Lost one to a scrub

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Mar 29, 2004.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    This guy calls me last week from my ad in the yellow pages. We set an appointment for 3:00pm that day. I drive out and make it right on time. The lawn is full of weeds, the beds have no mulch and they're over run with weeds. The back lawn hasn't been mowed all season.

    The guy comes out and explains that the hispanic gentleman who had been doing their lawn last year hadn't showed up this season and his phone was disconnected, so he had personally mowed the front lawn but not the back.

    He signs up for my service. His wife comes out about mid-way through my sales pitch, so I re-explain the service to her too. They want weekly mowing, lawn fert & weed control, new mulch with bed cleanup and my bed maintenance plan. They pay for the last month up front. That evening when I get home, I send them my standard new customer welcome letter, promising a $25 credit on their September bill as our way of saying thank you for this opportunity. We stop by the next day and do all the work. The place looks nice when we leave.

    I send my monthly statements out the following day, which was last Friday.

    I get a call today. Their hispanic lawn guy showed up this week and the wife wants to go with him because he did such a nice job for them last year. I ask them if my price is ridiculous, he says "No. Like I said, my wife just wants to use the same guy as last year." I ask him if being insured is important to him. He says "Yes, but the wife just wants the other guy back." I ask him if they were pleased with the quality of the work we did last week. He says the same thing. He liked my work, he likes my insurance, he likes my price, but he's firing me for a guy who can't pay his phone bill and doesn't show up until March 29th.

    Maybe the guy is lying. Maybe he didn't like my work. Maybe he didn't like my prices. I don't really know for sure.

    But if this hispanic gentleman can't pay his phone bill, especially in the spring of the year, he probably can't pay his sales tax bill (if he even collects it) and I'll bet anything this guy has not a penny of insurance. Good chance he's never filed a federal tax return either.

    I work very hard to gain a customer and do my best to keep them happy. I'm just pizzed off about this whole thing. If I didn't show up to my customer's home until March 29th and had my phone disconnected, I'd expect to lose that customer for good, no matter what I had done in the past.

    I'm back to my "turn every LCO into the state comptroller for sales tax investigation" way of thinking.

    Guys, we have an entire industry that doesn't feel that our country's laws apply to it simply because we don't have a store front.

    And don't tell me to just focus on my business. I was focused on my business and I just lost a customer to a scrub. I don't care what you say, if the guy doesn't pay his phone bill and allows it to be disconnected in March, I guarantee he's not paying a lot of other costs that I'm paying. The guys is a scrub, plain and simple.

    Now maybe the customer didn't like something about me and he just didn't have the guts to tell me about it. But I've never had customers cancel like this before. Not after just one cut.

    If you think you aren't competing with the scrubs, you're insane. They are our competition whether we want to admit it or not. All I want is a level playing field obtainable only through law enforcement.

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  2. packerbacker

    packerbacker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,433

    You seem a little upset about this. You cant change the guys way of thinking, obviously he doesnt have the backbone to tell his wife "tough", and why would you want a customer like that anyway? Sounds to me like the guy has no loyalty at all. Your better off without him.
     
  3. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    I would agree, you would be better off without him
     
  4. Doster's L & L

    Doster's L & L LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 616

    Thats alot of reading, DFW. Is there not a way to have condensed it a bit? Just asking.
     
  5. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Posts: 4,205

    How do you know he was a "scrub"?
     
  6. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    ++++I would agree, you would be better off without him++++

    How can you say that? Look at how loyal they are to their lawn guy. The guy completely drops the ball and they still give him their business. I'd love to have these folks as long term customers. But instead, their money's gonna go to a scrub.

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  7. packerbacker

    packerbacker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,433

    Obviously there is something behind this that we and DFW dont know but the point is he went over to do the work and it looked nice according to him yet they chose the guy from the year before, i sure wouldnt want a customer like that
     
  8. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    ++++How do you know he was a "scrub"?++++

    The guy can't pay his phone bill, allows it to be disconnected in March, yet you want to give him the benefit of the doubt that he's current on his federal income taxes (if he even files a return), current on this sales tax (if he even collects it) and current on his insruance (if he has any).

    Yes. That would probably be the order of priority with the average landscaper...allow the phone to be disconnected in March so you can remain current on taxes and insurance.

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  9. packerbacker

    packerbacker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,433

    DFW, how do you know he didnt pay his bill? I had my phone disconected once on accident for a week. You may be assuming something.
     
  10. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Platinum Member
    from zone 6
    Posts: 4,318

    So what in the conversation led you to believe the "hispanic guy" is operating a illegal bussiness. You make multiple allegations, borderline slanderous statements about this guy because his phone was disconnected? Wow
     

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