weedeated trees

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by cutbetterthanyou, Jun 20, 2007.

  1. cutbetterthanyou

    cutbetterthanyou LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,178

    I had a customer call last night complaining that we killed her trees with the trimmer and wanted them replaced. First off, I think she was tiring to get over on me for her not being able to plant them correctly, because she said that over the past 3-4 years we killed 6 trees. I don't know about anyone else on here, but if they were mine and i felt it was the lawn care company's fault i would have called pitching a fit 3-4 years ago not let someone kill 5 more.

    When she called she immediately started ripping off at me how i was going to replace them and so on. I have never been this much of a A$$ two a customer, but when she called, i had water coming through my ceiling and 4 bud lights pumped into me, so i was a little on edge. We augured back and forth for a while i told her it wasn't my fault, that i did the best i could trimming around trees in a 2 week yard that should be every week. The grass around the trees was very thick and i couldn't feather the throttle like in other yards. She said i shouldn't trim at all if i had to hit the trees .I said i refuse to not trim a yard it makes me look bad to potential clients and if i couldn't trim she could find someone else to cut her yard. I also told her that it wasn't my fault that the trees got hit if she had planted them correctly they would have had mulch around them. She said, she didn't have time to do all of that. I told her it wasn't my problem that if she couldn't plant trees correctly and maintain them she shoudn't plant them at all and i wasn't paying for jack!

    I do feel in the wrong to a degree, but i also feel like the yard needed to be cut every week,or something to shied the young trees from the trimmer. what do you guys think or what would you tell her. Please don't even comment if you are going to say that i am a a$$ that it is my fault. If that is how you feel tell me politely i am not really in the mood for people on here to act like jerks. Thanks and sorry its so long
     
  2. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    on young trees, if you knock bark off or open up a wound on them it will kill them....
     
  3. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,307

    Your mistake you are going to have to replace the trees, you can't hit any plant and not expect some damage.
     
  4. deereequipment

    deereequipment LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 370

    You're an a$$ that it is your fault.
    Seriously, if you hit the trees, it is your fault.
    They could have been pulled by hand.
     
  5. SilkKnitter

    SilkKnitter LawnSite Member
    from Zone 5
    Posts: 57

    Well you should know better than to expect not to replace something that you killed/broke on the owners property.

    You are right that she should have called her lawn care guy years ago, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't replace the tree. Yes she was being a >insert curse word here< ! You should have tried a little harder to not lose your temper. Call her again and calmly explain yourself again. Let her know that you are going to replace the tree. Apologize for being an ass! Just expect her to be rude, but be nice.

    If the account is in that bad of a shape to begin with, why in the hell are you maintaining it? Try to get her to spruce it up a bit. Give her an estimate for mulch and dirt. She might decide to go ahead and do it. Unless she is that big of a >insert curse word here<.
     
  6. cutbetterthanyou

    cutbetterthanyou LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,178

    I called her back and aploigized for getting rude and told her i still felt that we were both in the wrong, but to keep her from bad mouthing me i would replace the trees(with mulch around them). Some of them were young, some were not . I told her they would be smaller trees that they were replaced with because i still don't feel like i am all to blame and can't afford to replace 12 foot trees that i am not sure if i really killed. I also asked about roundup 4 years ago but she said none in here yard ( now all of a sudden it is ok ). My question new question is for the future what do you do in this type of yards and don't say hand pull because ALL of my custamors are to cheap to pay the extra $ and i am not doing it for free.
     
  7. cutbetterthanyou

    cutbetterthanyou LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,178

    your so funny do you have nothing better to do than try to piss people off
     
  8. Lohse's Lawn Service

    Lohse's Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    from US
    Posts: 213

    This type of situation is a pain in the rear, but if I was in the wrong, then I would feel obligated to fix it. Not simply out of because I did it by accident, but if word gets out that I did that kind of work, what good would my business be? Hate to say this, but you probably could have handled it a little more professionally when she called to complain. You are in the wrong business if you can't deal with customers' complaints.

    In fact, I couldn't see anyone being successful in any type of work if they can't handle complaints. Behind the scenes, yes, you can vent, but when she calls you like she did, you are giving yourself a bad name when you argue with a customer over the phone or even worse in person. If people are too picky for you to handle, is it not better to pass them along to another company, rather than set yourself up for disaster? Consider this experience a lesson learned and NEVER argue with a customer, that's childish. You can get your point across just as well if you use the right words. Be professional. Do not take this as criticism, but advice. Good luck buddy.
     
  9. DiyDave

    DiyDave LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,695

    What you need to do is to have a disclaimer handy. What a disclaimer is is a little piece of paper with some words on it. Kind of like this " lawn care operator agrees to trim around unmulched trees with a weed wacker at no extra charge to homeowner. Homeowner agrees to hold lawn care operator harmless in the event that the trees are killed or injured by the operation of said weed wacker" Have the homeowner sign and date, and you're off the hook, in the future. For now, though pony up and buy some trees!payup payup
     
  10. The Captain

    The Captain LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 607

    After you've replaced the trees, check out "Growers Supply" or some other supply house and get some type of guard or boot to protect the lower 6"-12" of the trunk. You may be able to make something out of corragated drain pipe. They don't cost that much and you should be able to trim with some degree of saftey.
    Just a suggestion....
     

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