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those stupid customers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by 65hoss, Oct 22, 2000.

  1. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    Two days ago, a customer called me at 10:45 a.m. and asked it I was planning to cut her lawn that day. I said yes, and I would be there before 1 pm. When I arrive about 12:45 she has the sprinkler running in the front yard. I turn it off and the ground is very wet. I do the other lawns beside her (2 others) and then return to hers to finish. I get to the back and as I prepare to leave the back yard I start sinking the mower. She as put a water hose at the entrance to the back yard after I get in and leaves the water running. I had ruts about 4 ft. long getting out. How stupid is this?

    Customer 2: Elderly woman with new house and new grand marquis, she asked me to dig up 2 holly bushes in the front and plant them in the back. I told her $35 which I thought was more than fair for probably more that 1.5 hrs of work. She said that was way to much and would only give me $20. The more I thought about it the more po'd I became. So I have now dropped her completely. People like this really irrated me. This is not the first time she has done me this way, so I know she will never pay me fairly.
  2. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Posts: 4,254

    Sometimes the elderly customers can be annoying. I had one who pulled a hose across her yard 5 minutes after I got there. This is one of the reasons that I concentrate on commercial properties, rather than residential.
  3. chrisbolte

    chrisbolte LawnSite Member
    Posts: 135

    Some are the best some are the worst= Weed out the bad
  4. Lawn Cruiser

    Lawn Cruiser LawnSite Member
    Posts: 78

    I had a guy who had Chemlawn ruin his lawn by over fertilizing it. This was after I had told him that I could do the fertilizing for him. He ran the sprinklers every day for at least an hour for 3 weeks. Then he had the nerve to tell me that I was ruining his lawn. I told him to find someone else, I don't think he belived me, that I was going to drop him until I sent him his final bill aling with a letter telling him I would no longer cut his lawn.

    BUSHMASTER LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 519

    I just feel i have to stand in for some of those older folks.
    i have 4 customers that fall in this categorie they're real nice,stay out of my way ,pay me what i ask for ,and never forget about paying, sometimes in advance,yea every once and a while i stop and chat if i have the time , and they completely understand if i don't. thier cutomers like veryone else and they deserve a little of your time but not to much what ever is fair. i don't say to many bad things about my customers because i ilke all of them i have learned over time to pick out the ones up front that are going to be problem and qoute them high enough not to get the job and when the unexpected true weed pops in just pull it out.
  6. Lawn Cruiser

    Lawn Cruiser LawnSite Member
    Posts: 78

    Bushmaster I totally agree with you on that except for the above metioned customer most of my elderly customers are very nice and do always pay on time and apricate the job that I do for them. The elderly customer is probabley the base of most residencial contracts that are out there.
  7. Stinger

    Stinger LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 252

    Listen to Bushmaster he is right! Elderly folks may be a pain but they usually pay on time, or at least before my high dollar customers do.
  8. What you need to do is offer an incentive for the homeowners to pay in advance.

    If they prepay for the entire year they get a 10% discount off list.

    If they pay on or b/4 the first of the month b/4 any work is done they get a 5% discount off my already inflated prices.

    In order to do business with me a homeowner has to buy my entire lawn care package that includes mowing (either weekly or on a 7 to 14 day cycle as weather and rainfall dictates) with
    fertilizations, weed, and insect control as needed and a
    dethatching and aeration in early spring and late summer.

    They actually never know what it costs them per each service. By doing this they can't screw up the works and you can provide quality results that will get you more accounts in that hood.

    If they don't what all the cultural practices needed to insure a fine stand of turf I just tell them to go find a
  9. curlawngreen

    curlawngreen Banned
    Posts: 309

  10. Nathan

    Nathan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 193

    Be careful with the old folks. I purchased a small company with about 40 customers, almost all of them retired. I would have to say that about 25% of them have some kind of quirk that upsets me for some reason or another. Most of the people with recurring problems have already been let go and we are working on figuring out compromises with the rest. The funny thing is that EVERY problem customer gave us a bad feeling from the very start. I guess intuition is a pretty good thing to listen to.

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