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Had the Last Laugh....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MowerMoney, Oct 14, 2006.

  1. MowerMoney

    MowerMoney LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 282

    One of my clients, a senior widow, calls me the day before her scheduled cut week before last, and tells me that her lawn did not require cutting that week. (she has done this a few times over the summer when it wasn't growing quite as fast) Anyways, I'm thinking, all the other lawns have been growing like crazy and hers was very long the week before when I cut, so how is it that hers has not grown? :confused: Also it was just fertilized a few weeks prior.
    I had to pass her house anyways, so I stopped in to look and sure enough, it was 6" to 7" long. When I talked to her, she seemed upset that I came by to look but still insisted that it did NOT need cutting. :confused: I get the feeling she must think that since I just cut grass for a living, that I must be stupid. :nono: So I told her that I probably won't be back next week either as it needs it THIS week. I was going to drop her. She has been a pain in other things as well. :hammerhead:

    Well I got to thinking that I want to show her just how badly that it should have been cut the week before so I called the next week and asked her if it needed cutting now. :dizzy: She replies "Yes it needs it now. But only if you are going to charge me for just one cut". (That was the perfect question) I says "Sure, I'm only going to cut it once".

    I NEVER leave clippings showing on the lawns. Double cut or even bag if I have to (for customers that don't cancel cuts) But on this cut, my mower was having trouble going through at normal speed. Had to slow right down. Even then it was leaving some uncut strips. The grass was 8" to 9" long, thick & wet. Still, it took about the normal time. What a friggin mess. Looked like a hay field or worse. :laugh: She left my payment in the back porch like usual, so I scooped that and left. (and I probably won't be back)
    I don't like to leave lawns like that but I needed to prove a point.

    Sorry for the long post. What would you guys have done?
  2. djsp24

    djsp24 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 34

    i would have personally kept it and double cut it anyways to look good for the reason that all her neighbors are going to see the work you have done, they DON'T know she skipped a cut, they just know what your job looks like and how you left it. Also, you said it yourself, she is a single elderly widow, probably living on a fixed income and sure she might be a pain, SHES OLD, shes allowed to be, but i still dont think that would justify poor service especially when all old woman do is talk, might have lost her and a group of neighbors as well....... just my 2 cents!
  3. surgeon83

    surgeon83 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 49

    I'm not sure if I would have gone that far, but if you did the normal amount of work for the money, that's fair. Most people charge extra money when its been two weeks and it doesn't sound like she was willing to do that.
  4. CuttinUP

    CuttinUP LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 337

    I don't blame you for dropping her and doing it like you did.:clapping: I had one like that last year and about a month and a half this season. She wouldn't even call me to tell me not to cut it , she would tell me when I show up the same time and day that I did each week. Oh yea, it was 3.75 acres of weeds with irrigation!
  5. ECS

    ECS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,733

    One should never lower their standards. You should have done the job as you said you would and did the best you could. You may have thought you got her back and had the last laugh, but you are burning bridges and and giving your name a black eye.
  6. markam70

    markam70 LawnSite Member
    from USA
    Posts: 223

    Your work is advertisment so it's your image and reputation on the line. People see you there on a regular basis and then see the property like that. They don't know the whole story, just the fact that the lawn looks like he** and you're the one responsible. So much for any new work in that neighborhood.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I agree, first these are problems that because of pre-screening I very rarely run into, so and for all the flak the guys give me for turning away 'potential' customers and my 'rules' and being hardcore, perhaps there exists some sense in it, but more importantly there also exist rules for me to follow, and doing the above is in full or partial violation of the following:

    - NEVER use company equipment to take out frustration, such as what might be done to take revenge or 'show' someone some thing.
    - NEVER use your knowledge against the customer or to their detriment, don't put what you know to bad use.
    Solution: Walk away, ignore their calls, and so on: This is far easier and cheaper, it may be borderline rude but it can't be proven as there is no visible evidence and yes it's kinda homo but it's also the easy way out. I've even agreed to some bs knowing full well I'd never show up just to get off the phone, again yes I'm being a homo but it's a lot easier and cheaper.

    That having been said, I do find some humor in it because I have seen yards before where some Lco had done just that (and I was there to estimate the work), which gave me the warning I needed to get outta there lol... But I don't and I won't do it, that's one thing that's a big no-no :nono:
  8. burns60

    burns60 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 291

    She may be perfectly happy with the way you cut it and the way it looks, but you aren't. So next time she skips cuts you either have to do the same thing and leave it looking like this or double cut to maintain your reputation.

    It may backfire on you. I know it is aggravating when you have a customer like this, but she won't live forever so don't do something you will later regret.
  9. Maitland Man

    Maitland Man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 175


    ...I'm on the fence here. I could see myself doing the same thing. And if I didn't have the intentions of retuning to that job site...only the people that ACTUALLY saw me do the service would know that it was me. If I were you, I'd call this customer IMMEDIATELY and let her know that you spent the same amount of time on the yard, received the same amount in money as normal, but because the yard looks like total crap, that you will not service her property again unless it is by your scheduling terms....and that you are REALLY upset at her for putting you in that position of either you taking a loss in income- on her behalf, or you make yourself look unprofessional. YOU get the easy way out this way. :waving: You can still do this.

  10. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Posts: 10,812

    I felt great when i did what you did:laugh:

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