Bad Customer Warning signs?


LawnSite Silver Member
S.I., NY
Is there something you see or notice on an estimate that makes you think twice? Like last year, this couple pull up and tell me they live a few blocks away and that they see i do great work. It took about 3 weeks for us to finally meet for an estimate (i wanted her there, so no ????). her grass was about 3 feet tall, no exaggeration! She complained about the previous guy alot. I'm thinking to myself, why did this lady wait so long waiting for and not get someone else? Now I know, she burns each guy she gets every year, I just wasn't told by the other LCO in the hood. What other signs are there the grass being out of control(in a nice neighborhood).


LawnSite Senior Member
Someone that won't sign a contract.
Like you said before, when the customer complains about the last LCO they hired, or the guy who painted the deck ect.. Don't ever think you are special and they won't think up ways to complain about you either.
Someone that is only concerned about low price, and not much about quality of work.
Someone who appears topheavy in their spending habits. Ie. Huge house, 2 brand new fancy cars in the garage, but they use a picnic bench as a dining room table and hardly any furniture in the rest of the house. I've seen this many times where people try to look like millionaires on the outside, but in reality they are in debt up to their a$$.
Sometimes its hard to smell trouble on the horizon, but many times my gut instinct has saved my butt. But on the other hand I've done work for people I was extremely leery of and they have ended up to be great customers. I guess what I'm trying to say is I think many times you can avoid trouble, but there are times when you think you have gotten yourself in trouble and end up delightfully surprised and other times you will get stiffed from someone you would never have thought of. Thats part of the joy of business ownership.


LawnSite Bronze Member
Add no pay, slow pay to that list.


LawnSite Fanatic
anybody that pulls up to the curb and wont get out to talk with me can kiss my *** when i get there and see super tall grass is a second strike and if they even mention price before i get to it can find someone else


LawnSite Bronze Member
South Jersey
Try to find out why the other LCO wasn't acceptable. If it was not showing up, they may not have been paying their bills. If they've been through 6 guys in 6 years, then this is also a sign.


LawnSite Senior Member
If they drive a Kia then I always quote high. But somethimes this bites me in the a$$ and I get stuck with them anyway when they accept it.
I used to work as a service advisor at a Ford and Kia dealership. Three words- KIA OWNERS SUCK!


LawnSite Senior Member
Jax., Fl.
Experience...after being in business for a number of years, you'll notice a pattern for these dead-beats...I usually charge high and make them pay up front before I do clients I make them pay up front as well, seems to weed-out the dead-beats...