the most unusual complaint i ever heard

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, May 1, 2006.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    a trainee of mine, in a neighboring town, called and asked how the heck to answer this complaint: the guy is just starting out, he has 15 or so properties, and he's no expert. he does a nice job, but u can clearly see by the way he handles the equipment, that he's new. he also has a crappy old truck. ok, so with my help, he is signing some clients. there was this one that called the evening after the first service. this is what he said- " i am very disapointed in you. by the way you guys talked to me, i was under the impression that you had a large business and were very experienced. instead, when u showed up to mow my lawn, you rolled up in an old unsightly vehicle, by yourself. we are not used to this. the services we've used in the past, would show up in a more presentable fashion, with 3 or 4 employees, and do a great job in less than ten minutes. you were here an hour and a half, and it looked like you were struggling to do everything. we are just very disapointed in the seemingly lack of professionalism." he said he asked about the work itself, and the client said the end result WAS acceptible. everything else, was not. i'm not even sure on how to advise him on this, as i, myself, use older crappy trucks, and have never had a complaint like this. i'm sure some customers have THOUGHT this in thier heads, but no one ever said anything. this guy is a bit upset. he's very professional, uses contracts, is well spoken, is very reliable, and an all around good guy. if it were me, i'd tell the client to go screw. but, he doesn't have that many to lose. my advice was to explain that he's just starting out, is under the guidance of a professional, and is doing the best he can. he should also ask why, if the work is good, is anything else a problem? opinions please
     
  2. Coreyb

    Coreyb LawnSite Member
    Posts: 146

    it seems the customer is mad because this guy misrepresented himself. so either the customer misunderstood or the provider is saying things to make people think he is bigger than he really is. it's a funny complaint, but some people like big fancy operators with nice new trucks.
     
  3. Mower For Less

    Mower For Less LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 823

    You guys arent thinking like BG yet. Just tell him that you will be happy to go out and get a nice new truck and a few more helpers, and his new rate will be $200 per cut. Or, he can keep his existing rate and level of service. Its good to give your customers choices. :rolleyes:

    Kevin
     
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,654

    Yeah, I would carefully tread around the matter to see about the possibility of missrepresentation on your guy's part, but if that is not the case then I would go with bg's advice to explain that he's just starting out, is under the guidance of a professional, and is doing the best he can. he should also ask why, if the work is good, is this ok? good, good, thank you sir. (well, hopefully)

    That last part of the sentence was changed from: is anything else a problem?

    Should the thing about the new truck stuff come up, explain this is coming but it's down the road a little ways and you can't quite see it yet but it's coming for sure.
    Thanks again. :)
     
  5. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    nobody misrepresented anything. i talked to him personally during the estimate. i do actually come across as very knowledgable and professional, but never once was trucks or equipment discussed . apparently, after my presentation , and the signing of the contract and everything, HE WAS SO IMPRESSED BY ME, that he thought he was gonna see a rolls royce roll up and three men in tuxedos jump out and make his lawn look like the one at the playboy mansion. mower for less, you got it right btw. i had a customer ask me about the fact that i don't send paper invoices. i replied, " u like the price right? if i have to pay someone to do invoicing every month, somebody has to pay for it."
     
  6. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,096

    I don't think its possible to misrepresent your company about being large unless you out and out lie! Not to sa he did that but..... Did he tell the cstomers he had a crew of guys with him or that he was a solo operator? I do all my work solo and have never heard anything like that.
    Its just the oposite, people compliment me on my ability to handle larger jobs with ease. My work veilches are not fresh off the show room floor either!
    That is very odd! What type of neighboorhood was this in? Is he still doing work for these people?
     
  7. ENDURO

    ENDURO LawnSite Member
    Posts: 64

    I bet I know why this guy is complaining. It's all about image to him. He wants his neighbors to see a big expensive looking operation servicing his lawn. Makes him feel important. You see it all the time. I bet he dumps you next year for a big fancy outfit regardless of how good a job you do. I hope that doesn't happen. Don't sweat it, you can't please everyone and if you try, you'll drive yourself nuts. Good luck.
     
  8. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,850

    I agree, Image is everything with many people.
    When I hire someone to do a job around the house I get kinda stressed too if the job doesn't go smoothly and takes longer than it should have--even if in the end the work is done correctly
     
  9. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Tell that customer to call me BG so I can tell them it takes years to get to the point everything is shiny and brand new. You've seen my op...did ya think I got like that overnight?:laugh:
     
  10. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    i wish it was that easy, good things take some time...:)
     

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