Sort of a tell-off/explanation letter

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by carcrz, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    Tell me what you guys think. This is an extreme PITA customer that I have had for 2 years now. Calls about 2 times a week wanting something for nothing in the Spring & never hear from them until it gets drought conditions. I'm sending a copy of their contract & the first check for reference.

    ........................................................................................................


    Thank you for allowing us to provide our services to you this year. I hope that the following documents will help answer any questions that you may have. Should you have any, my phone is always available and an answering system is used when I’m not around.

    As you were told in the beginning, our prices are based on the average time it takes to care for your property during the typical growing season. As I am sure you are aware, it takes approximately 1 hour 15 minutes to care for your property in the Spring. It typically takes 30 to 40 minutes in the Summer and Fall months. We do this because it helps both parties budget their expenses for the year. We have the same bills to pay each month as I am sure you do as well. Unfortunately, the cost of overhead doesn’t change with the weather conditions. We all have bills to pay.

    Here’s a bit of a recap of how our relationship began: We were contacted in September of 2005 for lawn care maintenance. If you remember correctly, I was told that you had been having some problems with your current provider. I think you said that you were having some trouble getting them to show up or even being able to contact them. I was happy to offer our services. The price you were given for weekly visits was $XXX per week. We discounted this amount to $XXX as I always try to match a price if I am able to. You still received the same quality of service that you would have been given regardless of price.

    Now to move on to the present. We are still providing the exact same service that you received on day one – the same service that all of our customers have been receiving for seven years now. I have done everything possible to make sure that your lawn looks the best that it can under the conditions every week. I gave recommendations as to what should be done and when it should be done. Some of those recommendations were heeded and some were disregarded. All I can do is what I was contracted or given approval to do. I did not change my price when extra work was needed every week to correct the excessive clumps left from someone’s mowing too short in between our visits. I did not change my price when the city raised the street height & the shoulder now needs to be cut with a trimmer rather than with the mower. I have done my best to make your lawn look its best every week that I am there.

    I guess at this point, I will continue our services as we have been doing and as is outlined in the contract. If you chose to end the contract, I will finish out the year ending with the final day of October and we shall move in our own separate directions. There will be no hard feelings on my part as I have done my best to do exactly what I said I would. Best wishes to the both of you.
     
  2. Scagguy

    Scagguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,522

    That's a very polite and politically correct letter. However, if you don't want them back as customers next year, I would wait until the end of the season and said that they were being dropped for ---------fill in the blank.
     
  3. Littleriver1

    Littleriver1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 811

    I did not read it through because I couldn't stand it. I don't think your customer will read it all eather and just toss it and you. You probably spent a lot of time on it and that could be a good thing. At least you convinced me and your self your doing the right thing. I have never found PITA customers worth all that much effort, because they have no respect for such things. Just say, "For reasons not stated we will no longer be serviceing your property" Cut your losses and drink an extra beer.
     
  4. michael4d

    michael4d LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    I think I found this on the Gopher site.
    Its simple and to the point.


    Dear Customer,

    We are sorry, but due to extenuating circumstances we will no longer be able to provide our service to you. Please be advised that this letter serves as notice of discontinuation of services. We will continue to service your lawn for the duration of the next 30 days so that you may have time to locate a suitable replacement. If you are able to find a replacement prior to the completion of 30 days, kindly notify our office and we will discontinue service at that time.

    Thank You,
     
  5. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,910

    In my day job I have to give people bad news quite often and it usually costs them money. My boss is always telling me that my letters were written to make me feel better. He always says KISS, keep it simple stupid. Short and to the point, don't dress it up. State the facts and leave it at that.
    Your letter is too long and was written to please yourself. Just tell them you are no longer able to service their lawn. Really you know that you are never going to be able to work for them again. Sounds to me like they questioned either your prices or your methods, time to move on. It feels great to drop someone like this. I try to think how much profit I make on a customer and it's easier to drop them.
     
  6. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,317

    I agree....don't send the long letter, just something simple. And be prepared with reason for dropping if they call, but highly unlikely they will call. Don't get into long conversation with them on phone about who did what be short and simple and polite.
     
  7. SwihartServices

    SwihartServices LawnSite Member
    Posts: 154

    I definitely would be a little more assertive in that last paragraph. Mainly just get rid of the "I guess at this point" part. Tell them what your going to do.

    Other than that it sounds like a good bad news letter. If you need more help type "how to write a good bad news letter" in Google.
     
  8. swingset

    swingset LawnSite Member
    Posts: 231

    Explaining yourself never works. If they're too stupid, cheap or demanding in the first place, NOTHING you say will matter.

    Just tell them you're no longer going to provide them service, and let them learn their lesson with the next guys.

    If they call back next season, raise your prices.

    Viola.
     
  9. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    I'm more or less trying to finish out the season w/ them. The more I have read the letter, the more I see I was using it as a venting tool. I think I'll make a short letter w/ "our services will stop at the end of this month. Thank you for your business."
     
  10. jbannick18

    jbannick18 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 490

    Make it one paragraph, short and sweet. no need for all that explanation
     

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