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Fixing other companies mistakes

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Rdizzle79, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. Rdizzle79

    Rdizzle79 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    Has anyone ran into a client that paid out the butt for landscape architecture then come to find out that the company did a crapy job on the sod. And what do I say to the customer when they claim I didn't take care of it right? I feel like they couldn't get anything out of the Arcitect so they're looking for someone to blame.
  2. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    Run as fast as you can!!!

    Seriously, just be professional about it. Explain the situation and state the facts. And, IMHO, I wouldn't bad mouth the installation company but rather point out the issues you see with there installation.

    For a similar situation in the past I have offered to my client to meet with them, the other company, and myself. The other company claimed they were too busy to meet with all of us and agreed to fix the problem. It was a minor issue but the homeowner suddenly realized I was correct and the other company was at fault.

    Like I said, key is being professional about the whole situation.
  3. Rdizzle79

    Rdizzle79 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    What would you do if you went possible clients house to do a quote and noticed the grass? Would it be Kosher to tell the client about the problem ahead a time just to CYA?
  4. dtelawncare

    dtelawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 227

    I think you could possibly it as a question. Maybe ask if they will be wanting you to clean up any inperfections on their lawn during maint. I just picked up an account for a yard that is crap. The people have been pulling cars off the driveway so much part of the yard is only red dirt. She wants to make the place looking good she says. I know at some point the issue will come up about all the bare spots in the grass.
  5. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,923

    Are you confusing two matters here? You mention the architect, but your comments pertain to the workmanship on the sod. The design by the architect is an entirely different matter than the execution of the design by an installer. Why would the customer go after the architect because of poor workmanship on the part of others? The culprit seems to be the ones who did the work, not the ones who did the design.

    You have a matrix of four:
    Bad design, bad install
    Bad design, good install
    Good design, bad install
    Good design, good install

    Which is the case, #1, or #3?
  6. HGdesigner

    HGdesigner LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    I agree with Roger. I'm a design/builder and our costs are usually a lot higher than equivilently sized companies because of the amount of dirt work. I've seen other companies sod right over the top of construction debris and right over ruts, etc. The landscapes are planted without regard to eventual height with disease prone plants and no soil augmentation. The goal is to sell it and move on. Sometimes this is the purchasers fault. If they support buisnesses like this then they are complicent. Low-balling must result in an inferior product to make money. I would like to point out that natural settling occurs regardless of how well the landscape is installed; thats why the golf courses top-dress.

    I would approach the client with a solution. Top-dressing, fertilizer, and more frequent but higher mowing can all make you more money and result in a superior turf regardless of its current state. If a client hears a solution and is willing to pay then you come out with a good client; they need to understand it will need to be done anyway. If a client hears a solution and still wants to complain then you need to let someone else have 'em.
  7. befnme

    befnme LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,413

    that or before you begin any work take photos of the perexisting problem
  8. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    If you are going to service high end residential accounts it helps to be proactive. I start off with a Landscape Evaluation. For starters it impresses upon the client my expertise in the industry, next it generates work. If they choose not to correct the problems I may decline to take on the account. I don't want my truck in front of a home that is not looking great. I can't stress enough how good it is to have a detailed system for prospective clients, and some sort of a check-up on the existing situation should be a priority, and yes you should be able to charge for it.

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