Another what should you do

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by LAWNGODFATHER, Nov 14, 2001.

  1. Ok here is the scenario.

    Cutomer has an invisable fence. It has been broken sevral times in the past and none by us. I have fixed it all the times. Wire is exposed from erosion in sevral places. They have 6 kids, motorcycles, go-karts, and other toys to rip up the turf.

    We did a leaf removal and now she clames the wire is broken.
    I refuse to fix it this time. It could have been broken for a while no less, but who knows.

    I have a few thoughts on it:

    1: Fix it and add to all contract, not responsable for improperly installed invisable fences and Irr. systems, for next year.

    2: Let the fence guys fix it and add an hour to here bill for the leaf pick up.

    3: Tell her to get the damn thing fixed after it has been exposed for many yaers.

    4: Tell her off!!!!!!!!

    What do ya'll think I should do?
  2. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    I think I would tell her I'm not responsible for hidden things in the lawn. Improper or exposed fence that could not be avoided can't be your problem.

    Kinda like when aerating. I hand markers to the homeowner to mark their sprinkler heads. I tell them if they are not marked I'm not responsible for them if damaged.
  3. lawnMaster5000

    lawnMaster5000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 591

    i would probably fix the fence (again) considering it really only takes a few minutes to do, but also tell her that its not your responsibilit to do such and she needs to have the fence fixed. Then add the costs and such to next years contract price.

    Considering the fact that this is a big money account it will be well worth a few dollars and maybe 20 minutes to fix this. The costs of repair can be added to the next seasons contract price and they will never even notice. The costs of fixing are minimal and reward great, where as the costs of not fixing would propably be loosing the contract and the reward would be a few dollars saved and little bit of your time.

    Be sure to make it clear that its not your responsibility to do this work and she needs to have the ground repaired in these areas along with any other damaged areas of the property. If you are capable of doing this then may want to add that as an off season project.
  4. Let me add a few things.

    Customer is a BLOND female (peroxide I would guess. Ya know what that does to female brains)

    Kids ride the Dirt bike over that spot.

    The dogs batteries in their collars die and they don't replace them. The dogs unburry it and other various things in the lawn.

    The broken spot is in a very shaded part with very little grass and lots of erosion. It is also exposed in sevral places too. With lots of tree roots around it.
  5. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    Your description makes it sound like a showcase yard.

    If there is absolutely no possibility that your crew was at fault then stand behind your guys and explain to her how you believe that happened. If there is a possibility you did it then explain to her how you are using power equipment to clean her yard and there is no way you could have seen this hazard.

    I guess you have to weigh the benefits of keeping vs. flushing this customer. Do they contribute well to your bottom line?

    Either way I think I would end up fixing it to keep my name good then evaluate weather or not I would want to do work for the customer in the future. Sometimes these disagreements result in more business and good P.R. especially if they don't take much to resolve.
  6. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,899

    I'm w/ MOWED on this one. If you fix this again for free, make sure the client knows this is the last time unless your staff definately damages the wire. Make a note to staff on your route sheets to be careful of wire and to report damage done to wire to crew chief and yourself.

    Speaking from experience: We got a call about damage don to someone's underground wire to a night lighting system after we edged and mulched beds. I checked out the complaint only to find that it was another company who provides lawn service that cut wire when edging sidewalk. I did repair for free and showed client damage done and how it was done. Kept a good account too. We dont mow the lawn as a competitor mows 12,000sq ft for $24.00 when we get $35.00, but we do all other work - fert apps., mulching, pruning and landscaping.

    Second case, hit invisible fence w/ bed edger. Client got it repaired by fence company. I told her to deduct from my bill. She realized wire was only underground 2" and not 6"-8" so she refused to deduct from my bill. Just asked us to cut bed w/ spade next year and try to be careful. Fence company supposedly burried wire deeper, but not too likely.


    "Honesty is the best policy". A client would much rather get a phone call stating "Sorry we had a problem ...", rather than them finding the problem and calling you all pi**ed off!!!
  7. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,205

    tell her off, and explain to her why you dont think you are responsible and should not fix the fence. sounds to me like they havent burried the wire deep enough.
  8. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    I had a dealing with a crew that installed this style fencing once. I cam out to do the property (the very next day as it turned out) and right thru the middle of the side and front lawns were the excavation lines where this fencing had been installed. I stuck my finger into the dirt to see how far down the line went and these jamokes had actually taken a pic and literally nothing more than scratched the turf to install their products.

    I called the company locally and asked them why it is that they would install in such a manner and the office gal replied that it should be a minimum of 6" in depth. I told her it was not and that we aerate to a depth of 4".

    Needless to say they sent the crew out there, and to date if a client has this system its not set to the property boundaries as they claim and we will continue to puncture and core out their product as long as they continue to improperly install it.

    All that said and done I would say that you have done your part and ben more than compliant with such unprofessionalism as these yahoos that installed the line. I would recommend that she have the company re-bury the cable to a depth of 6" or hire you to take a ditchwitch for an afternoon and sink the line so that it is no longer a concern charging accordingly for this.

    I would not fix it and kindly explain that thruout the season you have gone out of your way to satisfy them but feel that since you are a lawn service you are not responsible for the negligence or neglect of the fence company.

    Sounds to me like they know that you have fixed it in the past and they can pawn it off on you whenever you like.

    Podeum is open for more comments. LOL!!!
  9. Just for your info the wire should be burried to a depth of 3" max. NOT 6". You should mark the wire before aeration, and you are responsable for breaking it then. This is not that situation. This is a wire that has erosion problems. One of the other times I fixed it. The mail man keeps driving over it and cut it finaly and she blamed us for it.
  10. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    The original intent of this style fencing was to give animals the use of your yard without having to put up a conventional fence. This means that they should be within 2' of the property lines, not 4' from the house when theres 10' between the home and the neighbors property.

    I understand that we are supposed to mark these items however, have the neighbors children come over to play and now the flags are scattered about the property every.which.way and we cannot get a detailed map from the provider because they haphazardly installed the fencing.

    If its true that the lines are buried only 3 inches under ground this makes no sense with perculation and erosion as you have mentioned.


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