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Revenge on bad clients

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

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

    Sometimes, clients make me so angry that I want to take revenge. It's not sane, I know, but sometimes they complain or cancel with that attitude...it just ruins your day if you let it.

    And I'll be the first to admit, I've screamed at clients, yelled at them, told them to find another lawn guy and one I even to told "F***-you and don't you ever call me again." You know the type, the ones who talk down to you, insist on a better deal than everyone else...just regular PITA's that know exactly how to P*** you off.

    They can get you riled up, that's for sure.

    So anyway, another landscaper in my area, I have lunch with him every so often...he says if they make him too mad, he has, in the past, sprayed round-up on their lawn.

    Last spring, a lady called in to order our fert program. She had a bunch of dead areas in her lawn. I asked her if she had a lot of shade. No. Finally, I just told her "I didn't know, but it could have been vandalism. Did you have a lawn guy last year that you didn't pay or something? I'm just throwing out ideas."

    As it turns out, and I found this out long after this conversation, she lived right down the street from that landscaper I mentioned earlier and she was his former client.

    I'll betcha when I mentioned vandalism, something clicked in her head.

    So she made him mad. He took revenge. Now, she probably thinks very lowly of him.

    We're only human. And I suspect a lot of landscapers struggle with this issue. Obviously, I struggle with it as does my friend, who I now think did this. But I realize, he's my friend, and I don't look down on him for this. I've come very close to doing things like myself in the past lots of times, although I've never actually pulled the trigger.

    So, anyway, there's a whole list of clients and former clients that I'd enjoy shooting, or otherwise taking revenge. My problem, up until this morning, has been, if I take revenge, I run the risk of getting caught. What if it ended up in the paper (I have a pretty large business with a lot of brand-name recognition nowadays) and I could get thrown in jail for doing something stupid.

    So anyway, this morning, I came across THE PERFECT plan to screw someone over. And there'd be NO WAY to EVER get caught.

    But you know what the problem is with that? The poor guy who I'm getting my revenge with doesn't know I'm the one who did it! So, he'd have this bad thing happen in his life, but would it make me feel any better, knowing that he'll never know I'm the one responsible? I really don't think so.

    All in all, taking revenge without saying your the one who did it is pretty cowardly, isn't it?

    At the end of the day, I think our only option is to just deal with the clients who try to ruin your day as best you can. And be a better man for it.

    DLAWNS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,778

    Dude, I've had two people bankrupt me in my first two years of business. You don't know how badly I wanted to mess with them. But I think that is what separates the professionals. As much as I want to screw with them, I'm not going to risk my name for someone who isn't worth sh*t. They'll get theirs someday.
  3. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 16,977

    DFW just calm down and have a BEER or 2. No job or business is perfect and revenge will wind up hurting you a whole lot more than the person you do whatever to.
  4. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 7,053

    Well at this point, you've already incriminated yourself. You really should watch what you say on forums as well.
    This would be a solid argument in court.

  5. Tyler7692

    Tyler7692 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,086

    Quit wasting time and energy screwin with the idiots and use it to advance you business. Its called moving on.
  6. JS Landscaping

    JS Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 187

    I have been there before too with clients that pissed you off, had one who sued me even though he was the one who defualted the contract that was signed. Took a depost on a job for a small wall. Very small job that would only take 2 days to complete at the most. Schedueled delivery of the block, as the truck pulls up to deliver he comes out and says I can not have them deliver today becuase im gettin the driveway seal coated. So the truck is turned around and sent back to the yard and I was charged for a delivery fee. Happend 2 more times for 2 more bogus reasons, and the delivery charges added up to his total depost, plus my time lost and my scheduel being screwed up repeatedly as well as jobs I lost waiting to get this job done because I was booked out for the remainder of the year. I ended up telling him to find someone else to do it because I was done playing games on when I could do this wall and that his deposit covered my expenses of the 3 delievery fee's. He wants the deposit back, and ends up sueing me. I ended up loosing in court which I think was BS even though I had everything documented and receipts. Seem that this client was a long time citezen of the town and was in with the Judge. Being only 20 at the time vs. a 60 year old didnt help either. I felt the want for revenge but I realized what goes around comes around, he will get his own some day. Its better to keep your head held high with dignity and just brush it off and keep on going.
  7. MLI

    MLI LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ma
    Posts: 464

    You have to stay professional....period! If not....your no better than the rest of the wild animals out there. People piss me off on a regular basis, but if your in business,ya have to have thick skin. That being said....here's an ole trick I heard of many years ago. Call up your local gravel yard, and order a ten wheeler full of clay(wet HEAVY...did I mention HEAVY)fill. Go pay cash at the yard and have it delivered to dead beats driveway(right in front of garage doors).
  8. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,612

    I have always had a "independant" attitude toward my customers. I dont display it in anyway untill they cause trouble! When someone causes to much trouble, I will drop them in a heart beat. When I drop them, I am able to do it in an cocky way that lets them know I dont give a flying F#%^. I love my sleep at night!
  9. Green Finger

    Green Finger LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 839


    he's right. Been there got the T-Shirt. Don't take it personal:nono:
  10. Cross Cut

    Cross Cut LawnSite Member
    from SE Mi
    Posts: 51


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