how to tell customer he's an idiot nicely?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by olderthandirt, Oct 28, 2003.

  1. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    :angry: Did an install for a guy in July when we finish he tells us he's going on vacation for 2 wks leaving in 2 days. I asked him who's gonna water? no one it will be fine for a couple of weeks. So I tell the jerk it won't be fine it needs water. He tells me he will make sure to turn his sprinkler system on for when he's gone, and asks me to go ahead and program it now for the amount of time it should be on. I looked over at the guys because my hearing doesn't seem right and they all just walk toward the trucks except my son in law who just stands there waiting I turn back to this moron and tell him YOU DON'T HAVE A SPRINKLER SYSTEM, THEY COST TO MUCH REMEMBER? Oh I thought you put one in, I get the contract out and show him that he declined system. I tell him I will not be responsible for lack of watering. And again I hear it will be fine for a couple of weeks, rain will keep it wet, I got to get away from him or I'm gonna end up in jail, so sonny finishes talking with him. I get the call in Aug. my lawns not looking very good will you please look at it. Calmly tell him next time in the hood I'll stop by. I get to him within the week and low and behold it needs watering The lying low life tells me he's been watering it 3 times a day, every day. So I ask him why does it have cracks in the soil wider than my thumb and deeper than a screw driver and all he does is Sruggs his puny little shoulders and says he does'nt know. Sonny want to keep the peace [sometime I hate that boy] and says we will slice seed it if he promises to keep it watered and we will check everyday to make sure its wet. After about 3 wks its looking pretty good so we stop and tell him it needs some fert. Don't worry I got chem-lawn on the way should be here in half an hr. RRRRRRRRRRR but thats OK let someone else finish with him. Around Oct 1 get another call, lawn not looking good please check it for me. I call chem-lawn to find out when & what they applied, my friends the manager and he tells me they did send the truck out when the fool said they were on there way and then canceled them, nothing has been put on. So we get to his house and it needs fert bad. I tell dumb azz he should not have canceled chem-lawn and he want to know how I know he canceled them and starts griping about how we have a conspiracy with chem-lawn against him. Sonny boy says we will fert it. no labor charge [did I say I can't stand to be around him and wish my daughter would file for divorce] Now to my ? this #%^&$&* call and since his yard looks so good he has a lot more work for us and to please stop by and give him bid for new work. I thought about telling him I wish he got some kind of disease that would cause his genital to fall off but sonny says that not being very professional [gotta love that boy] ;) So how do you tell a customer there to stupid to work for. I swear even his money was dumb!!!:D I don't want to ignore his call or politely decline I want to tear him a new one professionally Mac
     
  2. Mike Bradbury

    Mike Bradbury LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 493

    you forget you ever met the guy.:blob2:
     
  3. yerturfsux

    yerturfsux LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Posts: 17

    This is crazy. Who is Sonny Boy? He needs a swift kick in the arse if you ask me. I had a customer like this. I held the 15 foot Birch up (still in container) and said: Whata ya think? Her reply was: looks great, carry on. I plant it, pinestraw the base and knock on the door: Whata ya think? Her reply: Love it.

    Two months go by, phone rings: "I don't like it now."

    My response: "Well ma'am, not only is my warranty no longer valid (due to you now watering w/ 50% round-up so it will really die), and I will not be back...Have a nice day"
     
  4. jwholden

    jwholden LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Posts: 218

    Just give a call during the day and say your too busy, don't do that type of work, whatever. Then recommend a competitor you really hate! :D
     
  5. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    Sonny boy is my son in law and has worked for me for over 10 yrs and he's had plenty swift kicks. He going to take over in a few yrs. And he believes the customer is always right or some crap like that.
    And I love your Idea jw, but I love all my competitors
    I know I should forget him and move on. This ain't the 1st bad customer and it won't be the last. But theres something about this miserable waste of sperm that tell me I gotta let him know he has the brain cells of a rock to even call me. I'm not suure he relizes what an azz he is
     
  6. newleaflandscape

    newleaflandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 348

    When my customers sign a contract with me it says right on there that we are not responsible for lack of care, or acts of nature. So we are not legaly binded. Although I do tell them if they plan on leaving for vacation or anything, to please call me and I will send someone there to water the stuff for no charge. This may seem stupid, but I have gotten alot of referals this way. It shows you care. We all know that you are in the right on this and that he is a moron, but thats just business when you deal with public. There is always a nice way of dealing with things. At the end of the day just poor a cold one and forget about them. If I got angry at every customer like that I would have a nervice breakdown. Alot of times if they seem like the type of people like travel alot too, I figure the price to have one of my guys go water the stuff for a couple days anyways. The best thing though, is my grandpa is retired and bored but is still in real good shape. He loves it when I call him and tell him I need him to go water a residence for the day. I just pay him for his gas. And hes a real people person, so alot of times he will sit in chat with neigbors or customers. So its a win win situation. But always remember "the customer is always right"
     
  7. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,205

    Thats hilarious........
    :D

    have you tried explaining to him why you hate working for him, and why he is upsetting you? maybe hes just and ignorant buttom pusher in this modern society we live in. maybe he'll perk up and realize hes being a moron.
     
  8. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,366

    Just did an install for someone just like that. All he did was moan and complain about everything we did. After being nice to the guy I snapped. I told him "listen, I have been doing this for a long time and know what I am doing. Stop watching my every move, and just be concerned with the final product." After the job was complete, he told me he was more than satisfied with our job, and wanted to give us more work. I simply told the guy we weren't available. :cool:
     
  9. yerturfsux

    yerturfsux LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Posts: 17

    I agree to the fullest w/ customer service, calling back, etc....but when someone is a complete idiot, I tell them. Life is too short to get jerked around. I'm not rude about it unless they are rude to me. At that point, my labor just increased.
     
  10. Woody82986

    Woody82986 LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,128

    As long as I am treated with respect I have no problem with being as courteous and polite as possible. But when someone insults my level of common sense and intelligence, I lay into them and don't stop until I am done with my venting. Those vents are few and far between but every once in a while I get one that just needs a course in basic comprehension.
     

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