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Is the customer always right?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Barkleymut, May 23, 2003.

  1. Barkleymut

    Barkleymut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,117

    Yesterday I fertilized a yard which the homeowner mows. When I approached the property I thought man does it look like ****. Usually it looks awesome. The tips of the grass looked like it had been mowed with a 2x4 or something possibly even duller. I didn't think the homeowners were home so when I was done spreading the fertilizer I started up the blower and began clearing the driveway and sidewalk. Then "she" came out. "My yard looks like crud. You haven't been fertilizing it correctly" Me-Uhhh, when was the last time you sharpened the blade on your mower? "My hubby just changed it last week right before I mowed the lawn" Me-Do you mind if I take a look at the mower? "Why?" Me- I'm just concerned about your lawn. "OK" Well I tilt up the push mower and yup the blade which wasn't even the correct type of blade was on upside down. I proceeded to briefly tell her she had just given her lawn a beating much like Mike Tyson used to administer. Hopefully the lawn will recover but man did it look awful. Being the nice guy I am I took her old blade which was still fairly sharp and sharpened it for her. Today I will go back and reinstall it on her mower. If she EVER cancels me for fert service I will go off on her.
  2. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Posts: 3,010

    barkley--you were pretty nice to...take a licking and keep on ticking!;)

  3. EcoSystems

    EcoSystems LawnSite Member
    from Memphis
    Posts: 9

    I think you did great, I know I get tired of educating clients, but I beleive that is part of the job.

    For example, I put in a mulch path way for a client (which is what they wanted) and we then got 11inches of rain in 15 days. Guess what some of the path washed away (it was only about a 2 sq. feet of path that had no mulch), needless to say the client was unhappy. I never thought I would have to educate a client on the fact that mulch washes away, but now I wish I would have given alot more disclaimers before I put it in. Lesson learned and you are good example of how to handle to clients.
  4. lawncare3

    lawncare3 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,981

  5. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,076

    That is a very nice touch to wanting to find out what was causing the problem and correcting it by sharpening the blade and installing it correctly! Most people will notice this type of extra attention and hopefully your customer will.

  6. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Is the customer always right?

    Nope...but they always remain your customer and you just have to do what you think is right in any given circumstance. Whether you go the extra mile or just plain tell them you think they're from another planet, I have found that honesty and being straightforward for the get-go is the best way to conduct business.
  7. jsr2741

    jsr2741 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 392

    Heck no.

    Had a customer a few weeks ago telling me he wanted me to put the cover plate over my discharge. Said my mower threw grass to far and he didn't like that.

    I knew if I put the cover plate on and mowed his yard as high as it was it would look like **** but I did what he wanted. Sure enough when I was done (approx an 1hr and a half later, usually takes me 35 minutes total) there were big piles of grass everywhere.

    He comes out yelling at me, I tell him that I did it exactly the way he wanted it. He asks are you going to fix it, I said yeah but its going to cost you the price of 2 cuts. He said "what!" I told him if he'd minded his own business in the first place I would of been done half hour ago and it would of look good as always. If you continue to insist on me mowing with the discharge chute covered thats what it'll look like and the and thats what it'll cost to make it look decent. He said "no way."

    I said, your house sits on a corner of a busy thoroughfare, I've picked up business just because of the work I've done on this yard, no way am I going to do work like you just wanted me to do, and then turn around and make it right without you paying for it, it's my reputation. I then promptly told him I would no longer be servicing his property and left.
  8. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

  9. KenH

    KenH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Posts: 1,622

    I had a fert. customer argue with me he had crabgrass in his lawn after I applied the pre-m. The problem??? It was the first week of may!!:(
  10. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    the answer is no. if u r an experienced professional, the customer is almost always WRONG! i wouldnt have sharpened anything for her. why? because instead of asking your opinion, advice, and how can we solve this problem, she assumed you were incompetant.

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