In one ear, out the other....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by BRIAN GALLO, May 18, 2002.


    BRIAN GALLO LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 282

    Lately my customers don't seem to want to listen to reason. With all the heavy rain and high growth we have been having here, things are getting a bit out of control. Most of my customers REFUSE to add any more mowings to keep up with the growth, but feel the constant need to "beat" me up everytime I go out to their property. I show up on their scheduled day, end up having to go over the lawn 4 times to get it looking good (which has got to stop!) and they still want to complain about something! I am still giving them the same quality job they always get; with a lot more effort on my part - and they give me a hard time because in 3 days it's high again! When I try to explain about the effects of our weather on their turf I can see that they must be humming their favorite tune or looking at the sky or something because they just don't want to hear it. It's like they are mad because the weather is making the grass grow and they don't want to spend anymore$$$. What do they do if we have a colder winter than normal and they have to run the furnace more????? :angry:
  2. scottb

    scottb LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 408

    I know how it is sometimes I run into a few that seem to think that they know more than me about maintaing their lawn always complaining or suggesting makes me want to say if you know so much why arent you mowing it.
    But instead I just grin and bear it.
  3. scagman

    scagman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 270

    I know how you guys feel about bagging, but youll keep your customers and slow down the growth if you bag. Each time you mulch or discharge your giving 15% Nitrogen back to the lawn. Yeah its great for the grass but when Spring growth hits, it doesent need it. When summer hits thats the time to mulch or discharge. When it gets hot the lawn will hold alot more moisture from the clippings. If im at all wrong please correct me.
  4. P&J Lawncare

    P&J Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 531

    We are cutting every five days and if they don't like it I politely tell them to find someone else, so far everyone has been understanding and the only problem we have is the fertilizer companies are spraying the yards on the nice days which is also the days that we are trying to do our residential accounts. Next year I will be certified so I can control when my accounts get fertilized.
  5. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,050

    Scagman - Unfortunately, I think you're probably right about the N in the clippings just making things worse. I say unfortunately because I never bag whole lawns. I may bag in areas where I can't have any clippings (i.e. parking lot islands and pool areas) or for leaves, but never whole lawns. To me it's too much of a hassle dealing with the clippings and frequent stops.

    Brian - Growth has been very heavy here and I've had to slack may standards a little bit on some of my lower paying accounts, where they don't seem to notice anyway. I try to get away with what I can on the dumpier properties such multi-family residentials. That way I can still have time to keep my higher profile properties looking good. If there are noticable furrows of clippings in back lawns, I mow down the middle to disperse it and I use the blower for the areas that aren't as bad. It messes up the "stripes" a bit, but I'm not doing anything to stripe anyway, and I only do it in large rear lawn areas. In front lawns I've been double cutting a fair amount, since that's the part of the yard that most people see and most people care about the most. I've only triple cut one lawn area, and that is a bi-weekly. I've also been getting late starts on mowing (always after 10 am) to allow the grass to dry and I just eat lunch on the run and cut late instead, as there is plenty of daylight now. I've found that this helps immensely!
  6. Lawn Dog2001

    Lawn Dog2001 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,027

    I know exactly what you mean Brian. All the rain in our area has grass growing very fast. None of my customers mind a 5 day cutting schedule. The problem is we cant get to them that fast. I have totally stopped taking on new accounts because we cant even handle the accounts we have now. I keep telling myself "Just wait till June". Well june is almost here and the weather still hasnt broke. Very Frustrating.
  7. ADMowing

    ADMowing LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 175

    We had a customer here last year who wanted us to mow again for him (we have all customers on 7 day schedule). We mow on the same day each week and around the same time.

    This man asked us to come back during the week and mow again. I told him, "Sure, we'll put on the schedule again, but you will pay for that slot -- same as your are paying for your Thursday service, you'll pay for a Monday slot." He looked at me twice and I didn't even blink at him. He said that he'd bag with his walking mower in between our mows. We were happy to do the extra work for him, but he needs to pay for it. Same as everyone else.

    Now, this ame man has a hard time hearing too! We ask him to NOT water his lawn before we come because our mulching is not as good with the wet grass and we also have a greater chance of scuffing his yard with the ZT if it is wet. But does he listen??? Last week, we went out there and I asked him if he watered. He hung his head and said, "yes." So, I mowed and left clumps in his yard. This week -- the grass was not watered and the lawn looked beautiful when we left. He waited until we left to water. His wife is one of my best friends too and she just shakes her head at him.

    Sometimes the best way to make a customer listen is to tell them first -- then to SHOW them if they don't get it! Then, the light bulb goes off in their brain. If they are chronic complainers, maybe you need different customers.

    I've said it a lot, but for our own peace of mind and the fact that we do quality work -- we don't need to put up with complaining customers. Respect goes both ways!
  8. ohiolawnguy

    ohiolawnguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 391

    if we fertilize the lawn ourselves, we just deal with it. but, if it is one of those few remaining you know who fertilizing accounts, they either get mowed every five days, or they pay more.
    I refuse to lose money because of the actions of another company.(quick release fertilizer is just plain dumb)

    Oh, and BTW, if they don't leave a time and date on that flag, and I smell liquid chemicals, I may bag it up on a second cut just for spite.

    i really haven't had any customer complaints regarding the amazing growth thus far. Quite the contrary actually. Most of my customers completely understand.

    It apears that aroud here we will be having a cool week upcoming. this should slow the grass down, even if only slightly.
  9. Russ

    Russ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 539

    Wettest spring in Indianapolis in 102 years, and people don't understand why your behind. 12 in. of rain in 15 days, and people ask why you didn't cut the ditch behind there house. The grass is too tall not to cut and the ground is too wet to be on without leaving mud marks. When you do get to cut, it takes 2x the effort. 74 properties this year. 148 people to remind you that it didn't rain here yesterday between 6 and 8, you could have cut then.
  10. Brickman

    Brickman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,249

    I too have customers that REFUSE to listen to me when I ask nicely to NOT water on mowing day. Some of them start watering so late in the morning that when I show up to mow the last zone will have just finished. I tell them it won't look as nice and my mower will leave divits in the grass. Do they listen? H+++ no. So I mow, and leave divits. Do they care? Doesn't seem like it, they don't complain about them any way.

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