What would you do?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by LawnBrother, Sep 24, 2005.

  1. LawnBrother

    LawnBrother LawnSite Senior Member
    from SW Ohio
    Posts: 867

    You pull up to a property you regularly service to find a lot of brush/tree pruning has been done sometime last week. The many small limbs have been piled here and there around the lawn, and left there. This is NOT one of your favorite customers (as a matter of fact you have given her a very undesirable nickname). It would take about 10 minutes to move the limbs and brush so you could mow, but know they would throw a fit if you charged extra. Do you: a. Mow around the piles, b. Mow over the piles, c. Move the piles for free, d.move the piles and put a surcharge on the bill. e.skip the lawn , f. call the customer and ask them what they want done before doing anything.
    Well, what would you do?
  2. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    Never skip the lawn, especially if you are getting paid by the cut. You are just screwing yourself out of money then. If the customer was around, I would ask, "you want us to take these branches/limbs away?" If she said yes, then I'd tell her there would be a charge. If she wasn't home, we would just mow around them.
  3. brinlee lawn

    brinlee lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 273

    I would assume they were left there for me to deal with, so I would remove the piles of brush and add a pickup fee on there next bill.
  4. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    I had this happen twice this year, one pyle not so big and they called the night before and no I did not charge her because the plye was maybe a wheel barrel full,NBD. But one other customer I had cleared her entire back yard fence line, she left them raked but still in the grass. I asked her if this was left for us and she said, of course, ya I was hoping you could just through them in your truck for me, I said sure, it will be $50.00 she kinda looked at me funny then I explained to her it will take us about 45 mins. to clear them, and it did. Then there is a diposal fee for other than grass clippings. It pyled up my truck (8ft bed-full sized truck) 2 ft over the cab top! WTF do people think? It probably took her the entire weekend to cut them down and she acts like it will take us 5 mins to clear it. So ya charge if its gonna take you more than a few minutes.
  5. Sir mowsalot

    Sir mowsalot LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 310

    Since this is a customer you dont like. I would not do anything. I would simply mow around them, and wait for her to call me
  6. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    I would do exactly what my contract says. Move them and bill at an hr. rate for the time it took
  7. Sharp Services

    Sharp Services LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 268

    I am sorry but I pride myself to much on doing a fine job. I would attempt to call the customer and if she did not answer either leave a message on the phone or leave a note on the door explaining that they were in the way and I could not contact her. I would then move the pile to the truck or street if, you have curb pick up for free, like we have here. I would then cut the yard and add a fee for the time it took to remove the trash.

    If she did not pay then I would not cut again ... it would be no loss to you since you want to drop her anyway.

    However, potential customers see your truck and sign at the job, then they see the yard were you cut around the piles and they say, "Glad this is not my Yard Guy".

    I think it could hurt your reputation if you cut around it and if you just skip the yard, then you have lost money.

    Just my 2 cents worth,
  8. RonB

    RonB LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 429

    You should do like many others have suggested and either charge extra for a few minutes of your time or just leave them or cut around them. That's the kind of attitude I hear from several new customers lately - when the old cutter gets dumped!

    Keep that "holier than thou" attitude. Workin fer me!
  9. Sir mowsalot

    Sir mowsalot LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 310

    Yea, and i dont have any pride in my work. sure. I have been doing this long enough to know that doing things like that for a pita doesnt work out. Only way it would is if what you charged them is a ridiculous low amount, or do it for free, in which case it leads to doing something else for free or a ridiculous low price, and on and on and on.
  10. mosmgras

    mosmgras LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Posts: 270

    This has happened to me in the past. I've moved them and mowed. In my case, all the customers were good ones (pay on time, easy to deal with). I was there anyway. I loaded and hauled them away. Yea... it cost me a little, but in the end I think it worked out ok.

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