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How have you been fired?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Vassk1, Jan 20, 2006.

  1. Vassk1

    Vassk1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 49

    Everyone here who owns a business has been dropped by a customer one way or another. What are the ways a disgruntled customer has done this is the past? What happens if someone is unsatisfied but not comfortable calling and firing? Will they just send a note in their months payment?

    I want stories, dammit!

  2. Gene $immons

    Gene $immons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,028

    Usually they send a note cancelling, or leave a message on the answering machine. I always try to find out the reason. If it has been a great customer for many years, I ask lots of questions.

    Lots of the time, they make up something.
  3. LLandscaping

    LLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,016

    We have not been fired by a customer because of quality. But we have had customers call and say they will cut there own yard or there grandson will cut it. These customer were all cheap and always wanted us to do something for free. We have had several customers that would gripe and complain about hight of cut (wanted it cut shorter), time we cut, etc. We had one client that tried to tell me that the lawn mower blades were on wrong. He had an uneven yard that he wanted cut short and it the cut was not even. This was after I had just cut his neighbors yard and it looked perfect.
  4. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    I have never lost a client from doing poor work, always been someone cheaper. Some have told me so, some have made up the above excuses about thier grandson or whatever, one accused me of spraying roundup along her fence and I reminded her I did not do that she did, then went on I did not bag it, told her she never asked for it to be begged, finally admitted she found someone cheaper.
  5. procut

    procut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,853

    In my opinion, you can never get 'fired', you are not exactly an 'employee' its really more or less cancelling service. In my expirience, its not calling back in the spring, or saying "I've found someone else". Sometimes "someone else" will be a 'friend' or 'neighbor'.
  6. dKoester

    dKoester LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,257

    You want stories read a novel.
  7. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    It's usually because they are moving,or cannot afford a service anymore,or they are going to do themselves
    I once had someone stop service because she was my "floater"and wanted a day of her own and I was too booked tight..told her before I took the work that the only way I could fit her in would be as a floater,meaning,after work hours,on Sundays,or if somebody was skipped that week.It was a clean-up,maintenance w/no mow..messy place w/lots of Oaks the kind that shed leaves all the time Pines and backed up work that had been let go for years.
    I did her for about a year like that..then she insisted
    on a day of the week same day..every week.I just could not accommodate her.I like to keep control of my
    schedule no matter what work I am doing and I have to be flexible..the minute you start giving everybody special days and times ect,you box yourself in and have no room to expand on other areas or to pick up
    one time good money when it presents itself to you.
    So we parted ways.
    It was civil and verbal face to face and that is how I like to deal with my clients so there are no misunderstandings about what is said or agreed upon. OK that's a story for ya.
  8. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    I find it odd that some guys have been in business for 5, 10, 20..... years and not one single time did someone get mad about something and cancel because of service deserving or not. I think its the "internet talk" thing again. But if it ever happens to anyone, which we all know it wont, they usually just stop paying the bill and stop awnsering the phone till finally you catch them and they complain about things from 10 years ago that you had no control over.
  9. PROCUT1

    PROCUT1 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from TN
    Posts: 4,909

    Scott Remember there are 30,000+ members on this board that are ALL
    the highest quality, highest priced, only uniformed, waxed truck operations in their areas.
  10. yrdandgardenhandyman

    yrdandgardenhandyman LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 953

    Well, since you asked, I had a customer whom I picked up the first year. She was one of those, "I'll call when it needs cut." kind of people. I put up with it the first and part of the second year. She would wait till the lawn got 6" long, then would call. I sent her a letter stating that this was unacceptable at the $25.00/cut price. That I would have to either raise the per cut price or she would have to let me put her on a schedule due to the time it took and the wear and tear on the equipment. In other words I would decide when it needed cut. She agreed to let me decide when it needed cut. As a matter of fact she was very cordial about agreeing. I told her it would be every 7 days during peak growing season and a maximum of 10 during the non peak growing season. The rest of that year she never complained and paid the bill on time, always. Then around July of last year she sent a note with her payment stating how I had lied to her and that I had agreed to wait at least 10 days between mowings. She stated that she had gotten a new guy to do it and that he agreed to a 14 day schedule and only charged $15.00/ cut. Fine. No problem. I did send her a copy of the agreement we made which stated the 7 days during peak growing season and a maximum of 10 during the non peak growing season, just to make a point. I thanked her and let it go.
    I ran into one of her neighbors the other day and she said she was always impressed with the quality job we did and how we were in and out in a short amount of time. She said that when her husband can't mow any more, (soon she said) that she would be calling us to do it. She says she gets a kick out of the other guy because he shows up once every 2 weeks in a '70's Ford Galaxy with a Wal Mart push mower in the trunk. He spends 10 minutes just getting the mower running and then she says she has to go inside and close all of her windows because he spends the next 1 1/2 hours struggling to mow the lawn. The mower apparently smokes bad, has no muffler and dies constantly.

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