wanna make enemies, or go broke?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Apr 26, 2006.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    ok pros, here is a list of things that have happened, in the past 3 weeks, and tell me how to handle them. #1- 3 weeks ago, did aeration and seeding as well as create 2 beds to be used for seasonal color. both were flowered using very healthy pansies, and mulched. returned today to check on the lawn progress.......not a blade of grass grew, and half the pansies were dried up and dead. knocked on the door, the lady said that her husband will start watering today, he hasn't watered yet. #2- aerated + seeded a different client roughly 3 weeks ago. same scene, they never watered, almost no germination. #3- same as #2. #4- put in several shrubs in late fall. client was told to DO NOTHING as far as fertilizing. 26 out of the 30 shrubs are dead. her husband told me that his wife, after i left in the fall, fertilized them once a week with miracle grow, till it was too cold to go outside. i refuse to spend one red cent of my own money to reseed, reflower, or replant for any of the above customers. u know damn well, when thier lawns don't grow, and the shrubbery + flowers don't come back to life, they will expect me to make it right, for free. please advise. make enemies? or spend my own money, to keep them happy?
  2. SOMM

    SOMM LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 426

    That's the reason we never plant until the automatic irrigation system gets turned on. So they don't have an auto system, or one that was turned on?

    Just let 'em know zero replacement warranty was ever featured, expressed or implied, because you were not the one responsible for their watering schedule -
    the job was solely priced on labor, materials, machinery-hours, and installation tools required.

    Even when they don't want to sign an agreement, we hand them or mail them a "disclaimer" sheet with watering instructions of 10-15 minutes per zone daily (regardless of rainfall under their stories-high trees) for first two weeks and at least thrice weekly thereafter for next 30 days.

    You need backup, Bobby, we'll fly air-cav out to ya for tonight's 8:59pm knock at their door....just red-smoke the target or green-smoke the LZ, depending upon how the negotiation goes with them. Our spotlights will be on. We can grab some Woodchuck Draft Cider from Vermont, and then go frog-gigging in The Hamptons after that, ok?
  3. upidstay

    upidstay LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Posts: 1,349

    Did you tell them that they had to water it? We used to leave detailed written instructions, and called them to tell them we had left them the detailed written instructions.
    Next time, just wave your magic wand. Much easier that way.
  4. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Posts: 3,010

    bob--for once I agree with you...if it's like you say.

    kick them to the curb.

  5. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    Detailed watering instuctions 2 copies 1 for me and 1 for the customer. They have to sign my copy that says I have explained how and why to water and that all work done is to there satifaction, any failure of seed or plants to die or failure to thrive is the customers responsability. Signed copy and a few pics of the finished job and it will eliminate a lot of the frustration of dealing with the general public. BTW-- make sure they see you taking pics. there worth a 1000 words when the threat of court comes up.
  6. chimmygew

    chimmygew LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 576

    Someones signature line once said, "stupid people deserve to suffer".
  7. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    Agreed..Bobby don't you protect yourself like this?
  8. CutInEdge Lawn Care

    CutInEdge Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 677

    I always add a $100 or more for revisting the work done. If they balk I wont due the work. I take pics before, after, and usually at two weeks. I make them accountable before it gets to that point. Good Luck!!!
  9. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    yes, of course i do. it's not about protection, it's about losing every one of these clients, if i refuse (already did) to replace/repair lawns + shrubbery. what a damn shame. all were very good customers
  10. PGA

    PGA LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 710

    The plants or shrubs should have guarantees on them from the nursery or wherever you bought them at.

    Tell the customer you will replace them at your cost to make them happy and then take advantage of the guarantee but ONLY if they pay for labor again.

    Seeding on other hand is their fault. There is no way I would prep and reseed unless they paid again.

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