aeration plugs not deep enough--per customer

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by NateinAtl, May 8, 2001.

  1. NateinAtl

    NateinAtl LawnSite Member
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 121

    I need some help. I scheduled an aeration for a customer several weeks ago. The day of the appointment he calls and says he needs to reschedule becaues he didn't have time to prepare his lawn (mowing and watering the night before. I hate when they do that, but said OK and we agreed on a new day. I went out on Friday and did the aeration. Once again the lawn wasn't mowed very short and it was very dry---but no call from the customer. So I went ahead and did the aeration. Around his leaky air conditioning unit I pulled up deep plugs and put that in my memory bank just in case. Low and behold, the customer called today and left a message that the aeration "didn't do too good". I haven't called him back just yet because I want to get opinions.

    When you break it down you get this: he is a former customer that knows he needs to prep his lawn.

    He already rescheduled on me. So he knows that I accept reschduling.

    Around his leaky AC I pulled up great plugs--not the fault of the equipment.

    His only complaint is the depth. Not missed areas.

    I kid you not, this is my very first call on this type situation in over 2000 aeration jobs that I have completed.

    I need some help before I talk to him. Do I satisfy him? (he is a repeat customer, and will most likely be a customer next year if satisfied). Do I say no?--I did my part.

    It is a small lawn, but I don't want the customers to feel they can push me around. That is Why I am getting out of mowing.

    Thanks in advance

  2. jeffyr

    jeffyr LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Tough call. You did your job. You have proof (by the AC unit) and you didn't miss any areas. I would not go back for free unless it has been worth it in the past (now making up for high charges) or will be worth it in the future (through more work and high charges).

    I have a feeling that you will not be seeing this one again though---it's unfortunate because it's not your fault. just my gut feeling.

  3. jaclawn

    jaclawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 490

    Just explain that is as deep as the machine can go under those conditions. He HAD the chance to water throrughly beforehand.
  4. yardsmith

    yardsmith LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 628

    Most times when a customer is unhappy they just want to be acknowledged; they usually don't expect a free return to repeat the service (MOST don't). If you can give a little & meet them in the middle, they wiil USUALLY be happy to know that you cared.
    As for your situation, explain that you changed your schedule FOR HIM, & he didn't water the lawn. You kept your end, & he didn't (for what ever excuse).
    Some areation is better than none, & what was done WILL benefit the lawn. Maybe you can schedule another aeration in the fall (fall is better of the 2 seasons), & maybe for a slightly reduced price. Good luck.
  5. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Messages: 3,485

    I agree with all of the above. One option would be to offer him another aeration at 50% off if he waters it the night before. With the cores you pulled this time, it will help with absorption of water and you would probably get a much better aeration anyway.

    I would kindly ask what his solution is since he choose not to water the lawn.

    I would not do it again for free! Has he paid you yet?
  6. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    Try educating him. Explain to him that around the ac it was softer and that it did fine on the rest of the lawn. It just didn't pull exactly the same. Explain that aerating helps water, fertilizer uptake, and oxygen to the roots. You get the point. Educate him before you try anything else.

    Look at the cool colors. :p
  7. NateinAtl

    NateinAtl LawnSite Member
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 121

    Thanks for your responses. I spoke with the customer today. A civil discussion that ended up that I will aerate his lawn again for 1/2 off the original cost. He acknowleded that I did my part, and that he was very willing to refer me to friends and neighbors. He also said that he will defintely use me nest year. So I'm somewhat please with the outcome. I did tell him that this has never happened to me, and that in no way can he call me to reschedule or ask that I do it again if he doesn't mow or water prior to this next time. He understood. Thank goodness it's not a big sod job or landscape job.
  8. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    Way to go!
  9. Fine Lines Lawn

    Fine Lines Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 447

    Tell him to drag his butt out there with an electric drill and make those holes as deep as he wants.

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