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Gave a customer a two week warning today..

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by LynyrdSkynyrd, Apr 8, 2004.

  1. LynyrdSkynyrd

    LynyrdSkynyrd LawnSite Member
    Posts: 179

    I mow a lot of lawns for elderly people that can not afford a "full priced" service. I retired two years ago and do this work for something to keep me busy.

    Any way.

    I have one lady that is in her late 50's that has twelve huge Beech trees around the edge of her yard and one in the middle that I mowed for last year. The trees are full of dead limbs that fall in her yard. Last week it took two hours to pick them all up. Then today it took over an hour to get them up before I would let my mowers on her lawn. I told her today that they need to be trimmed of the dead limbs and offered to do the trimming for free. Got the same answer as last year. Hubby planted those trees back about 1832 and I do not want them cut on.

    I let her know that I can not afford to pay two guys an hour or two every week to pick up dead branches from her yard and that she will need to find someone else to do her lawn.

    Hated to do her that way. But I suffered through this last year. Picking up branches for an hour or so every week when it takes only 20 minutes to do the actual mowing, trimming and clean up.

    Running a mower over thumb sized hard dead tree limbs 8 to 10 feet long is a big no no with my equipment. The choice seemed to make my helpers happy. So I quess someone feels good about the decision.

    Ever run into these type of people?
  2. Trevors Lawn Care

    Trevors Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,180

    I have a lady who has huge ass nuts that fall from her tree (not Cocanuts or anything) and they are rather soft, but she cleans them every week before I arrive. It only takes her about 30 minutes, but she has it done every week.

  3. ElephantNest

    ElephantNest LawnSite Bronze Member
    from La.
    Posts: 1,878

    Her hubby planted the trees in 1832?? That is one OLD lady!
  4. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    I think that you made a good choice. If it is constantly slowing you down, costing you more, and the fact that you have offered twice to her and she refused, then it was a good choice to make.
  5. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    Since you do the work to stay busy and offered to trim the trees free, Why not just keep picking up the branches? Free work is free work, Some of us actually have to make some $$ doing this so that we can retire and offer are services free to screw the next guy out of a buck thats trying to make a living.

  6. EastProLawn

    EastProLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,110

    Good move, I've done similar things in the past as well.
  7. Andyinchville

    Andyinchville LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 270

    We have some yards where the people don't want us to trim low branches because it offers them privacy.....of course this only offers us a pain in the ......well you know ;-)
  8. LynyrdSkynyrd

    LynyrdSkynyrd LawnSite Member
    Posts: 179

    Let me explain the way I operate. I retired over two years ago at the age of 42. Life has been good to me so far.

    I do not take every person that calls that wants me to do their lawn work. All of the people I provide services to are mostly in their 60's, 70's or disabled in some way. They are all on fixed incomes and can not afford to pay $50 to 75 a week to have their lawns done. I have a good friend that operate the only legit lawn care service in the area and he does it for a living. We work together. If say "Bob" pulls up and gives a qoute to an elderly person and they say that they can not afford the price. He will refer them to me if he fills that the price is to low for him. If I run into someone that I know can afford to pay good money to have their lawn done I refer them to "Bob". I have picked up work from him and he from myself. I have many times in the past two years gone out and helped him catch up on his work after a rainy spell or something that kept him from making his rounds. I only have 51 yards and three Cemeteries to care for. He has over 100 yards. If I just do the yards I only work 3 to 4 days a week. If at the end of the week if I have cleared $50.00 after all expenses. I consider it a good week. I will say it again. I am not in this to make a living. That has been taken care of. I just do it to stay busy and to help the older people out. If I had to rely on doing lawn service for a living. It would be a totally different story.
  9. Randy J

    Randy J LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,124

    Hey LS you have to understand where Mac is coming from. If someone is out there doing the work for much less than you are, they're probably taking business that you need to survive on from you. And it doesn't help that they really don't need the money.
    That having been said, I feel you provide a valuable service, that is probably much appreciated. In this day and age of rip-off artists preying on old people, it's good to know that there's someone out there helping them out. With the deal you have worked out with the other LCO in your area, I'd say keep up the good work!
    Have you offered to pickup the branches for just a little more?

  10. proenterprises

    proenterprises LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,297

    good move man. you dotn need that hour of free work and to havr to bang the crap out of your gear. dont sweat this one, better ones will come along.

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