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Customer called, leaves killed grass....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by gogetter, Dec 13, 2004.

  1. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    I wanted to get some opinions on how others would handle this.

    I did a one time leaf clean up about 4 weeks ago. This isn't a regular customer.
    Where this lady lives, the township comes through and vacs up the leaves twice in the fall. All the residents have to do is get them to the curb.
    She wanted it done asap, even though she knew the township wasn't coming through again for about a month (we missed the first one, because she didn't call us until the last minute to tell us when they were coming. And she didn't want to wait until closer to the second pick up date).

    I piled the leaves at the curb. It's against the law the put them in the street. I couldn't pile them on the sidewalk, so the only place they could go was on the strip of grass between the sidewalk and street.
    This is about a 4' wide strip and the leaf pile was about 20' long.

    She just called tonight to say the township picked them up today and the grass underneath is dead.

    I don't feel as though it's my problem, since I did what she wanted, when she wanted, and I didn't have any other choice as to placement. I could have taken them with me for an additional charge, but she was already not crazy about the price I was charging her for the clean up. She would have never paid more for removal (plus it's just not the norm in that neighborhood, everyone leaves them for the township there).

    I haven't called her back yet. She didn't actually say she wanted me to so something about it, she said she wanted me to know. I'm sure she's laying a guilt trip on me so that I'll do something for her.

    She still owes me $50 because she had us come out to cut the grass about 2 weeks after we did the leaf clean up.

    So.......curious how you guys would handle this. I have a couple thoughts on what I'll do.
  2. Rick Danger

    Rick Danger LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 20

    Dosen't sound like your problem to me. You did what you said you were going to do, and what you were supposed to do. If she's a really good customer you could do something to satisfy/shut her up and just tack a little something onto a bill later. Then again, if you fix it you're sort of assuming responsibility.
    It's your call.
  3. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    she got you , period. yes she does want you to fix the grass, and yes she is holding your $50 hostage. i would not repair the lawn, and i would demand my $50.
  4. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,641

    I would repair the lawn, and pick up a check for the $50 and the cost of fixing the lawn
  5. dfor

    dfor LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 828

    She asked you to get the leaves to the curb and you did. You did exactly what she wanted. If she complains when you talk to her, explain it to her that way.
  6. snap12.5

    snap12.5 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 288

    call her and tell her that you will stop by to pick up the check and to look at the lawn. tell her to wait until spring and that with the first fertilizer treatment, her lawn will recover to a certain extent.
  7. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    Ok, I just got off the phone with her.

    She went on to say how "curbside" means in the street, next to the curb. This pile was 4' wide. It would have stuck out into the road 4'.
    The township has a cable channel with info about the leaves. It clearly says "it is illegal to place leaves in the street".
    I told her this, and she just kept saying that it's ok, everyone does it, she's never had a problem in the past, yada, yada, yada.

    I told her I'd come back in the spring and spread some seed at no charge. She seemed hopeful that it could be done now, because "it looks awful". I told her it won't germinate because it's too cold now, so there's no point in doing anything now.

    She's sending me the balance. She's just upset because it looks so bad. And she mentioned AGAIN that it was a lot $ for the clean up in the first place.

    I can understand her not being thrilled with the way the lawn looks, but I think she needs to understand I only did what she asked. She could have had me take them, or waited until it was closer to the pick up date.

    Anyway, thanks for the input.
  8. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    sucker, sucker, sucker!!!!! are you really gonna go back and seed?
  9. Rick Danger

    Rick Danger LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 20

    Go ahead and seed it now, what's it cost you? The main thing is keep her happy, assuming you care about her business.
  10. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    If I seed it now, she'll just call in 3 or 4 weeks complaining that it didn't come in. It's too cold here now.
    I'll do it in the spring so it'll come in and she'll be happy, and I'll only be out a scoop of seed.
    She's not a regular customer (and won't be one in the future, even if she wanted to). So I'm not concerned about "keeping" her. But I don't want her spreading the bad word about me over something so small either.

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