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you can't please them all

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Aug 1, 2004.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    i opened my emails, from 2 different clients, this is what i saw: " bob, just wanted to thank you once again(2nd letter i recieved from them) for the excellent work you are doing at our property. since hiring your service 3 years ago, i our property went from worst on the block, to best on the block. keep up the great work, and thanks again, jon do." Letter #2: '"we would like to cancel our contract effective immediately. we have given you ample time to improve our property, and we are very disapointed. in comparison to the other professionaly maintained properties in the area, ours is by far the worst. " customer #2 had a "lawn" that was more than 50% weeds when i started there just a few months ago. today, they have no weeds at all. thier flower beds are infested with weeds however, and they feel i should weed them (at no additional cost, over 3 hrs weeding!), because they feel that this is all part of maintaining thier property. they are also requesting a partial refund on the advance payments i recieved. they feel they are entitled to a refund, because they are not satisfied with the service. i explained that they will not recieve a refund. wether or not they feel "satisfied" , i did perform the work that we were contracted to do, and was making better than average progress on thier property, which was obviously neglected for years. i explained to them when they signed, that it would take at least a full season to get the lawn where i wanted it. they agreed to be patient, and let me do my job. with the work we did, and by recieving one payment a month in advance, we are square on the bill right now. would anyone give a partial refund? how will i handle it? a brief email stating the facts i just mentioned, and that's it. no more contact whatsoever. i'll ignore any further attempts to contact me. you can't please em all guys, unless of course you are giving stuff away. anyone giving a refund?
  2. BCSteel

    BCSteel LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 876

    Ha! Refund, thats pretty funny.
  3. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,757

    I'm new to this business, and my services are limited to the mowing and pruning the occasional bush or pulling a few weeds out of the flower beds, so I really have no expertise regarding property improvement. Heck, I have enough problem improving my own yard. But, it sounds to me as if you have fulfilled the contractual agreement, from your description of the work you have done. Therefore, I don't think you owe them a refund. However, you might want to give them something as a "good will" gesture to keep them from bad-mouthing you so much.

    On second thought, I suspect they will bad-mouth you anyway, so just use your own judgment. :)

    I've owned 3 businesses in my life, and have spent practically my entire working life (since I was 12) working in public, and I have learned that some people will simply complain about what you do, no matter how well you do it.

    A little story. My first business was a small grocery store in a small town, now virtually a thing of the past, but this was in the 70's. Soda pop then came in returnable bottles (how many of you on here are too young to remember that?), and I had one very good customer who came in every Saturday and did all her grocery shopping. She always bought two cartons of 16 oz Seven-Up. One week in mid-winter, the pop companies didn't run for a couple of days because of the low temperatures. Pop would freeze and burst the glass bottles. This usually happened a couple of times a winter.

    Anyway, this lady came in as usual on Saturday, buying her usual cartload of groceries. When she got to the soft drink area of the store, she couldn't find her 16 oz Seven-Up. She asked me why we were out, and I explained that the pop truck hadn't been here as usual, because of the cold weather they were two days behind. She paid for her groceries, left, and I never saw her again for the remaining years I owned the store.

    So, the moral of this story is you simply cannot make everyone happy, and many are looking for an excuse to not trade with you, and that no matter the level of service you give, they will still find that excuse. Neill
  4. Ray & Karen

    Ray & Karen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 138

    Mr. Gedd,

    You know the correct answer, as do I. I think I'll just sit back and watch as others judge. This may get good.
  5. Avery

    Avery LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,389

    No I would not give a refund. But my contract would have covered maintenance of the beds with an appropriate fee added in. Bed maintenance is part of maintaining a property IMO.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    Refunds should be given, in my opinion, only when-

    1) Work was substandard

    2) You feel its necessary for whatever reason to keep their business

    Sounds like these folks want a "pain & suffering" refund. Good thing you got their money up-front.

    The last lawn I cut yesterday, the guy put a lock on each gate, and nobody was home. So he only got his front cut. I'm sure he'll be whining for a refund too.
  7. jpmako

    jpmako LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 593


    Under no circumstances should you give any type of refund!
    If you feel that you completed your end of the contracted work, than in my opinion No Refunds.
    In my contracts there is a check box for bed maintenance(Weeding, raking mulch over). If the client does not request and pay for this service, it is a no go. I recently had a client ask me why the beds looked to terrible. My response was that they elected not to have the bed maintenance included in the contract.
    I told them it would be $80.00 a month. She said that $80 bucks was too much. I kindly explained that since the beds have not been taken care of all season that I would be happy to weed them for $300.00 and then sign another contract with the $80.00 a month for bed maintenance included. They declined so i ain't pulling any weeds...
  8. Ray & Karen

    Ray & Karen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 138


    I sent you a PM.
  9. EastProLawn

    EastProLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,110

    Refund ? Heck no.......
  10. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,218

    Bob, I don't think they deserve a refund. It is funny that you brought this topic up, I still can't figure this one out after spending more than half my life in this business. Some clients just absolutely love us, others treat us like the scum of the earth.

    Losing clients stopped bothering me when I realized that it made no difference in the bottom line. Every year, we lose or drop 8-10 clients, and every year they are replaced. By mid May, I am turning people away. My crew and I work hard and do our best, but there will always be people who are impossible to please.

    It just isn't enough money to make yourself crazy over. I can see getting upset about losing a $20K account, but losing a $30-$40 per week account? Really, just doesn't make a difference.

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