go look after completing the relative's yard, and tell the guy my price and he is good with it, and I envisioned it being an EOW yard inititally only to change after the heat and rain cause the Bermuda gets crazy. Well, I called him at his request to make him aware I would be in the neighborhood and that he needs to be sure and unlock his gate to his backyard, at which time he advises me I don't need to come by and he'll call when I need to. I agreed, because I hadn't't been by to see the yard. Well he calls me 2 weeks later and I show up to 6" of Bermuda and so I mowed it once and it was all cut but looking bad so I hit it from another direction and got it looking good after 2 trips. I go to the door, he comments on how nice it looks. I agree I take the check for the amount of cutting the yard 1 time. I get in my pickup and head on and start to thinking about my time and what I had to do and I then realized I was working twice as hard for the same pay that I make on the other lawn in that area. Totally hacked me off, decided next time I would get him back. So he calls again, grass is tall again, I mow once and load up my stuff and go to the door. He comes with check only to comment that yard doesn't look as good, I calmly asked if he wanted to pay me double for mowing twice and he said no so I said it is what it is and if he doesn't like it find someone else or get on my schedule, and oh by the way, if he pulled that stunt anymore I didn't need him. He must have really liked me, because I wasn't very nice about the whole thing and we got along after that. The next year, I didn't bother calling him, I didn't need or want to deal with his crap--he was from Ireland-which is fine, but he collects a disability check on our dime and really likes to complain about the good ol' USA and he likes to talk and I really don't want to hear what he has to say, so I don't pursue, and lo and behold he is calling last part of April asking me to come back, I told him of my schedule as I have gotten busier than the year prior, that if wants me to mow, its my way or the highway--I wouldn't say this to any other customer--he agrees and I make it a point to get in and out and gone quickly by advising him that the mosquitoes are thick and that he better stand inside(this guy had a bug complex)--worked slick for me. That was last year, this year, I, again, really didn't want to deal with him so I left it alone. He calls me the middle of May this year and leaves me several messages and 1 time I answer not knowing it's him and I tell him I'm busy and that I will call back. I call back 2 days later, ask him how he is doing he says "Great!". I say that is good, because price is going up, he asks why, I tell him because I need to make money and that I am in the business to make money and that mowing his yard at last years price wasn't justifiable, he says and I quote, "Price is fine then, can you come once per month, I have all of these bills I need to take care of?" The call ended right after calmly said "No, get a kid to mow your yard for what you want done at the price you want it at-I'm not interested." I started this gig as a big dummy, I have maintained the thought process of doing a great job and still keep quality as my key, so I have worked on the techniques and speed and I've learned a couple things along the way. 1) Can't please everyone, so don't try-when I bid a new account, I ask of their expectations, if they have none I bid accordingly to what I think it will take for me to get in and out with the place looking good. If they have things they expect, I just add them to that price I am thinking-then offer--take it or leave it. In either 1 of those cases, I continually ask how things are looking when I get the check the first couple of times. No complaints = the standard I hold myself to with them. 2)The only thing negotiable is what I allow to be negotiated-so stick with the take it or leave it mentality--haggling is likely a sign that problems will often follow--learned that the hard way, wasn't too painful.

    Beer time!:drinkup:

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