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Brand new PITA

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Keegan, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. Keegan

    Keegan LawnSite Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 613

    one of my accounts gives my name to her sister for mowing her lawn.
    The sister owns a large construction company and has her assistant call me ato me cut her lawn which she says is 10' high in her first message. (this was about 2 weeks ago) calls me back about 3 times in 1/2 hr. I was mowing all this time so I could not call her back. I finally call back and she begs me to go there that same day. Luckily I was in the same town. I get there the grass was not mowed since last fall and the most of the leaves are still there. I do it.
    The owner call me the next day, thank you for doing it but please next time pick up all the leaves and clippings and edge the gardens but my gardner may do that. (gardens look like crap).
    I go there again the following week. Some leaves are left behind in spots. (I don't have a bag on my WB and the more I blow the more leaves come up) she calls again, my chairs in the far corner were never put back and there are leaves left behind and I want your men to RAKE my lawn (all of suddens she cares about here yard anfter not mowing it all year) I told her I'm sorry about the chairs. she calls again today which is two days later. i thought my chairs would have been put back and I want your men here to rake my lawn.
    I work alone and I'm going to tell her it won't work out.
    I wonder why her last guy left?
  2. OMG

    OMG LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 275

    Do what she wants.....and charge her $60 (or whatever) per hour.

    That'll slow down the calls quick.
  3. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,085

    charge your regular rate + your hourly rate for everything after the mowing & trimming. Call it a PITA charge on her invoice. That'll shut her up!:hammerhead:
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    You had BETTER give her a set price of what it will take to clean the place up, and what exactly you two agree on. From there, you will both be on the same page, and you will know what the expectations are, and she will know the results to expect. Get your price.
  5. procut

    procut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,852

    I had two calls in mid may this year from people that had not cut their lawns since last fall. As you can expect, they were an absolute disaster, and they expected them to look perfect after the first cut:dizzy:
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I agree, just reading this thread makes me believe she got charged regular price the first time... Had it been me, I would've first finished my day's scheduled work, then after maintenance was done got in my car, drove over there and estimated, likely it would've cost hundreds of dollars with that kind of a mess. First you got to walk that kind of crap and stick your foot in it, that would've revealed the leaves which likely haven't been cleaned since they fell - Leaves in June? DOUBLE the price for that plus double the price for grass-cutting, I bet she'd have seen a 400 dollar estimate from me.
    And the yard would've looked good, sometime next week I think I have an open day.

    But see, they don't call me because they know better.
    They call the new guys.

    Here are a few more pointers:
    NEVER do same-day work. I have a schedule and it's first-come, first serve: How would you feel if, after waiting in line at a McDonald's for a long time (say the line is really long), some customer walks in with an 'emergency' and ohhhhh they take care of her right in front of everyone else, nevermind the same price... I'd walk out so fast, dude. Don't think your customers don't know each other, sooner or later word gets around that you let people in front of the line, and a few of your better customers will leave over time and you will be left with nothing but these pitas.

    I won't even let you in front of the line if you throw in a 100-dollar bill, test me and see because that 100 ain't worth me losing a regular, sorry charlie. I get folks walk up to me on the side of the road asking me to do something stupid right NOW, it's 50 dollars minimum, and it shuts them up fast thou a few get resentful which that's too bad.
    But they don't do that much anymore, either.
    I really like my job today, for the most part.
  7. All_Clear

    All_Clear LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 443

    Just hit her with your shovel and get it over with! :hammerhead:

    Everything has a fee! No freebies! Bill her for the work you do... if she don't like it she'll be looking for someone else soon... or just tell her to take a hike!!

    All Clear
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Here is how I deal with these kind...

    Call me 3 times in 1/2 hour? You just earned a 20 percent increase on the price. I like the pita fee, I call it the bs fee :)

    This foot-tall grass is an emergency? I mean, why now all of a sudden? Oh, it can't wait... Well, that's good because I have my winter money saved and as lean of a year as it is so far, I am sure there are plenty of willing and able bodies, just not mine.

    Rake your lawn? How about pull your weeds? Double the price, these are all red flags, by this time I likely wouldn't even go out to estimate because I already know the answer. Like someone else said sometime ago, don't get mad, get even: I raise the price until it goes away - Either they go away or the anger does, either way is fine by me.

    Shovel, me? No, I either don't even bother to estimate, I walk away from the estimate or sometime afterwards, or I quote a really high price because for this kind of nonsense, someone else can work for free because if you hire me, I'm getting PAID!

    That's how you make money in this business, run a tight boat and don't let them put a hand on the rudder...
    Soon as they do, my boat goes underwater and see you later, they don't push my buttons no more thou I have one is trying real hard.
  9. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,064

    Power raking $100 bucks.
  10. mak2

    mak2 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 380

    I have not been in buisness as long as most of you, but in my humble opinion I do the best job I am going to do every day for the money they pay me. I have posted on here about bagging, edging and multiple other demands customers make of me. In each case there was nothing I could have done to keep the customer happier. I did the job the way I pitched it for the amoutn they agreed to pay me. Some people want you to spend hours on a $30.00 or even $20 yard. When they feel like a pain in the aZz think about it, are the demands reasonable? If not cut them loose early. In my case they have each and everytime just escalated until I just refuse to do more. I had a lot of trouble this year spring cleaning up yards for people then the other demands started. something for nothing is all some people want.

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