So I lost Two Clients today to some kid...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Church2224, May 4, 2014.

  1. Church2224

    Church2224 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 519

    I live in Virginia. Last week we had tons and tons of rain and it has pushed me back for days. Two of my clients are friends and told me they would call me when they wanted me to cut their grass together. So I get a call from them yesterday (Saturday) asking me to come out and cut their grass then, and I told them I would not get out to their properties until Monday due to the weather pushing me back and I am catching up.

    Well my friend, who lives next door to one of these clients, calls me up while I am at another property to ask if I finally for a zero turn rider, bright orange one too. I told him no, and he said well then some one else must be mowing my customer's lawn.

    Sure enough, it is some high school kid with a Husqvarna ZTR from Lowe's driving in his lifted jacked up Chevy Silverado cutting their grass. Man, I was PISSED. I asked the wife of the client who he was and he said that their friend, who I also cut grass for, sent him over.

    Did I do anything wrong or where these just weird clients to begin with? Apparently this kid is driving around asking people if they want their lawns cut and he is doing it for them.

    The sad thing is I am on good terms with my competitors in the area, and we respect each other and never try to ask each other's clients for work. But some kid comes in and just says screw it and takes a working man's clients....damn...
     
  2. gcbailey

    gcbailey LawnSite Silver Member
    from WV
    Posts: 2,564

    That's life man... It's the same around here. There are about 5 of us who are full time. We respect each others properties and the such, as far as I know. You see guys running around all day in beat down trucks and pawn shop mowers trying to make a buck. I suggest aiming for more discriminating clientele rather than someone who just wants the kid down the street to mow, blow and go....
     
  3. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,762

    Sounds like a nice truck
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  4. Church2224

    Church2224 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 519

    Psh...I am a Ford Guy :laugh:

    But I do respect a kid trying to go out there and make a living, but at least he could have done a half way decent job in the process. I mean, he was atrocious. And taking a man's clients...
     
  5. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

    Over the years I have found that some customers only care about price, some only care about being on a schedule, and some really do care about quality work. The only two I can control are schedule and quality. Very rarely do we get behind schedule, but when we do crap happens like this kid your dealing with. I only buy machines that cut well in wet conditions. We mow in the rain up to the point where the turf get to soft.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  6. Church2224

    Church2224 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 519

    Yeah I tried getting out there right after the rain stopped but the ground was so saturated even my 21s were digging into the ground.

    Problem was that was had thunder storms and it was raining so hard I am not even sure if it was safe so even drive out there. Plus there was not even a schedule. They just like to call me when they are ready for it to be cut.
     
  7. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,867

    So what move on. And when that kid quits when it gets hot, and they call you again, DOUBLE the price on them.
     
  8. echo

    echo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,686

    I definitely charge more when they call back.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  9. TX Easymoney

    TX Easymoney LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,068

    There's your first mistake...assuming those clients have loyalty to you without a contract of some sort. ..then not getting there when they expected or wanted you there. Crappy clients anyways...ditch em and don't look back...your life just got a little better.
     
  10. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,144

    This is the reason why I was out mowing the very next day, this crap has happened to me too many times, I learned to cull these Johnny-Come-Latelies with their homeowner mowers who usually pop up right about now and stick around until it gets hot, these guys will target your customers and I mean they will go after yards that are serviced by someone like you or me, they don't have no qualms about that so show up early and work longer hours on those catch up days, how I do things, you need to show up the instant it quits raining... I mean the roads won't even have dried up completely, water still dripping from the trees and I roll out!
    As for the water, it wasn't that bad in most places but one yard I did have to take my shoes and socks off and weed trim the entire area.
    If you think it's going to rut you have to manually trim the area with a string trimmer, only way I know.
    No funny Johnny-Come-Lately guys for me this year.

    And it is a pain but I guess it boils down to which pain you tolerate best, you can try and fight it but there's more every year, they stick around just long enough to become a pain and then most disappear as fast as they came. You can try and increase the price of those customers who come back but good luck with that.

    They did have a contract, it may have been verbal but don't make the mistake of assuming people won't breach a written one, unless you work for a pretty large company in which case this thread wouldn't even exist. These folks, all they know is there's this hungry looking dood at their front door smiling half-cocked and offering to mow the lawn for (probably no more than you do it for) and these people who once were your customers can't say no...?

    Especially if they called you and you said no, you can't.
    I don't do that, I tell them I'm on my way and if they ask if it will be today I say "as soon as possible I am doing everything I can!"
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2014

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