Went on a PITA dumping spree today.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by WHIPPLE5.7, May 26, 2008.

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  1. WHIPPLE5.7

    WHIPPLE5.7 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 958

    Earlier in the season I took on customers that were less than desirable because I was looking for all the work I could get. I had about 20 accounts but after today I'm down to about 13. These people didn't accept my original estimates and jewed me lower, always asked for extra favor like moving things around, getting rid things since I had a truck, etc. They never offered to pay or tip for these extras and they complained about almost everything. Last week one of them asked me to move an item since I was there. I agreed being the nice guy that I am. I ended up pulling something in my back and now I can hardly run damn trimmer or pick things up because of this. Today I decided it was all coming to a stop because I was in so much pain I kept locking up so badly I couldn't even walk. As I painfully made my way from PITA to PITA they as usual complained about this and that and after I let them finish I said I hope you remember everything you just said because you are going to have explain it all over again to someone who cares and then I told them I would not be coming back anymore. Now I'm soaking my back and wondering if its real bad or not. I don't have health ins. because I barely make enough to keep the regular bills paid for.
     
  2. jrush

    jrush LawnSite Member
    Posts: 215

    I swear up and down that the cheap ones and the ones who try and beat you up on price are the ones who want everything done "cause your there" My good clients who usually don't even ask a price normally don't ask for any extras... but the cheap pitas I don't even want to do (and have dropped most of them) think I have a black hole in my backyard that I can dispose of everything for free, and that extra time somehow does'nt mean more $$? Cheap customers are just that...cheap
     
  3. flakebortch

    flakebortch LawnSite Member
    Posts: 86

    You’ve done what everyone who’s ever had a boss dreams of doing. Firing with both barrels at the a$$ that makes your life hell. The problem is that YOU are the one who is making your life hell. Now, I don’t know the exact nature of your situation, but I am similar, so even though I’m lighting you up, I’m directing these comments toward myself as well. First, know that you are charging a fair price for all of the work that you do. Second, recognize a job in all of the subtext of what the customer is saying. Someone may mention that part of the grass you are paid to tend to is underneath the scrap lumber from their new addition. “You’re right,” you say, “and I’ve got another client nearby who needs a dump run, so I can give you a good price on that!” Leave that day without committing to the job or a price so that the good (********) guy doesn’t give away the farm. Get back to the client after you have figured out a price that makes practical sense.

    I guess it boils down to detailing expectations as plainly as possible and then keeping a professional distance from the client afterward.
     
  4. desert rose gardening

    desert rose gardening LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 387

    Good for you! Now you will never have to deal with those Bozos again!
     
  5. Lawnut101

    Lawnut101 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,254

    You'll be better off. I give people a price and if they don't accept, well I will turn them down. My prices are fair, so It's not like I'm trying to rip them off. Sometimes it's hard to turn people down, but it's just part of this business.
     
  6. gorknoids

    gorknoids LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 316

    Exactly right, Rosie! Now he can sift through a new, fresh batch of Bozos!

    Hey, we all do it. After a few years you'll have your schedule filled with good-paying, rewarding contracts with nice people. One of my 43 mottos is "The squeaky wheel gets the grease, but if grease doesn't work, change the damned wheel."
     
  7. Liquidfast

    Liquidfast LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 739

    http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=187402&page=7


    I was just discussing this today with one of or a thousand of the other members. One member even stated they would settle cuz they didn't want to nickle and dime their customers.

    I agree and encourage the charging for EACH and EVERY request a customer makes. Now, I don't mean the "Hey, can u pick up that cigarette pack in the gutter" type requests....but the can you remove this, plant that, squirt this, fert that type of request.

    Good for you! Dump em all. But keep the jewed comment to yourself...not fair and may offend.
     
  8. lawnboy dan

    lawnboy dan LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,712

    when we sold my moms house a few yrs back-i went on a anti pita spree-it felt good!
     
  9. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,157

    the 1/3 rule. If you keep getting rid of your lowest 1/3, whether it be customer or employee's, you will continue to raise the bar.

    Like cleaning out the deadwood, its something that has to be done
     
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Been there, done that, even this year.
    But I lost far less, this time around.
    So it gets better in time, by the way your back should be fine just get some rest and take it easy for a while. Oh and you were nice to them lol you should've seen me the last few years how I told them.

    That's what helps me, too.
    Anytime a customer asks for extras, if it's not something insignificant...
    If it's something that's going to take more than a few minutes, or more than a little bit of work, in other words it's more than pulling just this one weed...

    Get back to them on that.
    Nobody said you had to do it then and there.
    But, once we bend over backwards, they expect it.
    Kinda hard to explain...
     
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