This is probably going to be a bit long, but just wanted to know what all of you think about this, and see if something similar has ever happened to you. Briefly, a young fellow who is a friend of mine, along with his sister, has been mowing yards in a nearby town for 9 years. This year they decided to quit. He sent out letters to all of his customers thanking them for their business and letting them know they would no longer be mowing. He included my business cards in the letters, and recommended that they contact me as first choice, and, I think (didn't read one), mentioned a couple of other local lco's if I couldn't/wouldn't service them. They had about 25 properties they mowed. Now I knew I wouldn't get nearly all of them, as they were entirely too cheap, having raised prices only $1 per yard in 9 years, but I figured I could possibly get half of them, which would make it a profitable proposition to drive the 20 plus miles over there. Part of the letters went out a couple of weeks ago, and the rest this last week. I had only had three people contact me, and thought this a little surprising, but figured most would wait until the last minute. I got one account for sure, one maybe, and one no, from those three. This morning, I talked to a friend of mine who has a business I service, and asked him about the mowing (he was one of their customers). He said a guy called him the other day and said he was taking over all of the Burn's accounts and would be there to mow. He said he'd call the guy back and let me mow it instead. It is a tiny job, but I'm doing the lawn right across the street. He said this guy told him he was going to mow across the street. I told him no, I know I have that account, for sure. I talked to Tyler, the boy who was mowing, and when I told him the name, he said he knows the guy, but he had never talked to him or his sister about any of this. Tyler gave me some phone numbers (was supposed to last week, but kept forgetting), of absentee owners I didn't know how to contact. Caught one at home this afternoon, and this same guy had called yesterday, so they went with him. Am I just being sensitive, or is this a chicken s. way of doing things? I don't have a problem with someone else trying to get the business, but to call people up and actually lie to them and say he has an arrangement to take over the mowing, that is something I'd never do. Thought about contacting each one of the people and asking what he is charging and tell them I'll do it for $5 less, no matter how low it is, but I realize that is an example of cutting off my nose to spite my face. Have any of you had anything similar to this happen?