Just had my first complaint-initiated site visit for the year, A 4 acre apartment complex. When we got the call in the spring the owner was specific, trim bushes 2 x, fert & squirt 2 x, no mulching, they would have the maint crew do it - he's trying to be conservative on service spending this year. I don't know how most of you do it, but we throw in weeding the beds if we get the mulching job and can ensure it's done properly. Most of the time when someone like this says they will do the mulching, and they're already scrimping on services, the mulch will be so thin that weeds are everywhere. Anyway, the property manager was complaining that the beds are weedy and wanted to know why the property doesn't look as good this year as it did last year. I didn't know who did the property last year as this is our first year with these apts. I had stopped in and checked with the owner - not the prop manger - several times and he was always pleased with the work. But the prop manager just kept going on and on about how much better the service was last year. A little research, our bid was nearly 2k less than the contract from last year. You can bet for 2K more the place would be a lot better but when you are given tight parameters to quote what do you do? So now I've got the prop manger wanting to switch back and the owner trying to save $$ yet now is leaning towards the prop mangers pitch that the services were better last year. I asked her to be objective and try to compare apples to apples. As I was leaving I had that rotten feeling like this is short term...so do I push the owner to purchase more services or let his prop manger squeak him into it. Problem is if the prop manager had her way she'd hire the guy from last year.