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Ever have clients "tell you" that you didnt cut their lawn?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Ramairfreak98ss, Jun 6, 2009.

  1. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,210

    When you did 4hrs prior? im sure many of you have gotten the same deal lol.

    This isnt some little tiny house either. Its a "shiat" yard thats nearly 2 acres, all open, 80% clovers, 10% grass/weeds and the rest is mud and dirt.

    This guy has been a problem from the start, same guy that was complaining about our mulch job, edging, mulch black dye leaching onto his sidewalk etc.

    go back three weeks, last friday night at 10pm he calls because he wants his lawn cut saturday morning.... its his off week, its a bi-weekly account.

    So when we go there, two weeks ago for his scheduled cut, it wasnt very wet, mostly dirt/dry and only a few stragly weeds around, not tall and not thick at all, so im thinking, "why did he want it cut last week"?

    Since i told him he needs to call us earlier in the week so were not finished our lawn accounts by friday night, he just said ok.

    I talk to him this past Tuesday afternoon, since he has not yet paid for his 5/5/09 mulching/trimming/edging invoice which is almost $700.00 after discount with the lawn contract, he has not paid his contract deposit since 5/5/09 nor his June 09 monthly payment.

    He said hes sorry, he thought he would receive an invoice for it, which he already had it, and says he'll send them out bill pay tonight/tuesday night.

    He owns a million dollar+ home, 2 acres almost in central/south jersey, has a main house in NYC somewhere that he owns and runs some IT business. apparently he owns two dunkin donuts in south jersey as well.... so i understand he might just have forgotten or was busy.

    Today he calls up around 6pm, we just got in from mowing since 7:45am, and is already in a tiszzy, about his lawn condition, theres grass/weeds all over, the lawn isnt cut yet etc.

    Our best guy was with "me" today trimming, "I" was on the 72" mower, going slower than normal because i dont want any problems from this jakazz, and my other main mower guy is doing the front lawns on a 61" mower.

    The mulch bed was string trimmer edged just for kicks so he doesnt complain about the mulch/edging/trimming/weeds anymore.

    Two of us pulled out weeds, any that have grown back since his mulching over 30 days ago, that he still has not paid for yet and i get "this kind of call'?

    He first off gets in a major argument that "my guys" didnt cut it properly, when i told him that "i was the one on the mower" he then starts with that it was not cut today, yet it was done 4hrs prior along with 3 other properties about 2acres each on the same road in the same development.

    Then he demands that we "come back out" tonight, "after 6pm" and the guys have all left already and cut his lawn. Then he slips and says it needs to be "RECUT", like ok jakazz, so it was cut you admit but you dont like something.

    Its ALL clay and dirt, its always been cut at 4" deck height and honestly it should be higher if it wasnt for all the weeds and clovers so it has SOME established green turf instead of all the dry/dead spots. Both decks have stripe kits on them, the whole thick rubber flap that drags behind the deck so his back yard was striped as well as it could be with all the bare dirt spots and clovers.

    When he starts demanding that he is going to have 7 people come over right now and say that it is not cut, im thinking sure, your gonna call all your croneys over that think the same assinine was as you do to make your self "feel like your in the right". Then he goes back to the mulching saying that there is still stains on his sidewalk that he is going to have to call another company to remove and is going to cost money.... Im not going to pay until the lawn is cut..... i stopped him right there and said look, you complain about the mulch color, you complained about the weeds, you complained about weeds later IN the plants themselves which we pulled out today, you complained about the mulch dye running in tiny spots on the sidewalk, you claim our guys didnt cut your lawn yet it was there today doing it myself with 2 others in our crew on a saturday because of the last two days of solid rain....He starts rambling in foreign language now and has been yelling almost the entire time and now saying again he wont pay... I had it by this point, with a few choice profound words with him, im done.

    he must live at another house that i dont know about and think we offer service for free on that one or something. He owes over $1200 for the 3 bills he has not yet paid a dime on. Im not even going to bother going to court, none of them show up for court, we get judgements against all the deadbeats, and then they go on to make their millions in this guys case and he got free services for over a month :/

    Ill be stopping by tomorrow morning to take pictures of his "non lawn cut" for court just in case.

    That wasnt even the icing on the cake... one of my guys hit a non-buried Verizon FIOS fiber optic "black" small line in someones 1.5 acre property today running from the pole to their house. It was in 6" tall grass and not marked orange like it was at the pole :/ Im sure thats going to cost half of what we make on that account seasonally.

    I am heavily contemplating not offering mowing services next year since it seems to have the most call backs out of every service we offer, customers who dont pay or cant pay or just overall failure to pay and the most liability with issues such as debris flying, rocks, stones, crashing mowers into obstacles, usually ones that are hidden in taller grass that cant be seen.

    With how the joe blows are cutting properties for $25 that we charge $55 for... since 2003 when we were mowing commercial and small residential properties, the average bid on a lawn is nearly HALF of what it was 7 years ago :/
     
  2. mowerdude777

    mowerdude777 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,732

    Tell all the lco's that you know about this. Chanches are he will fire you soon, but if you tell enough people nobody will even want to mow his yard
     
  3. Big Bad Bob

    Big Bad Bob LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 5
    Posts: 1,074

    Sounds like maybe he used to work at a "call center"? Wears a white robe? Has a funny accident? Give him a fair bid and he says, "You have the best bid but could you come down 25%?".
     
  4. mississippiturf

    mississippiturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 674

    The absolute best thing about being in this business is that we can pick and choose our customers. I don't deal with "complainers" period. I get my money, find a tactful way of telling them that they will have to find someone else because if my best is not good enough, any extra effort is fruitless.
     
  5. SfTD_service_CENTER

    SfTD_service_CENTER LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 868

    you need to talk face to face with these guys. have them point things out with thier finger. maybe im wrong and you did talk face to face but it sounds like a pissing match between to aholes on the phone.:laugh:
     
  6. kaferhaus

    kaferhaus LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,444

    That's the problem with billing residentials and it's why we don't do it and never have in nearly 30yrs. Payment at time of service.

    We have hundreds of residential customers and it's never been a problem getting paid on the day of service.

    I'm not running a credit card company (we take those too!) or a finance company... if they take their car to get repaired they pay right then, buy groceries.... pay now.
     
  7. SfTD_service_CENTER

    SfTD_service_CENTER LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 868

    thats why you are where your at you collect your money! just like invoicing if you do the work but dont invoice you dont get paid no matter if it is floor pannel for buildings or if it is fleet maintenence for trucks! cars dont leave my shop unless i say so! i have had scum call the state and have suits come down take the keys and me never get paid though! crazy:dizzy:
     
  8. THC

    THC LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,020

    Man that would seem like a PITA! It would also stretch out the day and what if they're not home?
     
  9. lawncuttinfoo

    lawncuttinfoo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,010

    OMG where to start.

    When verison asks you for the repair bill tell them that you have the city take care of that sort of thing for you, and ask if they want to call them or if they want you to call them about the improperly burried line which will carry a fine plus the cost to repair at the cost of the installer. They will tell you don't worry about it and hang up on you.
     
  10. SNAPPER MAN

    SNAPPER MAN LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,443

    I do the same thing as Kaferhaus, almost all residential pay me upon completion of service except the ones that prepay for the month. Most of them just leave a check on the back door or under the doormat so we can get it if they arn't home and even if they are we don't bother them. Invoicing residential is a unnecessary pain in the ass.
     

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