Had a bad day today.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by o-so-n-so, Jan 5, 2005.

  1. o-so-n-so

    o-so-n-so LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 1,218

    First out...Helper is 1 hour late....not good. So I start with equip maint. (done everything but check the gas level because I THOUGHT only lite use since last fill)

    Second....Get to a job and start mulching...run out of gas in the TTHP (lite day...thought I had enough.)

    Third....I didn't put the gas can on the truck so I put mix in TT to get on trailer....go to the closest store only a mile or so away. Get out my checkbook...NO CHECKS..jump in go to the next closest station of the gas credit card that I use for business 5 miles away. Fill up and back to the job site where my helper is on the Z mowing.

    Fourth...Start unloading my TTHP and notice my edger missing...yep..either stolen at lunch or fell off top rack..gone...Stihl FC 85.

    Fifth...Get home ready to watch the ballgame. A customer calls. This customer is 89 years old. I've been doing his leaf clean up for 4 years straight. Been charging him $250.00 for the job since year one. Customer says " mr osonso, I tought you said you charged me the same this year as last year". I say "thats right mr. customer it was the same $250.00." Customer says " you only charged me $200.00 last year. I say "I'm sorry mr. customer, I'll return your $50.00 tomorrow. Mr. Customer says "I would have never paid $250.00 to get those leaves up, I'd lettem lay before I paid that.

    Now, I make a copy of all checks recieved. I go back and sure as the world turns, I charge him $250.00 last year. I have the check. Now tomorrow I am going to his house (about 25 miles away) and give him a crisp $50.00 bill and a copy of last years check as well as this years check and say this " I 'm sorry that you thought I would be dishonest to you. Its not worth $50.00 to me for you to think that I have taken advantage of you. Here is your 50 and also a copy of the check you gave me last year for this very same service. I'm sorry mr. customer that you will have to find another person for you leaf clean up from this point on. Have a great day, and tell the mrs. I said hi. take care.

    That what I call a slightly bad day....



    later.
     
  2. Lawnchoice

    Lawnchoice LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 781

    Unfortunately we are not working but I had a similar day last fall.

    Broke printer - printing invoices
    Broke PDA - with schedule information inside
    Broke wifes LCD monitor
    Broke light on trailer
    Bend bagger on Z

    I just started to laugh as I am sure you did.

    Tomorrow is a new day my friend........sleep tight !
     
  3. Duramax99

    Duramax99 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 203

    Why are you giving into him?? Why don't you show him last years invoice?? Your doing that job for the same amount that you were when you first started? Are you making a any money on it??
     
  4. o-so-n-so

    o-so-n-so LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 1,218

    Im not giving all the 250.00 back, just the 50.00 over what he thought the charge should have been. It was a money maker. Im not even interested in continueing the business relationship now because Im sure this old man has drug my name all up and down his road..
     
  5. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Posts: 3,010

    O-SO--how did you get paid first and then him call to complain about how much he paid you?

    GEO :confused:
     
  6. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 1,010

    Man,you're in so much money right now you won't miss that $250.That new customer,who you did the leaf job for,will more than make up for this guy.Sorry about the edger though.
     
  7. spcfoor

    spcfoor LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 261

    He is only giving back $50 not the whole $250. He is still keeping $200.
     
  8. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,746

    I feel for you on all the issues, and can most closely relate on the matter of the $250 bill as I've dealt with similar situations in my previous retail businesses, and, I always got madder than a hornet. However, remember for a minute that this guy is 89, and, in all likelihood, really believes he only paid $200. I'm a whole lot younger than that, and still sometimes don't remember things exactly like they really were.

    Now, maybe he is just a pain anyhow, but it seems to me that writing him off is one of those "cut off the nose to spite the face" scenarios. I would go visit him, with last years cancelled check, and nicely try explaining it to him. You might end up with an apology and the leaf job for as long as the old fellow lives. If not, you can shove the $50 in his face and leave with your pride. Just a thought. Neill
     
  9. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,835

    No kidding. ESPECIALLY, if you plan on getting rid of him as a customer anyway.

    I've had things like this happen several times. It's pretty easy to handle, if I am not in my office when they call, I tell them that I'll research it as soon as I get back and if I owe them a refund, I'll gladly refund the money I owe. Then, when I get back in the office (or if I was already in the office) I check their history in Quickbooks real quick (takes 10 seconds or so to find a year-old transaction). And then I say, "Here we go...Let's see. Last year I sent out an invoice on October 15th for $250.00. And my records show I received a check - check number 452, from you, for $240.00 on the 29th of that month. Do you have your check register handy?"

    That pretty much puts them in check mate. I get out of the situation with my respect and still have my $50.

    It also shows the customer that you keep maticulous records and they aren't going to be able to pull a fast one on you.

    p.s. a business owner should always record the check number whenever they receive any payment. I can't tell you how many times that's saved my butt over the years.
     
  10. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,835

    BTW, let us know how this goes. I am curious how it turned out with the old fart.
     

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