You are a thief, you silly "Lawn Boy"

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by OnMyOwn, Aug 22, 2006.

  1. OnMyOwn

    OnMyOwn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 372

    These are actual words muttered by my latest, ex-client. They hired us to do an "hourly" clean-up in June, to which we completed to their greatest satisfaction. They paid in July (~$1,900), then this "lady" from the H.O.A. called today to voice her displeasure with our pricing.

    After becoming agitated and telling her that I did not appreciate being called a "thief", "dishonest", and a "Silly Lawn Boy", I told her good luck with her future service providers to which she remarked..."I could do it myself in (10) hours! It took me and a crew of (4) guys 6 1/2 hours to complete the project at a rate of $40.00 per mhr.

    Moral of the on your guard in Indy, Granny has a lawn mower and hedge clippers and she is going to take over the business of us silly Lawn boys.

    By the way...they are (were) a weekly mowing account!
  2. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    Arent condos grand? A bunch of old bags whose husbands died forcing them to sell their house and buy a condo. And who gets blamed for these unfortunate events??????????? The world!!!
  3. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    You need to learn to deal with the elderly, they have a differnt way of looking at a $1.00. They lived when that $1.00 was a weeks pay!
  4. SproulsLawnCare

    SproulsLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    from IN
    Posts: 365

    I understand that. Sad thing is, that $1.00 only pays for a pack of gum now days! I'm sure that the elderly can see that, they just want to get by at the old rates.
  5. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    Ok. Perhaps. Then how would you have handled the situation with some old grumpy lady calling up and calling you a theif, dishonest and a "silly lawn boy"? Let's hear how you would "deal with the elderly."

    See my problem with [some] of the elderly is they are just plain rude. I don't have any problem with anyone asking why we charge so much. At face value, our hourly rate of $55.00 per man hour seems a little steep to some people. Especially older people who used to get yard work done for $10 an hour or less. But as long as someone approaches me politely with a question as to how come we charge so much, I am glad to politely explain why. I have heard that question enough times that I already have a memorized response. And after I am done explaining it to people, they always understand where our hourly rate comes from and it makes sense to them. But if they start off the entire conversation rude, as this lady allegedly did, then I'm going to take a little different tone. It's tough to be nice and respectful to someone who isn't being nice and respectful to you. And you're suggesting we do??? :confused:
  6. mowmasteruk

    mowmasteruk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    Don't lose sleep over the "silly lawn boy remark". As people get older they get grumpier, it's a known fact. Over here we have a couple of TV shows called "Grumpy Old Men" and "Grumpy Old Women" in which ageing celebrities have a moan about todays world - you should hear them! And I know for myself that at age nearly 60 I am much better at telling people off than I was at 20.
    Seriously though, it's best to insist on quoting for a job that size, then everyone knows where they stand from the start.
  7. mowmasteruk

    mowmasteruk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    OK, let's have it - I could learn something from you!
  8. 2nd Chance

    2nd Chance LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 86

    AS long as there is a guy or gal that will work for next to nothing ,your rate will always be to high for the elderly or anybody else. but there is Hope every day that goes by there is fewer and fewer of these so -called scrubs willing to work for nothing . when a person in this business gets to where they don't have much debt and a lot of the financial pressure is off then stick to your guns ,set your price and don't back down one cent.
  9. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    I would have started by trying to explain how 5 guys at $40 a man hr = $1900.

    She might have been the treasurer of the HOA and was under the impression that 5X$40= $200 X 6.5 = $1300

    Appearently the poster did not do a good enough job explaining this part because she was not happy. In all my years I never had a customer START a conversation in a rude and disrepectful way for no reason they may work up to it when it becomes heated or they feel cheated.

    But to answer your question, I would have asked her why she was displeased after paying the bill? I would have explained how I arrived at the price, I would have apologized for not making myself clear on the amount the bill would be.

    Now you answer my question. How many elderly people do you deal with that Start a conversation in a rude and disrepectful way for no reason? :confused: I find the elderly to be the most respectful of any age group to have to deal with AND the fastest payers
  10. DynaMow

    DynaMow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 570

    Mac you are absolutely correct. They are friendly, respectful and do pay quick. I find the elderly very easy to deal with and love working for them.

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