Your most pita customer....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mcwlandscaping, Apr 28, 2007.

  1. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,164

    Alright, I want everyone to post about their most PITA customer that they keep as a client. Post why they are such a pita..........I'll post mine later :)
     
  2. lawnboy dan

    lawnboy dan LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,712

    well here is a doosey- wanted friday service at 20$ per cut-use 21 only- bagging of course! . if rain-i was to allow 2 days for lawn to dry out. could not mow in the am(morning dew caused mold if cut when damp) could not mow late in pm(heat of the day caused undue stress on grass if cut then) i was to alternate my mowing pattern every time to avoid ruts in lawn(with a 21!!!) would ask to inspect my blade for sharpness and here is the kicker-wanted me to spray down the underside of my 21 with bleach before every cut to avoid bringing a deasise or fungus from another lawn into hers!!!! she had open heart surgery and was back bitching at me in 2 weeks!- got lung cancer -had a lung removed -hardly slowed her down - i came up with a nickname for her.... the terminator!
     
  3. CutsForLess

    CutsForLess LawnSite Member
    Posts: 75

    I had a real good one but I finally let her go this year after the first cut. I mowed and did the edging and weedeating like normal for $40, which is right at my minimum. She would always wait until I got done and loaded up and then ask can you cut this down or do this and that, which I did for a while. She wanted all the leaves raked away from the fence and the brush cleared away from the fence so she atrted asking me to do that. The kicker is she wanted me to do it when I mowed and just cut out some of the trimming and stuff so it would not be more than $40 and I could do a little at a time. I am talking about 2 days worth of brush clearing. She thinks that a $40 mow job should include everything that needs to be done around the house, and could care less if you have a schedule. I would always spend a extra 30 minutes doing stuff other than the mowing, which I dont mind sometimes to help out but this is everytime. I told her I could clear the brush but it would cost xxxx amount of dollars and I thought she was going to stroke, so thats when she said well we will do it a little at a time and just give her $40 worth of mowing and brush cleaning, heck it would grown back up on the end I start at before I got finished. Well someother poor sole is dealing with it now.
     
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Anymore I run at first dawn :laugh:

    It's either a personality issue, or the lot is crap and they don't care, a few it's a credit / slow payment thing.
    The money part is easy, pay me for last or I don't show for next, thou it's discretionary I do use it.
    Hold my money hostage so as to delay the next cut = I might not show after I finally get paid.

    My solution for the crap lots has been to raise the price some and start them on a mild maintenance program, might not do any good but only time will tell and in the meantime it keeps me sane.

    Some newer pre-screening requirements that have helped:
    Any less than 10 cuts / year isn't worth it, if the lot even looks like I might not get into 10 / year, I'm done. That, or quote standard price +$15 (which pays for the mild maintenance program) so a $30 lot becomes $45, that helps.

    Existing customers with crap lots I couldn't see raising the price by $15...
    One or the other I recommended an immediate $100 or so first aid solution with one more to follow towards end of year (meaning at least 40 pounds of seed or several bags of lime or what have you now, then more later towards september). Every last one of those said 'ok I will get you to do that in september because I just dont have the money right now' and I went ahead and sent them the ole short polite letter saying I wouldn't be able to help them at this time.

    New customers with a crap lot, one look and a quote of +$15 and it's usually over.
    For those insisting and acting like they're going to do something (oh yeah I want you to core aerate and overseed and do all that to make my lawn beautiful, oh but I guess now it's too late, well in September for SURE) I say: Call me in september, I'm booked solid into late August anyhow.

    That took care of things for the time being.
     
  5. Palmer'sLS

    Palmer'sLS LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 535

    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: ...I'm still laughing about this..I have two ladies like this as well...
     
  6. RedMax Man

    RedMax Man LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,053

    Mine lives just down the street from me and i've been doing for along time. Before i got into landscaping i did her snow removal but i also do the mowing, cleanups and some hedge trimming and snow removal.
    She my cheapest only charge 25$ and she only wants it doen every other week.

    She asks me this season the call her before i come to cut the lawn incase it doesn't need it or she doesn't want it done:dizzy: Since when is it my job to ask if she needs me each time. She must think i just sit around waiting to go do her lawn:laugh:

    Last summer she asked me to drop the blades lower so i don't have to come as often.:dizzy: We've all heard this one before.

    Once she called my house and got me, she wanted to complain to my mom about some shoveling i did once, then she claimed all the snow melted before she got up in the morning.:laugh:

    The yard isn't that enjoyable to mow anyway, has a really steep hill in the back.

    She put her house on the market and i thought great i''l be done but and she will be living in some senior complex. It didn't sell and she decided to stay.

    Hopefully i won't have to do this to much longer. I dump the account except she won't find anyone else to do it and i do the house next to her and still make few bucks. What ever.
     
  7. Scagguy

    Scagguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,522

    I have no mores Pitas. Fired eight of them the first week of April. It's nice not having to deal with them and their attitudes any longer. We spent a fair amount of money marketing earlier this year and it's paid very nice returns so far.
     
  8. sweetlou

    sweetlou LawnSite Member
    Posts: 32

    I'll even give his name Amar, this guy follows you around the yard like a puppy, I almost ran him over 4 times last year with my stander he joggs behind me and when i turn hes right there, its not uncommon to find bricks laying in the middle of the lawn because he and his wife thought they saw a rabbit in the area I told him I happen to see another marker in his lawn again made of brick Im gonna throw it through his living room window with a bill attached of how much it cost to fix my 6000$ stander.Doesnt hesitate to ask my crew to make sure they blow every leaf out from under the deck even the ones a noreaster couldnt get to, all the time eating something that looks like feta cheese then wanting to have a conversation with me as he spits it all over the place on why I cant use my 21' mower on his property then asks before we go can we turn his wifes compost pile of who knows what in gods name consists of I sweare the smell coming from this thing could turn your teeth green and why I keep going back he's right dead in the midle of six houses on the block all in a row.This year I he catches me on abad day Im gonna run him over by ACCIDENT and worry about it later
     
  9. leeslawncare

    leeslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 649

    Well, I hate it for you guys.I've been runnig strong for 14 yrs now .an i have had my share of P.I.T.A.'s but none like your's I wish ya'll luck . Lee
     
  10. ed2150

    ed2150 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 174

    I've got this elderly couple (the man's 94) that refuse to let me put them on a regular schedule. They say grass grows at different speeds depending on weather and they just want to be able to call when it needs to be mowed, might be a week, might be 3 weeks.

    I've repeatedly told them don't call at lunchtime and expect me to be there the same day, ain't gonna happen. Every time though, it's "Can you come mow today?" After we did the first mowing the wife calls me about 2 1/2 weeks later to come mow and asks if we'll do a better job this time. Says there's places where I didn't mow the first time cause the grass is longer there. Tried to explain there's about 50 different kinds of grass in their yard and it grows at different speeds.......

    The man follows me around the yard looking for a blade of grass that might not have been cut but hasn't said anything yet. They are at the top of my "to be fired" list; next time they whine I'm gonna guarantee them they'll never have another problem with my mowing and ride on off into the sunset, never to be seen again.
     

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