Levels of service and a vent

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Tom c., May 11, 2007.

  1. Tom c.

    Tom c. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 218

    Im just interested in finding out what you lawncare Lcos include in your basic mowing offers. Or do you have different levels of packages. I Just [well we both mutually agreed that we no longer wanted to deal with each other] lost a customer.This customer I got from another Lco, wanted weeds out of tree rings, weeds out of flower beds a bunch of string trimming around all kinds of junk, garden hoses left out etc.old tree stumps,cinder blocks, and wanted the sidewalks spotless: not 1 sliver of grass!! She was origanally paying 25.00 Then I got her to go for 30.00 and she became worse!! I have no problems with any of my customers but this woman thought I was her personal landscaper for 30.00. How much crap is to much! What do you guys include in your service or do you have different levals of service? ie: basic mow and trim, basic plus like shrub trimming, fertilizing,etc. And say like premium service including spring and fall cleanups etc. Just trying to get an idea what others include in their service. Plus I needed to vent a little!!!:hammerhead:
     
  2. David C.

    David C. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 246

    Basic mowing, trimming, edging, and a "dust off"(blow grass off drives and walks, etc.)

    Hedges, mulch & etc are extra $$$'s!!

    Is your lady account a US Marine Drill Instructor???
     
  3. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,328

    We have a new policy that if a customer complains three times then we drop them. One of our new customer has had a couple complaints and we took care of each one immediately. She send a email saying how happy she was, but our cancel letter was send at almost the same time....she was stunned. Almost like she wished she had complained. Our other new policy is no old people or people that are home when we mow.
     
  4. Liquidfast

    Liquidfast LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 739


    Of the handful of resi's that I do, they are always home and ALWAYS wanna talk yet are the first to inquire about MY whereabouts when I am late. :hammerhead:
     
  5. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    I do what they want & charge accordingly. My weekly services include the cut, trim, & blow everything off. I'm not going to spend all day there, but I make sure their lawn promotes the quality of my services. I also provide chemical applications at the regular 6-week intervals & landscape maintenance to be done as needed at a set or hourly price. "As Needed" is at my discression or if I am called, whichever comes first.
     
  6. Tom c.

    Tom c. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 218

    The customer I had the problem with was always a whiner. Always trying to get extras like weeds pulled, would complain about a couple of blades of grass on the driveway, small crap. I was ready to dump her in the spring but I had 4 other lawns on the same block. I check in with all my customers to see if their happy with everything and all are! I just dont think this one would have ever been happy. Now I feel happy!! Thats the way it should be. Lifes too short to deal with PITAS!!!!!!!!!!:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
     
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Double cut and striped, standard service.
    Line trimming, and clean up, of course.
    With the blower, ALWAYS spray off the customer's car, and any other nearby vehicles to get the dust off.

    Then there's always the stuff I find to do when I'm bored:

    Most of this is mutually beneficial:
    Low-hanging branches, clipped off and disposed of (they stop getting in my face lol)
    Small stumps in the turf, ground to the dirt (I found I can grind stumps with the Wb lol), or cut it off real low with the chainsaw -> Prevents trips and falls, not to mention hitting one with the Wb at full speed.

    Beds and sidewalks, gravel driveways and most surfaces that are not lawn, weed control included (round-up). In a month or so, crabgrass spot treatment is included (basically, so long the entire lawn doesn't consist of it). I'd say somewhere around 150 gallons of mixed solutions go out every year in this fashion. From time to time, spot lawn weed control as well.

    BIG holes (you know the kind, about swallow your Wb whole, usually a fox or some animal dug a big'n)... When I get tired of these, I buy 2-3 bags of dirt for $1 each and drop it in there, blam, safety issue gone. Reminds me, maybe one of these days I go get a cubic yard or two of dirt and just make the rounds to all those places got one or more of these holes, fill'm in and it's done, have a nice day.

    Then there's the odd stuff...
    Right now I got a bunch of seed nearing expiration, nothing much I can do but use it.
    So, 50 pound bag in the cabin of the truck, and I got a big empty plastic coffee jar (like folger's 39 oz) that I use, scoop out a jar full and hand spread it in bare spots whenever, wherever - It does make a difference, I just got rid of 50 pounds and I got another 50 pounder going in the truck tomorrow, throwing it away on the customer's lawns (as needed). Works really good on those scalped up spots or tire divots.

    Sharp blades installed daily.
    idk I forget the rest, but that's roughly it.
     
  8. JD657757

    JD657757 LawnSite Member
    from chicago
    Posts: 78

    I like your policies:laugh: :laugh:
     
  9. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Don't worry about it and DON'T offer services you don't want to do over this experience.

    I get at least one new one like this a year, if not more every year.

    Typically, they are most often little old lady widows that were "kept" all their lives.
    In other words, never worked a public job all their lives for one reason or the other and their husband kept them up until they died.

    I had another I just let go last week. I went and looked at the job, asked about what she wanted done, suggested and offered other services, and basically came out of the deal signing a mow-trim-blow & go.

    I was more than the previous guy, so it started right off the bat. I don't know, it's like they feel they should get more than their money's worth if you charged more than the last guy, or if you increased their rate with you from last year.

    She was complaining on week one, I was being helpful and doing a favor or two for a widow lady, and withing a week or two, still complaints and requests for additional work, special scheduling calls, ect.

    Like she had a couple of dang goat-hill embankments she asked me to trim. I did them as extra and cut her a bill, per the contract. The next week, when I was loading up to go she asked me if I was going to cut the banks before I left.

    I said no mam, but I will be glad to do it again for you. Just be aware that you are going to get two extra invoices, one after the other for the trimming.... and I went into the whole thing of offering to do it as often as she wanted and to add this service into her regular payment plan to make it easier for her to pay for....

    I was trying to be extra nice.

    See said, well I want it done every time you mow. So I asked her if she would like me to do an ammendment to her contract and make the cost part of her regular bill starting May 1st.

    She said, well I don't understand, the other guy did it for me. I said well, this was not included in what you said you wanted done, and as far as I knew, these areas were not your property. (turns out it didn't belong to her)

    Then I went on to ask her how often she had the other guy do it for her?
    Weekly? BiWeekly? Monthly?... and what did he charge to do it.

    According to her, he cut the grass for less and did the areas for her for nothing every week.
    Hummm... wonder what happened to him????
    Wow... what a big mystery it is why he went out of business.

    Anyways, been through it hundreds of times. I saw the writing on the wall. I just informed her that this arrangment wasn't going to work out satifactory for both parties.

    I reminded her that all I do is this, full-time, and it's my sole source of income to support my wife and children (something they identify with). No second job, no working wife as the family breadwinner, etc.

    I just told her I couldn't be her personal landscaper for $40 a week 30-some weeks a year because I had too many other customers that wouldn't be fair to, and that I could not do what the last guy did for her without ending up bankrupt like he turned out.

    I told her I would send her a final statement of her balance to date and let her out of the contract... and that if she paid that bill in full before next week or upon my return that I would continue to offer her a weekly paid-at-arrival service for a few weeks to give her a grace period to find a replacement.

    And I told her flat out that I suggested if she wanted any sort of dependable service at the price she wanted to pay, that she needed to find someone like a friend, family member or friend of the family that was NOT doing it for a living and didn't mind to do the work for her basically AT-COST.

    She was not the first, and will not be the last.
     
  10. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    That is really too bad. The only way to critique you workers is either you work right with them or you listen to your customer complaints, Also, knowing the new policy, all your guys have to do is screw up any job they might find difficult or labor intensive. Do that a few times, client complains,,,their problem is solved huh?
     

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