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Total Disregard!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Huften Lawn Care, May 17, 2003.

  1. Huften Lawn Care

    Huften Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Posts: 38

    Get a load of this. Yesterday while mowing a property in a $500,000 + sub-division, I noticed that my customer had raked some debris from planting beds into 4 small piles. As harmless as this sounds my $10,000 Walker is not made to pick up broken glass and a coat hanger which I had found when my gut instinct told me to get off my mower and check the pile.:angry: To make the situation even worse, the wood line where they normally dump debris was only a few feet away from where they placed the piles. Well there definitely will be a charge on the next bill, perhaps called a Total Disregard charge.
  2. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    I agree with ya but what happened?
    Did you pick the debris up for them manually or did you just mow around it.
    Some people are really oblivious to the fact that you have alot invested. It could also be plain ignorance where they don't care but I haven't often found that to be the case. Don't lose an account because you are pissed. Talk to them and explain to them what can happen to the mower if it pluus in items that will damage the mower. I have to believe that they really aren't trying to sandbag your operation. If you talk to them and they say they don't care then it is time to move on and let them find someone else to mow.
    I have pulled lots of **** thru my Walker by accident on commercial as well as residential properties and I get a sick feeling when I hear chunks go thru the impeller. They are tough machines but I know that there is a limit to what it will eat.

    Talk to your customer first and explain your side to them before accusing them of being wrong. It will build good relations and probably make them respect you and your machine a little more.
    Good Luck.
  3. Rtom45

    Rtom45 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 456

    Did the customer insist you mow through the piles? If not, you should have mowed around them - or picked them up. Its all about customer service, and if you lose a little time, so what. Accounts in a $500,000 subdivision are everybody's dream. Do what you need to hold onto them.
  4. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    From time to time I get the little piles in the lawn too, though not with the glass in them. It's amazing how oblivious some people are. And with many, if you dared charge them to clean up the piles of sticks and such they'd be offended.

    As for $500,000 + homes, they're not everyone's dream. It depends on your setup. I make just as much for my time or more on the $200,000 homes, and they're usually easier to cut (simple rectangles of Tall Fescue vs. intricately landscaped Bermuda) here.

    I've also noticed that the ritzy neighborhoods are just CRAWLING with activity during the day. This slows me down and causes me to have to be on the alert more. First, the wives are always home, since they don't have to work. Second, they have tons of service vehicles in and out, since they don't do anything themselves, and Third, they are bored and can't wait to rush out to find something to ask you about or suggest a different cutting height. Yesterday I cut one at a place with actual Polo Fields as an amenity. There must have been 50 people walk by, causing me to have to make sure I didn't hurt them, a garage sale going on next door with cars parked along the curb of the house I was doing, a painter giving an estimate walking around the house, and a pool guy who'd strewn filters on parts of the lawn I had to move. The lawn could be done in 40 minutes. Took me 55 yesterday. Not my dream at all!

    Give me a modest home with a lonely old widow in it any day.
  5. Huften Lawn Care

    Huften Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Posts: 38

    MOW ED, Thanks for the advice. I actually picked up the piles by hand and got rid of them. I forgot to mention, this is the same customer that while I was doing the spring clean-up she followed, trimming some shrubs and leaving the mess where I just was. If she was not my 4th customer on that street and if her house was not for sale. I would definitely say good bye!
  6. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    I would have picked them up and placed the lawn debris in the piles you spoke of.

    However I would have taken out the chunks of wood and coat hangar and placed them in a bag and left them along with a very polite note where the customer would find it.

    Perhaps a copy of one of your blade sharpening or spindle replacing bills along with the letter.............just to let them know how important it is to you. :D

    I would give them the benefit of the doubt this time.
  7. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    Now that I would have left right where it was! :angry:
  8. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    That reminds me. I had a customer, nice lady, come out and start trimming her shrubs when I was there mowing. IT's a postage stamp back yard only deal and I'm in and out in 15 minutes. Why she chose that moment I don't know. But even when I was to the area she was in, she wouldn't freakin' move! Finally I shut off and asked her to give me 2 minutes to finish up.

    Some people live such slow paced leisurely lifestyles that they just dont' understand that our time is money.
  9. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    reminds of a new customer that we just picked up two weeks ago. The first mowing there were trash bags that it looked like an animal had ripped open and trash was everywhere. We just picked it up and left a nice note saying could you please have the trash picked up for the next visit. Well, this past week we came back and the trash was all over the place again. I actually picked up the remains of a chicken that they had for dinner. So I politely set the chicken from the trash onto their BBQ grill Maybe now they will get the hint.:D
  10. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Posts: 3,010

    I don't understand what the big deal is.

    you saw the pile, moved it the same few feet you say the customer could have, re-mounted the mighty walker and all was well with the world.

    what would tiy have done if it was doggy doo?


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