anyone ever quit a contract halfway through the season?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by robby, Jul 1, 2006.

  1. robby

    robby LawnSite Member
    Messages: 89

    I live in a condo community where we have around 20 buildings and a few acres of grass to be mowed. The contractor who has had the job for the past few years just resigned the other day. I have yet to find out the details as to why, but i'm guessing it was because he was'nt happy with the amount of complaints he has been receiving the past year or two. Their quality of work has slipped quite a bit since they quit doing the work themselves, instead having college age kids take over most of the work. Making the matter worse for him is that he lives here as well, making him an easier target for people to find and complain to. I was'nt surprised to hear the additional complaints coming forth, with the crappy job they've been doing, but i'm shocked that instead of fixing the problems he would instead just choose to give up a $60,000+ contract. Maybe there is more to this story than I know so far, but it makes me wonder how much would the average guy here tolerate before ditching a big contract? Would a few b!tchy condo owners be enough for you to say, i'm outa here?
  2. HenryB

    HenryB LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,844

    I feel sorry for the guy. Condo people can be insane with unrealistic expectations. I no longer even entertain condos just way to crazy. They always want an A+ service at a D price. It's often a group of know it alls who know nothing about horticulture. Contrary to the laws of business and survival.
  3. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    I was going to put a bid in on a condo association and when I was there measuring I had about 6-7 people come up and b*tch at me! Not because I was measuring, they were b*tching about what I better do if I get the job and blah blah blah. Needless to say I walked away from that one. I've been burnt one on a condo association, and then I had that bad experience, 2 in a row is enough to tell me no!

    Churches/cemetaries are great, large (10+ acres) are great, nationally owned commercials are great, no one complains, you do a good job and they're happy, they want total grounds maintenance not just mowing. Condo's, smaller commercial (like fast food places, banks, strip malls) in my opinion are horrible, I've just never had luck with any of them.
  4. Likestomow

    Likestomow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 997

    Excuse me, but if the quality of service is below par, these condo owners are well within their rights to complain. You label them as being b!thcy -- wow, what a perspective. If a customer has a legitamate complaint, the service provider had better listen up real good or risk being fired. Call them what you wish, but my customers pay my living.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Ohhhh yeah, he wasn't getting paid enough, that's the problem.

    I just recently threw a 6k contract out of the window for the same reason: I had been willing to do the work, but every joker and their brother who lives there always feels like you belong to them and they keep throwing their stupid comments your way all the time, as if you're their slave first. Second, so as to keep the peace you finally decide to take care of some of their requests just so they'll shut up but that only makes it worse because now they REALLY get going and you are now also over budget.

    What happens when a company is over budget? The noob is dumb enough to faithfully continue to honor the contract, but the experienced company owner stops / reduces services so as to adjust for this until such time the budget is level again.
    This should answer the quality issue.

    Likely, the bid should've been closer to 120,000... Problem which he tried to resolve by hiring college age kids to lower his cost, evidently even this didn't work as I am sure as soon as the renters saw his employees, they decided to have a field day with them and take advantage of the worker (as customers are TWICE as likely to take advantage of an employee vs. the owner).
    Funny thing is, the contract I threw out the window was because someone else WAS cutting the grass... But I didn't hire them.

    Let me ask you something... If it costs you 120,000 dollars to do the work for which you're being paid 60,000, what would you do?
    So, why would anyone throw 60k out the window when it's costing them 120k?
    Too bad it took him over 2 years to figure it out, guess he must've managed somehow in that time.

    The next time I turn in a bid, should I even want to do it, I will be sure to at least double whatever price I come up with, and I said at LEAST double.

    That's been my experience with this association bowlshed, everybody wants to act like they own you.
    Next time you guys hire a chef to cook the soup, do NOT try to tell him how to do it.
    And if you do try, don't be so surprised when it doesn't turn out.
  6. HenryB

    HenryB LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,844

    Well said Topsites!
  7. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Yeah, I've dumped good paying accounts mid-season for other reasons.

    I also agree with the others... under-bid at $60,000 probably.

    Most of the time if it's a low-quality company issue, they'll work right on until they are fired.
  8. Palmer'sLS

    Palmer'sLS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 535

  9. 6'7 330

    6'7 330 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,821

    We do stores, strip mall, gas stations, townhouses, condos and most pay to maintain their landscaping completely, most year round, trees, shrubs, snow, ice, complete fertilizer and weed program.Yes you can have problems with some management companies but there is much money in the right commercial properties. Yes, some have a lot of picky old folks and these type accounts have very high standards .Especially winter, ice and snow removal, they can be a real pain in the ass, but if your work is top of the line, condos and commercials can be money making gold mines.
  10. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,369

    If the guy had it more than one year he surely wasn't losing money on it or he won't have started second year, or did I miss something. And $60K for 20 buildings don't sound like it is underbid-much more to this story. On condo units you kiss up to every PITA person and make them happy. Let's see if you wanted to make $60K cutting single yards that would be around 80 customers....think you might get a pita?

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