another fine mess im in

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by bobbygedd, Jun 10, 2002.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    dont know y i always seem to get the loonies. most of my customers are very happy, but here is one thats not:a woman called, she runs a small day care, in her house. in her back yard is a play area, swing set, sand box, very small yard, she wants to put something down to cover the entire yard, she had sod, it died, she asked for suggestion. i said, well the playground where i bring my kids is all mulch(sand was out of the question, she was afraid it would end up in her house). she said no to the mulch, she wants stone. i said a few reasons NOT to use stone=little kids eat them, kids fall and get hurt on them, kids playing, and going down slide, and jumping off swings on to stone will cause stone to scatter, and make a mess. she wants it anyway, i take a measurement, explain to her that each ton covers app 100 sq ft, app 2 inches deep, we do work, she pays bill, we r both happy. 2 days later, i get phone call: the work looks beautiful, but the stone is scattering everywhere, the fabric is comming up. and, she measured, its not 2 inches deep in all areas. i explain that the "2 in deep" is a basic formula, and that her property is not perfectly level, it may be 4 in deep in some ares, 1 and a half in others, she still got 4 ton of stone. she said that i should have "glued the fabric down". i explained that we cant glue fabric to dirt, and 8, 000 lbs of stone keeps the babric down, but when u have kids going down the slide, heels first in the stone, its gonna come up. well, she insists i need to return, somehow secure the fabric down so it wont come up, and put in more stone, for free. i explained that i advised her against the stone, and that all matters were discussed prior to the work, plus she has in writing the description of work, etc. also told her even 8 inches of stone will scatter when jumped on. she calls here 5 times a day, every day. well, now that ive written a book, i need some advice here, anyone be willing to return, and do the "extra", for free?
  2. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    You need to learn to say no!
  3. ccla

    ccla LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Just Curious, Why no astroturf? from what I've read the new stuff is very kid friendly
  4. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    What Paul said.

    If you think it won't work, tell them so and tell them you won't do it. If that costs you the job, so what? Otherwise, you're in the mess you're in.

    I don't think I have any good advice on this one, other than hindsight.

    I think any solution involves you digging into your pockets.
  5. BigJim

    BigJim LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    Hard to beleive a Day Care can put stones under their play ground equipment,down here it has to be bark mulch to a certain depth.Only quick fix would be to make some U shaped wire staples and pin the matting down with them.Should hold it in place till the check clears.
  6. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    Bobby, I would have flat out refused to put stone down on a kids play area!!! And if I was a parent that used her services, I wouldn't be to happy that she had stone as a base in the kids play area either.
    Know when to say no.
  7. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,899

    See ----

    The customer isn't always right.

    Did you pin the fabrc down - not that it would help a lot.

  8. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    nope, didnt pin the fabric down, didnt think it would help. the check cleared just fine, and i have no intention of digging into my pocket, i gave her exactly what she asked for, the rest is her problem. i was just wondering how others would handle this
  9. parkwest

    parkwest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 678

    Ask her to write done exactly what she would like to have changed. Make sure tro have her sign it and date it. Then, write up a change order with cost to do additional work. Let her decide if she wants the new work done at additional cost.

    Don't get in a pissing match with your customer, give them what they want, at the price you want.
  10. JR LeGer

    JR LeGer LawnSite Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 26

    I would not refund her any money nor would I modify your work for free. In this situation, you did not do poor work, you simply fulfilled a customers request. You explained to her exactly what would happen and she insited on having rock there. Yes, you have to keep customers happy, but on the other hand as a professional you have to draw the line--which you have done. I assume there is some type of contract which she signed which means she requested it. I have actually went so far as to write on a contract that something a customer wants is not recommended by our company.

    If she wants changes then she will have to pay for it like anyone else would. If you just went out there and dumped a pile of rock in the middle of the place and told her to pay up then she might have a complaint. You did the job as she wanted it done--told her it was not recommended and she insisted. Her problem.

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