Can't Win for Losing!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MOturkey, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    Mow for an elderly lady whose house used to sit just off a 90 degree corner on a busy highway. Fall of '09, I think it was, the state finished some road improvements, taking out the sharp turns, which moved the highway a couple of hundred yards farther from her house. She is located almost exactly half way to many of my other accounts, which is about 10 miles from my house.

    She always brings up mowing close to the weekend several times a year. Last year, we did hers on either Thursday or Friday, because we passed by her place on those days. Well, this year, we've made a few changes and tried to eliminate at least one day of travel, which saves over 40 miles. Early in the season, we mowed hers on Wednesday, and she mentioned the weekend thing. I nicely exlained to her that I had not raised my prices even though fuel had gone up considerably since last year, and that making fewer trips is one way I am watching expenses and was able not to raise her price.

    Well, we had a lot of wet weather for several weeks, and stayed a couple of days behind many weeks, which meant her lawn was mowed on Friday a couple of times, then last week got moved back to Thursday. Today, we did hers on the way back home late this afternoon, getting her back on the Wednesday schedule and eliminating the need to drive back tomorrow just to service her property, saving me 20 miles of driving and a couple of gallons of gas.

    There is an island in the middle of the road between her and her neighbor, which used to be the site of an old general store way back when. Still has some foundation and the well house on it. Anyway, it is maybe a third of an acre, and she has us mow it about every two or three weeks, to keep it looking nice. I charge her $10 extra for this.

    Today, when I went to get paid (has to pay every trip), she told me that I was early this week. I said, no, actually we are on schedule, and that Wednesday is your normal day, we just got behind because of all the rain some weeks. She said that last year we mowed on Thursday and Friday. I said, well, yes we did, but I've cut down on the number of miles I drive, so don't mow over this way again until usually on Sunday. She said that when the yard is mowed on Wednesday, that by the weekend, it just doesn't look like it has been mowed at all. :)

    Then, she asked what she owed me. I told her I mowed the island, and said it would probably be 3 weeks or so before it needs it again, especially if we don't get some rain soon. She told me to just not mow it anymore, because, get this: NOBODY DRIVES BY HERE ANYMORE SINCE THE HIGHWAY CHANGED, AND I REALLY DON'T CARE WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE! Thirty seconds earlier, she was complaining that the lawn didn't look mowed by the time the weekend rolled around. If nobody drives by, and she doesn't care what it looks like, what difference does it make when I mow it?

    One of these days, Alice. Right to the moon!:)
  2. DLCS

    DLCS LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,386

    I have had some elderly customers like her, next week she will ask why you didn't mow that island. LOL
  3. All_Toro_4ME

    All_Toro_4ME LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,578

    Elderly customers are something else. I've had to be creative with them as well with scheduling making sure they are usually the last stop for the day mainly because they wanna talk and talk about everything from the heat, how dry it is, equipment, and the list goes on and on. But like above post said, she'll prob ask why it wasn't mowed before you know it.
  4. Will P.C.

    Will P.C. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 966

    They seem to always want it mowed around the weekends or so it can look good for the weekend.
  5. Alpha Property

    Alpha Property LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 409

    i got a customer that wants it done the same day the neighbour mows there own lawn, and shes like a 20min drive out of my way every day except tuesdays, so i get all kinds of weird calls from her
  6. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    Yea you just gotta love those elderly folks, I guess we'll all be there one day though.
  7. jsslawncare

    jsslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,673

    I know where you're coming from. A lady hired my this year to cut her mother's yard. After 2 visits I was fired because I didn't cut her rock filled yard at 1\4 high and the yard was not level at all. I also cut down on my number of work days. I now have a 4 and a 3 day work week. I couldn't help to notice your name -Dependable Mowing Service (As long as it's on my way home). I guess I didn't need that customer anyway.
  8. DanielRoden

    DanielRoden LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    Thats funny. I know what ya mean. I mow my grandparents yard. I dont charge them anything and its a 75 dollar yard but they really can't afford to pay me. Lord knows I owe them plenty anyway. I have to mow theres at the end of the day though because theres no telling when I'm gonna get home afterwards. Grandpa has to catch me up on the obituaries before I leave.
  9. David Grass

    David Grass LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    The elderly are retired, likely so the weekend is just another, I tell my elderly that since they enjoy their yard ALL week, an early mowing is great for worked......try it.
  10. Woody82986

    Woody82986 LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,128

    Hey I see you live in Joshua. I'm right up the road in Weatherford. Nice to meet you.

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