Got into a ugly argument with client over skipping cuts

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by QualityLawnCare4u, Oct 12, 2006.

  1. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    Last year I picked up the daughter of a client I have posted on here many times about that has given me a lot of trouble. Was a neigbor of my late Dad. The daughter has not really given me any trouble just is not real friendly. Two weeks ago wanted me to trim her shrubs and wanted to know if I could skip her yard and do the shrubs instead. I told her no that would mean four weeks of pine straw on the ground. I walked to her house late this afternoon to get my check and she wanted to know why I did her yard for today since the grass was dead. I told her that the grass was not the problem it was that large amount of long needle pine straw and told her that it really needed to be done every week instead of two. That did not go over well at all. She told me that I should not come back until April when the grass started back growing. I politely told her that I could not/would not do that. She then got angry and wanted to know why? I tried to explain to her that I will not skip for 6 months and that ANY decent lco would not do it either. She told me that it was not right and I tried my best to explain to her but blah blah blah. She snapped at me that I knew this was seasonal work and I should find another job in the fall. I asked her what if I had a crew of 10 guys, was I supposed to fire them in Oct. then rehire them in the spring? She just did not get it. Then she insulted me, told me you are a luxery that I don't have to have and what I pay you I can go buy me a mower. (This is how we are perceived, lower than the trash guy). I then got unprofessional and told her that I had a conversation with two other well known lco's and they both told me I was crazy for skipping all winter and I needed some clients that could afford me or at least cared. This po'ed her big time. I should not have said this but at this point I knew whe was history. She then slammed the door in my face:laugh: I walked back home and stewed over it. I'm lower than scum, all I want if cients that appreciated my good work and how punctual I am. I waited about half an hour and called her back to try and see if I could reword it differently. No deal, I then asked her one question, I asked her if her employer told her that she was not to come back until the spring what would she do. I WOULD (then her voice dropped low) find another job. I said now you got it, have a good evening and hung up. I'm just amazed that when I was a office equipment tech I was NEVER treated this badly! I can not count the times that I thought a secretary or office manager was going to hug me when I came threw the door to make repairs, LCO's are treated like sh*t! One of the lco's I talked with last week told me he heard I was selling off my equipment and wanted to know why so I told him. He shook his head and said I dont get it, you do great work, I see you all over town with your signed truck, you are always nice when I see you, h*ll, your phone ought to be ringing off the hook! You must have some kind of jinx on you!(alright 6'7'):laugh: He told me that he tells his cleints right up front that it will be year round and a SIGNED contract or no deal. Folks, I just don't get it:dizzy: I have a friend who is trying real hard to get me on with CSX and I sure hope it happens!
     
  2. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Sorry to hear that.

    It used to be that I did not come in contact with this. But now I do and I run into it more every year. It's because things have been in a decline for so long. When your local market goes downhill and your production continues to go uphill, it gets harder and harder to service only the best.

    This is all about the quality of the client, nothing more, nothing less. I would have quit by now if I had a bunch of bi-weekly level customers. The problem is that these types just don't care. They care a lot more about having more money in their pocket than they ever will about the appearance of their lawn. They want things "beat back" once in a while and that's it. Doesn't matter if it's the lawn or the shrubs.

    Even with no bi-weekly's I still encounter this now and again. I stand my ground and I am very frank with people. I tell them like it is and at least I have said my peace before I cancel them. I use the "employer analogy" all the time, as they can relate to this.

    In other related news, I've had to give the backwards azzchewing speech at least 3 times in the last 3 months on a high profile commercial account over stupid penny pinching in other ways... and guess what?... gonna have to do it again tomorrow or Friday over the recent work they had a tree service perform.

    They may eventually fire me, or not renew the contract.
    But honestly, I don't care.
    If I have something to say, I say it.
     
  3. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    If I have something to say, I say it.
    __________________
    Envy, that has become a big problem for me, I can no longer take any bullsh*t. I have put up with so much for so long while I watch other lco's who don't give a squat about their clients just keep getting bigger and bigger. I forgot to add this same lady called me in July on a Saturday afternoon and needed her yard done, an emergency cut because her Grandma died and was having guest. I loaded up all my equipment on 4 PM in the afternoon and went an did her yard for free as a gift. HELLO DANNY, GO BACK AND REREAD OLDERTHANDIRTS POST ABOUT THE CUSTOMER AINT YER D*MN FRIEND AND THEY DONT CARE ABOUT YOU!
     
  4. noseha

    noseha LawnSite Senior Member
    from MI
    Posts: 554

    as soon as I hear a cust. say'' for what i pay I can buy my own mower''. I all way say, I do more than just cut your grass. I do your fall and spring clean ups, trim your hedges, fert your yard, cut your trees when one comes down, clean out your gutters twice a year, so on,so on. so it's not just ''I buy my own mower. but I think you should buy one. have fun. if a cust. calls me before I show up. yes i will skip them. but charge double for the next cut. I bid a lawn per cut. Which is once ever 7-10 days. something else that cracks me up when a cust. says the last guy only cut me for xxx. I will all way say ''where is your last guy now'' the cust. will say ''he just stop showing up'' then I say ''at the price he was cutting you he's out of business'' It seems like the cheap cust. will work them self off my list in about 1yr-1.5 yrs
     
  5. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    You are correct about the cheap customer, they will quickly show their true colors. I'm just dang tired of having them and could tell this lady looked down on me like I was nothing, no respect or appreciation.
     
  6. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,449

    I've never been told that personally, atleast in those words, but i never undestood that. How hard is it for a customer to realize what they are are paying, the majority of their cost is the actual labor you are providing, not to mention know-how. What does buying a mower have to do with it at all?
    technically, anyone with a few hundred bucks can buy a piece of machineery, even my 75 year old grandmother... doesn't mean she's capable or able to do the work.:confused:
     

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